First off, let me say the response to last week’s recap was nothing short of amazing. (For me, at least.) I received more comments than I have for any of my RAW recaps. (Maybe more than all my RAW recaps combined, but since I’m about as good at math as Johnny Fairplay is at
staying sober not shitting in other people’s beds, I’ll never know for sure.) And with very few exceptions, most were pretty positive. And for that, I say thanks. For those who weren’t quite as fond of my recap, I only wish you could look past my online persona to see the real me, the true copygodd, and accept me for who I am: someone who likes to make fun of people on TV. That said, let’s get on to changing lives. To inspiring nations. To recapping The Biggest Loser…
After a brief recap of last week’s inaction, tonight’s episode starts off with a “Temptation” challenge. The contestants are led to another food-filled room. At each person’s seat is a letter from home and a silver platter full of their favorite foodstuffs. The challenge? “If You Eat It, You Can Read It.” Shannon tells the camera, “the first thing I saw was my daughter’s handwriting. Instantly, I wanted to… eat.” Not really. The first thing she wanted to do was see what was inside, but to do so, she’d have to eat. Talk about a real Sophie’s Choice. The contestants have fifteen minutes to decide which they’d rather do: eat and read, or not eat and not read. Mark is totally egging on the girls, trying to get them to crack. (This last
joke yolk brought to you by the American Egg Board.) Jen tells everyone the cards probably say something like “if you’re reading this, I’m really pissed at you.” Dammit Jen, that was going to be my joke. Now I’m really pissed at you. The show’s producers try to build some drama by playing music reminiscent of Chariots of Fire, but they don’t have much luck, because instead of inspirational footage of men running down the beach, we get shots of fat people sitting around in a room full of food. Fifteen minutes elapse, and everybody has held strong. Bob tells us having temptations like this in the house is good for them, because it helps prepare them for temptations they’ll face outside the house. I only wish Bob had been there that time my parents made me choose between eating and opening a package from Ted Kaczynski. Thanks a lot, mom and dad.
Next, Bob tries to deliver an inspirational message to his team, in his own inimitable Bob-logic. In essence, it goes something like this: In order to lose weight, you have to eat. Wait, where have I heard that mode of thinking before? Oh yeah, on The Daily Show: In order to save the Iraqis, we must first kill the Iraqis. Guess Bob’s logic is more imitable than I thought. In addition to being mad at Bob’s unlogic, the team’s also mad at Kathryn for not making her sprained ankle heal fast enough. If only Margaret from Survivor: Guatemala were on their team.
After a brief montage of Jillian torturing her team, the producers treat us to the night’s first bout of foreshadowing: Over shots of Nick not exercising, Jillian tells us “Nick is a renegade. I’ll help him when he needs help, and if it starts to become a problem, I’ll address it then.” Cue foreboding music.
The Robot: Just one of the many dancercize programs waiting for you at 24 Hour Fitness
It’s time for tonight’s Weight Challenge, which takes place at a local pond. Basically, it involves walking across a beam to a platform in the pond. If you fall in the water, you have to go back and start over. The first team to get all their members to the platform wins. And what do they win? They get to read the letters they passed up earlier in the show, and they get an extra 24 hours to exercise before they have to be weighed. As Suzy tells us, the extra day could be huge for the girls. (Hey, her words, not mine.) “That could be, like, a pound per person,” she says.
Because they have one more player, the women have to sit someone out for this competition. No surprise they pick Kathryn, what with her refusing to spontaneously heal herself and all. Man, she is so not a team player.
Seth lays out the guys’ strategy: “Basically, we wanted to run it like a relay, with our fastest guy first.” (Maybe it’s my non-track background shining through, but wouldn’t you want to put your fastest guy last, in case he has to make up some ground?) The guys get off to a quick lead, and it looks like they’re going to win, until they get to their last guy, Dr. Jeff, who is far and away the slowest one on the team. So slow, in fact, he promptly lets Jen pass him. Great strategy, Seth. It finally comes down to Dr. Jeff versus Shannon, who keeps asking her team how they did it. Ever the motivator, Suzy starts singing: “You just put one foot in front of the other, And soon you’ll be walkin ‘cross the flo-o-or, Put one foot in front of the other, And soon you’ll be walkin’ out the door!” Not really. But any day I can give a shout-out to the diminuitive Mickey Rooney is a good day indeed.
The sea was angry that day, my friends.
Stop! Commercial time. But it’s not just any commercial. It’s for 24 Hour Fitness, the show’s biggest sponsor. Several of the contestants are shown working out, wearing inspirational t-shirts adorned with such motivational sayings as “To dunk basketballs, not donuts” (Pete’s), “To turn up the sexy volume” (Shannon), “To be a stud (again)” (Nick), and “To find Mr. Right” (Suzy). Judging by the look she flashes Nick after doing a sit-up, he ain’t it. 24HF‘s new tagline? “You. To the power of 24.” Personally, I find this a bit confusing. Aren’t these people already themselves to at least the power 24? Maybe it should be “You. To the power of three.” Or something.
Anyway, back to the action. Shannon hums herself to victory over Dr. Jeff, who’s fallen in the water so many times he’s begun to grow gills. Once the pressure’s off, though, Dr. Jeff collects himself and makes it over the beam. Thanks goodness, cuz we’re gonna need his doctoring skills stat!
Back at the mansion, I’m reminded that I really need to get my Tivo hooked to my computer. Because in one beautiful five-second shot, we get to see Jillian’s plumber’s crack and hear Andrea step on a duck. Actually, her honking laughter just sounds like someone stepped on a duck, but it would’ve made for a great QuickTime clip. Mark tells us that the women have an advantage, with the 24 extra hours before weigh-in, but that the men all gave a thousand percent, so there’s no excuses this time. Yeah, except poor math skills, Albert.
At the weigh-in, the men are individually taunted by the Scale-O-Tronic 4025. First it says you weigh 205. Then 476. Then 350. 2300. 598. 3. 298. Just pick a number, dammit! During Matt’s weigh-in, Caroline notices he’s holding something in his hand. Turns out it’s an inspirational letter from his sister. I want to make fun of it, but I really find myself rooting for the big lug, so I’ll let it go. Of course, if the guys end up losing by the weight of his letter, I’m really gonna let him have it. Overall, the men do pretty well, losing a combined 51 pounds, or 2.6% of their collective weight. Not as good as last week, but still fairly respectable. Unfortunately, the women still have 24 more hours to lose weight, so the guys are uncharacteristically subdued.
“Be honest, guys. Does this shirt make me look fat?”
Next we’re treated to some more footage of Jillian training the guys. At one point, she tells the team if she beats them in a sprint, they’re going to have to run three more laps. She takes off, and for some reason, Matt’s the only one who tries to keep up with her. He does a pretty good job of it too, until disaster strikes. Matt falls down hard, and is writhing on the ground in pain. The rest of the team starts yelling for a medic. If only someone on the guy’s team was a doctor… Dammit, where’s Dr. Jeff? Oh yeah, still back at the starting line. Matt will bleed out by the time he gets here. Good thing Matt’s not bleeding. Dr. Jeff does deliver a heartfelt little speech about Matt, though, saying “he really inspires me and motivates me, and not having him around in top form is going to hurt our team.” Oh great, now the guys are going to get mad at Matt for not healing fast enough. Man, these people are petty. Eventually, they get Matt up the hill and send him off to the hospital in an unmarked white van.
The next day, Matt returns and tells everyone the good news. “The doc says I have a tear in my quad,” he says, “and I need to take it easy. But, it’s probably better than pulling it, I guess.” Is it just me, or is this the equivalent of having your throat slit, only to say with your last dying gurgle that it’s probably better than getting nicked while shaving?
Later, the teams are seen walking to the gym for the girl’s weigh-in. Dr. Jeff admits the guys are a little nervous, explaining “the girls had an extra day, and they’re all looking pretty good.” This is followed by an immediate shot, from behind, of the girls walking up the steps. That’s just cruel.
The girls don’t do nearly as well with their weigh-in. In fact, after three contestants, they’ve only lost a collective eight pounds. The guys are trying not to gloat, but you can tell they’re feeling pretty good about their chances. Before we’re told the final tally, however, we’re treated to one of NBC’s insufferable The More You Know PSAs. This one features comic genius Sean Hayes telling us that “Hate is not a punchline.” Coincidence? Methinks not.
Guess what? The women lose. And Suzy, for one, is in total disbelief. “We had a whole extra day to work out,” she says, “so we should’ve done better than we did.” Yeah, according to your earlier statement, Suze, you should’ve done a whole six pounds better than you did, which still wouldn’t have been enough to win. Maybe Bob’s whole “you have to eat to lose weight” plan isn’t looking so good after all.
Speaking of which, the guys decide to celebrate their victory by what else? Eating! Nick prepares the meal, and Jillian provides the spark. By which I mean the two get into a huge shouting match over Nick’s continual insubordination. Seems Nick hasn’t bothered to weigh any of the food he’s preparing, and Jillian says the steak he’s thrown on the grill is over 2,000 calories and bigger than her leg. (In fairness to Nick, Jillian’s a small women; I’ve eaten bratwurst bigger than her leg.) She’s also upset that the rest of the team is letting Nick prepare all the food. “Is he going home with you when she leaves?” she asks her team. “How are you going to know what to do if he’s not going home with you when you leave?” Dr. Jeff tries to calm Jillian down, but she’s not having any of it. “You guys go off and work out, and when you’re done, your wife here,” pointing to Nick, “has your dinner waiting for you.” At this, Nick asks if she’s saying they can’t enjoy life and exercise. “No!” she screams. “Losing weight and changing your life IS FUN!!” Evidently, trying to convince her team how fun it can be isn’t nearly as much fun, however, as Jillian throws off her jacket and quits.
“I will not eat my vegetables!”
Switching gears, we get to hear Bob explain how his team is upset they don’t get to eat the way they used to. Um, isn’t that kind of the point? Jen is crying, and we cut to Suzanne complaining that Jen’s emotions are really causing a strain on the team. Other things causing a strain on the women’s team: Suzanne.
Since they lost, the women now have to eliminate one of their own. Unfortunately, the trip to the elimination ceremony isn’t nearly as suspenseful as Survivor; instead of seeing the women trek through the jungle carrying lit torches, we see them walk down the hallway of a mansion carrying silver platters. At least the producers could try turning off the lights or something.
Caroline reminds the team that since Andrea was this week’s Biggest Loser, she has immunity. (Note to Biggest Loser producers: You guys really need to come up with a catchy name or trinket to represent immunity. I’m sure the TVgasm readers can give you a few suggestions.) Anyway, the women give a bunch of platitudes and fake pronouncements of love for one another before voting out Kathryn the gimp. To her credit, Kathryn isn’t surprised, admitting she’s not a team player. In a final parting shot, she says she didn’t come here to make six new best friends. From the look on Jen’s face, I think we can say “Mission accomplished!”
So, what did you think of this week’s episode? Is Jillian coming back, or will Caroline be forced to take over the men’s team? And just what should the producers call immunity?