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The Biggest Loser: Special Edition, January 4 – Family vs. FamilyPage 3
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The missing Muha (soldier Ryan) has come home from Iraq for a visit. Sister Erica meets him at the airport – she’s missed him terribly. The family is overwhelmed to see him and frankly, their weight is not really an issue to Ryan right now.
It’s nine weeks until the final weigh-in, and everyone is making diary entries. Erica is finding that she keeps buying clothes, but then losing more weight so they don’t fit for long. Melony tells us that the Samuels have hit the 100-pound mark as a family. Don is sure if he raced Otto again, he’d smoke him “like smoked ham.”
One day as his lunchtime walking club is on their walk, Don is surprised by a visit from their trainer, Bob. The two of them go to the gym to surprise the girls. Let me say, both are looking great. They celebrate by having Bob put them through an intensive workout.
Similarly, Jillian visits the Muhas. The differences are again quite noticeable. Jillian gives them an intensive pool workout.
Back in Atlanta, Ravee sings for Bob. She’s got some talent, with the right songs choices she could take a shot at American Idol. After this adventure, how intimidating could Simon be?
The trainers leave behind motivational DVDs that include the family’s initial application videos. It’s so upsetting to Erica that she can’t even watch it. The Samuels insist, “We’ll never go back to that again!”
Erica tells us that when she first went to her Air Force recruiter, she was told she had to lose about fifty pounds. She’s lost about forty pounds so far, so she returns for another appointment. Success – her application is now accepted!
In an interesting twist, both teams are sent a “Biggest Loser-gram.” It contains before and after pictures of the other team! Changes in Otto, Shaun, and Ravee are particularly noted by the other team. Both teams use the indications of their opponents’ success as motivator.
It’s now four weeks to the final weigh-in. All make inspirational video-diary entries. Shaun says that her husband Otto is doing so well, it inspires her to keep up.
The next scenes are of the teams packing suitcases to return for the final weigh-in. Don has bought a small size shirt for the first time in a long, long time. All six look pretty good. The videos segue fairly smoothly to Caroline, live in front of a Hollywood studio audience, welcoming us to the weigh-in.
The audience cheers as the families are brought out. They stand on opposite sides of a dividing mirror. Then, the mirror is lifted and the teams see each other. From their reactions, I think the majority of them think the Samuels will win. Otto says they’ve already won, because they are closer as a family, they feel better, and will live longer. Very true!
The trainers are brought out to observe the weigh-ins. Then, complete with a ton more flashbacks, we get the final numbers. The Blue Team – the Samuels – are up first. And, their numbers are pretty impressive.
Ravee has gone from 177 pounds to 136, a loss of 41 pounds. Melony has gone from 197 to 149, down 48 pounds, and Don has gone from 243 to 188, a loss of 55 pounds.
This is an overall loss of 144 pounds, or 23.34%. The Muhas must lose more than 169 pounds to win. Wow, that sounds like a lot.
Erica has gone from 233 to 181, a loss of 52 pounds. Otto is up next, he’s gone from 259 pounds down to 170, an amazing loss of 89 pounds – WOW!! This means that Shaun must lose over 28 pounds to win, and in all honesty, it seems highly likely that she has. She started at 232, is now 154 and in fact has lost a totally amazing 78 pounds!
So, the Muhas win the $50,000!
As the show ends we are brought up to date on what the families are up to now. Otto is planning to run a marathon. Erica has been accepted into the Air Force and has a boyfriend. Shaun has gone from size 16 to size six. Newly-confident Ravee has auditioned for an off-Broadway role in a production of The Wiz. Don is taking classes to become a personal trainer. And most importantly, Melony is still cancer-free.
Next Week – I dunno, there was no preview.
OK, I remember. The show reverts to the 9-10 p.m. ET timeslot and we will see part 1 of “The Engaged Couples,” couples trying to lose weight before their upcoming weddings.
My Own Thoughts: This mini-version of the show doesn’t have the strategic and emotional voting-off process. There weren’t any Temptation Challenges, either. And the dozens of flashbacks of things I saw maybe an hour ago, that loses any potential impact real fast.
That being said, this was an entertaining show. However, you just can’t form the same kind emotional bond with contestants that formed over several weeks of the regular show, and that’s why these “Special Editions” come up short.
Everyone seemed so surprised by their weight loses, they must discourage the use of scales at home similar to the way mirrors are forbidden in The Swan.
Well, that’s it. Join me here each Wednesday for a recap of all the action, sprinkled with my own reactions and opinions. Let me know what you think at the eAddress below!
Brian lives in Toronto where he can be reached at email@example.com. He’d like to hear your opinions and promises to respond to all serious email.
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