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'Biggest Loser': Bob's possessed, Joelle skates and there's plenty of heartbreak

January 13, 2009 | 10:02 pm

If looks could kill, Bob would be dead.

This season of "The Biggest Loser" was hyped by superlatives -- biggest woman ever, youngest contest ever, largest contest ever, and oldest contestants ever. That alone set the stage for plenty of drama.

But by my admittedly unscientific calculations, Bob's meltdown tonight lasted roughly five minutes. That's gotta be some kind of prime-time record, no? It was so good I watched it twice. If you missed it, stop reading this and do whatever you have to do to find the footage of Bob absolutely going off on Joelle for dogging it on the treadmill. Expletives included.

I know! Sweet-natured Bob, cussing up a storm! Was Bob being too hard on Joelle? Or did she have it coming for ...

... talking back and indignantly insisting that she was working out as hard as she could? (And did she think she'd manipulate Bob with all that "yes sir"-ing and self talk?) I think I have to give this one to Bob. She'd even lost the support of all the other contestants, who are usually in agreement that the trainers are pushing them too hard and beating them into the ground.

Her ultimate crime? She was asked to do 30-second sprints on the treadmill but kept petering out at 20 seconds. Much of what Bob said cannot be quoted in full, but here are some highlights: "Just stop talking and DO IT!...I'M SICK OF ALL THESE WORDS, WORDS, WORDS! ... JUST DO IT JOELLE." As punishment, he ordered his entire team back on the treadmill for another 30 seconds. She quit again. He flipped some more, and had to walk away for a moment to regain his composure.

It was enough to make Jillian stop and take notice: "I have never seen Bob that mad, ever."

He ordered them back on the treadmills, and by this time her teammates where threatening mutiny. Someone -- sounded like Felipe -- hollered at Joelle to shut up and just get it done: "Stop thinking of yourself. Think of us."

And she did. Proving Bob's point. And when she was finished, she looked like she was wishing death upon Bob. But there also seemed to be the slightest glimpse of pride in her achievement.

The challenge was typically insane: Use your feet to paddle a boat to shore, and then climb a mountain. Tara won.   

There was much at stake going into the weigh-in -- remember that the nine contestants who were sent home in Week 1 can only earn their way back onto the ranch if their partner manages to lose enough weight to stick around. But the teammates had pretty much decided that if Joelle fell below the yellow line at the weigh-in, she was outta there. She knew as much: "People are mad at me. I could be redeemed. Or I could be made to look like a moron."

The funniest line of the night belonged to Bob, as he joked about it all with Alison: "Joelle and I had some growing pains this week." And then he added: "I was possessed by Jillian Michaels!"

Dane and Blaine lost 14 and 16 lbs, respectively. Ron lost 12. Kristen lost 10: "I've tried so many diets before, so it's amazing to see what diet and exercise can do, doing it the right way."

But, as expected, the dreaded Week 2 curse took its toll: After so much stunning weight loss in Week 1, several contestants failed to lose much at all in Week 2.

Tara lost 1 lb, and narrowly escaped being up for elimination were it not for the immunity she earned  by winning the challenge. Joelle proved all her critics right by losing just 2 lbs. "It's an 'I told you so.' I accept that," she said.

There was a feeling of relief after her weigh-in -- surely everyone would send her home.

But then Dan weighed in -- and lost only 3 lbs.

And Jerry, 63, lost only one pound.

He looked crushed. "I don't need this," he said of the feeble weight loss. "I need to stay here. I was hoping for a miracle." He later added: "It was such a crushing blow. It just ripped my heart out."

Alison wiped away tears. Jerry -- and his collapse on his first day in the gym -- had united this season of contestants like none other. Jillian put it best: it was the worst possible outcome, to see Jerry -- the oldest contestant -- and Dan, one of the youngest, on the chopping block. Both were in a fight for their life.

Contestants had one hour to decide who would go. Mike led the charge, arguing that Dan needed to stay more than Jerry if there was ever any hope of Dan living long enough to be Jerry's age. He predicted that if Dan went home he might lose 80 lbs. -- and gain back 100 lb. He said he was speaking from personal experience, and his voice broke as he said: "That boy has to be here. He's a 19-year-old boy. He has to be here."

In the end, the group was voting more to save Dan than they were to eliminate Jerry.

Jerry was a class act as he was voted off: "I'm the biggest winner. ... I truly am the biggest winner." He went home and continues to lose weight and insists he plans to be a contender at the finale. For now, though, he said his victory over his weight loss sends a message "to all the seniors out there to get off the sofa and get going."

-- Rene Lynch

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