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'Biggest Loser': Bob gets black and oh-so-blue

February 24, 2009 | 10:08 pm

We've never seen Bob like this.

Each season, we watch the competitors confront how difficult life is on "The Biggest Loser" ranch.

This season, we're getting a look at how hard it all is on Bob Harper.

First, he had to deal with Carla's antics and absolutely lost it during one workout -- so much so that he joked he'd been possessed by Jillian. Then, he tried to guide his teammates to choose to ditch Dane -- but they balked. The result? A Bob angrier than we've ever seen him.

This week? In Part 1 of a two-part episode, Bob watched two of his teammates -- Sione and Filipe -- sent over to the blue team.

So? This happens each season, right? Alliances shift. Contestants come and go. So why was this different? Here's the back story:

Bob, Sione and Filipe formed a uniquely strong bond. In fact, it was a bond that Filipe said he felt even before arriving at the ranch. During press interviews at the beginning of the new season, Filipe said he recalled being a home, unhappy at being morbidly obese, watching "The Biggest Loser," and somehow having a sixth sense that Bob would be the key to changing his life forever.

He also said he did not think it was coincidence that he ended up on Bob's team.

Sione, who was at the ranch for only a handful of days before being sent home for 30 days, has said he has been able to lose so much weight so far because of everything that he learned from Bob while at the ranch, and because he was so determined to get back under Bob's tutelage.

So that, combined with the close relationships that normally crop up during the course of the emotionally grueling games, offers a bit of insight into why Bob took this latest turn so hard.

But even Bob was surprised at his reaction, when he was brought to tears by the news: "This is real difficult," he said. "I don't want to go into [the gym] without you guys.... I'm having a real hard time."

In fact, he said it was the hardest thing he's ever had to go through as part of the show.

Well, Bob, you can take solace in knowing that you imparted worlds of wisdom to Filipe and his cousin, Sione. Later in the game, when both teams were competing in a 24-hour stationary bike race to see which team could log the most miles, Mandi tried to throw the competiton by getting both teams to quit. You could see the faces of many of the other competitors who were thisclose to caving as well.

It was Sione who changed the game, and he might as well have been channeling Bob Harper when he refused. Sione said that if he'd made a committment to himself to finish his legs of the race, and that's what he was going to do. If he quit, Sione said, it would be like every other time when he tried to lose weight and then gave up. And he wasn't opening the door to that possibility.

Sione singlehandedly shamed folks into finishing the competition. But the big question for Sione is whether he can find success on Jillian's team. It's not off to a great start. He said he felt motivated when Bob challenged him to do one more rep in the gym. Conversely, "When I hear that from Jillian, I don't care."

-- Rene Lynch