Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Biggest Loser Season 14 Finale: Wow!

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... 


  1. I just got off the elliptical, so you also know I just finished watching at about the same time you posted this. So happy Danni won! She, Lisa and Alex were all amazing transformations.

    Thanks for your recaps, you do such a great job. I look forward to them every week. I haven't watched an entire season in a long time - and I'm not sure why I watched this year. Your insights are a nice addition to the shows, and this one was great.

  2. http://www.phillyburbs.com/blogs/pop_culture_blog/biggest_loser/the-biggest-loser-catching-up-with-fan-favorite-courtney-crozier/article_e510ca98-b30c-11e0-98a1-001a4bcf6878.html

    I did not realize Courtney had skin surgery. Sort of makes last night worse, not better.

    I was really distressed to see Courtney had regained so much so quickly. I think her "thin" pictures are right around 200 pounds, so in view of that, seeing her last night, I would guess that she has put 75-100 lbs back on her body. I think that she lost about 100 before her season and about 100 during her season. So my guess is slightly less than half is back. I am not sure if she is still in her old life style (dairy queen), I will be sort of heart sick to hear that her family did not wise up. If that is the case. I give her a lot of credit that she was willing to appear on TV. I suspect, from hearing tone of article, that she might roll into the fat acceptance crowd which always smacks of denial, to me.

    I noticed they did not say how much Sunny's mother had lost. But was very glad to see that she had made the trip (just her dad went to the ranch during the season).

    Gina did make the right decision.

    It was interesting that Joe and Jackson were so far down the percentages. Joe is a real fooler, because looking, I would have guessed he had lost more. But he probably shifted a higher percentage to muscle. Jackson looks like the excess belly skin might have soaked up very nicely, or he was well dressed to camouflage it. I thought they both looked and sounded great.

    It didn't look like anyone had already started regaining (that has happened some years), but I did not take the time to check what weight they were leaving ranch. I am always highly skeptical about who will keep it off. And there were a number there who really need to keep going so they can stay healthy and injury free.

    Danni 46.90
    Jeff 46.65
    Gina 46.12
    Lisa 43.90
    Jackson 42.07
    Joe 40.38
    Francelina 35.58
    Alex 35.00
    David 33.22
    Michael 30.63
    Pam 29.96
    TC 29.26
    Nathan 27.58
    Cate 27.00

    Was pleased that everyone was not trying to wear strapless dresses. Thought Alex looked good, but could have looked better is something with more support.

    I thought Lisa looked THE BEST. I would have loved for her to win the at home. But what all she has learned/applied will serve her family well. She has probably just avoiding her children being obese.

    It is amazing how solid Danni is. Her percentage of muscle must be comparible to a male. I did think she looked very good, but the hair made me think of cat woman every time I looked at her. I was very glad for Jillian. She deserved the win as much as Danni.

    Agree it was a very good finale and a good season over all. Thanks for your reviews, really enjoyed them.

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      I couldn't believe Courtney still at DQ after being on the show. I never go by one of those places without thinking of her. How awful to go through the skin surgery and then regain. I can't imagine how much that has to hurt.

  3. Fab fab fab review Jen. I busted a gut laughing at this line:

    "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."


    Also, if I had the dosh I would be right there with you for a trip to the resort :)

    1. It was supposed to be "gets" but I love that you enjoyed that joke. :) Let's get rich and famous and go spa-tripping together. I'm ready for a new career and Spa Reviewer sounds like just the ticket.


"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