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'Biggest Loser': makeovers, an injury and a heart-felt vote

April 15, 2009 |  4:39 pm

Gunn We keep hearing that it's "game on." From Tara. From Filipe. From Mike and his dad, Ron.

But as Season 7 of "The Biggest Loser" draws to a close, the players continue to vote with their hearts, not with their heads.

But before we get to that: It was makeover week!

"Top Chef" has restaurant wars. "Hell's Kitchen" has its blindfolded taste test. And "Biggest Loser" has its makeovers, where players have their hair, makeup and clothing done and we get to watch, teary-eyed, at the reveals that take place before friends and family.

Network synergy was the password of the night as Bravo sent over "Project Runway's" Tim Gunn for sartorial guidance and Tabatha from "Tabatha's Salon Makeover" for hair and makeup. The results? Stunning. Tara was a knockout in a green sheath, and Helen shined in eggplant. Laura's new haircolor -- an auburn -- was inspired and sassy, and Kristin's glossy new 'do played up her blue eyes.

On the boys side, Filipe got rid of the 'fro, Ron ditched the beard and -- ooo! -- turns out Mike is quite the self-possessed cutie in a bright blue sweater. (His mother, holding back tears, said he looked like a movie star. Mike's severely overweight brother, Max, burst into tears when he saw how much weight his brother and father had lost. "I'm the big one," he said, adding that he "felt left out." Mike gave him a pep talk and a promise: When he and his father return home, they promise to teach Max all that they've learned. 

The comment made by Mike's mother, about her Movie Star son, was particularly appropriate: The makeover occasion was a "movie premiere" and the contestants were the stars.

The on-screen look at how far they've come was mesmerizing. So many of them are truly unrecognizable from the original weigh-in.

But it was all ramping up to an "epic battle" at the weigh-in. Kristin noted as much, remarking that Jillian's team has been on quite the winning streak, remaining intact for seven eliminations in a row. The trainers were particularly tense. Bob noted that the contestants had spent time getting makovers and sitting "under a hairdryer when they could have been on a treadmill."

Another backdrop was the bad news for Laura: A worsening micro-fracture in her hip meant she could no longer perform weight bearing exercises until it healed. She had to be carried up to the scale.

In the end, Mike set a record for losing 145 pounds in 15 weeks, Helen lost a jaw-dropping 7 pounds, Ron lost 6 and said he was the lightest he'd been since he was a teenager. Filipe lost 5 pounds and Tara lost 4. Falling below the yellow line was Kristin, who lost only 2 pounds, and Laura, who gained 3.

If game play was all that was important, the contestants would have sent Kristin home and ridded themselves of one of the biggest threats in the house. And then, next week, when Laura inevitably fell below the yellow line again because of being unable to handle exercise, they could send her home too.

But that's not what they did. They sent Laura home so she could rest and get better. And the ringleader was Ron, who last week was accused of only caring about positioning his son so that Mike could win the game. Well, keeping Kristin around is not in Mike's best interest.

Was this a smart move? Or stupid? It was definitely compassionate.

-- Rene Lynch

Photo: Tim Gunn. Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images