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The Biggest Loser recap: Caged In

With only a couple more weeks on campus, the show focuses more on game-play drama and less on self-improvement

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Ronald Michael
Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

The Biggest Loser

TV Show
Current Status:
Bob Harper
Reality TV

n honor of last night’s Good Housekeeping-sponsored nutrition quiz given to the contestants on The Biggest Loser, I’ve come up with an EW.com-sponsored Biggest Loser TV Watch quiz. It’s comprised of one question, and one question only: How ready are you for this season to end? A. So ready. B. I mean really, really ready. C. The timer on this turkey popped three weeks ago. Show us the final results, already!

This is the longest-running season of BL ever, and for the past couple of weeks, it’s really begun to feel that way. The episodes are blurring together — start with your standard small challenge, big challenge, last chance workout, and weigh-in. Toss in your usual egregious product placements, trainer’s tips, and pound for pound segments, and you’ve got yourself a standard-issue episode of The Biggest Loser. We’re 16 weeks into a 19-week season, and we’ve tread all the ground there is to cover. The problem is twofold. First, the contestants are so noticeably thinner, I’m having a hard time imagining exactly how much more weight they can lose at home before the finale. The transformations are already so dramatic that it’s not going to be very surprising when we see the finalists at the live show in three weeks (though no less inspiring). Second, everybody’s been cooped up on the ranch for so long that the only problems they face have been hashed and rehashed five times over. At this point, the only real drama is coming from the gameplay decisions, which I think sucks the fun out of the show. Sure, it’s a game, but it’s also about the audience at home watching the contestants conquer this seemingly impossible goal of losing weight and proving that it’s possible for anyone to do. At this point in this season, we’re not getting that from the episodes anymore. If I wanted to listen to people bitch about trivial things and stab each other in the back, I’d turn on the latest Real World/Road Rules Challenge. And if I wanted to watch people talk about the same things week after week without saying anything new, I’d watch The Hills.

This week began with Tara feeling sorry for herself because Laura was gone: ”I feel like the house just played a game, and Laura was a chess piece.” Well, yeah, isn’t that the point? Luckily Jillian was around to impress upon Tara that Laura’s injury was so bad, going home was the only sensible option. Bob meanwhile, had a pep talk with Kristin, his only viable shot at the title (Ron clearly isn’t a contender, and Filipe is strong but not dominant).

The first challenge of the night was the aforementioned Good Housekeeping health and nutrition quiz. Here are the questions — check the answers below.

1. According to the packaging, how many servings were included in the displayed 7.5 inch pizza? (It was pretty small, looked like an individual pizza to me.)

(A) 1 (B) 2 (C) 4 (D) 8

2. Which fat is the heart-healthiest to use when cooking?

(A) Butter (B) Vegetable oil (C) Olive oil (D) Trans-fat-free margarine

3. Which ground meat has the least amount of fat?

(A) Extra lean ground beef (B) Ground chicken (C) Ground turkey breast (D) Ground veal (E) Lean ground turkey

4. How many extra steps do people who wear a pedometer walk daily?

(A) 150 (B) 700 (C) 1,100 (D) 2,000

Answers: 1. (D) 2. (C) 3. (C) 4. (D). How’d you do (be honest)? If you got one right, congratulations. You are tied with me. If you got three right, congratulations. You are tied with Kristin and Mike. Now here’s the tiebreaker question: How many calories are in a fried fish fast food sandwich with tartar sauce? The closest guess without going over wins (Price is Right-style). Kristin took an educated stab at the number (435), but Mike went a more scientific route, calculating the calories for each component of the sandwich (635). Kristin felt pretty confident that Mike overestimated, but his approach proved successful — he was only five calories off the true count of 640.

NEXT: The ranch gets cagey