Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Biggest Loser and the No Asshole Rule

I don't want to give way too much about last night's show, but let me just say that I have been rooting against Vicky since the beginning of the show, and last night showed just how horrible she and her Mean Girl sidekick Heba can be. They need someone to pick on to keep their Terrible Twosome dynamic going, and from previews of next week's show, it is obvious who their next victim will be.

As usual on "The Biggest Loser," there are twists to the game whenever the contestants think they know how things are going to play out. Everyone is on their own now, and the eliminated players came back to have a shot at winning a place back on the ranch. Of course, drama ensued. I think that Phil played right into the hands of his tormentors by trying to be all macho and self-righteous. I don't know whether he did anything to deserve the nasty treatment he got on the show, but I know from junior high that you can't reason with Mean Girls.

I really admired the players who tried to rise above the drama and focus on their weight loss. I do think that the trainer sets the tone for the team, and Jillian kept her team solidly focused on their goals. Complaining about how unfair the situation was wouldn't keep them in the game -- only results would. I don't know what Bob is doing to encourage the dynamic on his team, but whatever it is, I don't think it will serve him or his team members well in the long run. His record hasn't been great on the show. His contestants will have to go home and face the fact that they acted like children on national television, and that will be embarassing, especially if it doesn't pay off in the end. I wanted to cheer when one player suggested that "The Biggest Loser" isn't life or death, and that eliminations didn't mean that players couldn't continue to work toward their goals. I wish more of the players had that attitude.

It's funny, because I just read a book called The No-Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One that Isn't. It's about the toll that jerks take on organizations and individuals. This show was a good case study on assholes in action and the way they impact not only the person they're targeting, but anyone who witnesses their behavior. Ultimately, "The Biggest Loser" is going to suffer as a show if it encourages these antics, because watching the show is uncomfortable when supposed adults are exhibiting childish and even, at times, completely antisocial behavior. If that's the way the show is going to be, I'm not interested in it. I haven't ever been a fan of "Survivor," "Big Brother," or any of the other reality shows where game-playing is the central focus. I only liked "The Biggest Loser" because it really seemed to help the people on the show achieve things they never thought were possible. I'm hoping that the producers will cast more carefully to avoid a jerk-infested house next season.


  1. Vickie pisses me off too!

  2. I loathe Vicky more and more each week.

  3. I am sorry. I have to comment. I have been following your blog for a couple of weeks. I didn't want to make my first comment a rant about a TV show but...

    Anyone who has been watching Biggest Loser can relate. When Vicky's husband got sent home the noise that came out of my mouth was a mix between a war cry, victory shout and evil laughter... I have been pretty unimpressed with the show this season because of this blue team drama. I really was disgusted when Vicky decided that the prize wasn't worth her participation in a challenge (COME ON, HAVE SOME PERSONAL PRIDE)... Anyway, it was a great moment in the season to see her husband go and her assumed safety take a nosedive... I have never hated a Biggest Loser contestant so much! Also- Heba revealed that BOB recruited her in a bar and that they were put on his team... something is weird there too... Bob seems to have lost control of his vision- or maybe in the 7th season it is really starting to show?

    Anyway. I just couldn't resist commenting on this...

  4. They are a couple of nasty beeyotches, no doubt. And their hubbies aren't much better. I love TBL and I usually love Bob. But it makes me want to hurl to watch him hug and celebrate this dysfunctional bunch of a-holes.


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07