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'The Biggest Loser' recap: You answer to the U.S. Marines

November 3, 2010 |  9:11 am

The world has long awaited the answer to the question: What's tougher? Bob and Jillian boot camp? Or the U.S. Marines' boot camp? Now we know the answer: Bob and Jillian.

Sure, the Camp Pendleton Marines put the contestants through their paces, and worked them into the ground. Literally. At one point, Elizabeth did her whole passing out / can't breathe thing again. (I go back-and-forth between thinking she's being pushed beyond the brink of what is safe, and what Jillian says: Much of this has become Elizabeth's calling card. How else to explain the fact that she got up and finished the beach obstacle course? What do you think?)

So, for sheer hard physical work and discipline, constant and endless physical activity and barracks living, I'd have to give it to the Marines, hand down. ("We're the best, cause we train the hardest. You think Bob and Jillian are tough? You ain't seen nothing." You know I am not going to argue with that.) But here's where the edge seemingly goes to the ranch: Bob and Jillian keep a tight rein on the calories and even the food that is available to the players (save temptations). And I suspect that the military food was plenty sweet. And starchy. And downright plentiful.

How else to explain this week's jaw-dropping weigh-in?

On the blue side, Mark lost "just" 7 pounds. Lisa lost just 2 and Jesse gained 1 pound. Aaron, who may finally be coming into his own, dropped 14, saving his team from an elimination.

Black team's numbers were miserable: While Ada -- this woman is a threat -- and Patrick each lost 7 pounds, Brendan lost just 4, Anna lost just 2 and Elizabeth gained a pound. And Frado -- a former Marine -- gained 4 pounds. (In 10 seasons, have we ever seen three players gain weight in one week?) When Frado's weight gain popped up on the scale, he insisted -- this isn't game play. Maybe I'm missing something, but who would think that Frado -- a former Marine -- would dishonor himself and the Marines who took the time to train him by throwing a weigh-in? Did I miss something? Or was he just saying that cause he needed to say something, anything? I wonder what happened there. You'd think he would want to deliver monster numbers this week. I hope Dr. Jillian investigates.

What happened next was no surprise, except that the black team could have banded together to ditch Frado, who is clearly a front-runner and chief game-player in this group. (But I'm glad they didn't -- I find him endearing.) Instead, they booted Anna, the relative newcomer in the group. Were you surprised by that choice? I wasn't. Brendan, Frado and Elizabeth are their own little voting block.

Anna, we will miss you. You deserved a little more time at the ranch. But you are doing great at home and inspiring others. Looking forward to seeing "less" of you at the weigh-in.

Other highlights this week:

-- Brendan getting his head shaved to honor the Marines.

-- Mark honoring the Marines in a less flashy way: "I am not a Marine. I had the privilege of training with them."

-- And, Brendan, reflecting on this week's last-chance workout (which included Patrick being forced to do lunges around the gym --with Jillian on his back): "There's nothing like a last-chance workout with Jillian. Smallest bully in the world....I almost would rather run with a real bull on my back rather than her screaming in my ear."

-- I was digging Bob's loosened tie and jacket look and the retro kicks at the weigh-in. I'm all about the blue jeans and T-shirts, but when Bob turns up the style, he really brings it.

-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / Rene Lynch

Photo: The black team at Camp Pendleton. Credit: NBC