I can't do a finale review without spoilers. Enter at your own risk!
The season finale was one of the best I'd seen in recent years. Yes, I miss the early days, when they would show us the contestants' struggles at home as they prepared for the finale. I was disappointed that they recycled the same old clips yet again -- there's Bob screaming at Gina, there's Jackson barfing again, etc., etc. And of course there's the Hunger Games aspect to the whole thing, though no one dies and the contestants not only volunteered, but competed to be on the show. The live portions of the show were managed perfectly, though. There was the early excitement of finding out which contestant was chosen for third place, and then the at-home players were brought out in groups of three or four. We got to see everyone all glammed up. Jackson went from looking like Dilbert or Drew Carey from his "The Drew Carey Show" days to looking like a fuller-faced Leonardo DiCaprio, and Joe looked even more like Craig Nelson from "Coach."
The at-home players had the usual mix of results. There were a few who had made it to the last few weeks but hadn't lost much at home. There were a few who had gone home early and didn't look like they had lost much. And, of course, there were the stunning successes like Lisa's. When they were weighed in, almost everyone weighed less than I would have guessed. Even the ones who hadn't seemed to have lost much at home had dropped another 30 or 40 pounds. Because the producers knew what everyone's weight really was (the scale is, of course, just a big prop), they maintained suspense about who would win the at-home prize to the very end. They managed it so that Pam had her chance to do her annoying dances for a while but then get shooed off the stage by Alex, who has the advantage of being both stunningly pretty and quiet. Francelina gets her moment in the spotlight (I loved her dress, very flattering) before getting beaten by Lisa, who then gives way to the at-home winner, Gina. She made the right choice if she purposely bailed on the finale to compete for the at-home prize. Joe looked like he might beat her, but just missed it.
The big show, of course, is the final weigh-in. Jillian had said on her podcast that she thought Danni had already lost all of her weight, but she slimmed down even more and was transformed into a Glamazon (scroll about halfway down for photo) with high hair and higher heels. I would love to see what she looks like with normal hair and shoes, but she looks very pretty and still muscular, though much more streamlined. I wasn't sure she could beat Jeff, who looked to me like he could be Jimmy Fallon's younger, heavier brother. I couldn't quite figure out which supermodel Danni most resembled, though I think the stylists were going for a 1980s Cindy Crawford look. She looked amazing. Her skin looked golden and dewy, and she has gorgeous high cheekbones. I loved her dress, too, which showed off how incredibly buff she was without being too revealing.
Do you want to know who won? I think you should probably watch the clip for yourself. But it came down to ONE POUND, again. The winner gets to be on a Subway commercial with Courtney from Season 11 , who still seems to be struggling with her weight. Maybe this opportunity will get her back on track?
I haven't said anything about the kids yet. I know that many people, including Yoni Freedhof, have been critical of the choice to include children on the show. I am still not sure I think it was a great idea myself. The children did lose weight and they seemed happy about it. I wasn't thrilled, though, that they chose to announce the kids' final weight loss numbers on the show. I would have rather had them focus on other improvements, like Lindsay no longer being prediabetic, or Biingo making a competitive baseball team and dropping his 9-hour-a-day video game habit. We could see that the kids had lost a lot without needing to know the numbers. I am happy for them and their successes, and I hope that they continue to be proud of what they accomplished and continue to get support as they deal with being national television stars. I especially hope that the cheerleaders, who got to perform on a national television show because they were friendly to Lindsay, continue to be so when the cameras aren't rolling. Sunny did look beautiful in her prom dress, and I hope she has someone nice to dance with there.
On another note, I noticed that The Biggest Loser Resort and Spa now has a Chicago location. I predicted, before the spas ever came to be, that something like this would result from the show. And now there is a location very close to my home. I would happily get myself there if the spa is ever in need of blog reviewers. Jeff and Francelina, this season's love interest, both moved to Chicago to train for the finale. I wonder if they are going to be working there. Each of the Final Four went to one of the spas before the finale, and they probably each went to a different one. Fitness Ridge is near Jackson's home, and if Danni went to Malibu, it would have been easy for her to meet up with Jillian there. I think they need one more location somewhere in the South. Hilton Head? Branson? Somewhere in Florida?
I noticed some other commercials during the show, too. One, which made me happy, showed a little girl sneaking "Cuties," little clementines, off the counter as if they were cookies. I love to see a healthy food like this advertised prominently on a show like this -- exactly the right message! On a slightly less happy note, I noticed a weight-loss ad that had all people in Northwest Ohio -- Findlay, Toledo, Kenton -- and turned up the volume. Turns out that Wood County Hospital, which has a big bariatric surgery practice, was advertising during the finale. Not so great.
Seriously, though, about that spa trip. I still have quite a bit of weight to lose, and I'd happily do Before and After photos...