Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Biggest Loser- week 7- 'Cause I've Cried a River Over You. . .

It's hard to be catty about The Biggest Loser when you are so touched by an episode. Or should I say, so touched by a contestant. The focus of this episode was on Abby, the mom who lost her entire family (husband and 2 beautiful kids) in a car accident that occurred over 2 years ago. She has managed to make it to week 7 even though she has a stress fracture, she can only workout in the pool, and she was sent home by the Blue Team last week. Add to that the emotional stress and strain that can happen when you experience a major life change, and she could quite possibly be the most saintly and beloved character in all of The Biggest Loser's history.

And week 7 was a tear fest!

The episode unfolds much like last weeks- the Black Team shuffles silently into the living room, minus Dina. We see Rudy's face scrunch up a bit. We know that they were BFF and a support structure for each other, even though they were split up Black vs. Blue team. The Blue Team seems surprised that Dan is still there, but Amanda reveals that there is an alliance between all the Black Team members EXCEPT Dina, so even though Dan gained a pound and Dina lost 5, Dina was the one sent home. GAME PLAY.

Dan better lose 30 pounds this week.

Then it is on to the POP challenge. Ali tells the team it is Face Off week, and each member of the Blue team must go one on one with a member of the Black Team. So, no getting plastic surgery and wearing each others faces? Whew. I don't think anyone would want to wear the Trazy face.

Whichever team wins the POP challenge will get to choose who gets paired up. Like The game consists of two touch pads on either side of a low bar. The contestants must touch one of the pads, which are hanging in the air, and then crouch under the bar to get to the other side to touch the other pad. My low back is already tired! The touched pads earn a point for the team. The trick is that only one member of the team can compete at a time, but they can switch out.

The game starts with Amanda vs. Trazy. It's Trazy's first challenge, and she is totally pumped to win yet another challenge for her team. What the school of witchcraft and wizardry that Trazy graduated from did not tell her is that being wicked doesn't help you grow. And her height actually hinders her as the game begins. She has hard time reaching the touch pads.

Other members of the teams have a hard time too. Rudy is super tall and has a hard time getting under the bar. Shay and Dan get tired easily. Country Liz falls on her grits.

The challenge looks hot, difficult, and motion sickness inducing, but in the end, Rebecca vs. Dan shows Rebecca the victor for the Blue team. Blue wins another challenge! While still sweaty, the Blue team has a quick meeting to decide who they want to fight against. Then they meet in a boxing ring to tell their decisions. I thought we were going to see people PUNCH OUT each other! But no.

The pairings were as follows:
Rebecca vs. Amanda: Girls Gone WILD!
Trazy vs. Abby: Beauty and the Beast
Allen vs. Danny: The Firefighter and The Rock Star
Rudy vs. Shay: The Biggest Guy against The Biggest Girl
Country Liz vs. Dan the Man: The Grandma against The Man Child

It was officially on, like Donkey Kong.

Then it is time for the workout. Finally! Has anyone else noticed that the GAME PLAY is taking precedence over the workouts?

Bob takes the Blue team to the pool, and Jillian makes the Black team sweat it out in the gym. I would rather do push ups in the pool then be on that ladder machine. That looks like a torture device!

Jillian focuses her mind bullets on Amanda first. Amanda is on the treadmill, and Jillian is pushing her, and Amanda wants to quit. As usual, Jillian gets to the bottom of it, getting Amanda to reveal she is not used to being a leader and is used to being the fat girl with the pretty face. With all the cameras on her and all the pressure of being one of the smallest team members, she isn't ready to take on the responsibility of taking her team to task. She basically FREAKS out and she and Jillian have a fight. She gets off the treadmill, exits the gym in a huff, and Jillian says the quotable, "Why are these contestants so freakin' difficult this season?"

Then it is time for the challenge. We meet Ali (with an Alison baseball jersey! I WANT IT!) on the baseball field with life size photos of the contestants in their pre-BL body shape. After a much touted and advertised Derek Jeter is shown on the Jumbo Tron (First Plug of the episode for 24 Hour Fitness) and offers some half hearted words of encouragement, he explains the rules of the game. The contestants must run around the baseball diamond, picking up baseballs and putting them in their rival teams baskets . When the basket hits a certain amount of baseballs, that contestant is out. The winning team gets lunch cooked by cutie Curtis Stone and a 2 pound advantage given to the team member who deserves it the most.

The Black team focuses on getting Allen out first. The Blue team seems surprised. Allen strikes out first, and then Amanda focuses on Rebecca. But Rebecca strikes her out first. Then the Black team focuses on Rebecca and strikes her out. Then Shay focuses on Rudy, but Rudy strikes Dan the Man out first. Then there is lots more exhausting game description. Don't be mad. I'm not lazy, just not a sports fan. :) At the end it is Danny vs. Country Liz, but what Liz doesn't know is that Danny used to be an athlete, and he ends up winning the game for the Black team. Their first challenge win in a while!

The Black team meets Curtis Stone next to the pool for the weekly Jennie-O plug. He makes them turkey burgers with mushroom cap buns. Sorry, folks. I won't be eating that. Mushroom buns taste sluggy.

Then it is on to the most heart wrenching part of the show. Jillian uses her mind bullets on Abby, and she tells Jillian that it is hard to love people again when you have lost everything. And Jillian asks her point blank what it feels like to lose everything. The show gives us one of the saddest montages ever. We see Abby's beautiful family, and everything that she has lost. But despite such a great loss, The Biggest Loser has enabled her to regain the light in her eyes and the ability to live for something again.

Having lost a family member (my big sister died of kidney failure in 2002), I can relate to her pain. And I can relate to using that pain to turn your life around and make a choice to live. Abby is proof positive that you can take any tragedy and make it work to your advantage, to make it work as something positive.

How many calories does crying burn? 'Cause I burned some major calories watching that!

During the weekly Brita plug, Amanda and Jillian decide to make up after Amanda walked out on herself. Another Black team member who Jillian has made a break through with! The count now: Shay, Julio, Dina, Dan, Amanda, and Abby. Is there anyone left?

Last chance workout montage shows the teams facing off and gearing up to kick some ass at the final weigh in. Allen turns into Bob and leaps onto those Dina feared leaping stools. Allen is the champion of this! We see Jillian screaming at Danny in reply, pushing against Allen the athlete. Amanda vs. Rebecca on the spin bikes! And Shay on that ladder. Jillian breaks down Shay (again) with her mind bullets by asking about her heroin addict mom. How hard would it be to face down your fears and climb on that thing at the same time?

The final weigh in is tense. The contestants weigh side by side with their face off competitors. The Black team has given Amanda the 2 pound weight advantage, and she needs it because she only loses 4 pounds. Even with the 2 pound advantage she loses to Rebecca, who pulls out 9 pounds. Happy dance.

Abby and Trazy go up next. Abby loses 3 pounds, and Trazy loses 5. Damn. Another point for Blue.

Allen and Danny weigh next. Allen loses 8 pounds, and Danny manages to pull double digits AGAIN by losing 12 pounds. One point for the Black team.

Then Country Liz and Dan face off. You think that Dan would pull out a huge number after gaining a pound last week. Alas, it is not to be. Dan loses 4 measly pounds, and Country Liz loses 7. The Blue team gets another point, and we are left wondering what is wrong with Dan. I don't believe him for some reason. And neither does Jillian.

Then the final weigh in is the highly anticipated "Will Rudy break the 100 pound Mark?" weigh in. They flew in last year's contestant, Dane, who also lost over 100 pounds. I'm assuming NBC would not have wasted a plane ticket on Dane if we didn't already know that Rudy had accomplished his goal, but they weigh him anyway. Rudy loses 14 pounds and meets his goal, and Shay loses 9 pounds. Another point for the Blue team.

In the discussion of who is being sent home, the Black team weighs all the options. Because Danny is immune, Dan, Shay, Amanda, and Abby are the ones on the chopping block. Abby decides to fall on the sword, and wants to be sent home.

In the board room, everyone votes for Abby except for Abby (she votes for Amanda) and Danny, who votes for Dan. And Dan whimpers that he is just doing what Abby wants, and votes her off.

Abby's reveal is touching. Not only does she look great, having lost 80 pounds, but she is light and lively. We see her giving a speech at her school, and telling people that it is never too late to have a second chance. More tears, but they are happy ones.

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