Wednesday, October 12, 2005
The Biggest Loser is the show that changes lives and inspires a nation. And, hopefully, teaches a few valuable life lessons along the way. So what have we learned so far this season? That losing weight is hard. That fat people have feelings too. And that readers don’t like it when I make too many cheap fat jokes.
Tonight’s episode starts off with the announcer telling us “So far the teams have lost a total of 483 pounds. But The Biggest Loser isn’t just about losing weight. It’s about changing lives.” Lives like those of Andrea from Season One, who’s lost a total of 67 pounds since last year, and who’ll be making a very special appearance later tonight. That’s great, but what happened to inspiring a nation? So far, tonight’s episode is leaving me totally unchanged and uninspired.
Hopefully, inspiration awaits after the jump…The Blue Team’s in turmoil without Ryan, who was voted off last week. Well, half the team is. Because as Suzanne tells us, “Ryan was the glue between Suzy and Andrea. They needed her. For me, that was just a strategy. I take her out of the equation and now these two girls are like, ‘uh oh, what do I do?’” Standing in the hallway, Suzanne tells Andrea and Suzy she feels really bad for what’s happened. Suzy calls her out though, saying, “Okay, I know you’re lying now.” Now? You mean Suzanne’s lied before? Say it isn’t so! Andrea tells us Suzanne is doing everything she can to manipulate the situation. “Everything that comes out of that girl’s mouth seems to be a lie,” she says. Including telling everyone she’s really a blond.
The teams head down to the gazebo for this week’s Temptation Challenge. Hey, where’s Caroline? I needs me some twin lovin’! Instead, Bob and Jillian are waiting for the teams in the gazebo. I like B&J, but putting them in charge of the temptation is like having George tell the wannabe apprentices that losing weight is a $500 BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY. It just doesn’t have that same je ne sais quoi. Bob revealed a silver platter that held a double cheeseburger, french fries, onion rings and a chocolate milkshake. The sight of the shake reminds Suzy of this one time, at fat camp, when she drank 48 milkshakes…
Unfortunately, today’s temptation isn’t so much a temptation as it is a pop quiz. The teams simply have to figure out how many calories are on the tray. See what happens when Caroline’s not around? Each team has five minutes to produce an answer. Here’s the catch: The losing team has to do one stair on the Stairmaster for however many calories they guess higher or lower than the actual number. Shannon is not happy. Shannon hates the Stairmaster. Why the hate, Shan? Stairmasters have feelings too, you know. The winners, meanwhile, get to visit Universal Studios for a day. I don’t know about you, but when I think diet and exercise, I immediately think Universal Studios.
The teams are a little flummoxed, as they’ve only been taught to count calories in healthy food so far. Suzanne thinks it’s somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 calories, which her teammates think is a bit high. 5,000 calories? What does she think the cheeseburger’s made of, lard? After a bit of bickering, the women end up listening to Suzanne and guessing 4,249 calories. The men average their guesses together and get 2,950. The correct answer? 2,834 calories. Which means the women have to climb 1,415 stairs. To make matters worse, it turns out Shannon had guessed 2800 calories. So if the women had listened to her and not Suzanne, they’d have won. But who’s counting? Oh, that’s right, they are…
Shannon tells us it’s really pissing her off that the guys keep winning and winning and winning. You’d think they were a bunch of weight-losing Energizer Bunnies or something. At this point, things are definitely looking blue for “Bob’s Booty Crew” (as the remaining members have dubbed themselves) as they begin the long climb to the top of the Stairmaster.
The guys, meanwhile, are having a blast at Universal Studios. And by guys, I mean Jillian. She keeps talking about all the rides she wants to go on, especially Jurassic Park, which Dr. Jeff is afraid of. “It’s really important to do something that scares you every day,” she tells us. I bet she gives her boyfriend that same line before giving him his own “personal” workout. “Jurassic Park was an excellent way for Dr. Jeff to conquer his fear of roller coasters.” Well, except Jurassic Park is a water ride. Whatever. She also used the opportunity to teach the guys some Ã¢â‚¬Å“theme park eating survival tips,” which as far as I can tell, involved sharing a Cinnamonster. I use the same tips when I visit the mall. Except for the sharing part. Sharing, much like sobriety, is so overrated.
You can climb, but you can’t hide.
Back at the ranch, the girls are still climbing their 1,415 stairs. Since they’re on somewhat of a losing streak, Bob decides to bring in Andrea (aka Dre) from Season One for inspiration. Dre delivers the usual “you gotta stick together” crap, then asks them why they wanted to make such a drastic change in their lives. Uhm, I realize I’m going out on a limb here, Dre, but maybe because they’re fat? Just a guess.
Dre tells the girls the biggest prize she took home wasn’t $250,000. Or even $100,000. (What she doesn’t tell them is she didn’t take home any money because she’s a loser. But not the biggest loser.) “It was a better me.” Aw, there’s the inspiration I was looking for.
Caroline’s back for Challenge Day. And she’s brought the twins! The contestants gather in a large warehouse filled with padlocked refrigerators. Supposedly, each fridge has been filled with the stuff they’ve been taught to stay away from. But since we never see what’s actually in them, they could be filled with buckets of moldy placenta for all we know. (If nothing else, that would certainly make the challenge more interesting.) Some refrigerators, however, are filled with a healthy alternative–Sugar-Free Jell-O snacks! Because there’s always room for Jell-O. Each contestant gets a key. Each key will open only one fridge. The first team to open all the Jell-O fridges and bring all the Sugar-Free Jell-O snacks back wins the challenge. And a chance to watch videos from home. Yay!
Right off the bat, both teams are confused about what to do. Dr. Jeff even goes so far as to roll his eyes, a la Jen. Shannon decides it would be best to start in the corner and work their way clockwise. The guys decide it would be best to run around in a blind panic and try random locks. The contest was pretty close, as Suzanne tells us: “I saw the men had two, and then I saw we had two, so I knew we were going about the same pace.” Brilliant! At least she’s not lying this time.
The pack circles its prey.
It’s getting down to the wire when Andrea has another stroke of genius: try the pink fridge because pink is for girls. And it works! Buoyed by their success, Shannon decides to try a yellow fridge to match the yellow flower in her hair. That works too! Girls win!! Maybe they can sell their Sugar-Free Jell-O snacks and use the money they make to buy the guys a set of earplugs, as their celebratory shrieks make TAR:FE‘s Godlewski women sound like a mime troupe.
At the ranch, the girls tell Bob about their win. Suzanne says, “it was funny, cuz we were all shouting out ideers, and then Shannon said something that made complete sense.” Of course, Shannon had called Suzanne an idiot, but in her defense, it did make complete sense. Suzanne feels that winning today’s challenge has brought the girl’s team together. “We are five strong women, and we stand tall. From here on out, until the weigh-in, we are going to work as a team. After that, though, I’m going to claw those bitches’ eyes out.”
Now we get to watch the girls watch their videos. To me, few things are more exciting than watching someone else watch TV. On TV. Except maybe when CNN shows someone reading off of someone’s blog. You just can’t beat that kind of drama. Jen sees her kids and husband, then tells us, “I miss my little boy and little girl so much.” Her husband? Eh, not so much. Why is Jen channeling Hilary Swank all of a sudden? Suzanne’s fiancÃƒÂ© tells her he has a couple of words for her: “Don’t give up.” Not to nitpick, but that’s three words. Although if you asked Suzanne, she’d probably lie and say it was two.
At the last chance workout, Dr. Jeff is a little worried about the girl’s newfound solidarity. “They beat us in the challenge,” he says, “so I’m not going to count them out. I guess bitching and crying burns a lot of calories.” There’s that bedside manner we’ve come to expect from our favorite doc.
Time for the weigh-in. Caroline is wearing a house frock that looks like it fell victim to Tana’s bedazzler. Instead of the usual casual banter, she greets the contestants with the following bit of befuddlement: “You’ve had the weight loss, but is anybody feeling anything emotional, like self-realization, or maybe ‘I was hiding this, that’, Matt?” Yes, she asked Matt that quickly. Poor guy. Caroline’s obviously been spending her afternoons at the ranch catching up with Oprah and Dr. Phil. Fortunately, Matt has an answer every bit as straightforward as the question: “When you’re fat, it’s easy to hide all your emotional emotions.” As opposed to all your non-emotional emotions? Man, I hate Vulcan logic.
The men are weighed first. Dr. Jeff loses ten pounds, which he dedicates to his daughter’s 16th birthday. Caroline, still in full Dr. Phil mode, tells Dr. Jeff he just gave his daughter “the best gift in the whole world.” Yeah, I remember when I was 16, I really wanted a car. But when my dad lost 10 pounds, that made everything better.
After losing 11 pounds (for a total of 60 since he started the program), Matt says he’s psyched. “I got 60 pounds off,” he says. “I’m finally excited about my weight loss.” Good thing he didn’t top out at 59 pounds. Because that would’ve been a total waste of time.
The men end up losing a total of 57 pounds, or 3.74% of their total weight. Now it’s the girl’s turn. To win, they need to lose more than 39 pounds. Suzanne loses eight pounds and tells the camera, “losing eight pounds is huge! Great! You can’t get better than that.” Except maybe every number higher than eight!
The women end up losing 3.41% of their total weight, but it’s not good enough. Men win again!
Jen lost ten pounds this week, making her the biggest loser, and giving her immunity from elimination. As always, Caroline tells the women they have until tomorrow night to decide who is “weighing them down.”
White men can’t shut up.
Bob is disappointed, because the ladies pulled back together as a team and worked hard and really deserved to win. I’d agree with you, Zennie, except for the fact that the men lost more weight, which means they deserved to win. Now tell me how you would mount fuji!
In the girls’ room, the scheming is in full effect. Suzanne tells Andrea and Suzy to think about what’s best for the team: personality or numbers? Andrea tells her she simply can’t trust Suzanne. “Everything you’ve done, you’ve done it to benefit yourself.” In the kitchen, Jen tells Suzy she needs to choose between Andrea and Suzanne. “Andrea because of the weight she isn’t losing, and Suzanne because of her lying…to everybody.” Ouch. Did I mention Suzanne lies a lot?
This week’s sad montage cuts between the girls working out and Andrea and Suzanne telling us they’re not ready to leave. It’s neither life-changing nor inspiring.
Commercial break. Diet Rite needs to get their shit together. In their promo, the announcer says “Live rite. Diet rite.” But in the ad that follows, the tagline reads “Live well. Live rite.” Which is it? Also, we get our usual The More You Know PSA. This one features Karen from Will & Grace again, telling us it’s who you are inside that counts. Pretty ironic considering this is a show about losing weight. Dumbass.
“You’re probably wondering why I’ve asked you all here.”
Back to Thunderdome. Andrea votes for Suzanne. No surprise there. Suzanne goes off on her “personality versus numbers” bit again. Since Andrea has the lowest weight loss, it looks like Suzanne’s going after her. Until she drops this bombshell: “The reason why I chose this person is they have the highest weight, and I feel like I helped this person. Last week, she’d have been eliminated if it wasn’t for my help, and in life I believe if somebody does do you a favor, hopefully, you’ll do me a favor in return. My choice is for Shannon.” Whoa, I did not expect that. Of course, I didn’t expect Suzanne to pull out her sidearm and shoot Shannon in the face either, but I guess this just proves how seriously ex-NYPD officers take their favors.
Shannon says that this week has been positive, so she refuses to say anything negative about that skank-bitch who just wrote down her name. She votes to eliminate Suzanne. At that, Jen finally makes a face. Yes!
Suzy also votes for Suzanne, which is enough to send her packing. Suzanne tells everyone it’s been an honor, and she’s proud to have been a part of the team. “You girls are great,” she says, as she walks out of the room. “I love you guys.” What do you bet she was lying?
So what did you think of this week’s episode? Did the women make the right choice choosing personality over numbers?