Even after just five short minutes, it was clear that last night’s episode of The Biggest Loser would prove far more exciting than anything in last week’s drama-free clunker. When a show starts off with workout-induced vomiting, contestants seeking spiritual guidance, and all but two teams losing access to the gym before even making it past the first challenge, you know you’re in for a treat.
Blaine’s ouster last week made the black team the first one to split up for good. The decision really disappointed Bob, who urged his team to send Dane — the bigger threat — home instead, but I maintain the contestants made the right choice. Blaine had a newborn at home, and keeping him from the baby instead of honoring his wishes would’ve been cruel no matter how much prize money was on the line.
It will be interesting to see how Dane handles being on the ranch alone, since this is the first time the black team has been split up. The most obvious benefit of Blaine’s absence is that it has reaffirmed Dane’s verbal skills — in previous weeks, the producers all but completely edited out his dialogue every time he spoke more than one-word phrases. It was good to hear that he could form complete sentences.
When the teams arrived at the gym the morning of their first post-weigh-in workout, they found two giant padlocks on the door and a smirking Alison Sweeney. Only two teams would be able to access the gym that week, and they would win the right to do so by correctly plucking one of two working keys from a board of 130 on top of the mountain behind them. The contestants hustled up the hill, bringing back keys one at a time, testing them, and tossing the non-working ones into a nearby fishbowl, making it look like The Biggest Loser was hosting the biggest swingers party a Southern California ranch has ever seen.
Sione and Tara (she of the aforementioned workout vomit) gave particularly strong performances and lapped the other contestants, but it didn’t matter how hard they worked since they didn’t pick the right keys. Shanon, however, chose the less competitive but more spiritual approach and decided to stroll, not jog, up and down the mountain and use her yoga ”third eye” to choose one of the two working keys. Surprisingly, the Zen approach worked, giving the pink team one of the gym spots. After NBC’s 250th reminder to us attention span-less viewers that Ron is competing with two bad knees, Mike found the second key and ensured that he and his father wouldn’t have to endure the sure-to-be grueling outdoor workouts.
Bob didn’t seem daunted by the horror of working out in the great outdoors, but we’ve seen his team outside before. Jillian, however, whined like Nathanial Marshall during Hollywood Week — the lady really likes her gym. The contestants were understandably freaked out by the prospect of losing the machines that let them know exactly how many calories they’re burning, but Laura worried about being eaten by a mountain lion while outside — a fear I’m sure we all have when faced with leaving the comfort of our multi-million dollar indoor gyms.
Jillian turned the living room into an air-conditioned workout studio and made her team do some retro ’80s workout video moves, while Bob got creative outside and made resourceful use of wooden benches — his team used them as steps before lifting them up and bench-pressing the actual benches.
NEXT: When the trainers are away, the teams will play