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'The Biggest Loser' recap: Is Arthur a villain, a victim or a winner?

March 2, 2011 | 12:05 pm

Arthur How can you lose 16 pounds in two weeks and be sent home for not losing enough weight? Happens every season on "The Biggest Loser" — someone posts big numbers, but they're not big enough. This season, it's Arthur.

Now, before we get into it, let's establish a few things about this week's elimination. I love Arthur. Everyone loves Arthur. The guy has heart and soul, a great sense of humor and would do anything for his family. He's also the unhealthiest person to ever step foot on "The Biggest Loser" ranch, and his elimination has the blogosphere up in arms. Arthur needs to be here, the argument goes.

There's no doubt about that. Even Bob and Jillian, who largely stay out of such matters, erupted at the weigh-in when it became clear that Arthur was up for elimination despite losing 16 pounds — a number he managed to hit despite being home for two weeks and surrounded by temptation. The realization sent Arthur spiraling through a number of emotions, ending with an attempt to hold his head high and act like it didn't matter, that he was ready to go and do it on his own. "Please!" Jillian yelled, asking him to at least fight, no matter the odds, for the right to stay. "We have fought for you to be here." Bob was equally distraught, saying that Arthur deserved to stay.

"It should not be about a game at this point; it should be about a matter of life and death. It kills me to see that this man is going to go home because he is not part of an alliance. That is just ... to me," Bob said.

Well, whose fault is that, Bob?

With each passing season of "The Biggest Loser," we've seen the teams turn their allegiances into life-long bonds. Thankfully, casting no longer seems to be set on finding a new "villain" (Hello, Heba!), and we're able to focus instead on the characters' — sorry, I mean the contestants' — personal growth. Personally, I prefer it that way. It makes it less of a "game" show and more of what "The Biggest Loser" claims to be: A singular opportunity to change one's life. The Season 11 contestants are the most tight-knit yet, albeit red versus black.

But who upset that delicate balance? Arthur.

He was the one who decided to make it about a "game" when he took the bait during an earlier temptation. Instead of obeying the trainers, strictly watching his calories and hitting the gym at every opportunity, he took the easy way out and gorged himself so he could have the chance to remake the teams. And then he jeopardized Jen and Jay for his own means.

Can you blame him for that? Either way, it's hard to feel so bad for him when karma bit him in the butt.

There is a chance — albeit a slim chance — that the red team would have banded together to sacrifice one of their own to save Arthur. Heck, I could even see hard-nosed Justin or Ken offering up themselves, in keeping with the theme of parents sacrificing for "the kids." But that option was cut off after Arthur proved that he'd betray the red team when it suited him.

As I said, I love Arthur. I wish him nothing but the best. But in the end, he only has himself to blame. Certainly, Arthur is no villain. But he's no victim.

And he's certainly not acting like one.

Bravo, Arthur, for your continued weight loss and your determination to win the at-home prize. I have no doubt that you can do it. The single most amazing thing I've seen all season long is your steady, determined trek to and from the gym each day from your home. That's the journey of a winner.

— Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch

Photo: Arthur completing his 5K. Photo credit: NBC