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'The Biggest Loser' recap: Your Final Four and Rulon-Gate continues

May 11, 2011 | 11:11 am


So much to get to! America, meet your Final Four, plus stick around for Rulon-Gate: A rehash of Rulon versus Tara, and let me know whether we -- you -- deserve more answers. Let's begin.

Luckily, I am not a betting woman. Because I would have bet that our hometown kid -- Austin Andrews, 21, of Pasadena -- was all but guaranteed a spot in the Final Four thanks to monster workouts and the one-pound advantage that he won at the earlier challenge. I even shouted, "Take the money!" when he was offered $10,000 in exchange for that one-pound advantage because I was sure he'd still manage to lose enough weight to keep him safe.

Too bad Austin didn't listen to me. At least he would have had $10,000 in his pocket when he stepped on the scale this week to find out that he'd lost only one pound, not enough to keep him from plummeting below the yellow line and off the ranch.

But Austin has the heart of a lion (that lush, curly mane doesn't hurt) and certainly doesn't leave the ranch empty-handed. "The Biggest Loser" was a rite of passage for Austin, who said he entered the house a boy and leaves a self-assured young man. He lost 161 pounds, made it to the final five, and did so with dignity and grace, and that makes him a winner. Here's wishing Austin gobs of success in all that he does. And that just might be a career in mixed martial arts, thanks to Cara and Brett.

Speaking of that bronzed-and-chiseled duo: Austin's departure leaves them without a dog in the fight at the finale -- all their team members have been eliminated. Do you see this as a commentary on their abilities as trainers?

Congrats to Olivia, Hannah, Jay and Irene for making it to the Final Four. It is particularly amazing that the purple machine -- sisters Hannah and Olivia -- managed to stay together through it all. Way to go, girls!

Who do you think will walk away with it all? Could it be Jay, given how much more weight he still has to lose? The rest of those girls are, to quote Jillian, pencils! We'll find out soon who makes the final three.

Now, let's cue the controversy, both involving Rulon.

--A flood of anonymous emails has urged me to look into the pull-the-car competition that was won by Tara a few episodes back. Some speculated that the race was the reason Rulon bolted -- he just couldn't stand being beaten by her.

But several eagle-eyed readers said they noticed something amiss in the running of that race. You can read more here, and check out the video. NBC wouldn't comment beyond saying that the race was run only once. A source who was at the race and spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed NBC's statement and said that, to the shock of all, Tara beat Rulon fair and square. But, the source also conceded that after the race the players were asked to recreate the finale so the cameras could get additional footage from different angles, leading to the very inconsistencies that were spotted by viewers. What do you think about this? Is this sketchy behavior? Or is it the reality of reality TV. Bottom line: Dude, get more

--And last, but not least, let's get to Rulon. The Internet is abuzz with rumors about his departure, everything from claims that he left because he was beaten by Tara, to darker allegations that he might have broken some ranch rules. Someone emailed that Rulon had a smuggled-in cellphone, and snuck in a scale. (Presumably, this was a regular-sized scale, and not a monster scale like the one used in the weigh-ins, because, you know, that would be hard to miss.) Why all this speculation? Because NBC, the production company and Rulon are all keeping mum beyond the party line, that Rulon had accomplished everything he set out to do and was ready to go home and deal with an undisclosed personal issue.

Moreover, last we checked, it was unknown whether Rulon would appear at the finale.

It just doesn't all add up. I know he's already got a gold medal to his name, and says he's considering a return to wrestling. But who walks away from a shot at $250,000 and the publicity that would entail, particularly given his fascinating life story? We're talking books, workout DVDS and more. But let's just say it's true, that he was simply ready to go. Why would that keep him from attending the finale? (I want him to show up to the finale just to see how he's doing with his weight.) 

Here's the bottom line. "The Biggest Loser" holds itself out as a show that speaks directly to "America." So, America, what do you think? Do you deserve answers? Or is this all old news? Vote!

Random and borderline inappropriate comment regarding Brett: I would have been a straight-A student had Brett been my professor in college. Brett, if you start a college, please let me know. Whatever it is, I'll major in it.

Quote of the week: You know what it is, say it with me: "Irene, if you bend that leg I'm going to break it so they can put it in a cast and then it'll be straight, you got me?"


L.A., there's a new 'Law & Order' coming your way

'General Hospital' sick with joy over Emmys

'Fringe' gets the green light, but 'Chicago Code' gets the red 

-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch

Photo: The final five, before the departure of Austin, far left. Credit: "The Biggest Loser"