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'The Biggest Loser': Skinned elbows, curly tops, two-a-days and more

March 17, 2010 |  9:18 am

It's official. I'm obsessed with Daris' hair. I hope they don't shear it all off come makeover week. And that's gotta be coming soon, right?

Speaking of our curly-topped one, Daris was crushed to learn that his mother was sent home after the last weigh-in. "I'm trying not to cry," he said. It probably helped ease his pain that the blue team went on to win the pop challenge quiz, earning them a spa day at the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village, while the losers cleaned the scuzzy kitchen and the even scuzzier gym floor. It's a stereotype, but it's true: funny to see the mostly male team getting all metroxsexual with their spa treatments, while the mostly female team had to do the cleaning. Spa day was followed by a swank dinner and a reminder of how far they have come. Lance noted that now that there is a lot less of him, he's "sittin' up next to the table" and dropping a whole lot less food on himself. Missing from the fun was Michael, who had to fly home upon hearing news that his grandmother was doing poorly.

Sometimes Bob and Jillian do a lot of "talking" about how the players can confront the problems in their lives, problems that helped lead to their obesity. This week, we got to actually see this talk in action. Jillian brokered a gentle showdown between Ashley and Little Mommy. There were hugs and lots of kisses afterward. (And, if you were like me, some eye-dabbing.)

A cooking challenge with dreamy chef Curtis Stone had the two teams cooking an appetizer, entree and dessert -- with the celebuchef judging the results based on taste, appearance, creativity and calorie count. Although both teams, at times, wildly underestimated calorie counts, the black team won it -- and the prize was huge: a 5-pound advantage at the weigh in.

Bob's reaction was like everyone else's: This could be just what the black team needs to rally back and beat Bob's blue team. "Five pounds! Are you kidding me? Thanks Curtis Stone," Bob jokingly fumed.

The black team did its best to stay in it. Sam lost 8 pounds, Ashley lost 7 pounds and between the rest of the team's weight loss numbers, as well as the 5-pound advantage won at the cooking challenge, it appeared black had a shot. The blue team had to lose 45 pounds to beat black. And they were at precisely 45 pounds before Michael took the scale. Turns out that when he wasn't at his grandmother's bedside, he was putting in two-a-day workouts. It paid off. He lost 11 pounds. "That was for my Grandma!" he shouted. It was an epic moment: He arrived at the ranch in the 500s and is now in the 300s, having lost 129 pounds in nine weeks. Another benchmark was lodged by Koli. With his 9-pound weight loss this week, he has now lost more than 100 pounds and is in the 200s. And, he vowed, he'll never see the 300s again.

The black team had to choose to send someone home, and it was Sherry. (With these 20-20 hindsight glasses, it sure looks like Michael's game-playing paid off. That black team is getting gutted, one by one. If our hometown girl, Stephanie, does not step up, she could be next to hit the road.)

It was a heartbreaking goodbye. Ashley and Little Momma arrived at the ranch as mother and daughter, and they leave as best friends with a happy, healthy relationship. "I know Dad would be so proud of you," Little Momma told her daughter.

If that wasn't enough of a Kleenex moment, fast-forward to Sherry today. She is no longer Little Momma -- now she's Tiny Momma, having lost a total of 80 pounds. Sherry is now kayaking with the best of them. The parting shot was of Tiny Momma at her late husband's graveside, reading him a letter she wrote. In it, Tiny Momma said she will no longer take life for granted and that she plans to live it to the fullest in honor of him. She said her goal for the finale is to weigh what she did on her wedding day 30 years ago. What a beautiful bride she was!

Quote of the week: "Hi monkeys!" (Jillian, who, what a surprise, is apparently sticking to her guns. She continues to use that term in regard to the players, despite criticism by some who say it could be racially insensitive. Now, I'm all for sensitivity, but does anyone really believe Jillian uses this term with anything but warm affection?)

Runner-up quote of the week: "I left everything I had in the gym. I don't have any skin on my elbows to prove it," said Daris, holding up his elbows to prove it. (Bob was egging him on to beat the black team as he did military crawls across the gym floor by yelling, "Who sent your momma home?")

-- Rene Lynch