The Biggest Loser recap: Testing Their Strength
The contestants deal with physical and emotional hurdles, while one contestant caves into temptation
I’ve lived some bad weeks in my day, fellow Biggest Loser fans. I’ve scored a big fat C on a test the same week my crush spurned me and my parents grounded me. I’ve dropped boiling water on myself and had to go to the ER the same week that I got piled with time-consuming administrative work. And I’ve mistaken a hunk of butter for cheese the same week my DVR neglected to record Cats 101.
But, I’ve never, ever, had a week that went as badly as O’Neal’s this week. I’ll admit that I was hard on the yellow team members last week, when I found their histrionics a bit over-the-top and annoying. (And that came after weeks of being decidedly pro-Team Yellow.) And just as I was about to write them off for good this week, O’Neal had to experience so much misfortune, I couldn’t help but side with him. I mean, just look at what he went through: The guy injured his bad knee during a demanding challenge, then had to cope with learning that his older brother had succumbed to cancer. Then his daughter had to flirt with the possibility of elimination. What did the Gods have against the guy this week? O’Neal was one slip on a banana peel away from really having the worst week ever.
Things started on a happy note, though. For Sam, at least. Perhaps the grey team member is a secret fan of Days of Our Lives, because he was quite pumped to see Ali, even though you know the host was there to bring trouble. (Either that, or he looks forward to seeing her wardrobe monstrosities as much as we do.) Really, seeing Ali on the Biggest Loser ranch is kind of like seeing David Hasselhoff at an In-N-Out burger: You know things are about to go downhill fast. And speaking of burgers, Ali was there to tell the contestants that they would be participating in a temptation. For an entire day, they would have to eat all of their dinners in one room, which contained a smorgasbord of food both healthy — string cheese, fruits and veggies, etc. — and unhealthy — bacon, chocolate-chip cookies, etc. Really, I don’t know how the majority of the contestants contained themselves. Did anyone else want to make like Templeton the Rat and just roll around in that buffet?
Anyway, the person who consumed the most calories would be allowed to cast the only vote at elimination. And Koli was just about the only one that was up for the challenge, since he was hoping to save his cousin from elimination. Because Koli would do anything for his cousin, just like Sam would throw himself under a bus, fall on a sword, and sit through repeat viewings of Love Happens for Koli. So Koli ate bacon, omelets, chilidogs, and Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde. All in all, the human Pac-Man consumed 4,164 calories in the course of one day. The rest of the cast filed into the eating room and ate their sub-1,500-calorie meals solo like sad crazy-haired cat ladies in a segment I can only describe as…boring. I know temptation challenges are never riveting to watch, but I felt like I had parked my couch in front of an Old Country Buffet line during the whole thing. But even that would have been more interesting than the challenge, if only because I’d be able to wager bets on how many toppings one person could pour on top of a bowl of frozen yogurt.
NEXT: Punch the bacon!
But 20 minutes after discovering he had won the challenge, Koli was feeling the pain. Not in the chase-to-the-bathroom kind of way (surprisingly), but in the ”my burps smell like obesity” kind of way. To work off the calories, Koli boxed with his cousin, who tried to incite Koli’s anger by yelling ”Bacon! Bacon! Hashbrowns! Hashbrowns!” Next time I want to work off a few pounds, I should pick up this tactic by yelling things that make me angry: ”Loud sneezers! Skinny jeans! Slow walkers! The fact that there are four episodes of Lost left, and I still don’t know what’s going on!” Then, at the next workout session, Bob and Jillian arrived to hear the big news: Koli ate a lot of food. This pissed Jillian off, because Sam doesn’t need to stay in the competition anymore, since he’s so gosh-darn tiny. And I tend to agree with this point here. We know the main prize is the $250,000, but wouldn’t Sam feel the least bit guilty staying in the ranch longer than, say, Mike, who still has about 150 pounds to go? Or even his own cousin, who put himself in harms way in order to save Sam?
Meanwhile, Bob began punching Daris in the gut because he just… hates… that… hair!
Then, since we know that Biggest Loser has the EXCLUSIVE on O’Neal’s family photo album, we saw another round of old photos. (We haven’t seen anyone else’s photos nearly as much, right? Or is it just me?) And whenever we see O’Neal photos, we know what’s going to happen: a moment of pure inspiration. Yep, there was O’Neal, perched on top of two steps, executing push-ups in perfect form. Everyone in the gym suddenly stopped as the music swelled, and they looked at O’Neal in amazement, as if they were seeing a jackalope jump up and sail over a rainbow.
Bob chatted with Ashley about how she was feeling: bad, now that Drea is gone and she’s out here, as Irene Cara would say, on her owwwnnnn. But I couldn’t help but wonder: Who does Bob confide in when he needs someone to talk him up? Who do you think, Biggest Loser fans? It can’t possibly be Jillian, right? Susan Powter?
Now for the soothing tone of Dr. Huizenga’s voice, who told Mike he was no longer 54 years old. Now he’s 42! And Ashley doesn’t have diabetes anymore. She cured herself of a disease, people! How badass is that? Yet, her moment of joy couldn’t make up for the fact that her hug with Dr. Huizenga was one of the episode’s most awkward moments. I guess it would be weird if my doctor wanted to hug me. Unless that doctor was Dr. Chase. Then I’d be all in. Mmm.
Okay, so now it’s time for the challenge of the week: Jenga, Biggest Loser-style! The contestants had to build a ladder out of blocks that would reach to a suspended ladder, which would lead to flag. The first person to grab a flag would gain a one-pound advantage. The last person would cope with a one-pound disadvantage. The contestants got building quickly, but Mike found himself having problems, since he was more focused on replicating Barbie’s Dream House with his blocks. But once Daris reached his ladder, things started to look petrifying. I know these folks had ropes holding them up, but, come on, this, for once, was a truly terrifying challenge. Like, Fear Factor terrifying. One night in Celine Dion and Rene Angelil’s home terrifying.
NEXT: Things get heavy
Though it appeared as though Daris might fall, the orange team member stuck in the competition and bagged the win. As for the one-pound disadvantage? Well, that went to poor O’Neal, who fell while trying to get to his ladder, suffering a knee injury that sent him to the ER.
You hungry, Ashley? Bob’s got something for you! New Yoplait Greek yogurt! Opa!
Okay, now back from that Biggest Loser-approved commercial. O’Neal returned from the hospital with a brace, only to later discover his brother had passed away. And in last-chance workout, Jillian allowed the yellow team member to work through his pain. He played scary jump rope. And scary bouncy ball. And then O’Neal began attacking the equipment while he broke down in tears. Normally, I wouldn’t encourage our contestants allow themselves to go to a second location with Jillian — that’s in the ”Beware” section of the Biggest Loser handbook — but the dude seriously needed some air. And props to Jillian for not even trying to take her Gollum stance and psychoanalyze the situation. The trainer wisely just allowed O’Neal to simply grieve.
Time for the weigh-in:
Koli: -10 pounds. Percentage weight loss: 3.70
Daris: -7 pounds. Percentage weight loss: 3.54 (One pound advantage)
Mike: -5 pounds. Percentage weight loss: 1.38
Ashley: -4 pounds. Percentage weight loss: 1.55
Sam: -6 pounds. Percentage weight loss: 2.38
Vicky: -1 pound. Percentage weight loss: 0.37
O’Neal: -8 pounds. Percentage weight loss: 2.52 (One pound disadvantage)
Sunshine: -1 pound. Percentage weight loss: 0.52
So Koli’s eating was all for naught: Sam didn’t come close to the bottom of the pack. Instead, Sunshine and Vicky were sent to the elimination room, where Koli cast his one single vote for Vicky. It was a surprising conclusion: Not only did Vicky not get the elimination edit last night — we really didn’t see much of her on screen — but Koli also decided to let her go while berating her work ethic. Was that a sucker punch or what?
Ultimately, it turned out being good for Vicky. Fueled by revenge, the blue team member went home for the third time and worked herself down to 240 pounds. And she even got to bring a friend to 24 Hour Fitness, where a cardboard cut-out told her they were having a special!
So that’s it for this week, folks. Did you find yourself feeling for O’Neal? (Come on, you kind of had to, right?) Did you think Vicky deserved to go home? Would you like to work out on the beach with Gabrielle Reece? Do you think it’s fair that Koli hurt his own chances for the significantly slimmer Sam?
The Biggest Loser