Tracey ticks off the rest of the players with her strategy on a double elimination night
The Biggest Loser
Credit: Chris Haston/NBC

Last week the Losers were a team, defeating elimination together. Not anymore. After last week’s warm fuzzies, Ali started the episode with a jolt. ”This is a game,” she said, ”In life, as in this competition, your success comes down to choices.” (Theme alert!)

So, the Losers had to play a little game of ”Would you rather?” For the week, would you rather have Bob and Jillian, or a 2-pound weight advantage at the weigh-in? Almost everyone preferred the trainers. Said Liz, ”I didn’t get fat by pushing myself!”

Agent Orange, whose devious mastery of the game became briefly illuminated later in this episode, said, ”Who’s gonna jump at two? I don’t think anyone’s gonna jump.” (Clearly, he’s memorized every season of ”Loser”. Backwards.)

But then Tracey crossed the line. ”Why not step over that line to take that advantage?” she reasoned. Everyone else was horrified. Sean: ”I don’t want to say ‘What are you doing you crazy woman,’ but what are you doing you crazy woman?”

When the trainers heard about the challenge, Bob giggled and Jillian scoffed. Who would sell us out for two pounds? Tracey: ”I did.” The drums pounded. Jillian smiled grimly. Bob pouted. ”It’s kind of a slap in the face,” he said. Jillian: ”She’s given up Bob and I for two pounds. We’re, like, the best in the world.”

Bob sat Tracey down: ”Let’s talk about this fear that you’re coming from right now.” He guided Tracey into a deeper understanding of her panic instinct, which she explained with some hand-talking: ”Panic is right here, like, doo-doo-doo-doo.”

Second challenge! ”Tonight is your first temptation,” said Ali. ”Control your diet or control this game.” Tracey: ”Control? Who doesn’t want that?” The player who ate the most 100-calorie cupcakes would get to decide which person would represent each team at the weigh-in.

Rebecca: ”Damn you, sprinkles!” Sean: ”In my brain, I was like in the Bahamas sipping cupcakes. I wanted to rub cupcakes all over my body.” Liz smelled each cupcake like a viticulturalist, but didn’t give in. ”That would just put this huge target on our back,” she said. ”We don’t need to be controlling the game like that, it’s too soon.”

Tracey disagrees! For our benefit, she put on a little puppet theater explaining her mindset, in which her hands represented ”Patience” and ”Panic.” ”You’re being a little crazy. You need to stop and listen to patience,” said her left hand. But Tracey didn’t listen. She downed four cupcakes to Antoine’s two. Said Ali, ”You now have the power in this game.”

Agent Orange summed up the situation perceptively: ”She’s a loose cannon this week. And because she’s been so impulsive, I’m worried what decision she’s gonna make.” Rebecca was less delicate: ”She doesn’t even know what she’s doing when she does it.”

Jillian felt betrayed again. ”I think I’m going to run over there and throttle you with my bare hands.” Bob echoed her comments. ”I hate the game. I hate gameplayers. Gameplayers get fat again.”

NEXT: Getting on the scale

After Allen won the immunity challenge (Sean: ”He is a beast! He is a firefighter! He’s climbing up ladders and messing with hoses all day!) and after the Last Chance workout (Jillian: ”Lava should be ripping down your thighs”) came some politics. Agent Orange went to Godfather Tracey begging her to put him on the scale. He invoked the spirit of Dame Shay, his partner and the heaviest Loser ever. You wouldn’t send her home, would you, Godfather?

The Pink squad also showed up to bend the knee, asking Tracey to put Rebecca on the scale. Tracey said that she was worried about her team falling below the yellow line: ”If I did, how would you guys vote?” Amanda and Rebecca didn’t take the bait, which led Tracey into passive-aggressive fury: ”It’s the week of choices. A lot of choices are ones you really didn’t wish you make.”

As expected, last week’s non-elimination meant a double elimination this week: an entire team would go home. As the Pink team ascended, Amanda said, ”Tracey knows what we want. We’ve been close since the beginning.” Not close enough, turns out. Tracey picked Amanda, unconvincingly explaining that she thought Amanda had really worked out this week. Rebecca wasn’t having it. ”Don’t target the people I love and expect me to smile in your bleeping face.”

But twist! Amanda lost five pounds. ”You didn’t think I could do it, and I did!” she exclaimed. Tracey glowered. All your mad plans are falling apart, Dr. Fruit Loops! Whither thy talking hands, now?

Following an insane plan of specifically betraying the people who came to her for help, Tracey picked Shay from Team orange. Shay: ”I knew I couldn’t trust her.” With only 6 pounds lost this week, Shay took team orange below the yellow line, next to the Red Team (Not Sean! Not my quote fountain!)

The whole thing turned Shakespearean when Tracey posted a fabulous 11-pound loss. No one clapped. Jillian’s response: ”Bleep!” Oh, Tracey, all your mad planning, and you posted the best numbers of anyone. You lost 1/20th of yourself! And now, everyone, even your own teammate, can’t stand you. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you this season’s villain!

Or maybe this season’s patsy. Tracey asked, ”What’s wrong with playing the game to stay here longer?” The key, Tracey, is to convince everyone that you’re not playing the game, at all.

Example: It was clear that nobody would vote against Shay. The Red team fell happily on their sword to keep her there. Shay sealed the deal with a moving speech about her difficult life. And Shay’s loquacious partner was notably silent. You chose the right teammate, Agent Orange. No one’s going to vote out sweet, funny, noble Shay. I think you’re going to ride her goodwill all the way to the final round.

Sean and Antoine were voted off, happy to leave their spot open for Shay. She’s in the game now because of their sacrifice. Will she live up to it?

I thought this week’s episode had it all; I didn’t even get to the emergence of Allen as the Captain America dark horse favorite. Plus lots of bleeps: Go Team Vulgarity! And how about the end of the episode? Antoine, who’s now a kickboxing muscular beast, has found the love of his life: ”ALEXANDRA”! ”I love you!” he said. ”I love you!” she said. And off they kayaked down the river.

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