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"Heellloooo???? Is anybody theerreee???"
echo echo echo
Yeah, well, I don't blame you. It's week 19. NINETEEN. Is it any wonder the last 8 contestants or so haven't been too sad when they get voted out? Someone even quit, for heaven's sake. However, for the remaining 5, that $250K is actually within their sweaty grasp.
First, however, they must pass exams week. A lame concept but since this crew obviously isn't up for the usual marathon, we're stuck with it. Each trainer will run his/her own "test" - Bob's will be spinning, Jillian's will be motivation ("PASS OR I'LL GIVE YOU SOMETHING TO CRY ABOUT IN THE GYM"), Cara's will be boxing (as befits our one-trick pony), and Brett's will be health and wellness (damn, I was hoping for a ninja throwing-star accuracy test). Whomever pulls the best overall grade will net themselves $10,000.00. Now there's some motivation for ya, right?
Or not. Irene is up first and giggles her way through her "teaching" Bob to ride a stationary bike. Bob is unimpressed and awards her 72 points (out of a possible 100). Olivia fares much better, being older and bossier, and proves one day she'll be a very competent mom - she wins 100 points. Jay horrifies Bob by suggesting the seat on the bike be removed, and I don't think I have to explain why he gets a measly 58 points. Austin and Hannah both ace it, and get 95 and 100 points respectively.
Brett is embracing his inner geek today, in silly oversized glasses. Or maybe this is his way of sticking it to his dad, who is apparently a professor at Princeton University. Brett's got oral quizzes on nutrition and fitness for the Losers, but this time nobody's perfect - Hannah gets a 77, Irene an 80, Jay 88, Olivia 83, and Austin 82.
Next up is Cara, who gets all weird when she insists on calling it a "fighting" test rather than a boxing test. Included in their grade will be their ability to stare down Cara, nose to nose. Well, it's probably the closest Austin's ever been to a girl. Guess Cara saw something she liked, though, and awards Austin a 95. Irene underachieves and earns a 70, but the rest of the grades are top-notch - Jay gets a 95, Olivia a 100, and Hannah a 92.
Jillian, after gleefully mentioning it will be her last season (which, unless you're living under a rock, already know), draws on her vast repertoire of whiny crybaby lameass excuses she's listened to during the past 11 seasons, and has the contestants "motivate" her. It seems she hasn't screamed herself hoarse for nothing - the Losers have been listening in between heaving into nearby garbage cans. Irene and Austin both net an 85, Jay and Hannah score a 90, and Olivia brings home an 89.
The final test is at the gym, and wouldn't you know, it's a video game. Exactly what got a couple of them here in the first place. However, this time they're going to be sweating to The Biggest Loser Workout for Xbox Kinect. The product placement doesn't get much more gratuitous than this, folks. The contestants all have their own, extremely flattering game avatars. Austin's is particularly cute, as my 12-year-old daughter points out. Everyone must beat their own avatar by matching their exercise form onscreen. Before you anti-gamer types start snorting in derision, know this - Kinect & Wii games can actually make you perspire. The Losers are all dripping and exhausted by the time it's over (go ahead, do 10 sumo jacks, you'll see) but self-professed Gamer Girl Hannah prevails. Her 100 points aren't enough to beat out big sis Olivia for the top prize, however. Olivia, with that horseshoe still firmly wedged up her less-ample derriere, take home the 10K and an Xbox system. A word from the wise, Olivia? If you're still wanting a baby, hide that Xbox until you get pregnant. No man can resist Call Of Duty. Hannah is runner-up - I almost expect her to twist her hair around her index finger and start wailing, "It's always Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!" - with Austin, Irene, and Jay behind.
Many, many minutes of workout footage commence, followed by Austin trying to enjoy a bowl of cereal while Cara drones on about the value of drinking hormone-laden cow's milk. Yum-yum. Now it's challenge time, and it's a deadly dull one - there's a steep staircase with four levels, and the contestants must stack 25 sandbags per level to reach the top. The winner will receive a 1-pound advantage at the weigh-in. Austin pulls off an easy win, then everyone troops off to Subway with Brett. Snack time is interrupted by a pop quiz - how many calories in the sweet onion teriyaki chicken sammie? They should have asked - who would want to eat that gross gelatinous sweet onion sauce anyway? They're all drooling, but after 19 weeks, it probably looks as good as a cheeseburger. Hannah correctly guess 380 calories and wins a $500 Subway card.
Well, one good thing about this week - Ali has a seriously kickass weigh-in dress, black, short and scoopnecked with knee-high boots. She offers Olivia the chance to trade her $10K for a 1-pound advantage, and offers Austin the reverse - he can trade his 1-pound advantage for $10K. After an agonizingly long time, including a 345-minute commercial break, they decide to keep their respective prizes. Yeah, Austin? No pound is worth $10,000. But you know that now, don't you?
Hannah - start weight 154, down to 150, 2.60%
Irene - start weight 152, down to 147, 3.29%
Jay - start weight 255, down to 246, 3.53%
Olivia - start weight 158, down to 153, 3.16%
Austin - start weight 236, down to 235, with 1-lb advantage - 0.85%
Austin and Hannah are below the yellow line, and since there's a girls' alliance that everyone knows about but no one talks about, the vote is pretty much a waste of time. And since Jay knows how to do math and has figured out he might actually have a shot at winning now, also writes Austin's name down. So, newly handsome young Austin heads home to work out with his equally cute brother, and is now sporting a 230-lb body from a season start weight of 396. He's doing good works like visiting schools to talk to kids about nutrition, but he could maybe leave off the singing bit. I'm just sayin'. Next week, the girls get to go home in super-cute dresses and we're paring things down to a final 2. We're almost there, guys. Two more weeks! And if Dr. Phil or The Doctors call me up as well, it's gonna be MY last season.