Biggest Loser 5: Couples, Episode 6 – Food Fight!by Brian Towers -- 02/06/2008
Last time: The rainbow teams were merged into two teams. Trainer Bob got to cherry-pick his crew, so if he doesn’t win after all this manipulation, there REALLY is no hope! Sure enough, the new Blue Team won both the challenge and the weigh-in pretty handily. Voting seemed more emotional than strategic, as low-threat Jenn (formerly of the Purple Team) was sent home.
As a refresher, these are the surviving teams. For now, original relationships and team colors are still indicated.
This is trainer Bob’s Blue Team:
These is trainer Jillian’s Black Team:
Action begins the next day, but angst reigns over the previous night’s elimination ceremony. Maggie misses her teammate, while Brittany doesn’t feel the Black Team can win. Even Jillian seems down when she arrives!
As promised at the last weigh-in, Jillian reviews food journals with her team. As expected, they are under-eating. Jillian is very supportive as she explains that without taking in enough fuel, the metabolism slows down, and then weight loss doesn’t occur. She assures her charges that they need to meet their calorie targets.
Jillian adds that Bob’s Achilles heel is “hubris.” To save you looking it up, the American Heritage Dictionary definition is: “Overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance.”
Later on, the teams are brought into the gym. Paul smells chocolate! Sure enough, it’s temptation time. A long table is divided up into eleven places with big dividers so no one can see the desktop of the person beside them. On the table of each booth are a hundred chocolates, laid out in a ten-by-ten grid for easy counting. The first player to eat all their chocolates is the winner. Should no one finish in five minutes, whoever is has eaten the most wins.
The winner of this challenge will be given the power to switch any one player on their team (including themselves) for any one player on the other team. Dan considers eating, because he likes the opportunity to shape the game, but he knows trainer Bob would be disappointed if he changed the team. Both brother Mark and Brittany start eating right away, because they are determined to keep the teams as they are. A couple of the others also partake. We are told each chocolate is a mere 26 calories.
After the time runs out, Alison makes each person announce how many chocolates they ate. Most people proudly announce that they chose not to eat any. Bernie didn’t eat, but he stuck about a dozen on his face!
Brittany announces she ate 15, Paul confesses he had three, Roger says he ate one, and Mark… 43! Brittany says softly, “Okay, I’m going to throw up!”
Alison tells Mark he took on 1,118 calories, but it gives him the chance to swap one player on the teams. She gives him a new blue and black tee shirt to hand out. However, as he already told us, Mark is not going to make any changes, and the shirts go back to Alison.
Coincidently, there was a very similar challenge in the version of Biggest Loser: Australia that aired locally last week. There, they ate for immunity, but lost videos from home if they ate even one. Similar to this episode, one person ate like a demon while the majority stayed pure.
In the next scene, Mark is shown with his leg heavily taped, ankle to knee. He tells us he’s had shin pain, and he goes to see Dr. Huizenga so he can get some treatment before it gets worse. To their surprise, an MRI shows that Mark has a stress fracture. I’m actually surprised this doesn’t come up more often in this show, given how much these unfit contestants hammer those treadmills and other devices. Dr. Huizenga tells Mark that among other things, running and treadmill usage is now eliminated from his workout.
The scene shifts to a happy Dan, who once again was “the biggest loser of the week.” He’s happy because it’s time for him to claim his prize for that accomplishment. He climbs the usual hill to find that this time, all three envelopes say “Family.” Hearing a noise, he turns around to see his older brother, Joe!
Joe can tell Dan has lost weight (Dan is down 59 pounds so far). Joe has more surprises coming. As the boys walk down the hill together, Joe can’t believe that right now his mom is probably doing her daily ten kilometers. He’s further blown away to hear that she’s running, not walking. I’m thinking that when Jackie came to the ranch, even driving ten kilometers was somewhat of an event!
The boys come up behind Jackie at the gym, and when she sees Joe, it’s a major tear-up time for Jackie. Joe is amazed how his mom looks, too (she’s down 40 pounds herself).
Meanwhile, Mark meets up with Bob and tells him the bad news about his injury and how restrictive his exercise regime must become. About all he can do is use a stationary bike, do upper-body activity, and use the pool. Bob tells him not to be discouraged and he will give him the best workouts he can handle. Showing the difference in the teams, Mark insists he won’t need any therapy sessions with Bob to work this out for himself. Ha!
Back in the former Orange Team’s dorm, Dan tries on a pair of Joe’s size 36 jeans. He claims they fit and is very impressed with himself, because he used to wear size 42. Joe has his own solo interview next, and in it he expresses how proud he is that his family members are doing so well. Alas, it’s now time for Joe to go home. Either it’s the next day, or Joe really changes his shirt a lot.
Alison has again assembled the teams for a challenge. Everyone has their ankles taped and wristbands in place. But this time, they aren’t going to a gym – they’re going to a culinary school! Today, Mark is darn happy the challenge is not physical.
Within time limits, teams will cook a pre-defined meal that is both healthy and tasty. The judge is to be Rocco DiSpirito, once head honcho on his own reality show, The Restaurant, plus numerous appearances on The Food Network.
The teams are given recipes from Rocco to follow, but they need to be modified to be healthier. They must shop for ingredients and then prepare a three-course meal (appetizer, entrée, and dessert). Rocco will subjectively choose the best meal based on taste, nutrition, and calorie count, and as reward, prepare a special meal for the winning team.
Plus, the winning team members earn what Alison calls “prizes from home, something special.” My wife thinks they’ll be getting videos from loved ones. I’m guessing that for the women, it’s the last month of Days Of Our Lives on DVD, so they can catch up. For the men, it’s probably a shoebox full of unsorted receipts and an unbalanced checkbook. We’ll see who is right.
The challenge begins at a local supermarket that is unfamiliar to all. They may not be alone in that – the place is almost devoid of human life forms. Given just fifteen minutes to shop for ingredients, the teams split up to best find things. As they run madly about, Kelly pretends to consider a stop for beer. Ha! Meanwhile, Maggie feels too rushed to make the best choices.
As they return to the kitchen, Rocco is there to meet them. Alison tells the teams that they have to deliver their appetizer in fifteen minutes, the entrée fifteen minutes later, and then just ten minutes after that, the dessert. Early preparations are predictably chaotic. Mark says his brother Jay can only make cereal and toast, while Maggie has trouble with tongs.
Pretty soon it’s time for the first course. The Black Team has Paul’s palm tree, which also features scallops about the base. Using a butter substitute saved them 90 calories. Mark of the Blue Team explains how they also altered the recipe to minimize calories. He does a very creditable job of explaining his meal, but they are nine calories above the Black Team. Rocco comments that he’s surprised both teams delivered on time, but we don’t find out who is ahead.
The second course is due soon after the first, and it’s the former-Blue and former-Orange teams who are presenting plates. Bernie and Dan (!) do the talking. Dan explains that they used sugar substitute Stevia. Both dishes look great and are listed at 350 calories. Rocco says both are pretty good, but again, no preference is shown.
For the final round, it’s Kelly versus the football teammates. The guys are having fun, but I’m not sure they know exactly what they are doing. Kelly is using a sugar substitute named Zylitol. Her dessert has 257 calories, while the guys are over 600. Plus, the guys’ plating skills are a little suspect.
It’s time to announce results. Rocco admits all the dishes tasted pretty good, and he cannot make his decision based on taste factors. He point out to the football teammates that three tablespoons of low-salt butter was a bad idea. Low salt doesn’t mean low calories! However, he also tells Kelly that her sugar substitute had an unpleasant aftertaste. The Black Team have a huge advantage in caloric value, and Rocco declares them the winner.
The Black Team exchanges hugs, and then all eleven players congratulate each other. That’s nice to see after last season’s general animosity between team members.
Back at the house, it’s time for Rocco to make dinner. However, it’s half Rocco cooking and half the team cooking while Rocco supervises. I see Maggie’s hanging back. Along the way, Bernie meets his first lentil and Maggie mistakes parsley as cilantro. Cute. They eat with Rocco, and the meal looks fantastic.
Ahh, it turns out I was wrong – the second part of the prize is indeed videos from home. Those pesky debit receipts will just have to wait.
As the videos play, everyone is weepy over the videos… and the weepiest is Paul. Paul is still carrying a blazing torch for his ex-wife Kelly, and he is devastated to hear Kelly’s boyfriend talk about kissing her. Paul comments how seeing that upsets him, and Kelly herself becomes upset that Paul is spoiling her moment. She even has to remind him that she’s not his wife any more! Even when they both record individual interviews later that night, the emotions are still raw.
Here’s a thought from left field: I’m sure watching this season has been no treat for Kelly’s partner, what with Paul’s crush on Kelly so evident every week.
Back at the gym, it’s last-chance workout time. Both teams are pushing hard. All Mark can do is ride the stationary bike, which he recognizes is less efficient than running.
Alison meets the teams in front of the big scale, and, making another “David and Goliath” reference, she says, “What (the Black Team) lacks in power, they more than make up with heart.” I wonder how many more times we’ll have to hear that before the Blue Team says they have a wee bit of heart as well.
The following chart shows the results. Because Paul gained three pounds last week, he was assessed a three-pound penalty this week. Well, penalizing weight gain the following week is a good start!
After Brittany is weighed and before Bernie steps on the scale, the Black Team is ahead by three pounds. Alison announces, “Black Team, you HAVE won the weigh-in.” Does she not remember that one of these guys put on three pounds last week? Could that not happen again? That pronouncement is a tad premature.
However, Bernie did so well himself that the point is moot. He says, “I’m bringing sexy back.” This guy is quite the card!
As the weigh-in is complete, Alison sends out the trainers and runs through her announcements. Members of the Black Team are the ones up for elimination, and, as the biggest loser on the losing team, Mark is immune from the elimination. I can add that Bernie is the biggest loser of the week.
As usual, the teams have an hour to talk before the voting. Former Orange Team mom Jackie pays a call on the footballers and asks Trent if he would feel unloved if they voted him out. She interviews that Trent has is very homesick. Trent never says he wants to go home, but agrees with her that were he to go home, he would keep working hard. After she leaves the room, a small, knowing, silent smile passes between the former teammates.
Jackie and her son Dan then touch base with the brothers, who promise on their kids’ lives that the brothers will not vote against them without telling them beforehand. In a later cameo, Jackie admits she doesn’t fully trust her teammates.
The hour is over, and Alison assembles the Blue Team in the elimination room. She notes that they were “the team to beat.” They still are. But it’s time to vote.
Mom Jackie and son Dan vote for Trent, as expected. Trent is next, and he votes for Jackie, as does his partner Roger. The brothers have the tying vote, and they both vote for Jackie. Mark confirms that his vote is fallout from the big argument they had back in week three over the alliances formed when they had to put medicine balls in each other’s racks.
So Jackie (the mom originally on the Orange Team) is out.
In post-voting discussion, Jackie admits she played the game, but is upset that the brothers broke a promise that they swore on their kids’ lives. The brothers try to say that’s not what they said, but although Jackie hasn’t rephrased the promise exactly correctly, that’s what they did.
Dan is expectedly upset, because he’s by himself now. I think he’s even more upset than his mom. He feels there are now trust issues on the team.
Jackie has got herself under control now and exits. Only son Dan gets a hug.
In next-day video, Jackie tells us she is proud of Dan. More current clips show us she is still working out hard. She has now lost 70 pounds in all.
My Opinion: We all knew the Grey and Black Teams were aligned, so this vote can’t be a major surprise.
Gimpy Mark is now the biggest loser in the game, by more that a pound. Dan is second, and Bernie is a whisker behind him. Maggie reclaimed last place, behind Kelly. However, the three top losers this week (and four of the top five) are on the Black Team, and they deserve to celebrate a win.
The margin of victory this week was pretty extreme – the Blue Team needed to lose 22 more pounds to win. I am concerned that it might be tough for the Black Team to put up those kinds of numbers again, but if I learned one thing this week, it’s that anything is possible!
What do you think? 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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