The Biggest Loser 4, September 18: The Black Team Arrivesby Brian Towers -- 09/19/2007
Welcome back to Season 4 of The Biggest Loser!. Last week, we met the new contestants. They were split into three teams, one of which is a ghost team trainer by returning trainer Jillian Michaels.
This week, we have another big two-hour show to enjoy. I know two-hour episodes are popular with the fans… with recappers, not so much. But let’s get on to the show!
The show begins with focus on the Black Team, seven days before they arrive at Biggest Loser Campus. It’s time for their non-elimination weigh-in. Here’s how the numbers worked out:
Since there’s no elimination, I chose to dispense with my usual percentages and team stats. As they get weighed, we see clips reminding us why they came to this show. For many, it’s to live longer and be with their families. Jillian helps them celebrate these loses by taking them off to work out. “Who wants a beating?” she inquires hopefully.
Back at the Campus, Kim meets with the Red Team and they discuss the elimination of last week. They seem down, naturally, but I don’t think they’re exactly devastated. In a cameo, Phil tells us his objective here is to lose enough weight that he can apply to become a fireman. Amy misses her kids, but she’s here for her health as well. Kim takes her team to the gym, and I must say they aren’t looking too motivated right now.
Meanwhile, Bob is reprising one of his favorite tasks for new teams, a hike up the nearest mountain. At times it seems like big Neil isn’t going to make it because of knee pain, but he refuses to quit. Everyone makes it, and they are rewarded with a great view. Bob tells his team, “Look at all the mountains that have to be climbed before you go back home.” I think he’s kidding?
It’s time to check in with the Black Team. Instead of a saunter up a hill, Jillian has them jogging while carrying heavy logs overhead… up a hill! Jillian tells us it’s 96 degrees, but, “The best warriors are forged in fire,” and, “When they get to the Campus, the air conditioned gym will be like a joke to them.” She also promises us her team will be “ready… for anything.”
Apparently Bryan is going to be a dietary challenge for Kim. For lunch he selects string cheese and Jello! Apparently he’s allergic to fish, so she sets him up with turkey tacos instead. Referring to her lectures of the previous week, she says, “Where did I go so wrong, that he didn’t get it?” An on-screen popup informs us that substituting turkey for beef twice a week saves 350 calories weekly, or five pounds a year.
It’s time to prepare for an upcoming challenge. Kim tells her squad that it’s about “wanting it bad enough.” Amy is reprimanded for holding onto the handrails as she uses a treadmill (or is it a stepper?) Her fear is that she will fall off. Myself, I know that holding on like that is bad for her back, but Kim’s response is, “You’re not going to fall off, unless you want to fall off.” It degenerates into an argument when Amy can’t work the machine controls. Kim goads Amy to quit, but she doesn’t.
Back on the beach with Jillian, it’s now five days until they return. Kim says, “My team isn’t thinking about competing in challenges. I’m challenge enough.” Julie says that for the first time in her life, she gets to be a rebel and she’s looking forward to it. I find this rather amusing; as she is so sweet that you know she can never, ever truly be a rebel! At one point Hollie is left crying in the sand part way through an exercise. Jillian inspires her to get back in there and finish, by asking her if not changing her life is an alternative to her, or not.
On the Blue side of the house, Bob tells his team all that the trainers know about the challenge is that stairs are involved. And soon enough, it’s time for the first challenge of the week.
Series host Alison Sweeney is on hand at a ten-story building where the lights are turned on in the top floors. This challenge is a relay where, one member at a time, they must mount the stairs to the lighted floors and hit a switch that turns the lights on that floor the same as their team color. They then have to return to ground level and tag in their next teammate. The team that first turns off all their lights and get the last member back to Alison first, wins. The prize is immunity, which catches all their attention.
Neil with his bad knee and Ryan, who had some questionable results from a recent blood test are both officially injured, so to even the numbers, Red Team captain Phil names Lezlye as the one to sit out. In a cameo, she says, “Basically, I didn’t want to do it.” I wonder how that concept would play out on Jillian’s team?
This is a pretty tough challenge for these big people, and no one’s running up too many of the stairs. Kae gets the Blue Team is off to an early lead, and they hold it until captains Phil and Jerry take the final turns. They turn out their lights at almost the same moment, meaning, the first one back wins for their team. “I wasn’t going to lose again to the old man,” vows Phil, and he turns out to have the moxie and hustle to pull out a very narrow victory.
This means someone on the Red Team will win immunity, so we advance to phase two to determine which individual it is. All the lights in the building are turned off and the Red Team members step up to a set of switches, one of which will signify their victory by turning all the lights red.
The order is determined by a random draw of names, and although she didn’t participate, Lezlye goes first, but guesses wrong. To her credit, in a cameo she says she really didn’t feel she deserved the prize. Captain Phil goes next – nope. But when David takes his turn, he guesses right and claims the prize. That was kind of a dopey way to do decide immunity, if you ask me. David is glad for his prize but knows he can’t ease up on chasing his ultimate goals.
The next day, the Blue Team brings Bob up to speed on the challenge results. To shift their focus, Bob tells his charges, “No team has ever won the first two weigh-ins,” and gets them into the gym.
Kim is nervous about the upcoming weigh-in. From computer monitoring (did you notice the straps they always have on their upper arms?), she knows Amy and Lezlye are not working nearly as hard when Kim isn’t around. Amy says, “I just don’t even want to hear this @#$%, because I’m working as hard as I can.” Kim warns her that you can’t let the others work harder, and even Amy has no response for that.
The scene shifts back to the Black Team. Jillian tells them they will soon be rejoining the other teams. The Black Team is psyched to get back and get some measure of revenge. It’s pretty cute when Julie tries again to talk tough about their upcoming return – the girl just cannot do fierce trash-talk so that it’s believable!
In the kitchen, Blue Team’s Neil tells trainer Bob is having trouble keeping food down. This worries Bob, who knows that to get Neil’s metabolism working properly, he needs to eat some proper food. Neil agrees with the principle, and although it seems they agree to defer a resolution until next week, we never see exactly how this is worked out. Bob does a cameo for us to stress the importance of continuing to eat (properly) in order to lose weight.
It’s already time for last-change workouts. Bob tells us, “My team has done every single thing I have asked. They’ve pushed themselves to more extremes like no one in the house ever has.” Ha, wait till he sees tape of what the Black Team is doing! Patty is working so hard she’s reduced to tears as Bob encourages her by repeating, “How proud are you?” I’m sure she loves that camera in her face right now!
During the Red Team’s workout, Lezlye is having a tough time keeping up and moans, “You know I hate running!” Clearly fed up, Kim says, “You know what I hate. I hate whining. I hate losing. I hate losing weigh-ins. There’s all kinds of things I don’t like. SUCK IT UP, I’m tired of hearing it!”
A little later, Kim is showing Lezlye how she wants her to walk and Lezlye does it behind her, mimicking in an uncomplimentary fashion. I’d like to be in Kim’s house when she sees that on TV!
Kim tells us the three guys are working hard, but the women are not and Kim is getting tired of their whining. During the workout, Amy walks out. Her teammates are stunned and not at all impressed. As the scene ends, Amy is off by herself, sobbing about wanting to go home.
Bob and the Blue Team find Amy alone and crying in the kitchen. He sends them off to do some cardio while he talks to her. He says to us, “I didn’t see a girl in a red shirt, I just saw a girl upset and I just wanted to talk to her.” After he encourages her, she feels “a lot better” and gives him a hug.
The scene again shifts to Jillian and her Black Team. She’s giving them a tough last-chance workout of her own. These guys are working hard, harder than the other teams, and they are VERY focused, and VERY ready to get into the Biggest Loser Campus!
Lezlye on the Red Team meets with Amy to discuss a voting alliance. It seems the women will be sticking together. They giggle over their brilliant planning.
The Black Team and Jillian are welcomed to the campus by host Alison. They are standing beside the scales before the other teams arrive, sending the message that the scales are seen as Black Team turf. And as we go to commercial, the unsuspecting Red and Blue Teams wait in line-ups to file into the weigh-in room.
Sure enough, when the teams enter and see the Black Team, they are shocked. Former cast-mates Bob and Jillian exchange a big hug. Kim fakes a hello, but in a cameo it’s obvious she doesn’t want Jillian there. Jillian says in a cameo, “Barbie and Ken can duke it out, I just want to sail my people to the end.”
Alison reminds everyone that Phil and Jerry left these people in the desert. I think those two captains have HUGE targets on their backs, should they make the merge. Lezlye figures the Black Team can’t have worked as hard as them, so she’s not really worried about them. The Reality TV Justice Fairy has taken note of that one!
It is time for the Elimination Weigh-In. Alison calls upon the Blue Team first. When they finished, the Red Team learn informed they need to lose more than 38 pounds to top the others. When their turn comes up, the Black Team hear they need to lose more than 22 pounds to avoid elimination, and 42 to win bragging rights. Here are the numbers, in all their glory:
The trainers have their work cut out for them next week, because several of the competitors were extremely dismayed at the comparatively small loses they realized.
Alison informs Bryan (who is being called “B” now) that as the biggest loser on the losing team, he is exempt from the vote. So is David, because he won the exemption earlier.
So let the game play begin!
Phil tells David he’s not sure if he wants to vote based on attitude, or weight. Amy later talks to David about Phil being the biggest threat. When he tells her they need to keep a strong team, she quickly changes her approach and tosses Lezlye under the bus. So much for the giggling woman’s alliance!
I still think after bailing out on the last-chance workout earlier in the day, Amy is the one who is at greatest risk.
The players are next show filing into the elimination room. Alison asks Amy if they work out as hard as the Blue Team. The reply is evasive. Lezlye is asked about the competition aspect, and she says her vote is strategic. Alison also reminds us that only Lezlye, Amy, and Phil can be voted against.
Each person gives reasons for why they’ve voted the way they have, but they are all nonsense and worse, and this season, I’m not going to bother typing all those lies. At this stage of the game, one votes either because the target is annoying or they don’t work hard enough.
Phil is up first, and he votes for Lezlye. She votes next, and votes for Phil. Isn’t it amazing how often the first two players vote against each other? I don’t know if the producers direct the seating, but I suspect they do.
Third up is Amy, who votes for Phil. David has the potentially fatal vote for Phil, but ties up the vote by naming Lezlye as well.
This puts the onus on Bryan, who probably hopes his vote would remain unread again this week. His vote is for Lezlye, and the Katrina victim gets dumped on again. Stoically, she leaves expressing support for her team, and they all hug.
In her funeral video Lezlye tells us she learned a lot about herself, and she’s ready for the real world. More current video shows us that Lezlye has now 200 pounds, having lost 55 pounds in total, and now gets up at 4:15 AM and runs three miles. The family has put both Katrina and their unhealthy lifestyle behind them. Good for you, Lezlye!
In Conclusion: I’m not sure they made the right choice in their elimination. Amy may be bigger, but I’m not sure her commitment level is there. I hope I’m wrong, for her sake.
Next week, The Biggest Loser 3 has a third two-hour episode slated, featuring a tempting food competition, plus… are they faster than a fifth grader? 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.
Be sure to sign up for our e-mail update so you can stay informed about new articles on the site! And take a look at the rest of the site. You can find out about some other popular shows at our So You Think You Can Dance page and our Big Brother 8 page; and don't miss The Reality TV Hall of Shame. You can even buy reality show stuff at our Reality TV Store!
For more news about reality TV, be sure to check out SirLinksALot: The Biggest Loser!