Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
The Biggest Loser Special Edition: Restaurant Families, Episode 1 – Maid-Rite vs. Emilia’sby Brian Towers -- 01/26/2006
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 families of four engaged in the restaurant business.
The red team is the Sapienza family from The Bronx, New York. They are three cousins and a daughter and are being called The Little Italy Family. Their restaurant is Emilia’s, and they serve 300 meals a day, usually with pasta. The chef is Robert, who tastes the food before it goes out to make sure it’s right. The rest of the tasting by the other family members… well, that’s a big part of why they’re on this show.
The blue team is the Senti family from Peoria, Illinois, where they run the Maid-Rite Diner. I’m sorry, I couldn’t find a link but I did learn they’re located in the Peoria Metro Center. We meet father Scott, wife Tammy, and their two daughters, Emily and Kelly. Together they’re being called The ‘50s Diner Family. At their diner, they find it far too easy to snack on chips and other diner delights and are desperate to break their cycle of bad eating habits. Tammy wants a better life for her daughters, who are not happy in their current lives. For example, teenager Emily has always had a hard time at school. However, the whole family knows they need help.
As usual, trainer Bob is going to lead the blue team. He calls the Senti family to give them the good news, and they’re happy. Jillian performs the same task for her charges, the Sapienza family, who are talking so loudly she has to hold the phone away from her ear.
The teams arrive at the ranch and meet both series hostess Caroline Rhea and each other. As usual, Caroline shows them a table full of foods they can say goodbye to. The table is split, half pasta and half diner foods. It seemed improbable to me that the teams would be very tempted by food they probably prepare better themselves, but they comment that it looks good.
They have little time to think about it, as Caroline quickly hustles them into the initial weigh-in. Emily mentions her discomfort in wearing the traditional women’s costume, the saucy, shape enhancing sports bra-and-bloomers outfit (available in two stunning colors) with bare midriff. In fact, no one is looking very comfortable at this point.
Caroline tells us that after ten days, they will return home for several months to apply what they learned at the ranch, 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.
The Sapienzas are up first, and cousin Robert leads the way. After seeing his weight is 276 pounds, he nervously giggles at that big number and gets the whole family laughing. Cousin Toni follows, and she’s a sobering 213 pounds. “I’m not laughing now,” she says. Daniela is third, and she comes in at 163, which, she tells us, is what she weighed the last time she was pregnant. Alexa, only 14, is Toni’s daughter. She checks in at 191 pounds, and Toni cries because the family has let their weight get so far out of control. The team total is 843 pounds.
To get to the scale one must walk past the tables that are still piled high with the temptation food. Not only is no one is admiring it now, but they’re not even looking at it.
First up for the blue team is father Scott, who checks in at 265 pounds. Wife Tammy follows with a weight of 215 pounds, a number that disappoints her. Elder daughter Kelly will start off at 211 pounds, and Emily, age 16, is 250 pounds. Tammy cries and says it is her (Tammy’s) fault. Their team total is a hefty 941 pounds.
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 Caribbean vacation in Curasel. Nice!
Back in their living quarters, each team finds pictures of themselves in their current large size. All are disgusted, but determined to do better.
It’s the next day and the Sapienza Family decides to take a walk. It’s not long before Toni says, “I’m breathing like an obscene phone call.” Jillian surprises them mid-stroll. To no one’s surprise, the pace is increased dramatically.
Similarly, Bob finds his team doing warm-up stretches. Bob has a loftier goal – the top of a nearby hill. It takes a while, and Tammy has a bit of trouble, but the objective is achieved. Post-climb, Bob educates the family about ways to eat diner-style food better. He has them taste a turkey burger that is not deep-fried. I don’t think they’re too convinced just yet, and Tammy looks at her turkey burger like it just spoke to her in German. Better learn to love ‘em, folks, because that’s the last deep-fried burger on your plate you’re seeing for a long, long while!
Jillian asks Alexa what her goal is, and it’s to be able to go to a mall and buy clothes instead of just accessories. Currently, most off-the-rack clothes are all too small. Jillian sees some of herself in Alexa and I think she’s determined to help her reach her goals, and beyond.
During the next workout, Jillian thinks Robert is being “all melodramatic” and she isn’t going to indulge him. When he stops an exercise early, she assigns him additional treadmill time. She says Robert has, “a barrel of heart-attack fat strapped to his waist.” She also calls him “a walking time-bomb.”
In the other gym, Emily is taking a lot of water breaks. No one’s being fooled, including Kelly and Bob. Bob is a little worried that team commitment is lacking.
Back with the red team, Robert is also being dramatic, but Jillian shows us an eye-roll. We know she’s going to have a solution, and she does – she handcuffs him to a treadmill! Ha!1 2 Next-->
View Printable version of this article