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Biggest Loser 5: Couples, Episode 14 – Way Up There, Down UnderPage 2
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Adro shows up at the house. Adro is the winner of season 1 of Biggest Loser Australia. In his season he was known as “Little Bull” (Wal was “Big Bull”), and he has to battle hard and well against some taller and heavier competition. He offers to take the group on a tour of Sydney. As they eat, Adro shows them his before-and-after pictures and tells them a weird little tale of an experience he had when trainer Bob got him to bungee from a tree. The story ends with Adro explaining how he broke through a mental barrier as a result. Methinks Andro got some of that smoke…
After sharing some more traditional words of inspiration, Adro passes on an envelope from hostess Alison that invites them to the next challenge. It starts at the TOP of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Mark confesses he has a fear of bridges and does all he can to avoid them. This one is well over 400 feet high. Ali thinks that with Mark’s concerns, maybe they rest of them will have a chance this time.
The next scene is at the base of the bridge. Brother Mark decides he doesn’t want to go up the bridge and Roger’s fine with that, but the girls say they’re not going without him. Indeed, all five set off on the trek. Roger and Ali seem to enjoy it the most, and Jay is glad to see he has overcome his fear of heights. We don’t see Kelly much, but in Florida, 400 feet is a long way up.
Ali comments that parts of the route are not too wide and earlier in the season, it would have been too hard for some of them to make the climb. That’s actually not true. In Adro’s season, the very first challenge also had the two teams climb to the top of the bridge, and trust me, that crew was at least as big as our current contestants ever were. Plus, this is just exercise and there’s no desperation or concern over letting one’s teammates down in a challenge. But make no mistake – you wouldn’t catch me up there for love nor money!
Sure enough, with varying degrees of comfort, all five complete the stroll to the top. Maybe while they’re up there they can change some light bulbs, like I saw Mike Rowe do on the Dirty Jobs program when he was working on the Mackinac Bridge? Man, I love that show! But I digress…
Mark reveals in an interview that he’s willing to admit when he feels weak and fearful, and dealing with these feelings are a part of his growth process. Maybe there’s hope for this guy after all?
Alison is ready to explain the challenge, but first, she tells them that the winner gets a seaplane ride and a great lunch, and can take another player with them.
Alison tells them this is the hardest challenge they’ve ever held. Essentially, I’d call it a mini-triathlon with an extra leg at the end!
A jet boat will take them to a starting point. The race begins with a 300-meter swim across open water. Then, they must mount a healthy series of steps to find bikes they must ride along a path to the Botanical Gardens. After running across the Gardens, there is a second climb, up 44-flights of stairs in the Aurora Place Building. Wikipedia tells me it’s about 480 feet to the roof. Alison (who will probably know where there’s an elevator) will be on the roof of that building, and the first one to get to her is the winner. Plus, they have to do it all… blindfolded!
April Fools! That last part isn’t true. The rest of it is, though!
As they start off, Ali (wearing swimming goggles but no blindfold) takes the swimming lead over Mark. Jay’s in the middle, and Kelly’s ahead of Roger. Ali hits the bikes first, but by a very small margin. Jay’s still competitive in third, and Kelly’s a determined fourth. A shot of Roger shows he’s on a bike, so I guess he didn’t drown.
Mark passes Ali on the bike ride, and is still leading as they hit the Aurora Place Building. Farther back, a woman who happens to be a person trainer and has stumbled on the event stops to encourage Kelly, even running along with her. That’s so nice!
Now, ascending 44 floors is a mighty tough test at the best of times, and these folks have been ground down by the three earlier phases, so it’s going to be rugged. Indeed, after the first few of flights, no one is running.
At about the 13th floor, Roger passes Kelly. Meanwhile, although Ali is determined to reel in Mark, he gets to the top first.
However, instead of negotiating the last few yards (meters?), Mark sits down and decides to wait. When Ali reaches the top, she is very surprised to find Mark calmly sitting on some steps. Mark has Ali carry him across the line, piggyback style. He tells us that instead of just dominating the challenge, he was going to wait for Ali and have them cross the finish line together. He says, “I learned I don’t have to be the competitive, crazy person everyone expects me to be. It was a lot more enjoyable knowing I shared victory in a fun way with Ali.”
Maybe Mark is learning something important from this game, and it’s not even about weight-loss techniques!
Jay crosses the line, then Roger. When Roger can breathe again they all decide to go back and find Kelly, who’s now only a couple of flights away. Kelly is impressed she was able to finish this challenge. I’m impressed by all of them.
So, the reward is to be shared by Mark and Ali. As well as the sightseeing plane and the luncheon, they also get to call home. Mark breaks down, telling us that the worst part of this experience is not sharing it with his wife.
The reward begins. Both agree that it’s a spectacular trip, and the view from the restaurant is pretty awesome, too. Ali says, “It’s the best experience of my life.”
We next see solo interviews with both in which they size up the opposition. Each sees the other as their main contender. Ali thinks she can beat Mark, while Mark says that if he doesn’t beat her, he’s lost to a real competitor. I can tell you that statistically, they lead the active players with less than a single percent between them. I hope they haven’t overlooked Roger. More on that later.
Mark calls home to his wife Erica. He soon gets blubbery. Erica says, “Are you crying again?” and then, “You need to snap out of it. Toughen up!”
Ali calls her grandmother, and is surprised when her mother answers. That’s former contestant Bette-Sue, for those keeping score. After a very brief chat, Ali wants to talk to grandma. That confuses me too, but it turns out grandma is originally from Australia. They have a nice, tear-minimalized chat.
It’s last-chance workout time. Mark expects it to be brutal, and he’s not disappointed. It’s yoga time! Roger says, “If people think yoga is easy, they’re crazy,” and he’d rather be pumping weights. Meanwhile, Jillian is shouting at the girls as they work out on the beach, soaked in perspiration. The juxtaposition of the scenes as they shift from the boys’ serene yoga poses to the grunting, sweating girls is actually pretty funny, in a sadistic sort of way.
We’ve reached the point in the show when Alison meets the teams in front a big faux scale to announce the weigh-in results. It’s the scale used in the Aussie show.
Roger’s aware that if he falls below the line, he’s going home. In fact, no one expresses any confidence about what’s coming.
This time, the two trainers are present. Here’s how the big board read after all results were posted.
Pretty much everyone who mounted the scale was discouraged this week, and felt the disruption in their routines was problematic.
By the timer on my VCR, the weigh-in took a numbing 23 minutes of air time, counting from when the teams were assembled in the weigh-in room until that scene disbanded. 23 minutes to weigh five contestants – that’s inexcusable!<--Previous 1 2 3 Next-->
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