Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


The Biggest Loser recap: Down the Hatch

A spa day reward turns into a bingefest when team members ignore calorie counts in favor of a night of eating and copious drinking — a decision that haunts them at the weigh-in

Posted on

Sione Filipe
Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

The Biggest Loser

TV Show
Current Status:
Bob Harper
Reality TV

A little R and R never hurt anyone, right? Well, not anyone who wasn’t participating in a nationally televised weight loss competition. For that small minority of the population, even the slightest misstep means the difference between $250,000 and a big fat goose egg at the end of six months. So when the prize for winning the challenge on this week’s Biggest Loser was a luxurious day at the spa, and ”luxurious day at the spa” turned out to mean indulging in fried food and tequila shots, it was clear one team was headed for a spectacular downfall. I was just oh so wrong about which team would falter.

Only a minute into the show revealed the resolution to last week’s abrupt ending. Would Mike lose the 10 pounds he needed to save everyone from elimination? Yes, yes he would. I can hear the producers talking now: Thanks for waiting, folks, we’re not sure why we made you do that either. Mike ended up losing 11 pounds for a 102-pound total loss so far (congrats!), which was exciting, but not enough to redeem the most unnecessary cliffhanger in the history of television.

I only had a minute to mope about the lame ratings stunt, however, before dutiful host Ali Sweeney brought the contestants outside for a pop challenge and news about yet another weigh-in format change. Last week the contestants weighed in together, but this week it would be in one-on-one pairs. The teams would get a point for each grouping they won, and the first team to three would win the weigh-in. The person who won the pop challenge — a ”ball sit” (leaning against a wall in a seated position while balancing a medicine ball in your lap) — would get to chose the pairs.

Ron and Cathy quickly dropped out for the blue team, and the other contestants followed suit until Tara and Mandi were locked in a showdown. Mandi held on for a while, but ultimately she dropped the ball. (Pause for a minute while I go through an Austin Powers-style rundown of all ball-related puns in my head. Okay, I’m good. Thanks for that.) I didn’t see anyone but Tara winning that challenge anyway, so color me unimpressed (what shade is that? Like a light blue?) — but I was impressed with the pairings she chose. They seemed fair, for the most part. Mike went up against Cathy (this seemed harsh), Sione against Mandi, Filipe against Kristin, Helen against Ron, and Laura against Aubrey. The pairs were announced complete with shots of teams scowling at each other and spouting lame trash talk — it was almost as cheese-tastic as the montages I love so much (but not quite — I’d say a Gouda on a scale of mozzarella to Limburger).

NEXT: BL pays homage to 24 (Hour Fitness)