The Biggest Loser 2, Episode 5: It’s All About Teamworkby Brian Towers -- 10/12/2005
Welcome to week five of The Biggest Loser 2, the series that pits two teams of overweight contestants in a competitive struggle to lose weight and, in the process, regain control of their lives. Challenges and temptations bar their way to a nice prize.
Last week, everyone was sent to Las Vegas, the home of temptation. Several players yielded to a gambling temptation and gave up their trainers for the week. At the elimination, there was a tie vote and the men sent Ms. Ryan home.
The question of the week remains: can the women find any semblance of unity on their team?
As a reference, these are the contestants in this year’s show:
THE WOMEN (Blue Team, coach Bob):
THE MEN (Red Team, coach Jillian):
Eliminated, in order:
As the show opens, we see a short clip of Drea from last year. Lookin’ terrific, girl!
Bride-to-be Suzanne thinks that the departed Ryan was the “glue” between Suzy and Andrea. Suzanne tries to tell us that that was her strategy last week. Sorry, that doesn’t fly. After the tie vote, the men determined who went home, and the men do not report to you for strategy decisions! Suzanne talks to soccer mom Andrea and single-girl Suzy to say how sorry she is that Ryan is gone, but Suzy tells her that she knows she’s lying. In a confessional, Andrea tells us “everything that comes out of that girl’s mouth seems to be a lie.” In her confessional, Suzy is distressed by all the drama.
First up is the weekly temptation. It involves the trainers and a big plate of “bad” foods. There’s a burger, onion rings, fries, ice cream, and a big chocolate shake. Suzanne says, “I could eat all that in one sitting!” However, trainer Jillian spoils their fun by telling them they don’t have to eat the food. Well, judging by the looks on their faces, several of them wouldn’t mind the chance to try!
The task is to guess the total number of calories of all these items. They can confer with each other, but each team must decide on one number. Teams must perform one stair on the Stairmaster for each calorie they are off. Shannon admits that the Stairmaster is her least favorite piece of equipment. The prize is a fun trip to Universal Studios. They won’t even have to wait in lines!
The trainers list off all the ingredients, right down to the maraschino cherry on the shake, so the players can make a decent educated guesses. Although some of the players know the calories of the food they’re supposed to eat, no one has much idea what the numbers are for this food. Suzanne takes over for the women, and she thinks the total is between four and five thousand calories. The men decide to all guess and average the results. Time is up! The women guess 4,249 calories and the men guess 2,950. Suzanne is sure the men have totally blown it.
It turns out, the men are off by only 116 calories – that’s amazing, really. The women are off by miles – they are 1,415 calories too high! To make things worse, Shannon had the number “on the nose” but couldn’t sell it to Suzanne or the others. Andrea tells us Suzanne didn’t break down the list but just guessed at a total. Why did the rest let that happen?
So as the ladies take to the machines, none of them are very happy. Meanwhile, the men have fun at the park with Jillian. Jillian makes Dr. Jeff conquer his fear of roller coasters and also takes the opportunity to show them what of the Universal food are the better choices to eat.
Bob tries to tell the women that they actually won the challenge. They worked as a team for a change. He also brings in Drea from last season to inspire the team. She asks them why they made the decision to come on the show. Perhaps if they are reminded exactly why they are there, it can reduce some of the drama on this team. Drea says, “The biggest prize that I took home, it wasn’t money, it was a better me.” The team finds Drea’s visit very inspirational. Good idea, Bob!
It’s challenge day. Series host Carolyn Rhea greets the teams in a room with several locked refrigerators. Some fridges have bad foods inside while others have healthier snacks. Each team is given five keys to the “good food” fridges, and the team that finds and opens their five fridges first, wins. The prize is videos from home – so everyone is really motivated to win!
As they race madly about, Suzy can’t seem to keep track of which fridges have been tried. Teams progress pretty evenly and are tied with two keys each… but the women get lucky and finish first. All squeal with delight, which in this big warehouse echoes in a most penetrating fashion. Much credit is given to Shannon’s idea of searching in an organized manner.
There are lots of tears as the women watch the videos. As Shannon had told us, we see she comes from a heavy family. Jen’s, too. Nice folks, though, all of them. Suffice to say, everyone back home is very supportive. Sniff! I’m such a softy!
Both teams are working hard in their final workouts before the weigh-in. Bob is stressing team unity again – it’s obviously the theme of the week. In an aside, Dr. Jeff wonders if bitching and crying helps the women lose more weight. Ha!
It’s weigh-in time. Suzy thinks they need to win, for the sake of – what else – team unity. The men are up first. They begin the week with a combined weight of 1524 pounds.
The men have a total loss of 57 pounds, or 3.74%. Carolyn informs the ladies that they must lose more than 39 pounds to win. I love how Carolyn does those calculations so quickly! Anyhow, here’s how they fare:
So after alternating every week, the men break the trend by winning two weeks in a row. They give a round of applause for the ladies. Carolyn announces that with her ten-pound loss, med student Jen again wins immunity from elimination this week.
Bob commiserates with the Blue Team, saying that at least they are now unified. He’s impressed with them. Jillian is impressed with the Red Team as well, calling their loss “unprecedented.”
The ladies discuss who should leave. For reasons I don’t understand, Andrea tells Suzanne that she is the one person she doesn’t trust and that she’s just out for herself. As Jen talks to Suzy, it seems it will come down to a decision between Andrea, who hasn’t lost as much weight, and Suzanne, who is accused of lying. Suzy doesn’t know what’s best for the game or what’s best for the team.
Secretly, Andrea realizes her percentage of weight loss is the smallest. She doesn’t want to go home yet. Neither does Suzanne. Are they setting us up to think the votes will be a three-to-two split for those two, with everyone voting along the old lines and totally ruining the team chemistry and Bob’s day? We’ll see.
The women file into the Elimination Room. Andrea votes first, and it’s for Suzanne because of her lack of “trustworthyness.” Suzanne smiles and surprisingly, votes for Shannon because, well, I didn’t understand it. It seems Suzanne “saved” Shannon last week and doesn’t feel she got paid back properly.
Next up, Shannon wants to keep things positive, so she gives no reason while returning the favor by voting for Suzanne. May I add that Shannon looks very pretty tonight sitting there? Suzy also votes for Suzanne. That’s enough, Suzanne is gone and we don’t see Jen’s vote. Wow, I didn’t really see that coming, I really thought Andrea was going home!
Suzanne says a nice goodbye to her team and she’s gone. Shannon now reveals that Suzanne tends to fly off the handle sometimes and they need to work as a team and be in control of themselves.
As we pipe Suzanne out with her funeral video, she tells us, “I finally got me back. You can’t ask for a greater prize than that!”
The current picture of Suzanne shows a very pretty woman. Since her first day on the ranch, she’s lost a total of 70 pounds! In the smallish picture at the end, where she’s in a bathing suit, she looks fabulous! Only 30 more to go to meet her stated goal of losing a hundred pounds – a goal I admit I initially thought was unreachable. But now, I fully believe she can do it! She looks good in that wedding dress. Go, Suzanne!
Next Week: The ladies climb stairs, the men climb a mountain, and emotional Matt walks out of the weigh-in.
My Own Thoughts: I am so surprised that the ladies seem friendly again. After last week, that seemed impossible. Maybe the right person got eliminated after all?
I hope that preview is misleading next week, I like Matt and don’t want him to quit.
And who’s not lovin’ this show? I am!
Join me here each Wednesday for a recap of all the action, sprinkled with my own reactions and opinions. And let me know what you think, at the eAddress below!
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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