'The Biggest Loser' recap: Bob's revenge
Bob wasn't going to put up with this nonsense for two weeks in a row. Granted, the Unknowns crushed it at the weigh-in last week. But Bob -- and it was just Bob, giving us a glimpse of what it will be like sans Jillian -- wasn't going to let the dreaded Week 2 curse get in his way.
Speaking of the dreaded Week 2 curse. Did I just miss the memo? Did that just go away? Doesn't look like anyone was struggling this week with weight loss.
But before we get to that: Season 10 of "The Biggest Loser" was just one big hand-holding session, with the players largely getting along despite a few flare-ups here and there. Looks like the producers are determined to stir up some rivalry in Season 11, even though the two teams haven't seen each other in the flesh in weeks. The Unknowns supposedly sent over a box of doughnuts to knock the Ranchers off their stride and then some workout videos to rub it all in, and then Ali threw down a variety of challenges. There was a water-course challenge that the Unknowns ripped through without a hitch, while the Ranchers floundered. And if the Ranchers could win the weigh-in, they'd get $10,000 and a shot at immunity. In other words, it was game on.
Dr. H met with the contestants to begin doling out the bad news about their medical stage. Courtney is 22 with an inner age of 40. Opera singer Olivia is watching her career be shorted out by the fat that is weighing down her ability to carry a note. And he really stuck it to Dan and Don: One of the twin brothers -- forgive me, I am not even going to try to figure out which one -- got the shock of his life. A death date. As in, he can expect to die by 2020 if he doesn't reverse his ways.
But the single moment that stood out for me this week was Bob's little gym conference with Arthur. So many of the other players have been beaten down by tragedy -- remember Abby? -- and understandably turned to food for comfort. But Arthur -- even though he is arguably the largest player and the most ill ever to walk on campus -- might have the more universal tale in "Biggest Loser" history.
The way he explained it to Bob, Arthur said that nothing all that dramatic happened to him. He was drawn to sports and dreamed of being a football player. But he was also drawn to the wrong crowd and started missing classes, chasing girls and doing who knows what else. Well, those aren't the first kids that the coach picks to start. Arthur's dreams started to fade. Fatherhood came along, perhaps earlier than he would have like. And he's been drowning his sorrows in food ever since and has an estimated 370 pounds of excess weight hanging off his frame (That's after already losing 100-plus pounds before joining the show.) He used to eat at least 5,000 calories a day and had a standing order with the local pizza joint. In fact, he didn't even have to call it in. They'd routinely call him first: "We just want to make sure you're home, we're sending your order out." At 34, Arthur has an inner age of 60.
"You've been trying to kill yourself, slowly," Bob told him. And, most telling: Arthur didn't argue. He even paused and considered eating one of those unknown doughnuts after it had been stomped on and dropped to the dirt. But he didn't.
And now Arthur has a new mantra: "Turning the corner, baby!" Is this guy one to cheer on, or what?
Other highlights: Bob dressed like a Russian sailor? A mime? -- orchestrating the gym workouts like he was Dudamel. And then there was Moses sitting at the foot of his bed and shadow boxing because bursitis was limiting his gym abilities. I hope the show explores this tactic a bit more, it would be helpful -- and provide hope for -- the folks at home who fall into that morbidly obese category where "regular" exercise is simply not an option.
By the time the weigh-in rolled around, Bob was fed up with it all. What did you think about his reaction to Ali's comments that the Unknowns destroyed the Ranchers at the first weigh-in? "When I hear you say 'destroy,' I want to run up those stairs. ... That's really disrespectful to these people." Was that, um, a threat? He seemed to acknowledge he may have crossed a line when he bowed to her at the end; did you all catch that?
Still, Bob wasn't quite as confident with Arthur. As much as I wanted him to succeed, I did wonder what would have happen if things did not go his way. Well, we'll never know, because this week was the Ranchers' turn to crush it.
Which leads us to our quote of the week: "Stop the beeping, just show me the numbers already!"
Another one to watch: Irene, who was this week's overall winner.
-- Rene Lynch
twitter / renelynch