The Biggest Loser, Episode 8: Worth the Weight!by Donna Reynolds -- 12/15/2004
The show begins with clips from last week – the bicycle challenge, Gary’s emotional reunion with his wife and kids, the weigh-in, and Andrea’s final words. After the zippy theme song, the actions starts right after Andrea’s elimination. The guys do a bit of strategizing, and then it is morning.
Jillian and Bob arrive and inform the group that they are leaving the ranch. The gang arrives at a high school track where they are told that they are going to take a fitness test. Bob tells them that they will be timed as they run a lap around the track. Mo immediately goes negative but Bob pumps him up for the run.
Gary knows that he could not have run around the track once when he got there. Kelly admits that he is in the best shape of all of them. Maurice has a hard time, but manages to complete the lap. Then Bob tells them that they are going to run it again, and must better their times. Bob runs alongside Mo, who tells us that he was pushing himself. About halfway though, Mo takes off like a rocket! He sprints to the finish line, and is the most improved. For his efforts, he gets a hug from Bob and $100 bill!
Next, the group is blindfolded and taken to the a secret location for another challenge. Caroline greets them and asks them to take off their blindfolds. They find themselves face to face with life-size cutouts of themselves at their starting weights. Maurice says that this was like looking at himself through other people’s eyes. None of them realized they were as large as they were and they just can’t believe it.
Ryan goes to pieces and can barely talk. He says that he remembers being that weight and thinking he was perfectly fine. Each of them takes a look at piles of food equaling the total amount of weight that they lost. Mo has 50 pounds of fried chicken and Ryan 77 pounds of apple pie. Liza’s former weight is illustrated in mac and cheese. They are all embarrassed but proud to have gotten as far as they have.
Then Caroline drops the next bomb. They will each wear a weighted vest that will equal their total weight loss. They will run another lap, and whoever gets closest to their times from the day before will win immunity as well as a 37” flat screen TV from CompUSA. Ryan doesn’t think that it’s fair since he has lost the most weight. He tells us that he is certain Gary will win. He is starting to get a bit whiney. Must be from hanging around with Lisa.
They each strap on their vests and can’t believe that they were actually carrying around all that weight. Ryan says it’s like carrying a ten-year-old, and Gary figures he is screwed. They line up for the race, and Maurice feels that he still has a chance. Gary figures he has to go out as fast as he can and just not stop.
They begin. Mo is struggling but Gary seems to be doing pretty well. Ryan is chugging along, and the girls seem to be doing okay as well. The music is overly dramatic as they head to the finish line. Gary finishes first and removes his vest. Mo slows to a walk and Ryan drops to the ground. Kelly can’t wait to get the vest off. Gary goes back out to run along with Maurice, and together they finish the run. Gary helps Mo off with his vest. Talk about a good guy.
Lisa is jealous of Gary. She thinks it’s unfair since he is physically stronger and better. Whaa whaa… her constant whining is annoying me. Stop it. Now for the results. Mo finishes fifth, and Kelly’s fourth. She is disappointed. In third place, with a 17-second difference… we break for a strategically placed commercial. Oh, the drama of it all!
Back from the break, and we are about to find out who is in third place. And it is Gary. Oh no! He is convinced that he will be going home. It’s between Lisa and Ryan, and the winner is… Ryan. Gary is shocked, but Lisa feels good since her former teammate won, making her feel safer. Gary jokes about seeing them at the reunion show, but really, his chances are not good.
Each of them charge at their former selves and knock their cutouts over with a variety of kicks and punches. Gary never wants to go back to that again, and Maurice tells us that his relationship with fried chicken has ended. “It was a tough breakup, but I think I’ll get through it,” he says.
After the race, they return to the ranch and prepare turkey burgers. Gary tells the guys that he used to eat donuts every day. Then the conversation turns to McDonalds. They reminisce about McGriddles and chicken nuggets. Their eating habits certainly have changed. Ryan is excited about getting back to “real life” and being able to drive by fast food restaurants, ignoring the temptations. It’s sure not easy, but having had this time in isolation has gotten them all off to a great start.
There’s no letup for Gary. He’s still working out, and Bob continues to push him to his limits. He is in a great deal of pain and misses his family. He really wants to go home. Bob confronts him, and Gary tells him that he’s ready to go. Bob points out where Gary was and how far he’s come. I don’t think he’s buying it, though. Bob reminds him that they are at the “final mile.” The reward is right around the corner.
Bob gets Gary back on the treadmill and speeds it right up for him. Gary is running at a full clip, up to level 12 for the first time. This is as fast as the machine goes. Good job Bob. This success gets Gary back on track. Then it’s Maurice turn. It’s time for Maurice to “run to the gate,” which is almost two miles. Everyone else has done this except for Mo.
And they’re off. Bob runs along with him, up the hill and past the pastures. Mo pushes it harder than he ever has before. He says that several times during the workout, he felt as though he were dying. Push it baby, push it. He makes it to the halfway point and mentally turns a corner. Bob says that there is an athlete that lives in us all, and today, he saw the athlete in Mo. They sprint to the finish, and Mo has done it. He tells us that he felt pure satisfaction and calls Bob the best trainer in America. “Watch out for Mo. Mo is on his way,” Bob says.
Allow me a minute here to say a few words about Bob Harper. Bob has worked with a number of celebrities, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Ellen DeGeneres, Melissa Etheridge, and Guy Ritchie. He believes in fitness for the “mind and body,” and understands that attitude is a big part of the battle. I love Bob’s approach to fitness, but more than that, I admire his genuine concern for his clients. He gets results but gives back so much in the process. I love Bob, and would love to be able to train with him.
Back to the action. Ryan, Kelly, and Lisa are in the gym doing a bit of strategizing. Ryan understands that the three former Red Team members must stick together. They do a “pinkie swear,” which Ryan says is as good as swearing on his mother’s grave. Just make sure you don’t swear on one of your children’s lives, eh Ryan. Kelly tells us that she is sure Mo is going to be one of the two who will face elimination, but because he is inconsistent and doesn’t pose a threat in the challenges, he might be safe. It all depends on who is under the yellow line.
They all have a little camera time. Maurice tells us that he is still hanging in there and Gary figures that he will probably fall below the yellow line. Ryan sends himself a message for the future, urging himself not to forget the lessons learned so far. Ryan and Lisa talk about how close in weight loss she and Gary are. This will be a crucial weigh-in.
Under cover of night, the gang struts into the gym for the weigh-in. This is going to be a close one. Chunky Caroline welcomes them to the weigh-in and reminds them that all they have to do is stay above the yellow line. Since Ryan won immunity, he is safe but still needs to be weighed. He sprints to the scale and discovers that he has lost another three pounds. His total percentage of weight loss is 24.2 percent.
Then it’s Maurice’s turn. No matter what his percentage, when he arrived he weighed 436 pounds and is now down to 381. The five pounds he lost this week brings his total to 55 pounds. Now for Kelly. She has lost two pounds dropping her to 20.7 percent, and putting her in second place. Lisa steps up. She’s a wreck and is hoping to beat Gary. But, before we find out, there is yet another dramatically positioned commercial break.
We return with a replay of Lisa walking to the scale. Her current weight is 189. She’s lost two more pounds. Gary sighs. Her percentage is 19.9 percent, bumping Mo below the yellow line. Gary is last. He doesn’t feel as though he has lost much and has no idea what is going to happen. But he pulls it off, losing six pounds to become the “biggest loser” of the week. Wow. His total percentage is 22 percent, and this pushes Lisa below the yellow line. Gary is safe and Lisa is now at risk.
Lisa plays it to the hilt. She tells us that she has to believe that the former Red Team will keep her around and Maurice will be sent home. Caroline sends them off to deliberate, and then it is morning. Lisa and Kelly have a conversation. Lisa is squirming. Kelly is starting to really shape up, and is wearing a belly shirt and low cut jeans. Kelly gets on Lisa, telling her not to justify her feelings. Lisa still feels confident that Kelly and Ryan will not vote for her.
Meanwhile, Maurice is giving it his best pitch. He knows that Ryan is “top dog,” but doesn’t seem to be able to convince him to sway his vote. Ryan indicates that he will stick to his alliance with the girls. Maurice calls himself a “dead man walking.”
Gary tries working on Ryan too, appealing to a sort of men’s alliance. He believes that Lisa is a bigger threat than Mo is, but Ryan is afraid that this would be a real stab in the back. Ouch. Ryan is conflicted – really conflicted. While all this is going on, Jillian tries to pump Lisa up. At least Lisa isn’t crying. Jillian reminds her of how hard Lisa has worked and how far she has come. Jillian is convinced that if Lisa is eliminated, she will do just fine.
Now for the tears. Maurice starts crying, and this gets Lisa and Kelly crying too. They have all gotten so close. Kelly says that she loves Maurice and cries when she tells us that it is going to be real hard sending him home. But will he go home? We are about to find out.
The five finalists get set for the vote. Drums beat and everyone is very solemn. Caroline asks Ryan what he has learned about himself. He says that he now knows he can be a motivated person and “do it.” She talks to Maurice and wonders how he feels about being in last place despite how well he has been doing. He responds by saying that a game is a game, but that he is getting healthy. His cholesterol is down, his blood pressure has gone down, and he has more energy. “I feel like a new man,” he tells her.
Caroline asks Kelly how strong the bond is between her former team members. She says that, although there are no more teams, she is still supporting them. “Ladies and Gentleman, it’s time to cut the fat,” Caroline tells them. Won’t it be a hoot when either Kelly or Lisa is actually smaller than Caroline!
The air is thick with tension as Caroline asks Gary who he wants to eliminate. Before he casts his vote, he tells Lisa how much he appreciates her humor and praises Mo. “Unfortunately, this is a game,” he says as he casts his vote for Lisa, who starts to cry. Kelly can’t keep it together as she addresses Mo and Lisa. She says that she could never vote off Lisa, and casts her vote for Mo. What will Ryan do? He has the deciding vote. He starts out by saying that it just gets tougher and tougher. Ryan stuns the group and votes for Lisa. She immediately bursts into tears and vents on Ryan. He has no apologies and says that because Kelly says she would never vote against Lisa, he had to. Good strategy, at least for now. But this decision could come back to bite him in the butt. Kelly will certainly never trust him again.
In Lisa’s final clip, she tells us that she will take with her an “I can” attitude. She says that she will never again let anything cross her path and make her say “I can’t.” “Next time America sees me, I’m going to be thin,” she promises. And, in the “after” photo shown once she speaks these words, we see Kelly minus a total of 61 pounds. I say “Whoa” out load. She looks amazing. She has hired a trainer and is exercising in a Latin dance class.
Allow me a moment to vent here. Last week, an astute reader emailed me with some comments regarding the new criteria for determining each week's "smallest losers." I did some calculations of my own, and have to say that I agree with her. This new formula is totally unfair and will certainly work against certain individuals.
Consider this. In order to equal the percentage of weight lost by other contestants, Maurice would have to lose close to 90 pounds. Say he started out at 400 pounds. To equal Ryan's 22%, Maurice would have to lose 88 pounds. A person who started out at 300 pounds would equal Ryan by only losing 66 pounds. And, for the people who were at 200 pounds, in order to have a 22 percent loss, they would only have to lose 44 pounds, half of what Maurice would need.
She also pointed out that although Maurice lost the second highest amount of weight in the last weigh-in, he finished dead last. She wrote, "The system has basically taken Mo out of it, which is incredible to me. Maurice is too overweight to be in the running for the Biggest Loser? crazy..." I agree wholeheartedly.
Next time, the final four go home to their families to prepare for the live finale on January 11. Certainly there will be lots of tears as they leave the ranch and say goodbye. There will be a show next week at 8:00 p.m. I’ll certainly be watching!
Donna Reynolds is an Assistant Editor for the RealityNewsOnline family of websites and a freelance writer based in Syracuse, NY. She is also the creator of “That’s Entertainment,” a weblog on syracuse.com. Whether you agree or disagree, Donna welcomes your comments, and you can email her at email@example.com.
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