'Biggest Loser': Wha, wha, what???
Dear "Biggest Loser" -- How could you?
The show ended tonight on a cliff-hanger -- the fate of the blue and black teams rested on the ever-shrinking shoulders of Mike, the teenager who struggled early on to gain momentum. Since then, we've watched him grow up before our eyes, shedding pounds, adopting a "gym rat's" habits and becoming the kind of young man who turned over the hard-earned prize from this week's challenge -- a year's supply of groceries -- to Aubrey, a mother of five who has struggled on occasion to feed her children.
In yet the latest twist, the teams for the first time ever were not weighed in against each other. They were weighing in together, and if they failed to meet a targeted weight loss -- basically, losing seven pounds apiece, or a pound per day -- both teams would have to put a player up for elimination. And a likely candidate for elimination would be Mike's dad, Ron, who has been one of the weaker players because of injuries.
In other words, this weigh-in means everything. But we'll have to wait until next week to find out! Brutal!
Until the cliff-hanger showed up and crushed everything in its path, the show was shaping up to be a debate about Jillian's training tactics: Did she go too far with Laura? And did she fail to go far enough with Sione?
Jillian tried to broker a peace pact with Sione, who was a devoted Bob devotee until he was forced to join her team. "I just think it would be really fun to work you out," Jillian concluded, and by "fun" she meant basically beating Sione to a pulp in the gym. Cut to the montage of Sione thriving under the beat-down, like when he was doing that crazy upside-down-pull-up-triceps-thingy. Whew! Then Jillian had him doing some step-ups onto a knee-high bench -- and when Sione came down, he badly twisted his right ankle, limiting his abilities in the gym for the rest of the week.
When Sione weighed in, and only lost three pounds -- after weeks and weeks of shedding much, much more -- he put part of the blame on Jillian: "Training with Jillian did play a factor in my weight loss," he said.
But what do you think? Did she fail to push him hard enough? Or did she push him too hard and put him at risk? Or was this just an unfortunate accident, plain and simple?
Meanwhile, Jillian put an emotional beat-down on Laura. Laura contends she's doing everything she can, working out as hard as she can. Jillian contends that Laura is delusional, and that she's not doing nearly what she is capable of and loves to cry and play the victim. Two telling moments: 1) During this week's truck-packing challenge, the team opted to have Laura sit on the sidelines lest she slow everyone down. 2) While talking to Laura, Jillian asked her why she thought that Jillian never yelled at her like she does with the rest of her contestants. "Because you believe I can do it?" Laura offered. WRONG! Jillian said she doesn't bother to yell at Laura because it's not worth it: "No matter what I do or say, it's not going to matter."
In an effort to shake Laura up, Jillian forced all Laura's teammates to say out loud who the weakest link was. They all pointed to Laura (except for Tara, who is Laura's best friend, but her silence spoke volumes). Laura, of course, broke down and cried and left the gym. "By far the meanest thing I've ever done," Jillian said.
Tara said it crossed a line: "Jillian definitely took it too far in this case."
A crying Laura agreed: "What she did to me was probably worse than someone calling me fat to my face or making fun of me."
At the weigh-in, Laura lost seven pounds. But was that a credit to Jillian's work? Or did it prove that Laura has in fact been working hard and has been under-appreciated by Jillian?
It was cool to see Sugar Ray Leonard on hand to help Bob take his team through an inspirational boxing workout. And great to see Rocco DiSpirito back with such an unappetizing job: Rocco no doubt turned many of the contestants off junk food forever -- and probably a lot of viewers at home -- when he demonstrated just how much fat is in a double cheeseburger with fries. GROSS.
-- Rene Lynch