Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Biggest Loser Season 10, Episode 12: Marathon Week

Most of this episode was taken up by two things: Showing the contestants' new lives at home, and the big event of the season: The Biggest Loser Marathon.

We see the contestants struggling but also see them working out some of their issues. All of the contestants are greeted at home by big parties, of course, and they are given a DVD with instructions to watch it with their families. These videos seem designed to help contestants have hard conversations with their families about how they need to balance their new priorities with the demands of work and family life.  Ada's video talks about her struggles to feel loved, and her parents are both broken up.  "I never knew you were so unhappy," her mother says, over and over.  Her father says, "I love you. When you were gone, I thought about you every day!"  Patrick and Frado's videos seemed designed to remind their wives and other family members how far they had come, and how terrible it would be to lose their newfound fitness and go back to their former heavyweight selves.  Elizabeth, who disappoints Jillian by getting distracted with moving in with her boyfriend in the middle of her marathon training, has to be reminded of how bad her asthma used to be and how much she needs to stay strong. Each of the contestants gets a surprise visit from Bob or Jillian, who help them troubleshoot any problems they are having and get their heads back in the game so they will be ready for the marathon.

At first I hated the idea of The Biggest Loser Marathon. I thought it was wrong to spring such a huge challenge on contestants after only a few months. After all, most normal-weight people start training for a marathon months or even a year in advance.  The first season that the marathon appeared, it even seemed to surprise the trainers, who had not prepared the contestants for it.

Now, though, when contestants sign up for The Biggest Loser, they know that if they make it into the final week, they will be expected to do a marathon. The trainers know to have the contestants ready to start marathon training.  Runner's World has a great article that details all the extra support the contestants get that would not be possible at a normal marathon:

It's nothing like the hordes that run marathons in New York City, Chicago, and Boston. Here it's just four runners trailed by a platoon of vehicles. Each participant is assigned two California Highway Patrol cars, as well as two motorcycle cops (because the roads aren't closed, the police are there for traffic control), a camera vehicle, and a support car, loaded with everything the runners could possibly want: Water, sports drinks, bananas, oranges, sandwiches, and cold towels. There are also two ambulances, two medical vans, and a helicopter thp-thp-thp-ing overhead
Contestants are also given a lot of emotional support along the way and all the time in the world to finish without feeling like a loser.  Contestants are encouraged to walk if they need to, and even get massages on the course if they need them to keep moving. Besides, the marathon is a real touchstone for the contestants to show them how much they can accomplish with their newfound bodies and determination. 

The weigh-in was sort of anticlimactic after the race.  I knew that Elizabeth would be below the yellow line  She really didn't belong in the final four and only got there because the other contestants thought she would be an easy target. I really wish Mark had made it instead.. My only question was which of the remaining three would be with Elizabeth.  It turned out that Ada had a bad week, and it will be up to America to decide if she gets to compete with Frado and Patrick.

I already put my vote in for Ada.  She really deserves the chance.  Hope other viewers feel the same way.  We'll find out next week during the big finale.

1 comment:

  1. My BFF lives in LA and was lucky enough to score a seat at the Biggest Loser finale (they're hard to get). (I would love to go to the finale because I think it would inspire me greatly.)


"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