The contestants got a reprieve from eliminations but it came at a (not-so steep) price
Biggest Loser Daniel
Credit: Trae Patton/NBC

Quite a few of you commented last week that you’d prefer the show not eliminate anyone.* Well, last night, Ali answered your prayers. Kinda. ”At the next weigh-in,” she told the Losers, ”You can guarantee everyone will get one more week.” The price: a combined loss of 150 pounds. Twist #1: week 2 is the sophomore slump, historically the hardest week to lose weight.” Twist #2: If the 150-lb goal wasn’t achieved, two people were going home.

At Loser HQ, Julio thanked everybody for keeping him around. ”I will not waste this opportunity.” Shay was blunt: ”Julio should not be here. He should be on that airplane home.” Coach Mo led everyone in a chant: ”It will be done! It will be done!” To Julio, he said, simply but soul-piercingly, “You owe.”

The trainers were not optimistic. Jillian: ”We should just pick two people right now.” During the ensuing workout, Danny let out a primal scream during a lat pulldown, followed by a man cry. I thought Danny emerged in this episode as an audience favorite; the onetime high school rock god is charming, charismatic, and endlessly neurotic.

When Coach Mo went to see Tracey in the hospital, the build-up was excruciating. There was scary music. There was Coach Mo saying, ”I didn’t know how she was doing… I was really nervous.” As he slow-mo opened the door, we all wondered: Is she comatose? Is she dead? Is she a zombie? Nope: she’s sitting up, smiling, and anxious to get in the game.

Speaking of the game: Shay was rolling her eyes at Julio, who ditched the gym for a lengthy bathroom break. ”The rest of us need you, Julio, to pick it up.” Agent Orange was more optimistic about Julio’s work ethic. Daniel and Shay seem to balance each other out well; she’s a little bit cynical, and he’s a Disney character.

Which fake-casual shameless promotion did you prefer: Jillian shilling the Biggest Loser Food Journal, or Bob shilling the Biggest Loser Protein Powder? I prefer Jillian, just because she practically gags on every word. This lady doesn’t do casual.

The Losers had a surprise guest: Curtis Stone, the famous world-renowned celebrity chef! Rebecca, the class sweetheart, said, ”I love him! He’s so hot!” Chef Stone laid some nutrition brain grapes on the contestants, including how to measure the proper portion of a juicy steak. (Hint: It involves a Biggest Loser scale.) He asked if anyone loved soda. Sean: ”I am the national spokesmodel for soda. I swim in it. My waterbed is full of soda!”

”Hopefully you all paid attention to Curtis,” said Ali. The teams had to answer five out of eight questions based on the lecture in order to get 15 pounds knocked off the 150 goal. There was a bit of tension, but not much, and the total was knocked down to 135. Did this all seem way too easy to anyone else?

NEXT: The painless weigh-ins

The athletic challenge recalled a summer camp obstacle course (or Wipeout without the pratfalls.) Four rafts were separated by balance beams. Everyone had to cross, and if one fell, they all fell. Prizes included: 20 pounds taken off the total, and more importantly, phone calls home! Tracey had some wobbly moments (you may remember that she suffered a fricking brain implosion last week), but the contestants bested the balance beams. Again, did this seem too easy?

Sean phoned his pregnant wife, and found out that he had a daughter on the way. Rudy told his wife, ”Give the kids a kiss for me.” Amanda’s mother reminded her that she was chosen by America, so buck up! Abby, who’s still getting over losing her husband and children, told her parents, ”I climbed a mountain. Two butterflies followed me the whole way. It was so pretty.” If you weren’t crying, you’re dead inside.

Finally, the Last Chance Workout, and the Jillianisms. On Julio: ”He’s not doing the work. Go. Get. Him.” To kindly grandmother Liz: ”What’re you gonna do with your Last Chance, Liz?!” (Liz’ tart response: ”I’m gonna take advantage of it!”) The vom-tastic line of the night: ”I beat on them and beat on them… Everything they’ve been suffering comes flooding up.”

Shay had an emotional moment with Bob. ”Tell me you deserve to be happy!” said the trainer. ”I deserve to be happy!” she said. ”Tell me that again!” Shay is going the distance, I can tell!

I found the weigh-in a bit anticlimactic, if only because it started at about 9:40. Twenty minutes for a weigh-in AND an elimination? Unlikely; this is NBC! Amanda had another bad week: 4 pounds. (Don’t feel bad, Amanda, “even America makes mistakes.) Everybody else killed. Tracey proved that she was a competitor with 10 pounds. Sean lost 11: happy dance! Liz lost ten pounds, the same as last week; she could be a dark horse challenger.

RuDina put up 22 pounds. Julio proved Shay (and everyone else) wrong with 19 pounds. Like Tracey, we should maybe count this as a first week total for him, but still! ”I do workouts by myself, so people don’t see a lot of what I do,” he said. (Shay nodded her head, satisfied by this logic… for now. Expect more friction.) The 150-lb goal was already achieved, but just to prove a point, Team Orange totaled up 23 pounds, including 16 from Dame Shay.

A bloodless week, and an impressive showing by all. Shay said, ”The fifteen of us just told week two where to shove it.” But doesn’t this mean even more eliminations next week? (It does, and I think it’s bye bye to Amanda.) And how long can the spirit of teamwork hold on once the eliminations really get going? And when that happens, which currently nice, genial contestant will turn into a cutthroat game player? Agent Orange: I can see inside your mind.

I leave you with this. Rudy to Dina: ”I picked you because you can do this. Don’t doubt yourself! I don’t doubt you!” That’s teamwork.

*(Many of you also decried all of last week’s bleeped-out swears. There were zero swears this week. I hope you were happy. I was disappointed. Go Team Obscenity!)

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The Biggest Loser
Contestants battle the bulge and each other in the competitive weight-loss series
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