Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Biggest Loser: Some Spoiler Zone

Carol tried to guess what got me most riled up about this week's episode of "The Biggest Loser." To be able to tell you, I will have to violate my "No Spoiler Zone" general practice -- the things that have me steamed are integral to the plot of this week's episode. So you have been forewarned.

This week there was a new twist. Instead of weighing in as a team, each player on the Blue Team faced off against a player on the Black Team. The faceoffs were set up by the winner of a "pop challenge" right after the cliffhanger weigh-in.

I thought the way the faceoffs was set up was pretty fair. There wasn't a single matchup that I thought was obviously one-sided. The Blue Team members were motivated by the challenge, but the Black Team had gotten lazy and cocky and was sure they would have no trouble winning. There was some distracting drama and jerkiness by Filipe and Bob (Sione went along with it), but that wasn't the part that had me steamed.

Then there was a challenge, and as Carol said, the prize was 24 hours of gluttony -- sorry, I mean luxury. First spoiler: The Black Team won the challenge, despite some really heartfelt efforts by Cathy, Aubrey, and Mandi. Kristen couldn't take part in the challenge, and even though Ron's part of the challenge seemed custom-designed to give him a chance to show some effort, he put his team way behind. Ron has held the Blue Team back in every challenge, and there has been a lot of crying about how the Blue Team always loses.

Here is the part that got me angry. Ron is a huge liability for his team. He isn't healthy enough to do most of the challenges, he can't work out like the other players, and often he doesn't even seem to care enough to even make a show of trying in individual challenges. He also doesn't lose much each week because he can't work out like the other players. Last time the Blue Team had an elimination, they sent home Dane, who was a strong, athletic player. This time, despite all of the crying about the Blue Team always losing, Kristen and Carol let Ron tell them that this time, they should send home another strong player. They didn't even consider sending home Ron, who seems to have set himself up as some kind of Godfather who gets to decide who stays and who goes.

If the Blue Team wants to keep Ron on, fine, but who do they have left to compete in challenges? Kristen and Ron, who are both held back from competition by their respective injuries, Carol, who is one of the older players, and one player who actually has a chance. That player will, of course, be the next one who gets sent home when the Blue Team loses its next weigh-in.

I don't know why everyone listens to Ron. I used to like him, but more and more, he seems selfish and manipulative. He hasn't really taken advantage of his opportunity to make real changes in himself. He sees this whole process as about weight loss and gameplay, when it really should be an opportunity to deal with the deeper issues that have led to his problems with weight. This is a person who already has lost and regained weight for years. He even had a weight loss surgery and managed to defeat it, leaving his body terribly distorted and sick. Does he really think that any weight he loses on TBL will stay gone if he doesn't learn a new way of life? And if he's not interested in doing that, than all of his crying about "I need to be here!" is just a waste of breath.

I think that to make the players more motivated to vote off the weakest links, the weigh-ins should be more like last week's, where if everyone on the team loses their target weight, no one has to leave, but if they don't, someone from that team has to get sent home.

So Carol, what do you think? Are you disappointed?


  1. Disappointed? Never! Surprised, yes. But I have to agree. Ron weighs so much that he should pull good numbers just by counting his calories. Surely he can do low impact stuff? Tell me, what did you think about the change in trainers? I would have put money on you having a strong opinion on that one, I mean, it's Jillian!

    I'm wondering if they can take it upon themselves to make the old switch-a-roo, why can't all the contestants do the same? I just think this trainer attachment thing is a bit much. How long is that umbilical cord anyway? Are they going to take Bob home and make him live in the closet when the show is over?

  2. Can i just say i love your recaps.. we don't get TBL over but this is almost as good as seeing the huffing and puffing for real :)

  3. You are right on with Ron. I just don't get it either. One thing that had me confused last emlimination was why didn't Dane, Mandy and Audrey all vote for Ron and let Ron, Kristen and Cathy all vote for Dane and let black team decide. I am sure they would have gone with Dane but at least they had a chance.

    At what point will they start playing as individuals? It is so lopsided already.

  4. I couldn't believe it when the first thing Ron said was, "It's Mandi's turn to go home." I can't believe that they keep Ron on their team when they must know that it's largely his fault that they lose every challenge. They're going to have to keep voting another teammate off one by one if they keep him there.

    On another note, what is Kristen's reason for sitting out the challenges? I heard them keep saying for medical reasons, but I must have missed the actual reason.

  5. Kristen must have some sort of an injury, but they haven't said what it is. Maybe knee-related, since she couldn't do the wall squat or the challenge?

  6. Great recap, Jen! I feel the same way about Ron. I actually felt like after he & his son were split up and Mike's future no longer depended on Ron, that Ron would be gone. My guess is Kristen & Cathy have some major co dependent issues (who doesn't, ha) and can't let Ron go, despite it being in their best interests. I had thought that it wasn't fair the blue team was created as it was, with so many weak links. But after your take on it, I see that they've let themselves just get weaker & I don't feel sorry for them anymore. Poor Aubry, though. She's all by herself now.

    I thought the Black team was hysterical on their 24 hour binge. I mean, come ON! It's not like they didn't know they wouldn't get reamed by Jillian the next day. Um, hello? Cameras following everything you do is gonna catch up to you. And do they not realize that meat sticks around in your stomach for days? Of course you aren't going to lose weight if you had a steak or burgers a night or 2 before weigh in.

    And what was with Jillian not working out Filipe? That drama crap makes me think the producers do that stuff on purpose--just for the entertainment value. I definitely don't believe everything on this show is genuine (the "commercial" breaks obviously aren't).

    Can't wait for next week.

  7. The BF and I have been wondering for weeks why Ron is still in there. Grrr...

    I was pretty irritated by the whole Filipe/Jillian thing, but then again, the fact that everyone seems to be going for the drama Emmy is irritating. This is my first real season it always like that?

    Still, entertainment value can't be beat. this blog! :)


"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