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'The Biggest Loser': Liz plays the age card and Danny drops 'a Jillian'

November 18, 2009 |  2:18 pm

What did we learn this week?

-- Makeover week needs a shake-up. It's always one of my favorite moments of the season: The contestants finally get cleaned up and are surprised, during the reveal, with a visit from friends or relatives. But this time the whole thing seemed rushed. And several of the challengers (like Amanda and Liz) didn't seem all that surprised.

-- Rudy dropped a bombshell. When he was a teen, his older sister died of cancer. And before she did, she told Rudy that he was overweight and needed to take care of himself and do something about it. "Next thing I knew I'm looking down and I weigh 442 pounds and I'm tired all the time and I can't play with my kids." Jillian and Bob had no idea, and Jillian took him out to the woodshed for it, trying to convince him that if he doesn't work through that tragedy he'll never change. Rudy said he was fat "because I suck in every problem and leave it there." Jillian's response: "If you cannot resolve that hurt, you cannot get better." Regardless: Rudy set another record, for losing 134 pounds in 10 weeks.

-- That old girl's got some fight in her yet. Liz came thisclose to being bounced when she fell below the yellow line but fought and clawed her way back into the game. It's clear that Liz is just not the kind of person to beg and plead. But then she played the best card she could while talking to Allen and Rudy: The age card. "I'm 49 years old. This is my last chance.... I don't have many years left to get my act together."

-- Allen's pulling some game play. He admitted as much to Bob. Will it come back to haunt him? And does Allen really have a chance to win? Doesn't seem like he was that heavy to start. Said Bob: "We want to keep Allen in a really good head space; we don't need him going to some crazy place losing unhealthy weight to try and win this show."

-- Rudy has sharp elbows -- we're seeing a whole 'nother side to him of late. He voted Rebecca off the island, and he did so as payback for some earlier stuff that I just don't recall. "I'm sorry I don't trust you," he told her.

-- Always nice seeing guys get in touch with their emotions. "This is one of the best days of my life," a teary-eyed Allen said of the makeover. "I felt like I was going to fall to my knees. Just sticking my chest out in confidence, climbing back up."

-- Each of the contestants had to give a motivational speech. The speeches were good. But I'd be happy to pay to watch Liz speak. She had the audience laughing when she recalled watching past seasons of "The Biggest Loser" with a big bowl of ice cream in her lap, or complaining to her husband: "The dryer shrunk my pants! The dryer shrunk my shirts!" What she's learned on the ranch: "You cannot be everything to everybody and not take care of yourself." Her Southern charm is singular, and she speaks to every woman.

-- Rebecca lost only 3 pounds, enough to send her below the yellow line with Liz, and then home. She looked great in the "where are they now" segment: Running a half marathon! Way to go, Rebecca.

-- Danny needs to bring the ranch back home: His daughter needs to get on the wagon. I had to reach for the Kleenex when he recalled the moment that he knew he had to lose weight: His daughter said, "Daddy, I want to have a belly just like you ... I love your belly." Nonetheless, Danny lost 12 pounds -- his sixth double-digit weight loss in a row. He's lost 126 pounds in 10 weeks, or, put another way, "more than a Jillian."

Which brings us to:

-- Why not a "Biggest Losers: Kids" edition? It would be as much a challenge for Bob and Jillian as it would be for their young wards. (They may be TV's toughest trainers, but not quite sure they can handle a herd of kids.)

Final thought: In one "green week" segment, we were urged to reduce waste going into the landfill by bringing our own coffee mug to coffee shops. Fair enough. But later on, we see Bob urging contestants to take a snack in plastic baggies. Granted, the baggies are "green" and use less plastic. But wouldn't a small, reusable plastic container be better?

— Rene Lynch