'Biggest Loser' recap: Sometimes, (god)father knows best
Our hometown kid was kicked to the curb, a shining example of how game play can bite you in the behind, and the latest twist in a season I would best describe as trying to navigate Class 5 white-water rapids ... in a bucket. The twists and turns and upendings just keep on coming, heartbreak always just around the bend. Are you enjoying all of this turmoil? I am, even though half the time I feel I need a flow chart to keep up with it all.
This week only one person from each team would have their weight "count" at the weigh-in -- and the other team got to choose who that person would be. Delicious twist. It amped up the anxiety and intensity, as everyone tried to figure out "who worked out the least and ate the most." There was really no surprise who would be chosen -- Elizabeth for the black team, and Jessica for the blue, given their relatively weak weight loss numbers. But in the end, that turned out to be the least of everyone's worries.
So what else did we learn?
-- Frado is a loose canon. The godfather in the group, a drama king, the chief game player, a fierce competitor. After a toe-to-toe with Jillian -- who ended up petting him like a pup -- he realized a lot of his anger issues and weight gain stem from a troubled relationship with dear old dad. (Does Jillian have a way of drilling down, or what? It's as if she's part psychic.) Not that the insight kept him from exploding later on teammates. Am I the only once who sees a father-son dynamic between Frado and Brendan, with dad wanting absolute allegiance and Brendan trying to step out from Dad's shadow? This has the potential to end badly.
-- Brendan can be a sore loser, but he has a point. When the black team won its "Amazing Race"-like competition last week, it turned over its prizes -- letters from home -- to the blue team. This week, the blue team not only did not return the favor but also hooted, hollered and did a victory dance in the black team's face. But really, what else is it supposed to do? That's all part of team-building.
-- Elizabeth is clueless. Jillian justifiably jerked a knot in her tail when she reminded Elizabeth of a critical truth: If the black team does poorly because of Elizabeth's low weight loss numbers, Elizabeth won't be the one to pay the penalty. "The problem with teams is that other people pay the price for your actions," Jillian said, referring to her concerns that Elizabeth isn't pushing herself hard enough in the gym. Frado and Brendan have become like big brothers to Elizabeth, promising to protect her in the game, much like she has been protected by others all her life. It's a cycle she needs to bust out of, especially since newcomer Anna would likely be the one booted off if black falls below the dreaded yellow line. (I wonder how much longer that will be true. Anna is steadily dropping weight and proved to be a huge asset in the boat race with her steering skills.) Elizabeth says, though, that she got Jillian's message loud and clear: "I wasn't a fighter. I was a survivor. I don't want to survive. I want to thrive." We'll see.
-- And perhaps the most important lesson of the day: The word "cardio" can be used as a verb and a threat, as in -- "I'm going to cardio you guys into the ground today." Leave it to Jillian to come up with that one.
In the end, the blue team's victory in a cooking challenge led to a 10-second advantage (nearly squandered) and victory in the dragon boat races, which, in turn, allowed it to block the black team's choice for who should weigh in on behalf of the black team. But at the weigh-in, they chose not to use it. And Adam, of Santa Ana, chose not to use his "golden ticket," which would have given him a 3-pound advantage at the weigh-in and a shot at immunity from elimination. Frado scoffed at this, and I admit my reaction was, "Is Frado kidding? Why should Adam waste his ticket on this week?"
Well, sometimes the godfather does know best.
In a series of "only on 'The Biggest Loser' " twists and turns, Elizabeth ended up trouncing Jessica, sending the blue team into the elimination room. The team, unwilling or unable to come to a unified decision beforehand, split its votes between sending Adam and Jessica home. The black team was then called in for the tie-breaker. No surprise. It chose Adam, the biggest threat in the house thanks in no small part to that golden ticket. Some prize that turned out to be.
Adam, best of luck in your weight loss journey and your genuine efforts to pay it forward by helping others. It goes without saying, but I will say it anyway: You have made your mother even more proud of you. Looking forward to seeing even less of you at the finale.
Twitter.com / renelynch
Photo: Chief rivals Adam, left, and Frado. Credit: NBC