Friday, April 15, 2011

The Biggest Loser Season 11, Episode 15: Taking the Leap

Note: Spoilers ahead

Not long ago, I marked a post on Priorfatgirl as one I'd like to comment on later.  It was a response to a mom who is overweight, hates to exercise, and doesn't like to eat healthy. She wants to know how to help her overweight daughter. "I try to go on walks with her or encourage her to eat healthy but it isn’t working and I don’t know what to do."  Basically, this question could be summed up as, "How do I get my daughter to do something I won't do myself?"  The obvious answer, become a positive role model for change, is not easy but it's really the only way.  Sometimes parents seem to think it's "too late" for them to change but that they can help their kids avoid their fate by talking to them loudly enough. 

I bring up this post because Bob and Jillian, in this week's episode of "The Biggest Loser," have a much simpler way of helping their contestants face their fears. On this week's trip to New Zealand, the contestants climb the stairs in the Sky Tower in Auckland to be confronted by a challenge: Get to the bottom the hard way or the easy way. It's either the stairs or -- flash to an image of a terrified Jillian Michaels outside the tower on a harness -- a controlled jump.  Jillian has said many times in her podcasts that she is very afraid of heights.  She screams, "Don't do this! This is not a good idea!" as she is dropped.  Rulon and Moses can't take part in the challenge because they are still over the weight limit and Jay can't either because he has a heart condition. The rest of them are free to choose.  Ken, who is already feeling sick just by being up that high, has no intention of doing it at first.  Hannah and Olivia are immediately game and seem to have a great time doing it, as does Austin.  I don't remember seeing whether Irene did it or not.  The big story is Ken, who is freaking out but decides to face his fear when Bob, who is also nervous about the whole thing, says he will do it if Ken does.  Bob confides later that he didn't expect Ken to take him up on the offer, but both of them make the jump and seem completely thrilled to have faced down their fear. At first I never thought I would do something like that, but watching Hannah and Olivia's fearlessness made me want to try.  I love the outfit they jump in -- it looks like a superhero costume.  I doubt I will be in New Zealand any time soon, but if I was, I might give it a try.  I would probably enjoy the other big adventure more -- the contestants got to help race another boat in a World-Cup-style sailing vessel.  That looked like an amazing experience.

Moses is very touched to find himself in New Zealand because his father was sent there by his family in Tonga to get educated, which ultimately led to Moses's family moving to the United States to have a better life for their children.  Bob takes Moses aside and "breaks the rules" by letting Moses call his father on Bob's cell phone.  It is a touching scene and since it ended up on the show, it doesn't seem that Bob got in any real trouble for this little deviation.  I half expected them to end up going to Tonga to visit Moses's relatives, but that never happened. As a result of the Blue Team winning a 5K challenge, though, Moses and Kaylee (Irene and Olivia volunteer to give her their prize) get to go on a helicopter ride and a dinner together in New Zealand.  The 5K had some very dramatic scenery, and the one interesting twist was that the entire teams had to finish together.  Jay's bum hamstring ended up hobbling his whole team, so it came down to Green and Blue, with Blue just barely beating out Green.

The big dustup this week is between Ken and Cara.  I haven't been a big fan of Cara's this season, but I thought the way Ken jumped at her was a little unfair, and wasn't surprised when Cara acted defensively. He didn't ask for specific changes in her training, he just suggested that he would be better off training with Bob or Jillian.  It seemed like there had to be a lead-up to this that we didn't see, because they ended up in a full-blown fight right away.  I wasn't sure what prompted this fight, since Ken has had some of the best weight loss of everyone on the ranch.  Cara decides to punish him by getting in his face and screaming at him at every opportunity and making him work harder than everyone else, which seemed to be exactly what he wanted.  I wish we had gotten more of the backstory here, because it just made both Ken and Cara look childish for starting off by screaming instead of talking to each other rationally.  There is a last-chance workout that makes liberal use of big tires and sledgehammers.  I can't wait to see these appear in gyms!

The weigh-in has some weird results.  Kaylee gains four pounds, but the other two members of her team do very well. Moses loses no weight. I wondered if, once again, it was the restaurant meal that did them both in.  Maybe Olivia and Irene were smart to give up their prize, knowing that restaurant food has historically been dangerous.  Jay from the Black Team also gained, but Hannah and Rulon do well. Traveling always causes some strange weigh-ins.

I was happy to see that Moses fell on the sword in this elimination, especially since he was the one who did not lose.  Irene was the biggest loser but Olivia had also lost two pounds.  She said that she wanted to lose weight so she could have a family. I'm not sure why she wouldn't be able to at her current weight, and if she is really "running out of time" at 35, she could have gotten home and gotten busy right away. I think that explaining things the way she did gave Moses a free pass to go home to his own family.  Moses comes back to New Zealand with his father (not sure if they also visited Tonga, if they did it was off-camera) and, since he is still too big to jump from the Sky Tower, bungee jumps from a bridge instead.

I think next week is still in New Zealand, but as Austin gets hairier and hairier, I am dying for Makeover Week to arrive. I hope all of the current women are still on the show by then, especially Hannah.

1 comment:

  1. Cara never really impressed me, but she really made me angry this episode. It appears that in order to bolster Ken's confidence in her and his weight loss, she spent less effort with the other two team members, which didn't impress me. But the big issue I have is when Kaylee gained weight, she said "You just need to have MORE SELF CONTROL." Yeah, that's why these people are eating themselves to death, it's lack of self control. That's a one-dimensional outlook, a personal moral attack. I found it repulsive.

    The guys definitely fuzz it up leading up to makeovers, don't they...


"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