Warning: There are some spoilers in this one.
The supposed theme of this episode was "Healthy on a Budget," but there wasn't really a lot of information on that theme. The teams had to shop for their food with a budget of $10 per person per day. Danni got to shop with $70 but had the advantage of not having a whole team full of people to negotiate with. Inexplicably, they also had to do it "Supermarket Sweep" style, with only 15 minutes to shop for each team. Real healthy eating on a budget takes planning and thought. We didn't get to see an inventory of what each team bought, or how they planned to use it. I couldn't imagine why a team of 4 people bought 12 cucumbers, for example. Does each person really eat 3 cucumbers per week? Each of the multi-person teams seemed to have designated a "Mom" who did the math to figure out what they could afford. We hear, here and there, that having to manage their own food caused some tension, but that wasn't really what this week's show was about.
It seemed, at least to me, that this week was about getting past all the distractions and drama and just getting the work done. We had a kinder, gentler Jillian who didn't yell at Danni but nurtured her and made sure she was getting what she needed. Bob suddenly turned into Bad Bob, because he is getting impatient with his team's lackadaisical attitude and wants to see them work for it. All week, he ran around freaking out, "We're set up to fail this week!" This did not really seem to focus his team so much as send them into a tailspin. The fact is that contestants can control their level of effort and their food intake but can't directly control the numbers on the scale, so there are a lot of superstitions, like "Win a Challenge, Lose the Weigh-in," and "The team that hasn't had an elimination is set up to fail." Danni, wisely, ignored Jillian's directive and did win the challenge, because it would give her a two-pound advantage in the weigh-in.
Just a side note: If you ever plan to go on The Biggest Loser, learn to swim. There are so few contestants who know how to swim that it becomes a huge advantage. Ali, the first female winner, was a former swimmer, and I can see Danni going to the finals with her big, athletic swimmer's body. Her main rival, Joe, is also a pretty good swimmer.
Now that we're five weeks into this season, the contestants who have an athletic history seem to have a real advantage. They know how to shut up and be coached instead of yelling back. They know how to push past discomfort but not get injured. They also have learned to roll with the punches: You win some, you lose some. Plus, the body remembers. They do better in challenges. Joe, the former NFL player, obviously has a six-pack under his gut -- it's starting to show.
The other thing we see this week is that it does not pay, on TBL, to be a "mama" type. Danni, who normally cooks for the whole group, is freed from this duty because she is her own team and has only her own food to control. Gina, the Blue Team's "mom," is starting to annoy her teammates, who thinks she "likes to play the victim." And Lisa, who is the ultimate mom -- four kids at home and a job as a special education teacher -- is the one her team chooses to send home when they lose the weigh-in, mainly because she is so nice that they're not afraid she will be mad at them. The good news is that she seems to have thrived at home. Maybe all the fake drama at the ranch helped her learn to stay focused on her own goals even in the midst of all the other demands on her time.