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The Biggest Loser recap: Weighty Matters

The contestants meet with Dr. H. for a health update, turn their metaphorical accomplishments into a very literal challenge, and post impressive numbers at the weigh-in

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Tara Laura
Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

The Biggest Loser

TV Show
Current Status:
Bob Harper
Reality TV

Welcome back to another we’re-really- pushing-it-because-it’s-the-end-of- the-season episode of The Biggest Loser, a.k.a. Let’s see how many inspirational clichés we can cram into two hours of network television! The contestants spouted so many trite (but true) sayings that you could slap any one of those babies on pictures of, well, actual babies (or sunsets — seriously, sunsets seem really popular for these things), and you’d have the artwork for many a high school English classroom. Pick a cliché, any cliché, and I guarantee you at least one contestant said it this week. If they didn’t say it, I’m sure they were either thinking it, or they did say it but the producers cut it due to time restraints. Some examples: Helen: ”I’m getting rid of this weight all over again and I’m moving forward with my life.” Tara: ”Time and time again, I’ve doubted myself. And I’ve come out on top. I just stopped questioning it and I finally believed.” Mike: ”I feel like I came here a boy, and I’m leaving a man.” Ron: ”This place saved my life.” Filipe: ”You can’t help everyone everywhere, but you can help someone somewhere.”

It’s not that there isn’t truth in their statements, but the fact that it was two whole hours of ”I can totally do this! If I can do it, anyone can! This is the start of the rest of my life!” and so forth got a little grating. We know these things — that’s why we’re watching. Of course, I cried anyway because I’m a sucker like that. When Tara, Helen, and Mike tried on their goal outfits and looked super hot — waterworks. Is it because they looked so good? Because even though it was clearly a set-up by the producers, they were still genuinely psyched? Either way, you’ve still got it, BL, even if not much in the way of groundbreaking actually happened this week.

Something interesting did happen when the contestants headed down to Dr. H’s office to check in on the medical progress they’d made in the 16 weeks since they’d been on campus. Helen’s body age (I guess that’s what it is — what do you call the age your body seems based on your overall health?) decreased from 60 to 50, within two years of her true age of 48. Tara’s stomach is now pretty much flat. Filipe lost 15 inches from his waist, Mike lost 20 inches, and Ron was now able to actually fit in the MRI machine. Seeing how the health consequences of the contestants’ obesity have drastically improved even over a period of four and a half months is terrifyingly inspiring for even the most mildly overweight person.

NEXT: The challenge throws subtlety out the window (and down a canyon)