As Season 12 gets underway with two new trainers backing up the inimitable Bob Harper -- that would be the sparkly Anna Kournikova and the yoked up Dolvett Quince -- we find ourselves with a front-row seat to the Battle of the Ages.
In this corner, we have the young guns, like Ramon -- who will no doubt provide this season's comedic one-liners and flowing locks. In the other corner, we have the old-timers, like 65-year-old Boston Johnny, who just might use that accent to backhand the younguns nipping at his heels. And then we have the middle-of-the-roadsters, the 40- and 50-somethings like former NFL player Antone, who isn't quite ready to hang up his cleats just yet.
Based upon the first challenge -- running a mile in the desert -- the middle-aged folks seem to have an edge. Granted, that edge is named Bob Harper. But it seems like this pack has relative youth on its side, combined with the wisdom that comes with having a few miles on the tires. (They were smart enough to pace themselves and get to the finish line first.)
Anyone want to wager a guess as to who will be among the last contestants standing? We can say this much with authority: There will be a wild card finalist. This season will grant one of those coveted berths to the winner of the Biggest Loser Marathon, which will be run at the end of the season. So glad to see the return of what is arguably the world's most exclusive marathon, as well a provocative twist. Way to keep it fresh!
Will the first eliminee, Debbie, be on that starting line? Too soon to tell. But here's one suggestion for Debbie: Watch Tuesday night's episode once more, and then ordered up a copy of "How to Win Friends and Influence People." What a ham-handed attempt at self-survival while also shooting herself in the foot.
It was a Tivo-worthy moment because I never saw her actually reach behind the couch for the two-by-four that she then used to clobber poor Bonnie. (Another great accent.)
It was also like an episode of "Tom and Jerry" meets Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
When she started out, I assumed she was going to sacrifice herself when it became clear that one of the blue team members would be going home....
"I'm not saying that I want to go home, but what I am saying is that since I am in this position, I do have a support system. I have people who can help me. I have a membership at the gym already."
And then it seemed like she was heaping the praise on Bonnie and explaining why Bonnie should stay.
"To be perfectly honest, Bonnie, you are like everybody's mother here and everybody cares about you..."
And then WHAM!! over the head with that two-by-four:
"I'm not saying you turn your tears on like water 'cause I know you can't help it. But I gotta say that I do find it kind of annoying sometimes."
And then came the second swing:
"Every time you turn around, I think it's a sympathy play."
And then one final blow even as Bonnie tried to assume a defensive posture: "Hey, Bonnie, guess what -- we've all been through hell," Debbie snarled.
Do you think Bonnie has been playing up the "I-lost-everything-to-Hurricane-Katrina-and-then-I-lost-my-husband-to-illness" card? Even so, it would have been much more effective had Debbie argued that she deserved to stay because she was stronger, had lost more weight, and was injury-free so she was in a better position to help the rest of the team team win challenges.
You know, something -- or anything -- that would make the remaining teammates want to keep her.
Instead, she broadcast to her teammates: I will cut you if it serves my purpose.
And here's hoping that the blue team doesn't get picked off one by one.
Some other random thoughts:
When did Bob give up the color blue? It's confusing me.
Who knew that Anna was such a mother hen? She is doling out the hugs, but can she also keep them on task. (I love how she consoled Bonnie after she only lost four pounds. "We're going to find a more effective way, and those numbers are going to be better. We're just going to have to go longer.")
Is it me, or is Sunny the spittin' image of Tracey from Season 8?
Quote of the week goes to Quince: “Don’t hang on my treadmill!”
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-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch
Photo: Season 12 cast. Credit: NBC