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The Biggest Loser recap: Lesson Plan

The contestants practice what they’ve learned on each other, and Jillian tries to break one contestant

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Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

The Biggest Loser

TV Show
Current Status:
Bob Harper
Reality TV

The holidays have passed, and the kids have all gone back to school — and it’s only fitting that The Biggest Loser serves up an episode full of valuable lessons this week. So, after last night’s teacher/student-themed show, I decided to list what I’ve learned since last week. Starting with…

Lesson No. 1: An M&M or two won’t kill me.

The contestants at the ranch began their week by greeting Ali, who was surrounded by blankets covering troughs. (The Biggest Loser producers never met an allegory they didn’t like). And just what was inside? What else! This week’s temptation! But first, Ali had to map out the theme for the week: role play. Oh come on, fellow TV Watchers, get your minds out of the gutter. (This is a family show after all!) Turns out, this week, one contestant in each team would be assigned the role of the teacher, and the other, the student. The student’s disadvantage? Not only would they not get the luxury of Bob and Jillian’s training for a whole week, but they would also be the sole team member to step on the scale at the next weigh-in. Plus, they had to trust their partner to adequately teach them the lessons they learned from the trainers throughout the week. Out of all the gimmicks Biggest Loser has used to throw the contestants off from season to season, I actually felt this one was one of the most beneficial ones. Rather than reduce the week’s activities to game play, the producers gave contestants the chance to really learn how to plan a full workout for themselves and others. So, I’m going to tell you to make like James Cameron and pat yourselves on the back, The Biggest Loser producers.

Back to the temptation. Ali informed the contestants that the blankets were hiding… dramatic pause, please… every student’s favorite food. Turns out that favorite food is M&Ms, though I probably would have gone with some sort of ketchup-pizza-pudding concoction that I always see experimenting second-graders dare each other to eat. And, as Ali told the contestants, the person who ate the most M&Ms would be given the chance to assign which person on each team would be the teacher, and which would be the student. And the best part of it all? Each M&M only has five calories. Now, I’m sure that when the producers came up with this challenge, they expected it to be far more entertaining than it really was. I mean, look at that trough. The vat of M&Ms looked like a ball pit, only more enticing. I wanted to face plant that trough and swim around while yelling, ”Yayyyy! Candy!” But it was easier for the contestants to resist temptation than anyone would have expected, and the eventual winner, Sherry, only downed 10 calories worth of M&Ms. (Michael, the only other contestant to eat an M&M, only ate five calories worth.) Even Jillian and Bob couldn’t find a reason to be angry with her! So what did this teach me? I could eat two whole M&Ms, and it won’t kill me. Unless, of course, those M&Ms are laced with arsenic.

NEXT: Jillian tries to break Migdalia