Monday, March 1, 2010

BL9- week 6- "Let the Games Begin!"

The last time the Biggest Loser was on it was before the start of the Olympics, Jay Leno was on the air at 10:00 pm, Valentine's Day hadn't happened, and we had left the contestants in a precarious position: Orange team Cheryl and black team Darrell were squatting with burning torches balanced on their heads.

How did we get there?

To retrace our steps, we begin at the end of week 5, where brown team John has just been eliminated and Koli is un-KOLI-solable. Ali announces to the Losers that they will be taking a little trek to the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado for one whole week! Everyone is loaded into a space ship, shot into orbit, and brought down into Colorado, or at least that is how NBC showed it. Maybe they took airplanes, I don't know. Or Jillian flew them on her invisible jet.

The Losers arrive at the center, decked out in team colored winter gear (they actually found a knit cap to fit around Daris' fro!) where they are greeted by Ali and the instructions for the weekly game: Everyone will compete as individuals, there will be a red line that if fallen below means immediate elimination, and a yellow line that two contestants will fall below and one will be eliminated. Melissa points out to us that being split from Lance is different for them than ALL the other contestants because they are married. I guess when they took their vows it also included if they ever were ever to be on a televised weight loss reality show.

They are joined by Allison Jones, member of the US Paralympic Team in skiing and cycling. Born with only one leg, her mother raised her to be a competitive athlete and she has won 4 medals. She never let being disabled slow her down. To kick off the week, Allison carries the torch (not the same torch that was used during the games, I noticed in my re-watching) and passes it to other Losers until they reached the Olympic Training Center torch receptacle and they light it up! Not as cool as the big icy looking thing at the opening and closing ceremonies at the actual winter games. . .but symbolic. Mike says, "I never would have guessed I would be [here] with all these athletes!" We never did either, Mike.

The teams check into their rooms and pick up their celebrity swag: Flags autographed by the athletes-in-residence. Lance gives a hearty guffaw as he exclaims, "Being fat got my to the Olympics!" Not quite, Lance. You are staying at the building where people TRAIN for the Olympics. It's like me saying I was ambassador to France because I took a tour of the UN.

The next morning the Losers meet in the Olympiteria to talk with USOTC nutritionists Adam and Laura to discuss the nutritional requirements for an Olympic athlete. The calorie range? Anywhere from 1,600 to 8,000 calories a day. 8,000? What sport does that fuel? And when can I start training for that?

Oddly, there is a dessert carousel in the Olympiteria that we find Stephanie pressing her face against. Bob talks her down with an Extra Sugar Free Gum plug. Because gum may be just as satisfying as eating a piece of cake.

Then it is time for a little drama with Koli and Sam. Koli just can't get over that John is gone, saying, "I can't get John off my mind!" He feels unworthy of still being on the show and wants to run away from his problems just like he always runs away. I feel that there is something else going on upstairs with Koli and he is just saying it's because he is sad about John to get those feelings out. Or they were really tight. We don't see everything that happens in their down time! Koli decides he needs to let his walls down, then run into those walls, and let the aforementioned walls beat him down.

First training! The Losers meet with alpine skier Julia Mancuso and free style skier Speedy "Cutie Pie" Peterson with Bob and Jillian for some old school circuit training. They do the agility ladder, the punching bag, push ups, hula hooping while balanced on a Bosu ball (that looks crazy hard). Jillian tells the athletes, "If they mess up feel free to punish them."

Speedy asks Bob, "Think these guys need a break?" to which Bob replies, "No, they don't get a break. They can rest after the Olympics!"

After the punishment, er. . .workout, Bob takes Koli aside and lights the Olympic fire under his depressed butt. To further illustrate this point, NBC cuts to an image of the lit Olympic flame.

Pop Challenge! Ali greets the Losers with J.R. Celski, Olympic short track speed skater and reason why I don't wear ice skates (he sports a 4-inch scar on his thigh where he gouged himself 2 months before). The challenge emulates speed skating on a slide board. The Losers must skate from side to side, touching the sensors on each side 500 times. The winners will win gold, silver, and bronze prizes for first, second, and third place finishes.

J.R. demonstrates and makes it look easy. When the Losers get on the boards, it is a little more of a challenge. Thanks camera crew for shaking the camera like an earthquake any time someone fell! Way to drive that over weight message home. Melissa and Sam fight for the gold, but Melissa lands on her butt and Sam takes the win! Melissa wins silver, and Sunshine goes for bronze. Ali promises what they have won will be revealed at the challenge, so star swipe to. . .

The Challenge! The Losers meet at the Garden of the Gods state park with Ali and paralympic athlete Kelly Underkofler, who was born with only half an arm. She is a paralympic shooter and competes in the biathlon, a mix of cross country skiing and shooting. Instead of skiing, the Losers will be running, and instead of real rifles they will be using laser guns. Lance snorts, "I gots this in the bag!" claiming his shooting skills puts food on the table, literally. I imagined a roast squirrel or possum.

The game isn't just shooting willy nilly: The Losers have to chose the target of the opponent they want out of the game. When all five of the targets have been shot, they are out. Ali reveals the advantages to the winners of the pop challenge: Sunshine can hit one target now, Melissa can hit two targets now, and Sam can hit three targets now. Sunshine chooses Sam, Melissa chooses Sam, and Sam splits his between Sunshine and Melissa. So now they are all screwed.

The strongest and youngest competitors are out of the game quickly, leaving Darrell and O'Neal to duke it out. You know it is a weird game when those two are the last Losers standing. O'Neal beats Darrell by microseconds, winning immunity for the week.

The Losers are rocketed back into orbit, and land safely in LA and, of course, a 24 Hour Fitness where they are greeted by Bob, Jillian, and Rock Brubaker who is one half of an Olympic pairs figure skating team. Rock leads the Losers in a Bootcamp class, where Bob encourages Rock to "Beat them up!", and then they finish the rest of the last chance workout.

Touching moment! O'Neal manages to balance on a Bosu ball and squat, getting Sunshine to squeal, "He's squatting! He's squatting!"

Then it is back to the ranch for the weigh in! We are reminded yet again about the ominous red line and the yellow line. For the first time, the Losers are weighing in as individuals.

O'Neal: From 333 lbs to 325 lbs- 8 lbs lost
Mike: From 443 lbs to 432 lbs- 11 lbs lost (not quite the 100 lbs in 6 weeks goal)
Stephanie: From 225 lbs to 221 lbs- 4 lbs lost

Sunshine: From 245 lbs to 239 lbs- 6 lbs lost

Koli: From 335 lbs to 326 lbs- 9 lbs lost

Andrea: From 262 lbs to 255 lbs- 7 lbs lost

Darrell: From 343 lbs to 338 lbs- 5 lbs lost

Sam: From 310 lbs to 298 lbs- 12 lbs lost

Sherry: From 180 lbs to 177 lbs- 3 lbs lost

Ashley: From 317 to 311 lbs- 6 lbs lost

Daris: From 283 lbs to 274 lbs- 9 lbs lost

Cheryl: From 194 lbs to 191 lbs- 3 lbs lost

Miggy: From 206 lbs to 199 lbs- 7 lbs lost

Lance: From 314 lbs to 305lbs- 9 lbs lost

Melissa: From 198 lbs to 199 lbs- 1 lb gain

One pound GAIN!?! Melissa is below the red line and therefore is immediately eliminated. Here are some choice lines from this season's bad girl:

"I can't figure out my body."

"I don't trust my body."

"What's wrong? What's the problem?"

"At least I get to see my kids."

"I think it should be me because everyone else has more serious medical problems."

"Keep Lance motivated because he can't come home before 250."

To Lance: "Do what you know you have to do."

To Lance: "I'm going home. Don't follow me."

Bob whispers in her ear, "I'll take really good care of your husband," and Melissa vanishes into the dark mist back to Texas.

Due to body fat percentages, Cheryl and Darrell are below the yellow line. Ali throws out a twist: There won't be a vote tonight because the contestants will go head to head in an elimination challenge like The Real World/Road Rules challenge. Cheryl and Darrell have to balance lit torches on their heads until one of them loses the torch and the flame goes out.

And we have come full circle in a two week cliff hanger! Who will be going home this week? Tune in to find out. Same fat time. Same fat channel.

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