The Biggest Loser recap: Change Comes From Within
Suze Orman helps the contestants pinch pennies -- and inches
Is it makeover time yet? Because, frankly, my dear friends, I got a bit tired of Biggest Loser this week. (Quel scandale!) I know going into each episode that I’m about to watch a show that’s essentially a carbon copy of the one that ran the week before. But, for some reason, this week, I was expecting something more. (That is the definition of insanity, isn’t it?) Maybe I expected to see a new guest in the house. Maybe I was hoping the workout sessions wouldn’t go something like: Jillian works out contestant X, contestant X is failing during work out, Jillian perches on contestant X’s treadmill, Jillian makes contestant X collapse in tears, contestant X suddenly has confidence. Or maybe I was just hoping that neither Sunshine nor O’Neal would cry.
But I shouldn’t have had such hopes, since I knew somewhere inside my being that they would be dashed. Of course, I could be holding a grudge because this week’s episode focused on one of my least favorite topics: money.
Maybe it’s because I don’t have any, or because it gives me nightmares about that C I got in economics in college, but I don’t really care to watch folks chat about money. In fact, if I’m going to see Suze Orman, I want to see her take down some poor soul who wants to buy a castle and glitter unicorn while being hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. Not lightly rib our contestants for not managing their money well.
Yet, as dull as the financial guru’s visit was, it still was more interesting than the first challenge of the episode, which was, fittingly, about ”change.” Literal change. Ali — dressed like Fifth-Grade Teacher Barbie — told the cast members they would have to balance as many quarters as they could on a tray. The person who could hold their tray up longest would win $10 for every quarter on their tray. It’s the type of challenge that would fit a waitress working at a restaurant for piggy banks but is ultimately boring to watch. I would have much preferred if they had the contestants try to catch blowing change in one of those carnival money booths. Jillian would sure watch with pleasure.
Either way, Daris had problems five minutes into the challenge, dropping out first. O’Neal wasn’t far behind him, dropping his tray after Ali asked, ”Can he keep it up?” (That’s what she said.) It came down to Sunshine versus Mike, who told our host, ”I’m hoping I can just keep it up.” (Again, what she said.) And after 55 minutes, it was Sunshine who dropped her tray, and immediately collapsed into a ball of tears in a scene I’m hoping makes it into her audition tape for the Terms of Endearment sequel. Anyone else think that was a tad overdramatic? That sort of crying should be reserved for the loss of a relative, or when the black and white cookie you’re carrying falls on the concrete in front of Ace Bar when you’re steps away from your front door after excitedly walking home with your dessert. Not for losing a few hundred dollars that wasn’t even yours to begin with.
NEXT: You get a car, you get a car, not quite everybody gets a car!
But the drama was all for naught: Total cereal, which is apparently as omnipresent as God, felt Mike gave it 100 percent, and decided to double his winnings; Total cereal also decided that Sunshine gave it 100 percent and decided to grant her the winnings anyway. And then Ali unveiled their next surprise: Suze Orman, who arrived wearing the jacket equivalent of one of those oversized foam cowboy hats. And she brought along a guest of her own: last year’s teeny-tiny winner Danny, whom she predicted through some sort of economic calculation would win the season. (Nice to see him back, no? Leather jacket Bob thought so.) Mike talked about his debt, Koli continued to appear as though he has a bad attitude by admitting he doesn’t count calories, and Suze somehow ordained Sunshine as this season’s future winner.
Moving onto the gym, Danny decided to work out with Daris, since they are both from Oklahoma and have names that begin with D. I had no idea that working out with people who share common interests and traits was beneficial. Next time I go into my gym, I’m going to go on the loudspeaker and demand that someone with brown hair who likes to eat their hamburgers with a fork and knife join me on the treadmill. Then, after Sunshine talked a bit of trash about Koli (after the grey team contestant said he was picturing confetti, Sunshine said, ”I didn’t know they did that with the at-home winner”), we got to the Vicky-Jillian breakdown scene. And honestly, I would chronicle this scene more in-depth and make fun of the way Jillian told Vicky she wanted her limbs to fall off, but it’s just the same old, same old, isn’t it? In fact, all I found myself pondering during the whole scene — and during Vicky’s subsequent last-chance workout breakdown — was whether or not these contestants often agree to heart-to-heart with Jillian because it gives them an opportunity to sit down. Hey, after hours on the treadmill, I would milk it.
Before last-chance workout, however, was the next challenge, which was presided over by Paddington Bear. Oh wait, sorry, that’s actually Ali dressed for the pouring rain. Then, the host presented the contestants with the prize for their next challenge: The cast has the chance to win… two brand new cars! (Paging Rod Roddy: Come on down!) In order to win those cars, two contestants would have to pick one of the two correct keys out of 140 attached to balloons. And since it was pouring, the challenge would be just that much more fun to watch. (Did God owe NBC a favor?) The first contestant to bag a car was Drea, who claimed she drove a go-cart at home, which I think would be a lot cooler than a Mazda 3. And the second car went to… O’Neal. Of course, we knew there would be tears. But I had no idea that Sunshine would begin screaming bloody murder as if Freddy, Jason, and a Gaboid were all chasing her down.
NEXT: Drea wants to touch someone. Really!
Needless to say, though O’Neal won the car, he decided to gift it to his daughter. Okay, okay, it’s a nice gesture. But seriously. Is this guy allowed to enjoy anything for himself? I don’t know about you guys, but if I were a 24-year-old whose 51-year-old father just won a brand-new car, I would let him freakin’ enjoy his brand-new car. (And I guess both Sunshine and O’Neal forgot that whole ”letting go” discussion from last week.) Either way, like I mentioned, it was a nice gesture, but I feel like the duo should have acted more like they won a new car, and not like they were just saved from a burning building.
Then everyone mud wrestled with Jillian and Bob. And after being thrown into the mud, Jillian reached down the back of her pants and pulled out a large chunk of what I can only hope was sludge.
Then last-chance workout happened. Jillian got revenge on Sunshine by working her extra hard, Mike ran an entire five miles, Drea and Sunshine carried around a giant sausage, and yada yada yada, it was time for the weigh-in:
Sunshine: -3 pounds. Percentage weight loss: 1.54
Koli: -6 pounds. Percentage weight loss: 2.17
Daris: -7 pounds. Percentage weight loss: 3.00
Mike: -9 pounds. Percentage weight loss: 2.42
Ashley: -6 pounds. Percentage weight loss: 2.27
Vicky: -5 pounds. Percentage weight loss: 1.84
O’Neal: -5 pounds. Percentage weight loss: 1.77
Drea: -3 pounds. Percentage weight loss: 1.33
Sam: 0 pounds. Percentage weight loss: 0.00
Some highlights: Mike now wears his hair in a ponytail when he wants to look classy; the buffed up Sam is happy, even though he scored a zero; and Drea was baffled as to how she only lost three pounds. Of course, based on the edit of the episode, we knew Drea was going to be sent packing, since she earlier had a heart to heart with Bob about how she was now ready to touch people. (And in a Biggest Loser first, she actually did mean it that way.)
And, unlike other contestants, Drea was actually happy upon her homecoming. Even if her father delivered one heckuva backhanded compliment when he said she was the most beautiful she’s been since she was born. Drea ended the episode by telling us we would be jealous of her next time we saw her and…ack! My screener didn’t include the Biggest Loser transformation moment, guys! I feel so… incomplete. Like Mike without his afro. Or Suze Orman without her jackets. So, since I cannot catch the show live this week, you have to tell me: How did Drea look in her transformation moment? Are you, like me, getting bored of the same-old, same-old? And do you wish that Sunshine and O’Neal would just stop crying already?!