Friday, November 26, 2010

The Biggest Loser-season 10- week 10- MAKEOVERS! and Where are They Now?

According to NBC, makeover week on The Biggest Loser is "America's favorite week".  Personally, I love the finale, but it is always nice to see the players get dolled up and reveal themselves to their families.  This makeover week was tied in with Warriors in Pink, a Ford initiative to raise money for breast cancer research.  A noble cause, but maybe pink wasn't the BEST choice of color for all the makeovers.  Good cause=  weird fashion show.

The remaining contestants headed to Ken Paves salon (Jessica Simpson's hair stylist and BFF) for some shaving, plucking, and hair cutting.  "I'm gonna look hot.  Wicked hot," promises Brandon, who sort of ruined it for himself by shaving his head during the Marines episode.  After the makeovers, everyone heads to a photo shoot for People Magazine, then a Warriors in Pink fashion show.

PROS:  The ladies have great hair, Patrick looks very handsome, and Mark channels his inner Mike from last season.

CONS:  Everyone's outfits and the lack of goatees on Frado and Mark.  The styling on the outfits was really not cute.  Who found those ridiculous hats?  And the train on Elizabeth?

The evening wear portion was more what I am used to, and everyone glowed seeing their friends and family.  Very sweet.

But then it is time for the Warriors in Pink challenge, where the contestants must run up and down stairs in downtown Los Angeles or take the tram that runs next to the steep stairway.  Each trip up the stairs would earn them 5 points, the tram would earn them 1 point.  The player to reach 100 points would win a Ford (surprise) Edge.  Ada and Brendan seem to be the clear winners, but they hold back and let Patrick take the car since he is unemployed and has two small children.  Paying it forward! 

On the wee woo side, Elizabeth doesn't even finish the challenge, and talks about it the next day to Bob and Jillian.  At the Last Chance Workout, Elizabeth once again has to recreate a challenge she didn't finish and walk on the stair machine.  Somehow she finishes it, no problems, and everyone must stop and celebrate another Elizabeth victory.

Is she going to win this whole season?  They are REALLY focusing on her.  Blurgh.

After the workout it is on to the weigh in.  Will the contestants have spent enough time on working out and not walking the cat walk?  Frado, Brendan, and Patrick know that their alliance is going to keep them safe no matter what the weigh in. . .or will it?

Mark:  From 309 lbs to 299 lbs- 10 lbs lost- 3.24% BW

Patrick:  From 301 lbs to 291 lbs- 10 lbs lost- 3.32% BW

Ada:  From 190 lbs to 185 lbs- 5 lbs lost- 2.63% BW

Brendan:  From 272 lbs to 265 lbs- 7 lbs lost- 2.57% BW

Elizabeth:  From 201 lbs to 196 lbs- 5 lbs lost- 2.24% BW


Frado:  From 267 lbs to 263 lbs- 4 lbs lost- 1.5% BW

Lisa:  From 228 lbs to 228 lbs- 0 lbs lost- 0% BW

The Blob has an important decision to make:  Get rid of one of the biggest game players and threats or get rid of a place holder.  The game players finally decide not to stab someone in the back and send Lisa home.  I guess she finally got her wish!

At home Lisa is paying it forward to a woman she met at the step challenge on the first episode and is planning to be a personal trainer.  And it looks like things with her daughter are starting to be rosier as well.

Next episode promises that karma is a bitch!  What will it be what will it be!?!?

The Where are They Now? episode was nice to watch.  A lot of the contestants are staying active, paying it forward, getting married, starting new business ventures.  The Biggest Loser has churned out a lot of feel good ambassadors that are trying to turn the obesity epidemic around in the country.

The only part of the episode that bothered me was the reunion of all the winners for a "Thanksgiving" meal.  This part of the show was advertised as the winners coming back "to help one of their own".  At first I thought it might be Erik Chopin, but no, he was in the preview.  Maybe Matt Hoover?  Nope.  It was season one winner Ryan Benson, who basically fell off the face of the planet after his season's finale.  He has gained back almost all of his weight minus 10 pounds and needs to talk it out with all the successful winners.

Here's my issue.  Danny, Ali, and Helen still look really great, but Mike, Matt, Bill, Erik, and Matt have all gained weight back.  But nobody is intervening with them.  I mean, yes, they did a whole special on Erik and he's lost a lot of his weight again, but what about Matt?  He is twice the size he was when he won.

I feel a lot of the former contestants, unless they are in the fitness industry, have a hard time keeping the weight off.  Is it because it is too hard to maintain the Biggest Loser program in the real world?  Is it too impossible to maintain the winning weight?  When you are in the contest, nothing can get in your way, but when the show is over. . .well, we saw what happened to Erik.

This is an interesting dilemma.  I have made fitness my life, but even I have a daily battle with the bulge.  If I was in the public eye, like Ali or Helen, would that add more stress or pressure?  When the world looks to you to be an acolyte of health and wellness, how much weight can you gain and still be one?

I appreciate that the Biggest Loser is increasing awareness of the obesity epidemic.  I am worried that the expectations set forth are too unrealistic for the average person, especially if even a person on the ranch can't maintain that level of weight loss.  And I don't understand why the show pretends that others are not in the same boat as the "fallen" contestants.  We aren't blind or stupid, NBC!


  1. I didn't watch the 'Where are they Now', so skipping reading that portion of your article for now. As for Lisa, I knew she was history as soon as she started reading that letter from her kids. Do the producers really think they can trick us with this sort of misdirection?

    Elizabeth not finishing wasn't a big surprise either. I'm only shocked she wasn't below the yellow line. "Yea! Elizabeth accomplished something else everyone else already did." Whatever.

    And what about Ada? She clearly had that car in her garage. Giving it to Patrick was very impressive. So what do you think about her parents? Think they'll be proud of her now? Or will they think she made a dumb move? Or are they even aware she's not at home?

  2. I ask myself the same questions about BL. I absolutely do think that it sets up unrealistic expectations for people. No one loses 10 pounds a week after a certain point - and some people never do. At least this season there were quite a few people who had really low losses week to week which is more realistic. But look at how they were portrayed! Like failures. Like they weren't working hard enough. It's ridiculous. The hands down biggest problem with this show is the fact that in the long run, maintenence is more important than weight loss. Unfortunately, maintenence isn't glamorous. It's kind of a slog - one that goes on for the rest of your life. Anyone can lose weight while being pummeled by a trainer 7 days a week while being fed 1200 calories a day - but who can keep it off in the real world with real world stresses and temptations? It just doesn't make for good enough tv. What a shame.