Tonight’s episode starts off with a mystery: where’d the food go? All that’s left in the kitchen are cryptic signs telling the contestants they’ll have to “order in or dine out”. This sounds suspiciously like a Detour, which, as you know, is a choice between two tasks, each with its own pros and cons. (Speaking of the Amazing Race, how awkward was it that the African-American family was named the Black family? That’d be like having a contestant on this show named McLardo.)
Suzi is totally freaking out over the food’s disappearance. Seems she’s just not ready to have to order her own food yet. From the looks of it, she’s not ready to do her own hair and makeup yet either.
Down in the gym, the guys are working out when Jillian comes back. If you remember, she “quit” at the end of last week’s episode when she got fed up with Nick’s
lame attempts at humor insubordination. Today, she won’t even talk to him. Matt tells her they need her more than anything, and when she walked out yesterday, “it ripped our guts out.” (Insert your own punchline here.)
Bob tells us it’s “Food Gone Week” (Who came up with that name? The writer’s two-year old?), and the only thing left in the house is Temptation Food, which, unfortunately, are not leftovers from Temptation Island. He tries to get his team to narrow down their menu choices to one style, such as Chinese or Mexican. Ryan balks at the last choice, telling the group, “for me, Mexican food is a red light.” If I were on Ryan’s team I think I’d try to talk her into eating Mexican, as she’s sure to lose a lot of liquid weight if nothing else. Of course, I’d also squat to pee. (You know, cuz I’d be a woman.) Suzanne then chimes in that she doesn’t like spicy food. But she says it in a really snotty voice that made me want to shove a kung-pao burrito down her throat.
Time for this week’s Temptation Challenge. As nobody’s had breakfast yet, it should be even harder to resist. And just what do our contestants have to resist this week? Non-alcoholic milkshake shots! The teams are met on the lawn by Jackie Keller, Nutrition Coach and Celebrity Chef to such A-listers as Charlize Theron and Luke Wilson’s brother. The contestants are sectioned off so they can’t see each other; in front of each is a table full of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla milkshake shots. Jackie tells them each shake is made with reduced fat milk and contains just 40 calories. (40 calories? That’s not that much. I bet I’ve worked off more than that just typing this recap so far.) Whoever drinks the most shots gets to pick one person to share the prize: having Jackie serve as their personal chef all week. This is a pretty big deal, because the rest of the players will have to order in or dine out at restaurants all week. At least Suzi thinks so, because she’s still freaking out about the menus. And because she’s the only one who drinks the shakes.
In Suzi’s defense, it doesn’t help that you can’t see what the other players are doing. Drinking? Not drinking? Making origami swans? Matt starts rearranging his glasses as if he’s trying to solve a puzzle. Unfortunately for Suzi, she misinterprets the clinking glasses as someone trying to win the contest, and starts downing shots, telling us later, “I just opened my throat and started drinking every thick one of those that I could.” (Again, insert your own punchline.) Meanwhile, of course, nobody else is drinking. Matt explains his decision as politics, while Suzanne said that to “engorge herself” like Suzi did goes against everything they’ve learned since day one. Thankfully, the producers then showed us a a clip of Suzanne shoving a goat-sized loaf of bread in her mouth during the Farewell Feast, thus saving me the trouble of reposting the shot of her licking the fondue tower.
One down, 47 to go…
As Jackie tallies the results, Suzi starts to realize nobody else drank any of the shakes. Uh-oh, Suzi’s looking a bit agitated. Why? Because she drank 48 milkshake shots! As someone points out off camera, she could’ve drank just one and still won. But no, she drank 48. Suzi can’t believe nobody else tried to win. “Didn’t they think it was a good prize?” She picks Ryan to share Jackie for the week, hoping the two of them can lose a lot of weight and save the team. Otherwise, they’ll be voted out. Not to mention publicly mocked. Oops, too late.
Later, Suzi thinks her decision to drink 48 milkshakes has turned the team against her, and is bringing morale down. She gets really upset, and goes outside to cry to Bob about it. Mark, meanwhile, looks out the door and wonders, “I don’t know how many calories crying burns, but she can stay out there as long as she wants.” So is Mark pulling for Suzi to lose more weight, or just being a catty beyatch?
Bob tries to reassure Suzi about how well she’s doing, but Suzi is hearing none of it. Literally. She tells Bob she needs to hear him tell her she’s doing okay. Uhm, he just did. He then adds, “You’re doing more than okay. You’re one of the strongest players here.” Still not hearing it, Suzi tells Bob, “and I’m not feeling that from you right now.” Perhaps Bob should’ve tried explaining it to her via the international language of interpretive dance.
As part of “Food Gone Week” the contestants go out to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. That’s harsh. Why not just take a field trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania? (Speaking of which, did you know Pennsylvania’s a state? One of the women on the Amazing Race didn’t. Man, I wish I were recapping that show.) Bob’s team has a lot of questions about what to order, and they take his advice and make healthy choices. Jillian’s team, on the other hand… When she catches Matt trying to sneak a dessert behind a napkin, she grabs the dessert and pours salt all over it. Then she delivers the following Deep Thought: “You’ve got to change your behavior. You do not need to rely on willpower. Willpower is greatly overrated, and by destroying it, it will make it incapable for you to submit to temptation.” Is it just me, or does that make no sense whatsoever? If ever there were a time for a bit of awkward ADR on this show, ala The Donald on The Apprentice, this is it.
“Bitch, I will cut you.”
Time for this week’s challenge, which takes place on a train. (By the way, I was going to call this week’s recap The Great Train Flabbery, but I didn’t want to be accused of relying too heavily on fat jokes — get it? Heavily?) Caroline makes her first appearance of the night, telling the contestants, “Until now, you’ve been training on treadmills and training on bicycles… But for today’s challenge, you’ll be training… on a train!” Why doesn’t this woman have a sitcom? Or at least a recurring role on Joey. The way this challenge works is pretty simple: Each team puts one player on each car of the train. At opposite ends of the train are 36 colored rubber balls. The goal is to pass the balls from one end of the train to the other, one ball at a time. First team to get all 36 balls from one end of the train to the other gets to make like ET and phone home.
The women get off to a fast start, and build up a quick two-ball lead. By the halfway point, however, the men have caught up and tied it at 18 balls apiece. Matt tells us if it were any other prize he’d have probably sat out (he did tear a quad last week), but that he really wants to rub it in Suzanne’s face. Evidently, he’s still smarting from the fondue tower incident. Actually, he just wants to call home. Carrying the last ball, Nick starts tossing it up in the air as he’s walking down a moving open-air car! Man, it’d have been funny to see him drop the ball off the train. For one, because he’d have made his team lose. For another, because it’d be the first funny thing he’s done since the show started. And the guy’s a friggin’ comedian! I’m surprised NBC hasn’t talked to him about replacing Matt LeBlanc. Poor Suzanne, meanwhile, is waiting dejectedly by the door for Jen, who’s too tired from making faces to finish her leg. Guys win!
Mark tells us after their victory, they all gave a little high five, then sat down and almost passed out. All except for Pete, that is, who sat down and almost had a heart attack. Fortunately for Pete, this time Dr. Jeff was within arm’s distance, so he was able to pat him on the shoulder until the ambulance showed up. (Between ignoring Matt last week and not doing much for Pete this week, Dr. Jeff is starting to make Dr. House look like Florence Nightingale.) After watching Pete get loaded into the ambulance, Dr. Jeff is surprised to see a second ambulance pull up. As he tells us later, “I thought, ‘Pete’s not that big a guy’.” Way to steal my thunder, Doc. Instead, the second ambulance was for Ryan, who couldn’t catch her breath. (By the way, why did Pete and Ryan each get an ambulance, when last week poor Matt got schlepped around in the PA’s van?)
Two’s a party…
Later, Ryan returns to a less than enthusiastic response from her team. Seriously, I’ve seen more enthusiasm at the proctologist’s office. When she mentions it in her voiceover, they cut to shots of Jen and Shannon so not caring. Imagine how bad she’d feel if she saw the way Pete was greeted by his teammates. Hugs all around! Turns out Ryan had an asthma attack and maybe an anxiety attack, while Pete simply had a cold. A very big cold.
The guys get to make their phone calls home. It’s been over a month since they’ve talked with their loved ones, so it’s pretty emotional. Pete, who for some reason calls his wife Bubba, tells us when he’s home, he talks with her at least two hours a day. Evidently, the honeymoon still isn’t over. I’ve been married for seven or eight years now, and I’m lucky if I talk to my wife two hours a week. (Kidding!) Seth’s wife tells him he has some competition, as she’s lost five pounds in the month he’s been gone. “Five pounds?” he snorts. “I’ve lost 29. In your face, Charlie Murphy!” She also tells him the baby’s started crawling. “Crawling-crawling?” he asks. “Crawling crawling crawling,” she tells him. (I’m no Dr. Spock, but when they showed footage of Seth’s baby, he looked to be just crawling. Maybe I’m missing something here?) Dr. Jeff gets to talk with his wife and kids next. Man they’re loud. If I were him, I’d start doing suppositories just so I could spend another week away from them. Still, they’re not as loud as the Godlewski harpies on The Amazing Race.
After the break, we have time for one last workout before the Weigh-In. Seth tells us he feels vulnerable, because he’s the smallest guy and that could make him a threat. Huh? That just means you have less weight to lose, idiot. The show’s called The Biggest Loser for a reason. Seth says Nick is also vulnerable, because he’s a lazy bastard and he made Jillian cry like a girl. Not really. But speaking of Jillian, she’s taking so much pleasure from punishing the guys she should be in an Herbal Essences commercial. (Side note: I used to like that shampoo, but once they started that orgasm campaign, I quit using it. Not because it offended me as a consumer, which it does, but rather because it offended me as a copywriter, which I am.)
Suzi, meanwhile, really wants the women to win because she feels the team is shattered. A better reason might be because a loss would send her home, but Suzi’s still freaked out about the menu situation, so she’s not thinking too clearly.
Time for the Weigh-In. The guys start out at 1914 pounds. Nick tells Caroline he thinks he’s gained weight, because he’s eaten so much sushi he thinks he ate a dolphin. Did I mention he’s a comedian? They end up losing 26, or 1.35% of their total weight.
Jen’s steady regimen of sarcastic looks really seems to be paying off.
That means the women need to lose 17 pounds in order to win. Will Suzi’s 48-milkshake gamble pay off? After three weigh-ins, the women have lost nine pounds, meaning they only need to lose eight more for the victory. Too bad Jen’s up next, as she doesn’t lose any. And here I thought making all those faces would burn off a few calories. That puts the pressure entirely on Ryan to win. (Wait, no it doesn’t. It’s not like a baseball game and she’s the last batter; it’s a collective effort. God, now I’m making Jen faces.) Fortunately, Ryan loses one more pound than necessary, bringing the women’s total loss to 18 pounds, or 1.37% or their total weight. Bet those 48 milkshake shots are tasting a lot sweeter now, eh Suzi?
Since Mark lost the most weight on the guy’s team, Caroline tells the group he’s safe from elimination. Then, she tells the rest of the team, “I’ll give you until tomorrow night to decide who is weighing you down.” Ooh, a catchphrase! And it only took three weeks.
Now, the scheming starts. Nick tells us he’s not worried, as he’s lost 41 pounds. (Pause.) And 27 pence! (He swears that joke went over better in Ye Merry Olde England.) Instead, Matt, Mark and Nick decide they’re going to take out Seth. Mark’s logic? “I’m 12 years older than Seth, and I’m losing more weight than him.” I bet Mark’s going to be a lot of fun at the retirement home. “I’m 12 years older than you, and I don’t need a damn catheter!” Later that night, Matt is having second thoughts, and wants to keep Seth over Nick. Mark is having none of it, telling Matt, “As big a pain in the ass as Nick is, he still dropped a three-spot. Did you see how much he ate? I think he can drop a ten-spot. As young as Seth is, he should’ve dropped at least a six-spot.” What a spot-on analysis, Mark. I think all the dieting has made your IQ drop a 50-spot. Matt reluctantly agrees, and it looks like Seth is going home. Surely the producers wouldn’t pull a Mark Burnett-style misdirection on us, would they?
At the Elimination Ceremony, everyone dresses fairly well, except Nick, who’s wearing a green shirt and green plaid stupid pants, aka Buttafuco pants. This show’s elimination ceremony is brutal: not only do you have to reveal who you voted for, you have to explain why. Dr. Jeff says he’s voting to eliminate Seth, as he thinks Seth would be the most successful if he left the house now. Seth votes to eliminate Nick, because he thinks Nick is a caring person. A caring person that isn’t as committed to losing weight as the rest of the team. Ha! Nick votes to eliminate a mystery teammate named “Larson”. Allow Nick to explain: “Where I come from, a ‘Larson’ is a person who…you can’t believe a word they say. And the person I distrust the most is…”
Time for another stupid “The More You Know” PSA. This time it’s Karen from Will & Grace, telling me it’s who you are inside that counts. Man, I hate preachy actresses.
Nick reveals the identity of the Larson: Seth! That’s two votes Seth, one vote Nick. As the rest of the team’s already told Nick they’re voting for Seth, he believes he’s safe and starts to gloat. But wait! Pete votes to evict Nick. Then Mark says he’s changed his vote since last night, and now votes to evict Nick. Suddenly, it’s two votes Seth, three votes Nick. If Matt votes for Nick, he’s gone. If he votes for Seth, it’s a tie and the women get to decide who goes. (I hope that happens sometime this season.) Poor Mattie. He’s shaking so badly I wish Dr. Jeff would check on him, but he is clear at the other end of the table… Matt says the decision literally made him sick. It’s just too bad he didn’t make the decision before the Weigh-In, because losing all that vomit might have helped the guys win. Plus, I’ve been in vomit withdrawal since Survivor. “I also didn’t sleep, and I know I’ve lost a true friend,” he tells Caroline. “I vote to evict Nick.”
Nick is stunned. Or at least I think he is. Those professional comedians are so good at hiding their pain, only to later channel it into their art. Caroline points out that Matt’s card even says “I’m sorry” on it. “Do you want to say goodbye to your team?” she asks Nick. “Nah,” he answers. Now it’s Caroline who’s stunned. Or maybe she just has gas. “Really? You don’t want to be home later, wishing you’d said…” “Nah,” Nick interrupts. “I’m cool.” And with that, Nick walks out of the elimination chamber, and, sadly, out of our hearts.
Matt tells Caroline that Nick’s reaction makes him feel he made the right choice, adding, “I’m upset, though, because I broke my word in front of these guys. And I hope they can continue to trust me. Because we’re still a team.” Yeah, except for Seth, who now knows the whole “team” wants him gone.
Later, Nick consoles himself, telling the camera “I beat ‘em all. America, next time you see me, there’s going to be a cover charge and two-drink minimum. And believe me, I’m worth every pound.” Again with the British humor.
One thing I think I forgot to mention in the prior recaps (I’m too lazy to go back and check) is that the show does a little update segment on this week’s loser, showing how their time at the ranch changed their lives and inspired a nation, along with how much additional weight they’ve lost since their eviction. Remember when I said comedians channel their pain into their art? Well, Nick’s come up with a doozy about his time on the ranch. “The Biggest Loser was the worst experience of my life.” And while he looks to have lost more weight since he left (along with his facial hair), he says he doesn’t know how much he weighs, as he doesn’t weigh himself any longer. Seems he gave that up for Lent. Too bad he couldn’t give up being unfunny for Lent, what with being a comedian and all. The producers get the segment’s last (and only) laugh, however, in Nick’s “Before” and “After” shots. Under his “Before” picture, it reads “Nick lost 41 pounds at the ranch.” Under his “After” picture, it simply reads “His current weight is unknown.” Snap!
So what did you think of this week’s episode?