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The Biggest Loser 4: A Review and a Previewby Brian Towers -- 09/05/2007
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Welcome back, everyone, to the fourth season of NBC’s hit show, The Biggest Loser. Actually, this show is more an informal visit with contestants from previous seasons that ends with a short introduction to the newest season.
The show begins with new series hostess Alison Sweeney telling us the official name of this show is the “Did they keep the weight off” special. Nine former players are back and will be weighed in to see if they’ve kept the weight off. That’s a bit misleading, really, as the weight they are being compared to is their initial weight on the show, not their final weight.
The format is something like this – a short video reminds us who each person is, then they come out and Alison asks them what’s new, then they get weighed. It’s odd to see them all greet Alison like a long-lost sister, because none of them worked with her – but there I am, picking nits again.
As each person comes up to be weighed, the audience chants, “Did you keep the weight off?” That part actually starts off as fun and ends up being really annoying!
Getting right to it, we catch up with the cheerful teacher, last season’s Marty. Initially, Marty came to the show at 365 pounds. He now has made conditioning his career, because he’s become a personal trainer. Marty is currently dating fellow-contestant Amy Hildreth. We learn that he has brought a ring with him, and he’s going to propose to Amy on the show tonight! Amy is secured away backstage, so she doesn’t hear any of this.
Marty gets on the scale, and his current weight is 240 pounds, a loss of 125 from his initial weight.
I contemplated looking up everyone’s final weight and building a chart, but it seems pointless. All of them are a little bigger compared to the almost-zero-body-fat condition we last saw them at, and I think that’s a good thing. This is a light-hearted show, so I’ll leave the heavy stuff for the weeks ahead.
It seems we’ll be moving along pretty quickly, for it’s already time for the next competitor. Last season, Erik was the largest competitor, starting at 407 pounds and losing 167 on his way to victory in the game and over his health issues. Erik has subsequently sold his deli and now works to help people who are obese. Popping up on the scale, Erik checks in at 231, for a drop of 176 pounds.
Alison next brings out popular trainers Bob Harper and Kim Lyons, and asks them if they have any tips for America. Kim suggests we should stop drinking diet soda and drink water instead, to stay hydrated and avoid the caffeine that many of them contain. That’s my own weakness (one of them); I drink a TON of diet soda! Bob wants us to try yoga as a less demanding way to lose weight that also addresses the mind. Me, I golf.
Last season’s Pam is our third returning contestant. Pam was initially one of the “three red-shirt witches,” but became more likeable as the numbers dwindled. She ran a triathlon with her husband this summer, and Pam gives him credit for helping her stay fit. She’s now a tidy 187 pounds, down 60 from her maximum.
Pete from Season 2 is the next former contestant to visit. He now works with multiple groups to raise awareness of obesity. One target kids in order to get good eating and exercise habits started at a young age. Another is an adult exercise program.
Pete comes on stage, hugs Alison and swings her around! He tells Alison that while he was on the show, his wife lost 30 pounds as well. Alison introduces her from the audience, and she relates that the first time they went to the supermarket it took three hours, because they spent so much time reading product labels. Now she finds it an easy thing to do.
Pete takes off his shirt to get weighed, and he displays a well-defined torso, highlighted by a great set of abs. He’s now a mere 241 pounds, 160 less than his previous maximum of more than 400!
Alison calls out Poppi next. Last season, Poppi lost 117 pounds as an at-home player, more than half her body weight. She now does six to nine hours of cardio training a week. Since being on the show, Poppi’s act as a comedienne had to change, because it used to be self-depreciating and about her being so fat. Live, she tells us a story where she lost the weight and then went to see her mother, who hadn’t seen her for a while – and her mom didn’t recognize her! At 126 pounds, she’s down a still- impressive 106 pounds from her maximum weight.
Number six up is another comedienne, Kelly Mac from Season 1. Although she’s on the road a lot, even if it means getting up at 5AM she finds time for exercise in her schedule at least four times a week. Once afraid to go to a gym, Kelly Mac checks in at 223 pounds, which is a loss of 63 pounds.
Next we meet Andrea from the very first season. I was rooting hard for Drea. She has also been teaching people about proper nutrition and eating habits. She says that although losing the weight was hard and keeping it off isn’t easy, the mental aspects of the lifestyle change were hardest for her. She now weighs in at 151, down a nifty 64 pounds. That’s only six pounds more that her weight at the Season 1 finale!
This brings us to one of last season’s finalists, Wylie. Wylie lost 129 pounds on the show from his starting point of 307 pounds. Wylie has been engaged in good works too, helping people with intellectual disabilities work out. He also has his own workout video. He’s getting a lot of support now from his family, friends, and co-workers, who all work out with him. He clocks in at 210 pounds, for a loss of 97 pounds.
Alison has a video played about Season 2 sweethearts Suzi and Matt. They are not actually present. They confess on video that initially, they didn’t like each other very much. The now-married couple has a wee baby, Rex Timothy Hoover, born June 23rd of this year… and, she still cries at the drop of a hat!
We know that the ninth person is going to be the unsuspecting Amy from Matt’s season. But first, she gets the standard treatment. She says, “My body fat percentage is now in the healthy range and I have learned what true confidence really means.” She looks good. She tells us, “I have fond true love. Marty is my soulmate through and through.” Amy also tells us that they train people together now.
As Amy comes out, Marty looks like he’s about to bust. Flashing back, she says they met each other at rock-bottom and she considers herself lucky to have him as a partner. As she moves to the scale, Amy tells us, “I don’t miss this (public weigh-ins), I’m not going to lie!” When she gets on the scale, it comes up saying, “Amy, I love you…”
Not expecting that, Amy cocks her head quizzically to the side and asks, “What’s going on?” Marty comes up, reads her a nice letter, and pops the question. Very quickly, she says, “Yes!”
We never do see a final numbers for Amy. I think Amy likes public weigh-ins better now!
Shifting gears to the current season just moments before the hour expires, voiceover guy runs a promo for us and we meet some of the new contestants and hear a sound bite from them.
In a medical test, Patti found she has elevated liver enzyme and fears she may not see her children mature. Retired fireman Jerry is now close to 300 pounds and wants to do things with his grandchildren. Hollie is a teacher and cheerleader coach who has heard too many insults. “B” is ashamed of his size. And Leslye from New Orleans is still recovering from Hurricane Katrina. She is also in a situation where she may not see her children mature.
Early in the show, six players who think they’ve been sent home find out they are part of a third team, to be trained by a former trainer on this show, a returning Jillian Michaels. But you knew that already, because you’ve read my preview articles!
And that’s all there is.
Well, that was all pretty fluffy, really. So my question at the very top about Kim’s desire to win is equally meaningless, and just a silly reason for me to post a picture of Kim. I do apologize, but recapping that mess was sort of tedious!
The show begins for real at 8:00 PM ET/PT on Tuesday, September 11th, hopefully with a lot more meat than what this hour offered. And if you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other Biggest Loser 4 preview articles here on RealityNewsOnline:
Brian lives in Toronto where he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He’d like to hear your opinions and promises to respond to all serious email.
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