Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Biggest Loser, Season 15, Episode 14: TRIATHLON!!!!!!!

A little thing that bugged me during this episode:

The one good thing about the Snowpocolypse is that I had a day off school tonight and got to eat dinner at home and watch "The Biggest Loser" live instead of waiting to watch it online tomorrow. I'm typing this Tuesday night since I don't have to get up early tomorrow morning -- my husband has yet another snow day.

Before the episode started, I made my predictions on how the triathlon would turn out:

  1. Rachel
  2. David
  3. Jennifer
  4. Chelsea
  5. Bobby

Bobby knows he won't do well -- he can't really swim.  I'm not sure why they aren't given lessons if they are doing a triathlon.  Jillian talks to Bobby about his life and his fear of failure, and I think this is one of the central lessons of The Biggest Loser: 
"Fear will pass, but regret? That is forever." -- Jillian Michaels
The important thing is just to try, and finish.

I expected Rachel to crush it, and she did. The coverage of the race made it look like it was a lot closer than it was. She got out ahead of David early in the swim and he never saw her again.  She finished the race as Chelsea was going out on the run. I really underestimated Chelsea, though, who came in third.  I felt very bad for Bobby, who seemed to be really flailing around during the swim. I am glad there were kayaks standing by. The rule is that you can hold on to a kayak and not get disqualified as long as it does not help you move forward.  He finished more than an hour behind Rachel, but he finished.

Rachel won a spot in the finals and a brand-new Ford Fusion Energi (I had to look it up -- the Energi is a plug-in hybrid, worth about $40,000). But I cried watching her finish because I know that feeling of crossing a triathlon finish line and feeling like I had won my life back.  

I would really like to watch the full triathlon -- I am going to watch the Biggest Loser site to see if they post any bonus videos.  I also would like to see everyone's times again.  It would be interesting to see the swim/bike/run breakdowns. But maybe I'm just a geek?

Because this was the last week, there was a lot of looking back -- images of the contestants working out on Week 1, struggling, and then now, thinner and handling it like a champ. We also get to see them watch retrospective videos of their progress on the ranch, and their Week 1 selves talking to them about the very real risk of forgetting what they learned and backsliding.

Contestants seem to get to a healthy, sustainable weight on the ranch, and then go all out and go to extremes for the finale. Most of the ones who regain put the weight they took off for the finale back off, but it is probably unrealistic for most of them to expect to maintain a movie-star weight.  If they can be healthy and do the things they want to do, I think they should appreciate that. I think that sense of failure they get from regaining that finale weight is what drives a lot of the regain.  We see Jackie and Dan, a mother-son team from one of the early seasons. Jackie is still pretty thin, but Dan just looks like a normal guy -- that's still a success, considering where Dan started. On Ali Vincent's show, there was a big Come-to-Jesus moment with the scale where she admits she has regained (I had to fast forward through a lot of the "blah-blah-blah-I'm-so-ashamed"), but she isn't that far from a healthy BMI for her height -- she is just not at a Hollywood weight for her height. She still looks good and she just did a half-marathon, so she is obviously pretty healthy and fit. I was frustrated by all her negative talk about her weight because she seems to forget the person she used to be, who couldn't do any of the things she is doing now. I'm hoping this season's contestants won't fall into that trap.

We got a glance at Tanya and Marie this week. Marie is starting a healthy restaurant called "Livin' Soul," and Marie is enjoying a healthy and active life with her husband and planning for a baby (though she seems to be holding off so that she has a chance for the finale). Marie seems to be growing out her hair, because it's in that awkward bangs-in-her-face stage. Both of them looked beautiful and seemed happy.

Okay, I have covered everything except the weigh-ins. Rachel, who had her spot locked, lost 1 pound. Chelsea lost an incredible 7 pounds.  Then Jennifer lost 3 -- obviously not enough to make the finals. It came down to the two guys. Bobby dropped 17 pounds. Then David lost 16 to take the top spot, knocking Chelsea out.

By the way, I usually don't notice Allie's clothes unless they are weird, but because of the comments, I paid more attention this time. I thought the dress she wore for this weigh-in was perfect and really brought out the blue in her eyes.  Her hair and makeup were pretty and natural. 

Okay, here's the data on the Final 5, courtesy of the Wiki. All but David are now at a healthy BMI:

Contestant Age Height Starting BMI Current BMI Start Most Recent % Lost
Rachel 24 5'4" 44.6 25.7 260 150 42.31%
David 43 6'2" 52.5 31.2 409 243 40.59%
Bobby 28 6'3" 44.7 28.9 358 231 35.47%
Chelsea 28 5'6" 38.9 25.3 241 157 34.85%
Jennifer 42 5'7" 41.7 28.5 266 182 31.58%

It comes down to Rachel and two guys for the Biggest Loser title.  My money is still on Rachel, but David does still have more to lose.  And honestly, it could be any of them.  With Bobby's track record, he could surprise us all and win. This was a really good season with great people, so it's hard to be against any of them.  Who are you rooting for? 


  1. I was very glad to see the kayaks too. Big psychological difference to have it there, and a person to encourage.

    I forgot to look at what Allie was wearing and already deleted it. Not yet posted on their site. You must be right that it was good, or I would have noticed. But I still contend that there is a visual difference depending on the design of her clothes. It is like a 20 lb swing from week to week depending on style (in my opinion). Very interesting to see.

    I thought it was possible (a few weeks ago) that we might have an all female finale.

    If david and bobby get really good trainers, they have the numbers on their side, so many pounds left that they can lose. She is down to 20-25 possible. I would like to see her win. It did cross my mind that she might have been smart to not place first, go home, and win the at home prize.

    1. It's standard to have kayaks in the water during a triathlon, but in this case I am sure Bobby really needed them -- his swim technique looked very rough.

    2. The other factor is lake swimming. We (all five of us are good, long time swimmers) but we are pool swimmers. If I am in a body of water with clear to the bottom, clean visibility, I am fine (ocean, river, lake). That looked like one MURKY lake. If I were a poor swimmer, that would have made it really scary.

  2. Was it a mini or a sprint?

    Haven't they done full marathons in other seasons? Or were they halves?

    1. This was a sprint triathlon -- same distances as the Danskin races I have done. They haven't done a triathlon before but you are right, they did do a couple of marathons. I thought a marathon was too much, too much potential for injury. With the kayaks and the wetsuits, a triathlon was much safer.

    2. Really good points. And they should do tri's from now on for all those reasons. And the length seemed really appropriate.

  3. Great review Jen. And the first time Jillian hasn't had a finalist (or anyone in the top 5 for that matter). Kinda funny how they had to keep tacking her on to different segments, which is fine by me coz she is DA BEST. Dolvett was spectacularly cheesy this week, bless :)

    1. She seemed to sit in with Bob on all his sessions. I get the sense that she and Dolvett aren't BFFs.

    2. I noticed a lot of looks between Jillian and Bob all thru the show, mostly in regard to Bobby. I assumed she sat in with Bob's people because she had been helping train them. Just a guess.


"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