On last night’s Biggest Loser, things got serious. ”Millions of Americans look to you to be inspired,” said Ali Sweeney. ”Obesity is an epidemic, and the numbers get worse every year.” What’re we gonna do, Ali? ”You wanna make a change in this country, where’s the best place to do it? Washington, DC!” Yup: Road Trip to the capital! The Losers were overcome with happiness. ”I’m a Poli Sci major,” said Rebecca, ”I wanna meet Barack Obama!”
I’ve been pretty open about what interests me about the show: the competition, the players’ internal struggle with the demons that drove them into an unhealthy lifestyle, the politics of the elimination room, Jillian Michaels. But it’s the players’ personalities that interest me the most.
Unfortunately, last night’s episode barely paid any attention to the players. The real stars were the national monuments. The episode took place in front of the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, even inside the White House. The monuments lurked in the background of the entire episode like shiny trophies; the producers demanded that you admire how important The Biggest Loser is. ”We’ve never been to the White House,” said Bob, ”If this doesn’t validate our show, then let me tell you, nothing’s going to.” It sounded a bit like a threat.
The Jefferson Memorial
First stop: the monument nobody remembers! Ali Sweeney on Thomas Jefferson: ”He wanted to preserve our rights as individuals. Which is appropriate, because today, you guys are going to singles!” No more Black vs. Blue. We’re into the final phase of this season: Pink & Orange vs. everyone else.
The Pop challenge was pretty clever: The Losers had one hour to gather together a team of random people on the street for a workout at the Washington Monument. Whoever brought the most people would win ”a huge advantage” and a free trip to Subway.
Everyone had a different strategy. Rebecca hit the streets. Shay worked the corners. Allen walked to the closest firehouse — ”What better people to talk to then my brotherhood of firefighters?” — and lit a beacon summoning every firefighter in the country.
Liz had her own strategy. Talking to a couple of twentysomething guys, she said, ”I’m the old person on the show. But there are some cute young girls.” She admitted to the camera, ”I’m not cute. I lost cute 30 years ago. I gotta do it on charm and guilt.” I know that some people don’t like Liz, but you have to admit: she’s a funny, self-aware lady.
The Washington Monument
The players brought their gangs to the Washington Monument. Ali came onstage and said, ”It came down to one vote!” Rebecca: ”It’s like the 2000 election!” She’s a Poli Sci major!
It was Liz vs. Allen, Guilt vs. Brotherhood. The winner: Guilt! ”I beat Allen and those firemen over there!” said Liz. And so, Allen’s once-impervious exoskeleton of badassery took yet another beating.
Bob led the Great Washington Workout while Jillian prowled through the ranks. One woman dressed in a bright orange jacket said she was too tired to go on. Jillian: ”Everyone has to do twenty more because Tangerine said she can’t.”
The workout climaxed with Bob standing on the back of a firefighter who was doing push-ups. So, just to recap, the firefighters got beat by a grandma and then became footstools for a glamourpuss fitness professional. A great day for Americans!
NEXT: Penny for your thoughts, Daniel