Thursday, January 09, 2014

The Biggest Loser Season 15, Episode 11: One more thing... Rachel rocks!

This was a two-hour episode, so it was easy to forget important points I wanted to mention in my review.  I wanted to mention contestant Rachel Frederickson, who is my favorite to win this thing. During the weigh-in, Jillian compared Rachel to past seasons' tough women contestants, saying something like "Tara, Ali, Hannah and're blowing them all out of the water."

Rachel has the unlikely combination of athletic ability and experience and a high starting weight.  This is pretty common in the men, who are often former athletes, but has been less common in the women.  The Wikipedia page for this season shows that Rachel has already lost 99 pounds. That means she has lost 38% of her starting weight in 11 weeks. Here is some data from the wiki with the contestants sorted by their percentage lost:

 Name  Age Height Starting BMI Current BMI Start Weight Most Recent Percentage Lost
Rachel 24 5'4" 44.6 27.6 260 161 38.08%
Jay 38 5'10" 42.6 27.5 297 192 35.35%
David 43 6'2" 52.5 34.7 409 270 33.99%
Tumi 41 5'8" 48.5 33.6 319 221 30.72%
Bobby 28 6'3" 44.7 31.7 358 254 29.05%
Chelsea 28 5'6" 38.9 27.6 241 171 29.05%
Jennifer 42 5'7" 41.7 29.6 266 189 28.95%
Marie 30 5'6" 40.2 29.5 249 183 26.51%
Matt 38 6'3" 45.7 33.8 356 263 26.12%
Tanya 40 5'7" 41 31 262 198 24.43%
Hap 26 6'5" 47.8 37.5 403 316 21.59%
Holley 24 5'8" 53.4 42.1 351 277 21.08%
Craig 30 6'1" 50.8 40.5 385 307 20.26%
Ruben 35 6'3" 57.7 47.1 462 377 18.40%
Fernanda 32 5'7" 39.2 32.6 250 208 16.80%

This makes it even clearer that Tanya, not Tumi, would have been the one to go home if this was strictly a weight-loss competition and not a reality TV show.

Because there is a triathlon coming up where the winner will be guaranteed a spot in the finals, Rachel should make the finals if she can compete in the triathlon. She is a former champion swimmer, and she's also one of the best runners on the show. All the contestants do Spinning.  She just has to make it to the last challenge before the finale:
For the first time in series history, licensee partner “The Biggest Loser RunWalk” will host an in-show Mud Run and first-ever triathlon where each contestant swims a 1/2 mile, bikes 12 miles and runs over three miles as the last challenge before the live finale.
The swim is long enough that someone who can swim well is going to have a big advantage. Contestants might be able to fake it for a few hundred yards, but not for half a mile. Rachel's only issue is making it to that triathlon -- if she ever has a bad week, she will definitely be eliminated, just like Tumi.

The moral of the story:  If you ever decide to try out for The Biggest Loser, learn to swim first! 


  1. Plus only 24 years old! It's a magical combination. Go Rachel!

    Enjoying your reviews as always Jen. It's almost as good as if we were all in the same room watching it and making pithy comments at the telly. Hehe :)

    I still don't feel an emotional connection to any of the contestants like in past season. I usually have a favourite or two that I really hope will win but this time just not feeling it. I wonder if that is from the shorter format or whether the personalities are different? There's admiration and inspiration, but can't imagine crushing on anyone like I did with Hannah/Olivia, Tara etc.

    1. I think that this year's show has focused so much on the plot -- who wins the challenge, who gets eliminated -- that we haven't really gotten to know anyone. They keep showing us the same clips over and over instead of giving us much about the people and how they interact. But Rachel's grit definitely shines through.

      I always am so happy to see your name pop up in the comments.

  2. I could not name most of them if shown their picture this season. Other seasons knew them all. I agree it is shorter time and repeats (endlessly) of same stories with just a couple contestants. I wonder if they should compromise and do 1 1/2 hour shows (and much better editing).

    I did not care for Alison Sweeney's darker hair color (at all). Also I am always amazed at how different her weight/size appears based on her clothes. Yes, I know she has had babies, weight changes over the years. But week to week, based on her clothes (particularly necklines) she looks very different.

  3. You might have said this and I forgot, but appears that tonight and next week, are both two hour shows. Perhaps the rest of the season moved to longer format.


"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