The Biggest Loser 4, September 25 – Are You Faster Than A Fifth Grader?by Brian Towers -- 09/27/2007
The show begins with a self-promoting video. Instead, I’ll tell you that last week, the feature event was the return of the Black Team and trainer Jillian Michaels. The Red Team sent Lezlye home, ostensibly because she wasn’t big enough. How’s that for irony?
Let’s get into tonight’s action. After hearing the inspirational strains of theme song “Proud,” we learn 375 pounds have been lost by our competitors already. I think that’s great!
Back at the Campus, series host Alison Sweeney greets the Red and Blue teams. She attempts to generate negative feelings toward the Black Team, but that goes “THUD.” These folks are too focused on their own goals to worry about such distractions.
Alison persists, and a couple of seemingly innocuous questions cleverly segue into the first Temptation Challenge. There’s a nasty mess of food downstairs in the kitchen, all stuff not on their diet, and we learn that it represents the total weight loss of the three biggest losers so far (Jerry, Phil, and Bill), combined. That’s 400,000 calories – ick!
The challenge runs like this – each person will be confined in the kitchen for four minutes, unobserved. The person who consumes the most calories wins a three-pound pass at the next weigh-in.
First up is “B,” (the Weightloss Artist Formerly Known As “Bryan”), who likes what he sees and even picks up an enticing hot wing. But Kudos to B, he admits to slight temptation, yet doesn’t eat a thing! In another cameo, he confirms that to eat right and to exercise is the only way to achieve his true objective of a healthier lifestyle.
Kae enters the room next and whispers to the Chocolate God, “Oh my God, that smells so good!” But she stays strong and does not eat. Then, Black Team member Jez is seen eating a piece of pizza – boo! He bounces as he eats. Is it a celebration, or a wildly ineffective attempt to start burning those 200 calories? But, he’s the early leader!
The contestants continue to be tested. Most (correctly) say, ‘Nix!” The best one is, after sniffing some pizza deeply, young Julie puts a bit of frosting on her lip – but doesn’t eat it. It was just her trick on her teammates, so they would think she had swayed. Way to go, Julie!
This brings us to Neil of the Blue Team. He tells us the team told him to eat so they would win. He chows down big time and as he leaves the room with a very self-satisfied smile, he thinks he’s consumed about 1700 calories.
Somehow, Patty mistakes his happy lips for ones that have not tasted the food, so she decides she needs to take one for the team herself. I have to say that she embraces the task at hand with great fervor and is even dancing while she grazes. “It’s hog heaven,” she says joyfully!
If viewing those two attack the table of ugly food doesn’t change your future eating plans, I don’t know what would.
But let us resume. Hostess Alison announces the results. Patty “wins,” if that’s the right word, after consuming an incredible 1,930 calories in four minutes. Neil is shocked, and Captain Jerry is not pleased.
Trainer Kim is proud that no one on her Red Team fell prey to the temptation. However, we can hear Neil being plenty upset in a nearby room over the fact that he ate all that food for no reason. Even trainer Bob takes shots at Patty.
Kae gets weepy over the fact that any of them had so little faith that they felt the need to win the pass. Patty later refers to the situation as “a train wreck,” but she weepily apologizes to Neil and the others. Bob says, “We’ve come a long way, but man… we’ve got a long way to go.”
Back with the group, he tells them that now is the time to talk about this, and then, “It gets talked about no more.” The scene ends with hugs all around, and it seems Patty has been forgiven. Yet in the gym, Bob is working those who yielded to temptation the hardest of all.
It’s time to prepare for the next challenge. All the trainers know about it is that sprinting is involved. Kim is giving her team starting tips as though they were real sprinters. I’m thinking this is a little advanced for where the contestants are currently at, physically.
Trainer Bob gets the idea that he wants his team to sprint across the gym with a teammate riding on their back like a jockey. We’ve seen the Black Team doing this already, but the Blue Team thinks Bob is nuts.
First Nicole carries Kae, and then we see everyone taking part. Even Bob gets a ride! But when Ryan trips and passenger Jerry falls hard to the floor, it gets serious very quickly. It seems Jerry might have hyper-extended his left knee, potentially taking him out of the challenge.
At the challenge, Alison is on hand to tell the competitors that they will be running a hundred-yard dash against a new team, the Yellow Team. No one is sure how to take this news. May I mention how cute Alison looks in her pink top and beige coveralls?
The scene shifts to footage of “Trainer Tips,” from Bob. He recommends trying to do your normal routine while standing on an irregular surface, like a physio ball or while standing on one leg. He suggests this is a good way to develop a six-pack. That’s a fine tip, but what an odd moment in the show this was to present it!
Back at the challenge, the Yellow Team is revealed, and it’s three young kids. Our Losers are in SO much trouble now! Jim describes them as “Three monsters who made us shiver in our shoes!”
Alison has the Yellow Team introduce themselves. The youngest is Cooper, who is as cute as a bug and in kindergarten. Jack is in grade three, and Keala is in fourth grade. Phil of the Red Team knows that these kids were not chosen by accident.
Alison tells us that the team with the most winners (if any) wins the challenge. The reward for the winning team is the ever-prized phone-call home. Alas, I don’t think the Yellow Team is eligible.
In the first race, fourth grader Keala wins easily with a time of 14.7 seconds, which is pretty respectable for any age. The third-grade heat ends in a most surprising fashion – Captain Phil of the Red Team takes it! It was close, but Phil was very determined and outlasted young Jack in a time of 16.7 seconds.
But when it comes to the kinder-kids, wee Cooper smokes their sorry, sorry butts in under 20 seconds, narrowly beating Bryan. Fess up – who of you at home were not rooting for the likable moppet Cooper? Hollie of the Black Team was confident and dismissive before the race, yet after finishing last she says, “It was embarrassing.”
Alison tells the Red Team that they won the event. They note that they have won all three challenges so far, and feel it’s time they won a weigh-in. This is followed by a series of tearful shots of Red Team members calling home. It’s hanky time! David’s new son is crawling, and Kae’s youngster has graduated from pre-school. All four of them are regenerated by the experience.
The one possible exception may be Phil, who’s young daughter is having some “Where’s daddy?” issues. However, Phil knows that a few lost weeks now will translate into many reclaimed years down the road, so I think this is going to work out just fine.
The scene shifts to a training session with Bob, involving another mountain climb to, as he says, “get their metabolism up.” It seems big Neil is not on this journey. Although Patty has some doubts and Ryan struggles, through sheer determination, the whole troupe makes it to the summit.
Meanwhile, Jillian is trying to assemble her team. Penalized for being on time, Isabeau is dispatched by Jillian to assemble her male teammates, under penalty of pain and suffering if they aren’t ready to go in three minutes. Isabeau responds a little slowly and with some sassy backtalk, wasting twenty seconds.
After getting the first couple of guys, Bill is the next one to be called. Bill has apparently just woken up and is moving slow due to a knee injury. Unaware that Isabeau is acting as a reluctant messenger for Jillian, he hollers aggressively back at her, “I can’t run, got it? Got it? I got a bad f%^$ knee. That’s enough out of you! Thank you. Got it? Did you hear me yet? I said I cannot run! Do you got it?” Brother! Is this guy for real?
Isabeau is in tears now, and Jillian tries to calm her down. In time, all is smoothed over and Bill apologizes to Isabeau for hollering at her.
In the gym, all teams are working at their best effort levels in the last chance workout. Jillian tells her team, “You are like machines today. You feel no pain.” She may be wrong, however. It is apparent Jez is feeling many levels of pain and in fact, he looks as though he’s going to stop breathing and pass out!
Back in the Red Team’s dorm, Kim tells her team, “There’s a lot more going on in your bodies than what the scales show.” Privately, Kim tells us she’s nervous about the weigh-in, but in front of the team she tells them she’s confident they will start to be rewarded for their effort.
In the Blue Team Dorm, trainer Bob is confident based on his experience in previous weigh-ins (both of them). He does give them a nice pep talk, though, including thanking Jerry for bringing such a strong team to him. He seems to have some idea in his mind that they are trying to win their third weigh-in in a row. Does he not recall getting topped by the Black Team last week?
Jillian tells her Black Team how proud she is of them. She goes a little over the top in saying, “I’ve never had a team where everyone gave it 110 percent in every way.” I don’t like that phrasing; it’s disrespectful to the teams she’s had before who certainly worked as hard as they could.
It is time for the Elimination Weigh-In. Remember, it’s the team’s total percentage of loss that counts, not the raw pound amounts. Alison calls upon the Black Team first. When they are finished, the Blue Team is next. They need to lose more than 27 pounds to take the lead. When their turn comes up, the Red Team hears they need to lose more than 16 pounds to avoid elimination and 21 to win bragging rights. Here are the numbers:
Note that Patty’s “LOSS” number includes the three-pound pass she won plus the five pounds that she actually lost. The Red Team wins the week, and the Blue Team must face Alison in the Elimination Room.
Alison informs Patty that even without her pass she is still the biggest loser on the losing team, and thus is exempt from eviction. They now have a day to consider, as Alison says, “Who is weighing you down?”
The numbers were lower in general this week. It’s to be expected that there will be minor plateaus along the way. Now, the “soft” water weight is mostly gone and they are building some muscle mass. This is fine by me, because it’s not all about the numbers. The true goal is a healthier lifestyle.
Bob meets with his discouraged team. Ryan tells Bob that they had a secret vote earlier, and the one named to go home was Jerry. Jerry? Captain Jerry, the most inspirational person in the game? Jerry, whose percentage of weight loss dwarfs the efforts of the rest of them? (In fact, except for Kae, his percentage is more than double that of the other four.)
Bob probes for reasons. Neil points out that the earlier vote isn’t final; it was just a method to initiate a discussion that apparently never happened anyway. Neil adds that when he tried to talk to Jerry afterward, Jerry slammed the door in his face.
Even now, Jerry doesn’t seem to want to discuss the issue. He says, “I believe in loyalty, I believe in respect, I may be from a different era…” He then warns the rest of his team, “If you don’t change your mind, you’re doomed!” “Doomed” seems a little strong to me, but, whatever.
When pressed by Bob, Jerry thinks that as the smallest one, Kae is a more logical choice. Kae says simply, “It’s a game.” Ryan agrees with Jerry. No matter how this shakes out, the Blue Team is not going to be so chummy in the weeks ahead.
The Blue Team is now assembling in the Elimination Room. Hostess Alison asks Kae if she might be seen as one who could do this at home and not need to be at the Campus. Barely avoiding tears, she says she still has a long way to go and needs to be here to learn more.
Alison asks Ryan if he knows why they are here. He says they’ve been trying to figure that out all afternoon. Too bad he didn’t have access to my spiffy chart, above! Ryan says it’s not a lack of effort or discipline.
Nicole is getting teary already, and votes have yet to be cast. But that happens next. Jerry votes for Neil, naming him as “the weakest link on our team.” An almost-crying Patty votes Jerry, after saying how much he means to the team, and then breaks into sniffles. Nicole gives a mirror performance, right down to the post-vote tears.
Next up is Kae – also sniffling. Kae thinks she made a mistake and voted for the wrong person (without naming who she thinks deserved her vote), and votes for… Nicole? Kae says, “I’m sorry,” and breaks out in a full set of tears.
After saying the one he votes for is “integral to the team,” big Neil votes for Jerry too. Jerry is gone, and Ryan’s vote (which earlier, he indicated might be for Kae) remains unrevealed. Crazy!
Alison notes Jerry’s position of captain and team leader in weight loss. He’s actually the leader in percent lost of all the contestants. Jerry replies, “Kind of ironic, huh?”
He adds, “When I picked the team, I thought I’d picked the team that would have the biggest loser on it. I don’t think the Blue Team is going to have the biggest loser any more.” Um, that’s a little bitter.
In his funeral video Jerry hopes he will be an inspiration to other older people. More current video shows us he is now a mere 209 pounds, having lost 88 pounds in total. Good for you, Jerry!
The Biggest Loser 5
At this point, the men are having more success than the women. Again excluding Kae, none of the other women have lost as high a percentage of weight as any of the men. Is it because the men are working harder, is it the inherit difference in the genders, or a combination of the two?
Next week, The Biggest Loser has another ninety-minute episode planned, and it starts at the ridiculous time of 8:30. A food temptation tests the trainers. The bizarre scheduling tests me. Join me here for a recap of all the action, sprinkled with my own reactions and opinions. And let me know what you think about it all at the eAddress below!
Born and raised in Toronto, Brian can be reached at email@example.com. He’d like to hear your opinions and promises to respond to all serious email.