Biggest Loser 5: Couples, Episode 4 – Six Against One, Is That Fair?by Brian Towers -- 01/23/2008
Last time: Emotions ran rampant, and several players broke down. In a challenge crafted to reveal (or create) alliances, teams argued about alliances. The Yellow Team won the weigh-in and in the ensuing elimination ceremony, a unanimous vote sent the White Team home. The episode ended with hostess Alison Sweeney asking the teams, “If you could vote off one more team, right now, who would it be?”
As a refresher, these are the surviving teams.
Predictably, action begins this week with Alison’s unanswered question. She says that the consequences of the choice will probably affect the rest of the game and she tells the teams to go off and make this decision together, but not to converse with other teams. They have an hour to do so.
The Purple Team knows this is a no-win situation, and several other teams aren’t sure how to proceed. Mother Jackie of the Orange Team wants to target the Black Team, but son Dan doesn’t want to become their target in retribution. The Yellow and Purple Teams get some consideration from other teams because they have been below the yellow line. The once-married Yellow Team discusses targeting the Grey and Black Teams, finally settling on the latter because they will be together at home. Plus, Paul feels Grey Team’s Trent needs to be here to lose weight and save his life.
Discussion time is over and Alison reconvenes the contestants to announce their decisions. Here’s how it goes:
So with Bette-Sue casting the deciding vote, that’s three votes for the Yellow Team and two each for the Black and Purple Teams. Kelly gets weepy over having been named the most frequently. So what does it all mean? Well, Alison assures them they are not being eliminated.
Instead, for this week only, the Yellow Team will combat against the average weight loss of the six other teams. If Yellow Team loses less than that aggregate number, they go home. If they beat the group number, they alone will decide who goes home instead. So they are on the hot seat!
Alison gives the Yellow Team choice of trainer and they take Jillian. That means Bob will train all the other teams.
Some members of the six teams feel pressure to meet the expectations of the rest. Meanwhile, the Yellow Team is getting fired up. Ex-wife Kelly is taking the votes personally and getting mad, while ex-husband Paul is issuing all sorts of ninja talk. In the background, appropriately dramatic music plays.
Taking a break from the plotting, it’s time to reward the biggest losers from the last episode. That would be our designated target of the week, the Yellow Team. This plays out just like last week, with the same three envelopes (“Luxury,” “Family,” and “Gameplay”). Kelly really wants to pick “Luxury” and also wants to give some consideration to “Family.” Paul replies that if they get eliminated this week, Kelly can talk to her friends and family all she wants from home.
Paul knows that the position they are in, they need to take “Gameplay.” That decision prevails. Smart move – because, the prize is a two-pound weight advantage at any upcoming weigh-in! Paul assures us that the advantage will be used this week.
The trainers arrive to discover both the White and Yellow Teams are missing. The assembled teams bring the trainers up to speed. We know what’s happened already, so let’s skip ahead. Bob tells us, “The game is on.” I believe that’s the third week in a row he’s said that?
Back in their room, Paul of the Yellow Team tries on a special ninja jacket he’s brought along. It has not fit him for a long time. When Jillian comes upstairs to meet with them, she laughs at the jacket. I don’t think that’s the result Paul was hoping for! Jillian reads their mood and tells them to take a longer-term view of the game and not express anger toward the other teams, because they will become targets if people are uncomfortable being around them. Paul insists he’s not angry, just driven.
Paul tells us they will not tell the other teams about their pass. Smart move! Paul says, “The less they know, the more they worry.”
Bob is working his charges hard. Ali says, “This all-versus-one has turned Bob into a complete maniac. He has flipped. I’m scared for my life!” Meanwhile, Jillian works Kelly out for two hours. Everyone is worn out and beat down.
Paul has a strategy. Others think he doesn’t do “his homework,” which is gym time to be performed when the trainers have left. His plan is to appear to be slacking off, but instead he’ll get up in the middle of the night to work out alone. Oh, you sneaky ninja, you!
The next morning, Bob meets with the Blue and Orange Teams in the kitchen. He nominates son Dan of the Orange Team to cook nutritional oatmeal for everyone. Although Dan may have spent a lot of time in kitchens in his life, he’s totally hopeless at food preparation, and the women all laugh at him. We do learn that this particular oatmeal contains seven grams of protein, 160 calories, and six grams of fiber.
The scene changes again. It’s night, and host Alison Sweeney greets the contestants at the poolside. It’s time for a challenge, and it will be everyone against the Yellow Team. It’s a relay of sorts. They have to cross the pool, walking on not-fully-stable beams, retrieve a Styrofoam peg, and cross back to put it in a pegboard. This is repeated until one side fills up their board with twelve pegs. Everyone must go at least once, meaning on the six-team side, no one can go twice. The prize is letters from home.
The challenge begins and ninja Paul is doing all the work for the Yellow Team. Kelly keeps asking when she should go, but The Ninja is in the zone and doesn’t want to let up. It’s a fairly even battle until big Trent of the Grey Team has a lot of trouble and eventually falls in the drink. Sooner or later, someone had to go in, right? Paul almost falls a couple of times, but his ninja skills (accompanied by a Japanese gong sound) keep his steady and true upon his chosen path.
Meanwhile, Paul is picking up speed as Kelly worries more and more about taking her turn. Sure enough, he completes the first eleven laps himself before turning it over to Kelly. Fortunately, Kelly completes the task easily. It wasn’t too close – the others only had six trips completed.
Alison asks Paul if he’s anxious to get his letters and he responds, “Honestly, no,” which shocks her. They tell Alison that they are focused on the big picture and not interested in the distraction that letters from home might provide. They offer to forgo their prize so all the other teams can get their letters instead. Smart move! They make it sound like they are motivated by generosity. I suspect it’s a mixture of the two.
The next day, several teams seem to have paired off. However, they are working on strategy, not sit-ups. The Yellow and Orange Teams agree that the Black Team has got to go. Maggie and the Blue Team are also making plans together. Sure enough, an alliance has formed between the Orange, Yellow, Blue, and Purple Teams.
Their intention is to gain a little water weight this week, to let the Yellow Team win the weigh-in and get rid of the Black Team, especially annoying elder brother Mark. I like it!
It turns out that Purple Team’s Jen is NOT a part of the plan, and the plotters are going to keep the plan a secret from her, as well as the Pink and Grey teams. I confess that I am unsure why Jen is being excluded. Either she has a friend on the other teams or else she has made it clear that she’s adamantly against game play.
Bob arrives and his charges bring him up to speed on the challenge. Bob says, “What I smell is heavy game play (from the Yellow Team).” He tells the ones assembled that if they are planning some game play, they need to keep him “in the loop” about it, “because the last thing you want to do is make me look like an idiot.”
No, Bob, they do not need to keep you in the loop. After saying you do not support gaining weight for game play purposes, your response would be predictable. In this game you are a tool and not a participant! Players don’t need to raise their stress levels defending their game play decisions to you.
The Yellow Team tells Jillian about the challenge. They present it altruistically, and she is touched that they gave up the letters for noble reasons (and not game play reasons). Like I said before, it has to be a mixture of both.
Teams return to their dorms to find their letters have arrived. There is much happiness and many tears. The best one is a letter for Bernie from his dog. His Blue Team partner Brittany laughs and says his family is as funny as he is.
Later that night is the weigh-in. True to his word, Bernie is now beardless! The Black Team has figured out they might be in trouble come elimination time. They are also discouraged to learn about the two-pound pass the Yellow Team won.
Alison has a bit of extra news to pass on – the biggest losing team of the week will be immune from the upcoming elimination. Ahh, there is new hope for the brothers.
The following rainbow chart shows the results, in the order they mounted the scale. As the two-pound pass didn’t come into play, it is not reflected in the chart. Here are the results:
Paul is so happy to have avoided elimination that he runs to Jillian. Expecting a hug, he instead scoops her up over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes and carries her up onto the platform housing the big scale!
The weigh-in is complete, so Alison sends Jillian and Bob packing. Paul and Kelly have an hour to decide what they are going to do. Bette-Sue is sure they are the targets, since the Black Team won immunity. As if to confirm her thoughts, Paul tells us that their targets are the three teams that named them at the beginning of this episode. With the Black Team having immunity this week, the Purple and Pink Teams are the targets.
After talking to both groups, the Yellow Team is more confused than ever! Both teams promised not to vote for them in the future.
It’s time to announce who’s going home. Kelly is doing the talking, and I think she loses her way a bit. She releases the Purple Team from their obligation to not vote against the Yellow Team in the future. Why, I don’t know, because you need help to win the game, you can’t do it alone. Kelly also tells them, “I want to see better numbers from you next week.” Huh? Does she think they are trying to be in last place? Who appointed Kelly as The Grand Adjudicator?
Kelly starts to ramble apologies to the Pink Team until Bette-Sue finally says disgustedly, “Just stop and open the bloody thing!” She does, to reveal that indeed, the Pink Team is going home. Ali is upset and Bette-Sue is mad. She bitterly says she just wants to see the game played fairly. Alison has them exit, and they march off.
Host Alison spills the news that starting next week, they will no longer be eliminating teams. Instead, someone is going to lose his or her partner. Uh-oh… Get ready for much mournful music in the following week, complete with wide-angle forlorn shots of some poor solo individual carrying gamely on against such great odds. Oh, the tragedy!
Now, the game is on!
In next-day video, Ali is proud she lost 36 pounds in four weeks and Bette-Sue says she enjoyed the experience. Both women are glad they did this together.
In more current video, we learn the Pink Team is keeping up their progress. Bette-Sue is now 212 pounds, down 49 pounds in all, while Ali is down to 173 pounds, a total loss of 61. She looks even smaller than that.
My Opinion: I was surprised to see that after this week, the Pink Team have lost the greatest percentage of weight, 14.75 percent. At 9.05 percent, Brittany of the Blue Team has fallen into last place, individually.
I did a little extra calculation. The Yellow Team would not have won if the others had lost an additional 15 pounds. Given that four of them tanked the weigh-in (losing three pounds or less), we can see the Yellow Team was fortunate there was game play afoot.
Join me here next week for a recap of all the latest action, sprinkled with my own reactions and opinions. And let me know what you think about it all at the eAddress below!
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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