Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Biggest Loser Week 18: The Last One Before the Finale

This week's episode started off with The Final Four in their new clothes, made up and posing while a montage of scenes of their progress played out on a big screen in the background. They were obviously told to stand with "game faces," but a couple of times they couldn't help but grin as they saw some of their prouder moments on the show.  It gave viewers another look at just how far they'd come. It might also have been intended to get them fired up to have a good month at home. 

Contestants go home to excited friends and family and triumphantly weigh in at the same location where they originally did their "walk of shame." Amazingly, Daris had predicted that he would lose 140-150 pounds before he came home, and he lost 151.  They all bask in the glow for a while, but then reality starts to creep in.  Ashley is overwhelmed by her phone constantly ringing and buzzing with messages from friends. Michael admits he is struggling to eat right at home.  We get a glimpse of Daris binging on cereal in his kitchen at 2:00 a.m.  Koli gets so overwhelmed with people wanting to catch up that he escapes to a friend's mixed martial arts studio in Las Vegas -- how crazy do you have to feel to go to Vegas for quiet?

Of course there is a challenge to keep them busy on their visit home.  Contestants find out that they will be doing The Biggest Loser Marathon.  If they finish (walking, running, crawling) they get $10,000 to give to the charity of their choice.  Daris is excited about the race, since he's the best runner in the group and seems to be the best runner who has ever been on TBL.  Everyone else just tries to figure out how they can finish it.  Ashley calls Michael and they agree to run/walk together.

They also get visits from their trainers.  Bob visits Michael and quizzes his overweight sister about her feelings about her own weight in front of the rest of the family -- and it's a big family.  I felt terrible for her, because she didn't sign up for the show.  I would have been happier if he had just invited her along to the gym or done something else constructive, instead of making her cry on national television.  Bob visits Koli in Las Vegas and rightly gives him a hard time about chickening out on his real life.  Koli says he can learn to deal with his family and friends after he wins, and Bob is obviously concerned that Koli could become another Eric, someone who wins the show but then gains all the weight back in the real world.   Jillian goes to see Ashley and puts her through a tough workout.  The funniest moment, though, is when Jillian takes a helicopter to go find Daris on his marathon training run.  The visits from the trainers seem to help everyone get more focused.

Even though I hate the idea of making contestants do a marathon on very little training, they all seemed to find the experience inspiring.  They each got met by the previous contestant they seemed to identify most with.  Koli, of course, got to meet Sione (who looked like he had regained about 40 pounds).  Michael met fellow Italian son Mike.  Ashley got to run with fellow pink party girl Ali.  And Daris ran with Matt, who was able to keep up with Daris's fast pace for an impressive 7 miles.  They also each were met a little later by a family member.  They ran the final 0.2 on their own, though.  Daris had struggled with injuries during his training but still came in at just over 4 hours, crushing Tara's previous record.  Koli came in around 6 hours, and Michael and Ashley finished hand-in-hand about 20 minutes after that. 

The weigh-in is dramatic. Michael starts off with a great loss, finally getting under the 300-pound mark.  Then Koli has a loss he's obviously disappointed with.  Ashley weighs in and beats everyone else to take the top spot, pushing Koli below the yellow line.  Daris's weigh-in was the most startling.  He had actually gained two pounds during his month at home.  He tried to say that it was because of his marathon training.  Bob and Jillian are furious at the idea that someone could claim that training for a marathon made them gain weight.  I actually knew what he meant -- training for distance events can really increase your appetite.  I think that Daris's binges might have been at least partly due to the fact that he was training so hard on so few calories at a very low body weight -- the binges could have started out with hunger.  He also seems to have a tense relationship with his stepfather, and I think that being at home was especially hard for him.

Both Koli and Daris had to plead their case, because the audience votes for the final spot in the finale.  Koli was very matter-of-fact, but Daris cried and admitted he would stay up at night and eat a day's worth of calories at a time.  I didn't vote -- I think they both deserve a chance. 

By this point, I really don't care who wins The Biggest Loser title. I like all four of the final four now. Ashley, who seemed whiny to me at first, has really grown up. So has Michael.  I, like Bob, am concerned about Koli. He seems to have very little confidence in himself, even after all he has done. I like Daris most of all, just because he is so good-natured and humble. Oh, and cute too. Daris is still worried that he will never find a girlfriend, but I bet he has 10 bags of love letters that were sent c/o The Biggest Loser.  I just hope that he can find a way to move into his own place and start building some self-confidence first.

The finale is next week -- be there or be square.


  1. I was Shocked by two things, Daris's gain, and Koli's marathon finish, compaired to Ashley and Mikes. Daris did so well, then Koli took 2 more hours to finish, very close to the time that Ashley and Mike finished at. I understand why Ashley and Mike took as long as they did, they are still losing. Koli is pretty close to a final goal, and I felt he should have done better. That being said, it was a shock also because the camera didn't show him walking, like it showed Ashley and Mike walking a lot. And Daris was the only one who trained for the marathon.

    I want Daris to win.
    I feel like Koli cheated! He went away from his home, which was the whole point of the 30 day's at home challenge!! I don't think he should have been allowed to take off to Vegas. It shows that if he were to win, he would end up like a lot of the other winner's, gain it back. I agree with you about Ashley, she is less annoying. I would be happy if Mike won as well. He seems like a sweet heart!!!

  2. I agree about Daris he seems so upset about not having a girlfriend. I want to know if something is up with Michael and Ashley. Michael is really an attractive man.

  3. When Koli tried to keep up with Daris at the beginning of the race, my guess is that he burned himself out and had a very hard time for the rest of the race. Anyone who has done a marathon will tell you that going too fast too soon is a recipe for disaster. That's the problem with the Biggest Loser Marathon -- Bob and Jillian are great weight loss trainers, but they don't seem to know jack about training for a marathon. The fact that they seemed shocked that anyone could think that training for a marathon might be incompatible with weight loss proves that -- lots of other marathoners have found the same thing.

    I wondered about the Mike/Ashley thing too. I forgot to post about that, but they could be a cute couple. They are both attractive and young, and they could really support each other. We'll see! I think that it might be hard to commit to a relationship just as you're starting to get your life back from the brink. Matt and Suzy did it, but they never really look happy when we see them on TV.


"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