The Biggest Loser 13, Episode 14: Makeover Madnessby Ryan Mehaffey -- 04/04/2011
Previously on The Biggest Loser, after being invisible for the entire season, Megan suddenly started getting camera time. This of course meant she would be headed home. The teams did a challenge that resulted in a huge donation of food from a sponsor, one of the few moments that made me smile. That moment was immediately canceled out by one of the worst, most blatant in-show commercials this show has ever done. Kim won a challenge that resulted in her winning $1,000 for each pound she lost, with her losing seven. Megan and Mark fell below the yellow line and Megan was sent home by unanimous vote. On with the show.
Mercifully, this week we've got an hour long show, since this week they decided to pull one hour out of The Biggest Loser and instead implant it in Celebrity Apprentice. This is a perfect example of addition by subtraction. Add to the substance by subtracting the padding.
This week's excuse is "..." well, apparently, we don't have an excuse this week. Since we don't have one, I will give us one. This week's excuse is "I can't lose weight at the White House." Admit it, that excuse is no dumber then some of the actual excuses we've gotten.
We open to the ranch living room the day after the elimination where Conda is talking to Jeremy. Conda said that this is the hardest elimination so far. Why? She says she's been close to Megan since she first got here and she's also been close to Mark. Conda tells us she was close to Megan for some reasons and she was close to Mark for different reasons. Conda says she is many things: abrasive, bossy, obnoxious, arrogant, and a complete bitch. Well okay, she might not have said all of those.
Conda whines that people were mean to Megan, but Conda took her in and watched out for her. When was this? You mean NBC devoted five minutes of air time last week just to a commercial about a sandwich shop, but couldn't spend a single moment over 13 episodes to show that Conda and Megan were close? Conda doesn't want Megan to feel like something and Jeremy says something but NBC blocks what they say just to announce election news. Conda was going to vote out Mark but just couldn't. Jeremy says they're at a point where Conda has to stay focused on her end goal. He continues to console Conda by saying Megan will find her drive, continue her goals at home, and go chase horses. Okay.
Conda says with six of them left there are only three weeks until she gets to see Megan. Jeremy agrees and Conda says there is no one left she wants to talk to other then her brother. Conda is happy she made it this week and Jeremy says she did a good job.
We cut from there to the challenge. We see a very large soccer net and several cardboard cutouts of the contestants, or how they used to look, set up inside of what look like colored window frames. Okay. In front of the frames are color-coordinated slingshots.
Buddy says as he walks up to the challenge that he can see the silhouette and recognizes his figure. It looks larger then he remembered. All of them see their former selves and wince. Kim says her eyes looked dead but now she feels alive. Alison greets them and says each one of them has a window of their former selves. The challenge is to climb up the cargo net (really looks like a soccer goal), grab a baseball, and fire it into both panes of glass in their window. The winner gets a one-pound advantage. Conda says one pound is super important; Megan and Emily were both sent home by one pound. However, the person who comes in last will get a one pound disadvantage. That's got to suck.
No one is happy at that news. Buddy says the worst case scenario is Chris or Kim getting the one pound advantage. They're both light and not part of his approved final four.
And they're off running up the net as it starts to rain. Mark makes it back to his slingshot first and misses. Kim hits the top piece of her glass in the face. Kim wanted the ball to smash her dead eyes. Buddy manages to smash the top pane of glass on his window while Chris fires. She says she's never used a slingshot before but still manages to break her top glass. We see people rapidly fire their slingshots. Buddy says it's about finding your zone. He manages to break the bottom pane, thus winning the challenge.
Buddy says he's never had a one pound advantage and is stoked. Mark finally breaks his glass, while Conda and Jeremy have nothing. Kim says a one pound disadvantage can send you home. Conda says she can't get it this week. Oh Conda, if that were true would I be wishing with all my might for you to get it? Chris says you might as well give her the disadvantage right now. Mark breaks the top half of his window. He says he's excited since at least he didn't get the disadvantage.
Now we see a montage of Jeremy and Conda failing. Jeremy says he was getting very annoyed because the ball kept hitting the glass and doing nothing. To emphasize this point, Conda finally makes it. Jeremy finally breaks his bottom glass while Kim finishes.
Jeremy manages to break his top glass, so now we're down to Chris and Conda. Conda says she can't get the disadvantage. Jeremy is nervous because Conda sucks at stuff like this. Conda attempts to shoot, but the ball falls out of her slingshot. Chris fires and makes it! Yes! Conda has a one pound disadvantage at the Weigh-In.
Conda is frustrated because one pound can send her home. Conda says she can't have an optimistic side at this point. Alison asks Buddy how it feels to have a one pound advantage at this point in the game. Shock of all shocks, he says it feels good.
Alison says they're all lucky to have made it this far, and they've come here to find the beauty within. Now it's time to make the outside match the inside. Yes, it's makeover week. Chris is excited, and Kim wants to be pampered and too shop. Alison tells them that tomorrow they'll be meeting with Jeannie Mei and getting a haircut with Ken Paves. Kim asks if Jessica Simpson will be there. Conda is super excited, thinking that Jessica Simpson will be there (she won't) because the two of them really connected (they didn't) and they will have a lot to talk about (they don't). Alison congratulates them again and sends them off.
Now we see them in Beverly Hills. They walk into a store where Jeannie Mei is waiting. Kim wants her outfit. Jeannie compliments them for making it this far and says this week is unlike any the show has ever done. It's the biggest one yet and it’s going to be unforgettable. Jeannie says they have an opportunity: they'll get to see someone who’s an icon not just to the losers, but to the entire country. Jeannie turns their attention to the monitor and everyone gasps.
Our guest appears on a monitor and we see it is First Lady Michelle Obama. Which they kind of spoiled in the preview last week, but I won't complain about that. Believe me, I've got plenty of other things to complain about. Michelle Obama compliments them for showing people can make changes in their lives. This group? Really? She invites them to the White House to show off their new looks. Alright, I admit it: that is awesome.
Jeannie Mei tells them they are going to meet the First Lady and reveal their new look at the White House. Buddy says this has never happened before in any of the seasons he has watched. Kim starts crying, which Jeannie notices and asks about. Kim says 14 weeks ago, if she'd had the same invitation, she would have told herself she wasn't worthy to do this. She says the fact that Michelle Obama acknowledges the change Kim has made is about as good as it gets. Jeannie talks to them some more about making them look more "Presidential" before taking Chris away from them.
Jeannie says she has an important change to get the contestants to acknowledge. We see Chris going into the back room where Jeannie Mei has three outfits on mannequins – Chris's three old outfits. Jeannie says she got the old clothes of all six contestants and she's making them face their old clothes one-on-one. Chris wore one outfit on her first taped interview and she now looks much better. We see all of the other contestants looking at their old clothing. Jeremy looks at them and remembers having to stretch his clothes. Buddy feels great to not be that big anymore. Mark can't believe the progress he is making. Conda puts on her old clothes and says she isn't comfortable in these clothes. She sees a lot of darkness in them.
Kim says that seeing her old clothes makes her feel punched in the gut. She says these old clothes were 88 pounds ago. Jeannie is amazed and says Kim has to deal with it. She wants Kim to try her old clothes on and Kim agrees. Kim puts the shirt and pants on and the pants are so loose that they fall down right away. Jeannie says this is the old Kim getting ready to go to dinner. Kim is ready to never see these again and she tosses that crap aside. Alright, it was cheesy, but nice to see some progress being made by them.
Jeannie wants them to have a sense of personality in their new looks. What if they have no personality at all? Kim is in a red dress, Jeremy is in a jacket, and Chris is in a black dress. Chris can't wait until she gets to D.C. and everyone can acknowledge the new her. Buddy is in a suit. Conda is in a black dress and she loves it. She can see that the 84 pounds are gone now.
Mark comes out last in gray pants and a sweater. Jeanie says Mark looks years younger and tells him to look in the mirror. Mark begins to cry and says he doesn't recognize the old him. No offense, but Mark does not look younger, mostly because what little hair he does have has grown out and is all gray. Just an observation. Buddy likes the look a lot and remembers he used to be afraid. Kim is a size six now, which feels like success. She says this makeover is really just the icing on the cake, letting them all know they've changed a tremendous amount.
They head off to Ken Paves's salon. Chris is super excited for this. Ken welcomes them and introduces a friend of his whose name is irrelevant because she's only here to advertise hair-coloring products. Ken says it's time for him to work out their hair and asks if they're excited. They're excited and ready for makeover madness.
Ken first talks with Chris, and asks if she's having a hard time and still views herself as old Chris. Chris agrees and Ken says this is why the makeover is so important. When one looks in the mirror and see a face that looks similar, they only see the old self. Ken wants to give Chris sexy short hair. Ken's friend advertises a hair highlight product that can help her. NBC, this show is only an hour long. Can we please not have any in-show ads just this once?
Chris is ready to look younger. We get a hair-cutting montage, and it’s nice to get a different kind of montage. Kim is getting shiny hair with volume from Ken. She says she's ready to take D.C. by storm. Ken asks Conda about the last time she got her hair cut and Conda says it was three years ago. Sweet lord. Ken wants to give her a short hair cut and gets her to make the first cut. Ken is excited because everyone's hair is done, but nervous because his haircuts are meeting the First Lady.
Cut to D.C. and the White House. Bob and Dolvett look like Secret Service agents and are sitting inside waiting for the contestants. I'm going to call the agents Bob and Dolvett. Bob is excited about makeover week and Dolvett says it's a magical day. Mark goes in first. He says the guy he was before was not confident and struggled with guilt. We flash back to Mark before the show and see the new Mark walking into the lobby of the White House. Mark lost his goatee and got a suit. Dolvett thinks he lost some pounds with the goatee and you can't hate on the bald head. Mark’s head actually looks a lot smaller just from the loss of hair. He kind of looks like Lex Luthor. Yes, really.
Bob says it's interesting that when he started this experience, Mark came in with his son for his son. How is it for Mark? Mark says for him, that's never what was supposed to happen, so he had to change his mindset when it did. Mark is here for a reason; both he and Chism will be fine. Dolvett says that attitude has led him to that spot. They tell Mark to stand where they are and that they have one more surprise.
The two leave and Mark's family enters, minus Chism oddly. Mark begins to cry and hugs his other son and daughter. He says it's overwhelming because he missed them so much. Mark doesn't care what the rest of this day holds because it's as good as it will get. He hugs his wife, Cathy. Cathy says Mark being gone has made her appreciate him so much more. Mark says while it's overwhelming, a part of him is sad Chism couldn't share this with them. Why?
Chris is going in next. She says the emotions she's feeling have put her in awe of the fact that she's here. Agents Bob and Dolvett are amazed by Chris who no longer has glasses but now has brown hair. Bob says Chris looks incredible and she no longer looks like she's in her sixties. Chris says 14 weeks ago she would have never walked into the White House with this energy.
Bob and Dolvett leave as Chris's children enter. This amazes the three, and I'm amazed Chris has three children. Chris's daughter (sorry, no name) is proud of her mom. Chris is happy her children let her be departed from them for so long. She says they're maturing. Chris isn't sure many parents get the opportunity for their children to sit there and tell them how proud they are. It's one of the best moments of her life.
Buddy walks up. He says he never thought his journey would take him to the White House. Buddy enters the White House and honestly, I almost don't recognize him. Buddy has ditched the glasses and the beard, now making him look completely different. Dolvett can't believe it, saying on week one that this was the guy who couldn't walk on the treadmill and now he's walking in here and loving life. Bob asks Buddy if he can believe how different he was three short weeks ago. Buddy says he was the guy who made ever excuse in the book, but life is much more vibrant and colorful now that he's stopped. He owes it to Dolvett and he says that while he doesn't know where his journey will end, it will be complete.
Dolvett tells him he looks wonderful and they have another surprise for him. Buddy's wife and children enter, with his wife pushing a carriage with his new baby. Buddy's wife Shelby runs over and kisses him. She says she almost didn't recognize Buddy because he looked so different. Shelby says it's difficult being away from Buddy since he's her best friend. Buddy cries and gives his son a hug. He says the hardest part of being on the ranch is not the workouts, but that his support system being gone. Buddy says his wife and two sons getting to be there and supporting him makes it perfect.
Now Conda is up. She says the Conda who came to the ranch wasn't happy then (probably because she hadn't gotten the chance to make people miserable on a national level). Now that's changed and she's happy. Conda enters and… wow, that hair. Conda has shorter hair and it's been dyed blonde, which was a mistake. It looks uneven and her dark brown eyebrows now really stick out. Not trying to criticize Conda here; it’s not her fault it came out this way. In fact, I'd argue her old hair color looked a lot better, and she didn't have the eyebrow thing distracting me.
Bob keeps a straight face and says Conda looks fantastic. Dolvett compares working with Conda to running an obstacle course, but at the end of it he's found a beautiful, loving, fearless woman. What about Conda? Bob asks who she is now and Conda says she now goes after things. She's a stronger person and is sure of who she is.
Bob and Dolvett leave, saying they want her to soak in the White House. Conda's daughter is brought in along with Conda's friends and family. Conda begins to cry and says holding her daughter is the best feeling in the world. I got to say, I may loathe Conda, but I like this scene. I actually feel good for Conda. Conda's mom doesn't recognize her because of the hair. Conda says she fought losing weight for so long (and is still fighting), but knowing so many good things would come out of it makes it worth while. Conda says they can call her Blonda and while they do that, Jeremy enters.
Jeremy looks pretty much the same with hair slightly shorter and in a suit. Jeremy says his family is shocked to see the change. DeeDee, his mother, did recognize him because he has the face that will never change. She says Jeremy looks so happy and she's proud of him. Jeremy says he's been given this gift to be on the ranch and at this moment he got to share it with his family.
Up last is Kim, who looks a lot thinner. She says before being on the ranch, she was in a place of despair and sadness about life. Kim enters the White House and she also hasn't had much of a change: just shorter hair and a bit more red. That's alright though, because Kim looks great. Bob and Dolvett both compliment her. Dolvett says the light he was searching for is here and Kim is a new and improved woman. Bob says Kim looks like she could walk into the finale and Kim says she will be walking into the finale. Dolvett asks how she feels and Kim feels like her life has changed. This whole time she's been fighting for every pound to drop off. She feels like a knockout, both her insides and outsides match now.
Agents Bob and Dolvett have one more big surprise for her, which of course is Kim's two children and her mother. Kim's kids run over to hug her as she cries and holds them. Very sweet. She says she has great kids and is really lucky. Kim is so happy to see them and it feels like it has been forever. All she's been through is worth it when she sees them. Kim thanks her mother who is really proud of her.
We cut to agents Bob and Dolvett leading the losers through the White House. Bob is super excited, saying he loves his job but since he gets to meet Michelle Obama, he loves it more. Kim feels like this is one of her biggest accomplishments. Conda is going to enjoy every moment of this. Jeremy doubts he'd have had the chance to meet the First Lady without the show. Chris says meeting the First Lady is unheard of. Buddy says foreign diplomats meet Michelle Obama, but now he gets to meet her. Mark isn't sure what he's going to say. Kim says this is it. Bob introduces Michelle Obama, who walks in and... to be continued!
Next week, we learn Michelle Obama is a fan of The Biggest Loser. Bob and Dolvett are working everyone out at the White House, including the First Lady who asks for a towel. Also, we see Roy is having an emergency at home and this leads Chris to stress eat. Okay. First week without an elimination all season, folks. If we only have one elimination per episode until the end of the season... we'll still run out of episodes early. Oh well, this episode was fun to watch, which is a really good thing in this season.
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