To coincide with Election Day, the contestants headed (on Jet Blue) to lobby the federal government for... well, to do something about the fact that Americans are fat. I wasn't exactly sure what the Loser Lobby was fighting for, other than better health and physical education programs in the schools: A change in government food subsidies? More walkable neighborhoods? Higher taxes on fat pants? The problem with a vague cry to "do something" is that what something you do depends on what you think the root causes of obesity in America are. Personally, I think a lot has to do with our fragmented, everyone-for-him-or-herself society and our car-centric culture. But lots of people have lots of ideas, from punishing people for being fat with higher insurance rates to taxing soda to loosening FDA regulations on potential diet drugs. So I found this vague "do something" approach a little misguided.
Still, the contestants had fun picking veggies in the Obamas' organic garden and cooking with their chefs. They didn't get to meet the First Family but they did get to quiz the chefs on what everyone likes to eat. Answer: Fish, veggies, healthy stuff.
The contestants competed as individuals this week, and the challenges were more interesting this week than they have been. First, the contestants had to roam the streets of DC recruiting people for a National Mall Workout with Bob and Jillian. The one who got the most people won an advantage in a challenge for immunity. Allen looked like the favorite with his ability to recruit his firefighter brothers and sisters, but Liz's southern charm won the day. She made a funny comment to some guys in their twenties that "There are some cute young girls on the show, but I need it more than they do," which made me giggle. Like many elections, Liz won by one vote. She got to choose one event to sit out in a four-stage challenge for immunity.
The first stage was a one-mile race, which all contestants were able to complete, even Tracey, whose debut this season was a fainting episode during the first mile race. The first six got to continue, narrowing the competition to Allen, Daniel, Rebecca, Amanda, Rudy, and Liz. Then there was a challenge requiring the contestants to go down the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, pick up pennies from the steps, carry them back up, and dump them into a big plastic tube. Rudy had a huge advantage with his bucket-sized hands. Liz was smart enough to use her pass on this one so she got to advance automatically. Daniel and Rebecca also got to go on. At this point, I am really rooting for Rebecca. The next challenge requires contestants to balance on a narrow balance beam holding a Pilates ball over their heads. Rudy's huge feet were a disadvantage here, but he held out long enough to let Liz and Daniel fall off first, advancing to a head-to-head with Rebecca. Rebecca and Rudy faced off in a step-up challenge. Here, Rudy's taped-up ankles and big body gave Rebecca the advantage, and she won immunity. Hooray!
In this week's Last Chance Workout, Jillian finally got to give Tracey the beating she had been wanting to deliver all season. Jillian seemed to develop some sympathy for Tracey in their time together. Tracey told Jillian that she was now competing not to win a game, but to change her life. (Have we heard this before?) Still, when it came down to Tracey and Liz in the weigh-in, only Shay seemed to have any doubts about who needed to go home this week.
I have to say that Tracey looked pretty amazing in her After videos. She was also, apparently, on Leno but I missed that. Maybe one of you watched. If so, any good gossip?
A final note: Last week Doc Mannette said she heard Abby on the radio and Abby had hinted at a Biggest Loser romance. Since we already knew about one romance, I'm assuming there is another one. If any married contestants were involved, I'm sure Abby would have kept quiet, so I was trying to remember who was single and still on the show. I watched this week for it and think I know who. There were one or two shots that showed Rebecca giving Daniel some looks that, to my fevered imagination, at least, suggested that they were more than just TBL rivals. Any other guesses?