Melissa and Lance battle it out with the trainers, while one challenge gives the winners power over the others

By Kate Ward
January 27, 2010 at 05:00 PM EST
Mitchell Haaseth/NBC
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  • TV Show
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Most. Combative. Episode. Ever. Sorry, decided to put on my comic-book-guy hat for a second. Why? Well, because last night, The Biggest Loser staff decided to borrow from Stan Lee, making his immortal words the theme of the drama-fueled episode: ”With great power comes great responsibility.” So I’m going to use my power to deliver your weekly recaps responsibly, and get started right away! We do, after all, have plenty of ground to cover.

Hi, Ali! The contestants greeted the host, who told them that they would be guaranteed immunity if they won the next challenge. But there was more: They would also be given three envelopes that could influence the outcome of the week. (Of course, we wouldn’t be told what was in those envelopes until after the challenge was complete.) Then she outlined the rules of the challenge: Each team would run the presidential mile to a board of key cards, bring one back with them, and slide it into a machine. If they saw a green check mark on the screen, they got one point. If they saw a red ”X,” no points. The first to three would win. Now, I have two bones to pick with this challenge: First of all, watching this challenge was about as fun as watching a dozen people take out money from an ATM. Secondly, I can’t help but be a little suspicious about the outcome of the challenge. You know producers were wringing their hands, hoping the red team would win yet again, ensuring some major house drama. And what do you know? After ten laps, they won — after a computer that’s fully capable of being programmed by outside sources told them they got their third green check. Hmm. If that doesn’t seal the deal for you, consider this: Ali introduced the challenge with the Spider-Man line: ”With great power comes great responsibility.” Why is this line relevant to my theory? The red team wears the same color Spider-Man wears. (And later faces off with Miggy and Migdalia, who wear the same color as the Green Goblin.) All right, maybe I’m reaching on that last point, but I smell conspiracy! Who’s with me?

After their win, Melissa and Lance looked in the envelopes, which held cards listing disadvantages they were instructed to hand out to teams of their choosing. The disadvantages: No access to the gym, no elimination vote, and a two-pound disadvantage at the weigh-in. The red team had the option of doling out all three to one team, but they decided to play a bit nicer: They awarded John no access to the gym, since his bad knees keep him in the pool most of the time anyway; the no elimination vote card to Michael, since they feared he would vote out of spite after contestants attacked him last week; and the two-pound disadvantage to Migdalia and Miggy, since they had faith the green team would pull big numbers after delivering smaller numbers the past few weeks. This could be considered a smart move, if the green team was a forgiving one. But, unfortunately for Lance and Melissa, Migdalia and Miggy probably still hold a grudge against Kanye. Turns out listening isn’t one of the green teams best traits either, judging by the way Miggy entered the gym, yelling at the red team, ”If it was because of good numbers, come on. I wasn’t in the best numbers in the last two weeks.” Actually, Miggy, that’s exactly why the red team gave you the two-pound disadvantage. Take off the earmuffs!

NEXT: Jillian and Melissa go toe to toe

But if you want a reason to believe in karma, look no further than Jillian and Melissa’s face-off. But before the two could smack down, smoochie-poo Bob decided to clear the air with the red team. Melissa complained, ”You called me a liar two weeks in a row,” before delivering what has become her new catchphrase: ”You have done nothing but question my honesty, my integrity, and my ethics.” (It’s a catchphrase that’s steeped in about as much truth as ”Read my lips: No new taxes.”) Ultimately, the trainer, Melissa, and Lance kissed and made up, and Bob revealed his plans for the day: ”I’m going to lunge them, and then yoga them.” (Oh, yea, Bob — I love when you talk dirty to me!)

While Bob was busy doing that, Jillian decided to try to make nice with Lance. And by ”make nice,” I mean ”accuse his wife of being a lying witch.” ”I’m all for manipulating the situation to stay here longer, but just tell us.… It’s as if you’re trying to tell me the world is flat,” she told the red team member. The statement set Lance off — perhaps he learned geography in ancient Mesopotamia? — and he refused to work out with Jillian, telling her, ”I have absolutely no respect for you whatsoever.” Because that worked so well, Bob decided to send Melissa to go see Jillian — for a boxing training session. (I’m pretty sure the best way to get people to make up is not to throw them into a situation where throwing punches is acceptable.) Jillian told Melissa: ”Listen to me: I don’t give a crap about how you play the game. I don’t judge any decisions that you make. With that said, don’t treat me like I’m stupid.” Melissa instead decided to treat Jillian like she was evil incarnate (much better!), crying that, ”My credibility, my integrity, and my ethics is my entire life.”

The scene ended with Melissa walking away, refusing to clear the air with the trainer. But the woman who claimed she held grudges forever doesn’t seem to have a very firm grasp on the word — later that night, Melissa told Lance that they would forgive and forget.

After all, who else would teach them how to use household products? We took a break from all the Jillian-Melissa drama to watch the trainer lead Sam and Koli in a tutorial on how to open and close a Ziploc bag. ”You mean me just use thumb to seal bag?” Koli said. ”Me good! Ziploc good!” (Honestly, was that whole teachable moment insulting to the astute grey team or what?)

Time for the second challenge! Ali was dressed like a lumberjack, and that’s okay, but she wasted no time telling them what they were about to encounter: the teams had to use a rope to lift themselves up 120 feet in the air in a cage. The prize? Time for the requisite phone call home! But the winner also had another advantage: they got to give three other teams the chance to call home as well. Naturally, Debbie Downers Migdalia and Miggy told cameras that they don’t think they will be picked. (Wah, wah, wah.) Do these two have the ability to be positive about anything? You can take them to Wonderfuleverythingishappyandbeautifulland, and they’d still complain about all the unicorns.

They did, however, put in quite the effort. The green and grey teams started strong, but, before long, green started to stray. Red quickly caught up, and with just feet between them, Melissa began screaming at Koli and Sam, ”I want my kids, Grey!” Okay, I’m going to unload my Biggest Loser pet peeve on you all here: I hate, hate, hate, when contestants act like they’re the only people in the world with children. (Ahem, Biggest Loser season 7’s Mandi, ahem.) Yes, Melissa, we know you have kids. But you know who else has kids? Nearly everyone else on the ranch. And though some might be fighting for the win alongside theirs, you have your husband. Poor John, Michael, and Stephanie are going completely solo at this point. So please, try not to throw a crying fit when you don’t win a challenge that guarantees you a call home to your kids. Moving on.

NEXT: Sam and Koli prove Jillian wrong

Turns out the crying fit was all for naught, because as soon as the grey team won the challenge, they awarded Melissa and Lance the chance to call home, along with John, and the green team. (Sweet of Koli to tell Migdalia: ”Tell [your son] he’s got two uncles that love him too.” And say hi to your mother for me, Koli!) The contestants then took to their phones. Sam called his mom, and told her how happy he is that his father finally said he was proud of him. (Hmm. Sam might have a whole conveyer belt of baggage when it comes to his family, based on that comment.) Melissa and Lance talked to their son, who wished he were in Cali. Miggy’s fiancá told her how he’s already lost nearly 20 pounds at home. Koli chatted with his mom and skinny aunt. And Migdalia called her daughter before telling cameras how her husband will be gone when she returns from the ranch. Now, I may tease Migdalia, but really, no matter how much she has annoyed you all, you couldn’t help but feel for the green team member at that moment, right?

Then it was time for the last-chance workout. And what a last-chance workout it was! First off, Bob took the entire team to a creepily pristine Subway, employed by Labyrinth‘s helping hands ! (Or the staff was just so skinny, they were not visible from the wrists up.) Then Bob showed the contestants their next hurdle: they would have to run up a mountain. Well, not so much a mountain as a pretty awesome sledding hill, but still, it looked tough. But what really struck me was the foliage surrounding the mountain: One minute, it looked like the contestants were running through the Shire, and the next, through the set of Eegah. (Watch out for snakes!) Where is this place?!

But last-chance workout was hardly over after they’d conquered the hill — dear ol’ Jillian was there, eager to tell us how much she loves torturing people outdoors. (I don’t know about you, but if Jillian ever invites me on a camping trip, I’m turning the offer down.) So what was the trainer’s form of torture? Well, first off, she made them all carry that weight, carry that weight, a long time; then forced them to pass their stones (the non-kidney kind); and, finally, taught them how to perform the old Irish carnival game, ”Wheel the drunk.” Okay, that game doesn’t really exist, but I couldn’t help but laugh at such a ridiculous form of exercise — until it became inspiring. After Jillian told Sam and Koli that it was impossible to wheel someone up the hill, the grey team decided to prove her wrong. And prove her wrong they did! With all the teams cheering them on, they made it up the hill. Are these guys contenders or what?

Let’s not get too happy, though. After all, it’s time for the weigh-in. And as soon as Melissa said she hoped there would be no yelling this week, we knew exactly what we were about to see on our screens. (Happy opposite day!) But before we get to that, let’s look at the weigh-in results:

Red team: Melissa: -11 pounds. Lance: -6 pounds. Percentage weight loss: 3.16 (Immune)

White team: Michael: -15 pounds. Percentage weight loss: 3.18

Black team: Andrea: -5 pounds. Darrell: -10 pounds. Percentage weight loss: 2.37

Orange team: Cheryl: -6 pounds. Daris: -6 pounds. Percentage weight loss: 2.38

Pink team: Ashley: -7 pounds. Cheryl: -4 pounds. Percentage weight loss: 2.10

Brown team: John: -10 pounds. Percentage weight loss: 2.29

Grey team: Sam: -14 pounds. Koli: -12 pounds. Percentage weight loss: 3.78

Purple team: Stephanie: -6 pounds. Percentage weight loss: 2.54

Green team: Migdalia: -4 pounds. Miggy: -1 pound. Percentage weight loss: 0.67

NEXT: Melissa continued to bring the drama

Add a two-pound disadvantage onto the green team’s poor numbers, and you knew things were going to get bad. Migdalia and Miggy began cussing out Melissa and Lance as soon as they stepped off the scale, leading Melissa to somewhat haughtily tell our host: ”Ali, just so we’re emphatically clear, two pounds didn’t make a bleep tonight.” (I would fill in that ”bleep” with a dashed swear word if I had any idea which of the seven dirty words Melissa chose to fill the gap. Was it, ”Two pounds didn’t make a s— tonight?” Or, ”Two pounds didn’t make a f—er tonight?” Or, ”Two pounds didn’t make a s–dwich tonight?” Help me, fellow Biggest Loser fans: You’re my only hope! I am perplexed!) Naturally, the green team began yelling right back at Melissa. The whole scene was a little like Mothra vs. Godzilla — I wasn’t really sure who to root for, because, let’s face it, both teams are pretty destructive.

Regardless, we knew that either Migdalia or Miggy would be sent home, and with a child at home and husband headed to Afghanistan, the former begged to be the green team member sent packing. Well, Migdalia not so much begged, but bullied the remaining contestants into voting her off. (”Is that so hard to understand?”) Melissa, however, decided that there hadn’t been enough drama for the day. As the green team exited the deliberation room, Melissa told everyone: ”My only comment on any of this is let’s just remember where the vast majority of the drama and the attitude and the aura in the house is coming from. And it’s not Migdalia.” No, it’s not, silly, because it’s all coming from you, Melissa!

And it looks as though plenty of the remaining contestants agreed with Melissa: the red team, grey team, and brown team all voted out Miggy. The numbers, however, were on Migdalia’s side — the contestant ultimately got her wish and was sent packing, while Miggy tried to get another contestant to push ”reset” on her back so she could say more than ”Don’t cry.” (I get the feeling that Miggy listened to too much Frankie Valli as a child.)

It looks like Migdalia just needed a good dose of home to brighten up — though she admitted gaining ten pounds when she returned from the ranch, she’s successfully gone from 265 pounds to 219 pounds, and plans to run a marathon with her husband when he returns from Afghanistan. And on top of all that, she even smiled!

That’s it for this week, fellow Biggest Loser fans! What did you think of the episode? Do you still think Melissa is lying? Do you think Miggy and Migdalia took their anger too far? And do you agree with Michael that his other contestants were being too hard on him? (I’m giving myself a little pat on the back for saying last week exactly what Michael said this week: ”It’s not like I was Melissa and lost zero pounds in two weeks.”) Use your power and responsibility wisely, friends!

Contestants battle the bulge and each other in the competitive weight-loss series
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  • 10
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  • Bob Harper
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