The Biggest Loser, Episode 4: Stairway to Heavenby Donna Reynolds -- 11/17/2004
As the show opens, Gary is complaining that Maurice (Mo) stabbed him in the back. He is angry that Mo lied to him when he told him he was voting for Andrea. Gary feels that they lost their strongest player by eliminating Aaron. Everyone is grumbling and mumbling, and the players are decidedly unhappy.
The next morning, trainer Bob arrives and, when he discovers that Aaron is gone, he sighs deeply. Kelly Mac tells us that Bob was surprised she was still there. He is shocked that Aaron is gone and asks Gary to explain. Gary says, "Don't ask me." Andrea tells Bob how it went down. He tells them that he was sick about not being with them, and says that, if he were playing the game, Aaron would still be there.
Bob continues preaching about their lack of commitment and tells them that, with Aaron gone, they are going to have to really step it up. He says that he saw four team players and that Mo isn't one of them. Bob is really irritated that Mo is eating while he is talking to him. Bob doesn't see that Mo is at all committed. Mo doesn't understand Bob's reasoning and wonders why he is being blamed for all their problems.
Bob is going to punish them big-time. He takes them out to an athletic field and orders them to start running up and down the bleacher stairs. One by one they are forced to run up and down while Bob times them. Gary hurts his knee, but Bob doesn't care. Mo tells us that this was the most grueling workout he has ever seen. That's right, I said seen. He tells us that he can't participate because of his bad ankles, so he stands there and watches while the rest of his team goes up and down the stairs in the hot sun. Maurice, baby, it's time for you to go.
Bob tells us that he is trying to identify the team's strongest player. He says that Kelly and Andrea are turning out to be his stars. The day's workout is brutal. After the stairs, they do sprints, some kind of hopping exercise, push-ups, and then they jog some more. Again, he tells Kelly and Andrea that they made a huge mistake in eliminating Aaron. Andrea can hardly stand up, and is crying, while Kelly sobs that she doesn't know what to do.
Not only is Bob testing them physically, he is also challenging them to be strong leaders. Andrea collapses into Gary's arms and continues to cry. He tells her that she is there because she is supposed to be, and Bob agrees. Maurice tells us that the Blue team is in shambles, and that they most likely will be picked off one by one by the Red team. But he warns, "We'll go down fighting."
Now it's time to check in with the Red team. You'd think they'd be celebrating, but, as they prepare a meal, it seems as though they aren't feeling so tip-top either. Jillian says it's been hard to convince the girls that eating more is an effective way to diet. Kelly is having a problem with the "high calorie" days. Jillian is convinced that this is going to work and that she will get results.
All the players are tired and some are beginning to feel the effects. Jillian believes that, even with injuries, there are plenty of things that they can do. Dave has hurt his ankle and Red team's Kelly has problems with her feet. There's no time for coddling on this program, though, and Jillian will find something for everyone to do no matter what their physical ailments.
After a working out all day, the players enter the foyer of the house in which they are staying, and are subjected to another "Food Torture Challenge." Last week it was huge cinnamon buns and phone calls. This week, there is a table stacked high with cupcakes. Everyone reacts appropriately. There is a sign beside the table that reads: "Whoever eats the most cupcakes in 15 minutes gets a sunset dinner at the beach with… a loved one from home." They are certainly tempted, but realize the ramifications - thousands of calories and further punishment from Bob and Jillian.
Gary says that his wife is only an hour away, and suggests that everyone steps back and he will eat one. Ryan immediately jumps in and says he'll eat two. This isn't going to work. They stand around looking at the cupcakes. Maurice says he is ready. The cupcakes are sure pretty, with all kinds of different colors of frosting.
Ryan has come up with a reasonable solution. They put everyone's name in a bowl, and whoever's name is pulled will eat one cupcake and get the dinner. Dave's name is pulled, and he eats the cupcake slowly in front of the others. Maurice says he wants to see his girlfriend really bad. He smells the cupcakes and knows it's decision time. He walks over to the pile 'o cakes and picks one up. For a moment, he romances the idea of eating it, but, in the end, he puts it down and tells us, "I didn't come this far to cheat." Good for you.
David wins the "date" with his wife. He meets her at the Moon Shadow Restaurant in Malibu. His wife, who is absolutely beautiful, walks up to him and they embrace. She sees the difference in his appearance and he tells her that it's a "life-rehab" experience. He tells us that seeing her was a real boost, and has given him the confidence to keep going and not give in.
The next morning, both teams are driven to downtown L.A. The bus drops them off in front of a skyscraper where Caroline greets them. She tells them that, not only is this is the tallest building in L.A., it is the tallest one west of the Mississippi. After they all have a chance to appreciate this tidbit of information, Caroline explains today's challenge. They are going to have a race to the top of the building. The first team to climb all 1500 stairs will win "the ride of a lifetime."
Because the teams are uneven, the Red team will have to sit one person out when it comes time for the weigh-in. If the Blue team wins, they will decide who that person will be, but if the Red team wins, it is up to them. The advantage, of course, will be that the Red team can pick the person who they feel has lost the least amount of weight, while the Blue team would go for the individual who they think has lost the most.
Because Maurice and Gary are injured, they are not medically cleared to do this challenge. That means that Kelly Mac and Andrea will represent the Blue Crew in this challenge. On team Red, Kelly and Dave are also injured, so Lisa will pick two people to do the task. She picks Ryan's name but tricky Caroline tells her that Ryan's not in. It will be Lisa and Matt to challenge Kelly Mac and Andrea.
"On your mark. Get set. Go." Matt seems to be doing okay, but Lisa is lagging behind. Andrea begins to have problems as well and starts crawling. Matt stops and says he won't go another step without Lisa. They are all panting and ready for water. Mo and Gary are in the elevator, convinced that the girls will pull it off. Plucky Matt is just cruising along while Lisa seems to be struggling.
Andrea and Kelly are still looking good, but on the 34th floor, Lisa starts freaking out. She says that she needs air. Matt thinks it is an anxiety attack. She gets out of the stairwell and doesn't seem to be doing any better. She is really having a hard time with this. Andrea says Kelly inspires her and they talk each other up the final flights. Meanwhile, Lisa is being examined by a doctor, and, is finally taken out in an ambulance.
Andrea and Kelly Mac arrive at the top of the building and celebrate their victory. I am mightily impressed. Andrea says this is a huge turning point for the Blue team and a personal victory. Sadly, Lisa never has a chance to finish and is driven off to the hospital.
By winning, the Blue team gets two rewards. Along with being able to select the person who will sit out the weigh-in for Team Red, they are also going to enjoy a helicopter ride for a tour of the city. Maurice tells us that, although he is an accountant for a travel agency, he hasn't done much traveling and he isn't going to start now. I think he is afraid to go, but the rest of them have a great ride. Andrea is thrilled to see the Dodgers. It's nice for them to have a chance to relax and enjoy the moment.
The helicopter lands at the house, and Bob is right there to greet them. He is concerned that they lost again but, when they burst out of the chopper, smiling and laughing, he knows that they have won. He really is invested in this group and is very proud of them. Andrea tells him that it was just like doing intervals and that, "all of a sudden, it just became easier." You know, I really like Andrea. She's levelheaded, committed, and serious about this endeavor.
They tell Bob that the Red team "has issues." Meanwhile, Jillian cross-examines Matt about what happened. He describes Lisa's freak-out, and when he tells Jillian that Lisa went out in an ambulance, she puts her hands on her face. Lisa returns and is okay, although she feels guilty about disappointing the team. They are not blaming her, but that really doesn't help. She starts blaming Matt for going too fast. Ryan points out that Matt is in a no-win situation. I thought Matt did great and am a little puzzled over the reaction of the team.
Lisa says that the doctor told her to go home and go to bed. She gets all snotty, and, finally, Jillian can't take it anymore. She doesn't want to hear her whining, and tells her that if she wants to stop, she should stop. Lisa tells us that she sees the game is changing and that people are starting to get sick of one another. Kelly points out that Matt wants to be the center of the universe and that this isn't the place for that. They are all becoming highly annoyed by his behavior, which is not a good thing when elimination may loom right around the corner.
In the morning, both teams are back in the gym. Both of Dave's ankles are bothering him now, and Jillian thinks he is getting lazier and lazier. Everyone else on the team is working, but Dave is not. Dave confronts Jillian. Essentially, he tells her that he is aware of his body and knows when to stop. Jillian tells him that he is hurting the team when he doesn't work out. Kelly wonders why he can't work with weights and Jillian points out that there are other things that he can do. The confrontation heats up. Dave says that Jillian has crossed the line and calls an end to the conversation.
Lisa tells us that, even if she's sent home now, she'll be okay. Matt says that his clothes are falling off him now, and that he is looking at himself better. Kelly Mac feels lucky to be there. Maurice says that, as the game progresses, the money is getting more real to him, but most of all he wants to get healthy. Andrea says it's time to rev it up and "kick butt."
It's time for the weigh-in. The Blue team has to select one person to sit out. Caroline reminds them of the rules. The Blue team selects Matt to sit out the weigh in. He still has to get weighed, though and has gone from 274 to 264, a loss of ten pounds. He's lost a total of 46 pounds so far.
Ryan is first and has dropped another 13 pounds, for a total of 49 pounds lost. Blue Crew chose the wrong person to sit out. Oh well. Gary is next, and has lost 11 pounds. For the first time in years, he's under 200 pounds. Lisa steps up and she has lost six pounds, bringing her total to 29 pounds. She says she's proud of herself.
Now for Andrea, who looks leaner to me. She's gone from 200 pounds to 192 and is thrilled to be below 200 pounds. Andrea has lost 23 pounds so far. The teams are tied at 19 pounds each. David has lost 8 pounds, making his total loss 25, and Kelly Mac is down another ten pounds. She and Drea are calling their bedroom the "Hundred club."
Red team's Kelly drops four pounds, for a total of 31 pounds. She's discouraged though and feels that she lost it for her team. It all comes down to Maurice. For his team to win, he has to have lost more than two pounds. He gets on the scale. We see his previous weight of 415 pounds. We break for commercial before that number can be revealed.
Back from the commercial, the number is revealed. His weight - 401. Mo has lost 14 pounds and is this week's biggest loser! Red team will have to eliminate the player who, in Caroline's words is "weighing them down."
You know, Caroline is beginning to get on my nerves. Why is she hosting this show? It would be one thing if she had been following one of these trainers' programs herself, and could serve as a role model. But, really, she looks as though she could benefit by participating in some of these challenges herself. Her attitude and sassy remarks really irritate me.
They retire to the house to begin deliberations. Dave conspires with Lisa and Kelly. He sees it as a chess game and is playing both sides. It's reality show wrangling at its worst. Everyone is going to be hurt this time around.
In a nice interlude, each player has a chance to talk about what this experience means to them. Lisa and Kelly both are starting to look really great. Kelly is a beautiful girl. Matt tells us that this experience has been life altering, and he really wants to stay. But he is worried that no one wants him to be there anymore, and goes to Maurice to talk. Mo thinks Lisa is the "loose cannon," and thinks that his best bet is to get rid of her. Matt says he hates this but Maurice says he'll hate it more at home.
Caroline greets them in the refrigerator room and asks Ryan if he, as this week's biggest loser, is nervous. The she utters her most annoying comment, "It's time to cut the fat." Lisa says that there is one person from the team that is too absorbed with themselves. She votes Matt. He is already starting to tear up. He says that he struggled all day and that he and this person used to be close and votes Lisa. Ryan compliments the person that he voted for but he says he's had to lie to that person. He votes Matt.
Caroline reminds Matt that if he gets one more vote, he is eliminated. Dave says that he needs people around him that make him feel good. Apparently Matt does not, because he votes for him. Matt has been stabbed in the back and he knows it. Even though Kelly's vote doesn't count, he asks to see it anyway. She voted for him too.
Matt and Lisa have a little tiff and Matt leaves the table. The rest of the group looks pretty smug. Caroline tells them that, if they stay focused on their diets and workouts, they won't have to come back to the table.
Matt's farewell is sweet. He cries and says he will miss Jillian the most. Since leaving the show he has stuck to his diet and is still not smoking. He has lost an additional 22 pounds, bringing his total weight loss to 68 pounds.
Next week, they laugh, play a game with loaves of Italian bread, and have a chance to reunite with the castoffs from previous weeks. The competition will certainly heat up. Can a merge be far away? Will they have a "friends and family" reward? We'll just have to wait and see.
Donna Reynolds is a self-proclaimed entertainment junkie and writes That's Entertainment, a daily column for syracuse.com highlighting events of local interest as well as her take on all things reality! She is also doing a weekly spot on a Syracuse radio station, commenting on the latest entertainment buzz. In addition, Donna does technical writing for a medical equipment company and is a part-time aquatic dance instructor. Whether you agree or disagree, Donna welcomes your comments and you can email her at email@example.com.
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