The Biggest Loser 4 Finale: Who Is The Biggest Loser?by Brian Towers -- 12/20/2007
Last week we saw Isabeau win the final reward. Blue Team’s trainer Bob was “Kim’d” (meaning all his players were eliminated) when Neil was sent home. The episode ended with Campus closed and the players about to arrive back at their homes.
Predictably, the episode opens with previously presented material. In any two-hour finale, one must expect a lot of repeated material. Fair enough, not all viewers saw the show every week and they deserve to experience all the highs and lows they might have missed. But I’m skipping past previously-aired material in this article. Soon enough, series hostess Alison Sweeney comes onscreen to introduce the 14 eliminated players. Accompanied by a brief video clip, each is wildly cheered by the live audience as they arrive by breaking through a life-sized picture of themselves on day one. It’s clear that no one’s as big as they once were, and I know we all celebrate that.
I note that although most of the women have opted for black dresses, some contestants wear an article of clothing that reminds us of their team alliance. For example, I see Bryan’s red tie, Eric’s red shirt, and Jerry’s blue blazer. There’s no red on Amy, though!
It’s time for Alison (adorable in a shiny, soft magenta dress, since you asked) to ask the assembled some questions. She asks Amy about switching trainers. Amy replies that she’s very happy she made the move and that Jillian taught her the difference between “I can’t” and “I can.” The crowd applauds. Ouch, Kim!
Bill’s brother Jim is asked about competing against his brother, only to be sent home early in the game. He relates that it spurred him on.
Alison reminds us of Neil’s unprecedented 17-pound weight gain and asks if his family was “high-fiving you for your strategy, or were they starting to question your moral integrity.” Wow, that’s no softball question, way to go Alison! After admitting it’s not his proudest moment, Neil says, “The best strategy you can have is to beat the scale every week.” That, I buy.
Alison then reminds Bryan he was the last Red Team member standing and asks if that made it harder for him at home. “B” was the last Red Team member standing? Dang, I wish that had come up sometime this season! Who knew? And why it would be it harder for him than any other eliminated player I don’t know, but Bryan responds that he did his best to stay on track.
Alison then segues to the point where we left off last episode, with our four remaining players about to arrive home. Rapidly interchanging shots between their limos shows us the players are too nervous and anxious to be enjoying the ride. In fact, all lament the sacrifices they’ve made to participate in this show. Yet amid all this angst, Bill observes, “This is what I had to do, for myself.” Very true! On the other hand, a melodramatic Julie bemoans that she missed her child’s kindergarten graduation and says, “I left a child that I barely even recognize any more.” Really? Maybe his dad will think of that and dress the kid in a sweater that has his name on it.
Isabeau’s arrival home is shown first. The first order of business is a big hug from mom, while her boyfriend John is reduced to an emotional puddle. Isabeau knows the next three months won’t be easy. Well, I guess that sets the timeframe for us.
The scene shifts to Julie’s house, which has a gigantic banner hanging off of it that has pictures of Alison and Jillian, and the NBC logo. No picture of Julie, though! Her young son and her husband greet Julie at the door. I’m pleased to report that she recognizes her son right away. It turns out several dozen family members and friends have been assembled in their large back yard. Highly relieved, she tells them, “It feels so good to be home!”
Following our third contestant takes us to the southwest. Hollie is met by a large group of boisterous friends, including her proud and supportive grandma Eva and Hollie’s cheerleading squad. Similar to the other sites, response is enthusiastic.
Finally, Bill returns home. What, did an early boot from Amazing Race make his flight bookings? He asks his family, “What do you think, do I look a little different?” His young son Luke is cute when he says to the camera, “I didn’t think he would lose too much (weight), but I was amazed how much he lost.” A more formal reception has been prepared a local hall, where the first hug comes from his twin brother and fellow competitor, Jim.
Skipping ahead to current time, Alison promotes a feature from the next season, called the “Million Pound Match-Up,” wherein America is challenged to register with them online and then combine to lose a million pounds as a group. This is an extension of their current feature, “The Biggest Losers Club.” I think it’s a wonderful concept, but honestly, it won’t have a featured role in my recaps. But I promise, when Alison announces the million pounds have been lost, I won’t let it pass by unreported.
Alison, shouting to be heard over the rabid crowd, brings out the three trainers from the audience. There are many hugs between trainers and their charges. Alison does a nice job of getting them to break it off so we can get on with the show.
The time has come for the eliminated contestants to have their final weigh-ins. The one with the best loss percentage wins a cool $100,000! As the weigh-in proceeds, when each competitor is announced, we first see a short video clip of their back-story, perhaps to remind us who these folks are. There are some good memories, but not new stuff, so let’s move on. In order of appearance (which is also order of elimination), here’s how they did:
Those are some highly impressive numbers! Neil falls six pounds short, and all the way back from Week 5, Jim the twin wins the $100,000 and keeps the Black Team’s winning streak intact.
The scene shifts back to visiting the final four on video. Bill confesses that his old body was built by baklava and the food his office brings in is still a terrible temptation to him. However, he’s used his brother Jim as inspiration to stay strong.
In a video diary entry from Isabeau shortly after a workout, she says, “This never gets easy. Never, never, never!” We see her working out hard, but some doubts are creeping into her mind.
Julie’s video is similar. Aided by her husband we see her working out, she also confesses that it’s been a struggle since she came home to stay on track.
In the desert, Hollie decided that to regain her focus, she needed to move to L.A. So she has done so. However, although she feels she is working has hard as ever, she is frustrated to find that she is not achieving the results she had become used to.
Further video skips quickly between the four. We see Isabeau is doing better on the diet that she was in the gym. Then we learn Julie is comforted when she can find familiar foods in the store. Isabeau reminds us she is the largest female in the history of the show and would love to be the first female winner. Actually, the Australian version has featured three larger women so far, but Isabeau is correct about the American editions. And Julie tells the camera that she’s not afraid of Bill and he should “bring it on.” If Jim’s results are any indication, he’s going to be bringing a lot more than she can handle!
As the clips end, the three ladies vow to be the first female Biggest Loser, while Bill simply informs us he will be the next Biggest Loser, or die trying.
Back live, Alison brings the final four onto the stage. First out is Julie, who looks pretty tiny. She tells Alison how happy she is that next month, she’ll be speaking in front of Congress about nutrition and healthy living. After missing so many Christmas parties at her husband’s office… this year, the party is tonight, and she’s missing it again!
Hollie is brought out second, and she looks very nice too, including what might just be a quarter-million-dollar smile. She has changed almost everything in her life and now embraces her healthy lifestyle.
Isabeau is the third finalist on stage, and she has cleaned up nicely as well. She reveals that she has become a personal trainer herself!
Finally… Bill. Boy, he hasn’t been hitting the baklava table much; he looks even smaller than Jim! Alison has a pair of his old pants on hand and tells us they are size 54 waist. Bill informs us that he now wears a 32. Alison wonders if both twins could get into those pants now. I don’t think so, but the change in both is remarkable.
Hollie and Isabeau look super, but there’s no chance they are going to beat Bill. Julie looks great too, but she never had the starting numbers to take the title.
Some awkward interviews between Alison and the nervous final four ensue. When it ends, Alison tells Bill that as the biggest loser on Campus, he gets to set the order in which the four will be weighed. He decides they will go in ascending-age order.
More previously-aired material precedes each weigh-in. In Bill’s segment, he says, “Biggest Loser Campus is a place where hope stays alive and dreams come true.” Well said!
In the middle of the weigh-in, a sneak preview if the new season is run. Stand fast, my hearty readers, for sometime before Christmas, a more in-depth report is coming right here to RealityNewsOnline. For now, I’m skipping past this oddly placed promo.
I mean, there are only four contestants; can’t we just do the weigh-in without interruption? And really, were two commercial breaks actually necessary – sheesh! So without further ado, here are the results that we’ve been waiting to see all season.
So as expected, Bill is the winner of The Biggest Loser 4 and claims the $250,000 prize. He probably feels the same amount of relief that the New England Patriots will feel after they win the Super-Bowl to complete their undefeated season. Bill’s win was never really in doubt, but the darnedest things get in your head at 3 AM sometimes.
There’s no mention of any runner-up prizes, so Julie will just have to be content with her new car.
I applaud the three ladies for attacking what must have seemed like an insurmountable task, but if they had any bets going, it must have been on who finished second. I calculate that Julie needed to lose an additional 11 pounds to beat Bill. Another way of looking at this is to say that Bill could have retained 15 of his pounds and still won.
In the last three months, based on the weight they were when they left Campus (not original weight), Julie has experienced the best results, losing 39 more pounds, or 17.39 percent of that weight. Hollie is next at 16.08 percent, Bill registers 11.98 percent, and Isabeau’s loss is another 10.74 percent.
Bill did not lose the most weight this season, though. As you can tell from the first table, that honor goes to his twin brother Jim. The same table also shows a delicious execution of karma on Neil. Had Neil made it into the final four, he would have won it all!
The season is almost over. A ton of confetti falls as Bill hugs his family. Over all the commotion and screaming, Alison shouts out a promo to remind us to tune in next season. Partway through, a piece of falling glitter goes right into her mouth! She fishes it out with élan and completes her speech. That was one for the highlight reel!
My Opinion: There was concern in some circles that the title winner might not be true biggest loser. Maybe so, but Bill made a fight out of it and overall, finished a close third. Julie surprised me a lot by finishing in second place to Bill, fourth overall, and nailed the best result among the women.
I will always be a fan of the delightful Caroline Rhea, but I thought Alison did a great job in her inaugural effort of hosting the live finale. She was never flustered and kept things moving.
Next Time: “Next time” for this show is not so far away – New Year’s Day. Join me here soon for a recap of all the action from the first episode of the fifth season, sprinkled with my own reactions and opinions.
Until then, let me know what you think about it all at the eAddress below! And in the meantime, those of you who can get the Canadian SLICE channel, keep watching Biggest Loser Australia, Season 1!
More at home with popcorn than push-ups, Brian 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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