Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
The Biggest Loser: Special Edition – Engaged Couples, Episode 1: Let Them Eat Cake?by Brian Towers -- 01/12/2006
View Printable version of this article
Welcome to the next episode of The Biggest Loser: Special Edition. This series pits two teams of overweight contestants in a competitive struggle to lose weight and, in the process, regain control of their lives. This “Special Edition” version of the show features small teams with some kind of special relationship, and the entire story arc plays out over just two episodes. This week, both teams are engaged couples.
The show opens with Caroline telling us that the winners will get a $50,000 dream wedding. Man, that’s enough to get JUMBO shrimp at the reception! Whoo-hoo! So, let’s meet out teams.
The first team is brunettes Steve and Sarah, country folk from the vicinity of Allentown, Pennsylvania. Sarah has health issues and has been told that if she doesn’t lose weight, she may not be able to bear children. We are privileged see fiancée Steve propose to her at a family gathering. The ring is in a little silver model carriage. Officially, we love Steve. Sarah agrees with me and calls Steve “her Prince Charming.”
Trainer Jillian phones shortly after the proposal and informs them they are going to be on the show. Sarah is having a REALLY good day.
Our second couple is blondes Rasha and Edwin from Portland, Oregon, who have been engaged for two years. Rasha says she’s always been fat and Edwin admits he has boobs. He holds up his shirt to show us, but I’m compelled to look away – I’ll just take his word for it.
We see Rasha and Edwin getting measured for their wedding clothes and neither is happy. Rasha’s friend(?) proudly announces that Rasha is a size 18. Trainer Bob phones this duo to tell them they’ve been selected for the show, a call Rasha is thrilled to be getting in her boob-enhancing corset!
We won’t dwell on, exactly how much of a surprise could this possibly be, what with all the cameras and the setting up of the conference call between Bob and the couple… because that would spoil the magic.
Both teams arrive at the ranch and meet both series hostess Caroline Rhea and each other. It’s obvious that Sarah and Steve are the taller and bigger couple. Caroline tells them it’s time to say goodbye to “their past love interests.” This makes Rasha a little nervous that her checkered past may be emerging, but by now we know that just means an obscenely excessive display of all the wrong foods. Steve likes the cheese items, but there’s no time to salivate, because amongst that spread is the super-scale. It’s time to get into Spandex and have the initial weigh-in!
Caroline tells us that after two weeks, they will return home for several months to apply what they learned at the ranch, and then return for a final weigh-in to determine a winner. The couple with the better combined percentage of weight lost will win $50,000 towards their wedding.
First up is the Rasha. She checks in at 237 pounds and is embarrassed. Edwin just barely manages to top that, at 240 pounds. Their starting team total is at 477 pounds.
Sarah is first for the Red Team, and she tips it to 297 pounds. Steve knows that seeing such a big number hurt her, but he still loves her. Awww! He’s a svelte-by-comparison 274 pounds, for a team total of 571 pounds – almost a hundred pounds more than their competition.
Caroline tells the teams that at the end of their stay at the ranch there will be another weigh-in, and the team that does best will win a honeymoon in Jamaica!
Back in their living quarters, each team finds wedding outfits in their target sizes. Both teams realize there’s a lot of work ahead, and Steve concludes, “Tomorrow’s going to be a hard day.”
Bob meets with his team and they talk. Actually, it seems like he woke them up. This is a big change from last week when both teams were in the gym before the trainers even showed up. Bob explains that they enable each other in their bad habits. Rasha admits Edwin would be skinny if it wasn’t for her influences, and wishes he’d assert himself more. Edwin nods agreement.
Naturally, Jillian has a different approach. She sneaks up on her team who are subtly hiding in the beds. Jillian gleefully says she’s going to “whip them out of bed and torture them for three hours.” Steve admits that Jillian scares him.
Jillian finds that Sarah is in “pretty poor shape” – no muscles, dysfunctional tendons and “she’s pretty much… a mess.” To prove it, we see a shot of Sarah lying amongst the reeds like a useless husk, heaving. For distraction, I do note that wee Jillian’s got herself some nice guns!
A little later (hopefully, after Sarah gargled), Jillian gives her team some informative diet tips. It’s about how quickly your body processes carbs, and that some carbs are good and others are not. Steady blood sugar is important, and the benefits of unprocessed foods like brown rice and wild rice are touted. It’s not all fruits and salads as Sarah had thought.
Suddenly the conversation turns very serious when Steve reveals that he feels he’s never achieves his goals because he lets himself down. His only satisfactions come from helping others achieve their goals. Jillian tells Steve he needs to change how he sees himself, and that it takes time. Whoa, real moment there. We need a life coach!
So, after two serious moments like that, it must be time for something frivolous. Sure enough, it’s time to go outside to the gazebo. There’s a frosted butter-cream wedding cake about as big as Caroline, plus lots of other extremely savory no-nos piled about. Our competitors learn there’s a $10,000 diamond prize hiding underneath one piece of cake. Some impressive samples of rings are conveniently on display as teasers. It’s fairly tasteful, not like the product placements on The Price Is Right or The Apprentice. Uh-oh, a temptation challenge! And a bug-eyed Rasha is completely smitten with those rings!
Edwin immediately says he’s not playing, and Rasha thinks he’s being hasty. She also thinks he doesn’t realize how important diamonds are to a woman, and he’d be acting very different if the pastries were concealing “brand-new full-suspension bikes.”
Sarah likes the rings too, but after making Steve promise that he’ll give her a ring like that, she’s satisfied she would rather be slim and neither she nor Steve are tempted. Indeed, the challenge ends and no one succumbs.
However, back in the kitchen, where Edwin and Rasha are preparing broccoli, she wants to keep discussing the issue. Rasha seems to feel that Edwin callously denied her a gorgeous ring, and the probability that she’d have had to take on thousands of calories to find the ring is never voiced. She doesn’t see the bigger picture – that better prizes lie ahead. Edwin realizes he has to put his foot down more often for both their betterment.
It’s the next day, and all the contestants are working out. Edwin confesses in an aside that he’s glad Jillian isn’t his trainer, because he doesn’t like to be yelled at. That’s called foreshadowing, folks.1 2 Next-->
View Printable version of this article