Biggest Loser 5: Couples, Episode 7 – Are You A Walker or a Talker?by Brian Towers -- 02/13/2008
Last time: Things seemed to happen in pairs. The Black Team rose up to out-cook and out-sweat the Blue Team (hopefully not at the same time). Mark ate chocolates to win a temptation, then found out his leg is damaged (again, probably not related events). Jackie’s week started strong, as one of her elder sons came on a reward visit. However, her week came apart when an alliance vote sent her home, leaving her son an orphan (in the game, that is). Jackie played the game hard, maybe harder than she had to, but she left with her head up.
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 shortly after the last elimination. Dan feels betrayed by his teammates because they swore they weren’t going to vote him out. That’s not exactly what they said; the brothers said they would let the mom-son team know if they were going to vote against them. It’s a minor point perhaps, but hey, I’m here to nitpick.
Dan gets some support from a strange place… some of his opponents on the Black Team. Brittany does an interview wherein she points out that although the brothers like to talk about playing with integrity, their actions belie those noble intents. Dan walks out, followed shortly by most of the Black Team. Bernie stays to probe for remorse, but he comes up empty. Mark and Roger decide that they don’t care what the other team thinks. Finally, somebody said something smart!
The next morning, Dan is still sniffling that Mom is gone and he spent a quiet and lonely night. He’s decided that to get even, application of the always-effective silent treatment to the rest of the Blue Team is called for. Yup, that will just CRUSH a sensitive guy like Mark!
When Jillian comes into the house, her team asks her if she can train Dan. Aah, no. These folks have no clue how to play the game! Jillian suggests her team needs to stay away from the other team’s drama and focus on their own game. She’s sure Bob will take care of Dan.
When Dan meets with Bob later, Dan is STILL upset at being lied to. Does he not remember drinking water in an attempt to drive out the Black Team in six-versus-one week? Dude, you got to get a grip! At any rate, Bob tells Dan he’s not alone, because he’s there for him. Dan later realizes that Bob’s there for the other four as well.
Moving on to one of the few cheery moments in the whole darn two hours, it’s time for Bernie to claim his prize as the most recent “Biggest Loser of the Week.” The traditional choices of family, luxury, and game play have returned, and he opts for the latter. Bernie opens his envelope and reads, “50% off at this week’s challenge?” This makes no sense to him – or me – at this point.
Dan moans about being alone again. I am SO not looking forward to seeing this scene repeated five more times this season!
Dan announces to us that he has a plan. He’s going to lie to his teammates and say that he understands why they did what they did, because he knows he needs to form some kind of bond with them if he’s going to stay in the game. This can’t work… he’s the fifth wheel on a double date right now.
Dan calls a meeting with his team and expresses those faux-thoughts. The others accept what he says as a true peace offering. Mark says Dan is more mature than they were last night, and apologizes for how things were handled. Jay agrees they handled it incorrectly, and he’s sorry, too. Roger tells Dan he’s important to the team, and he’s “the light of this house.” His buddy Trent agrees.
Later, Trent and Mark say all is well on the team. However, Mark adds that if they lose again, it’s probably Dan who’s going home… and laughs.
The next day find our gang by the lake on a chilly day, where Alison has assembled the teams for a challenge. From their five players, two pairs from each team will participate. Each pair must support an amount of weight equal to what they have lost. The action takes place over the refreshing water. When the weight goes in, so will the players.
Bernie gets a break due to his “Gameplay” prize, so his contribution to his pair’s load is only half of the 60 pounds he’s lost. He’s not sure that’s so great, because he thinks he has poor balance and isn’t that anxious to take part.
The winning team will be the last one standing. They win the right to give immunity to two people, one from each team!
The two not playing are Kelly from the Black Team, plus big Trent for the Blue Team, who fell into the pool in six-versus-one week. The teams (with their weights) are paired thusly: Dan and Mark (130 pounds), Jay and Roger (107 pounds), Paul and Maggie (85 pounds), and Bernie and Brittany (62 pounds). Alison explains this is all about balance, teamwork, and endurance.
Mark adjusts his footing and Alison comments, “Mark looks like he’s about to fall in. Come on, Mark, you got to hang on!” He turns to her and with a degree of disgust responds, “I’m not falling in, I’m readjusting here. Don’t be so dramatic, this isn’t a soap opera.”
Over five minutes have passed when Jay tries unsuccessfully to adjust his stance, and he and Roger hit the drink first. Just after the ten-minute mark, their teammates follow them in with Dan taking a nasty whack on the ribs. So the underdog Black Team wins another one!
Alison informs us that the announcement of who’s getting immunity doesn’t have to be made public now. She adds that even though they are immune, the two to be named will still have their weights count at the weigh-in.
The Black Team meets to discuss the result. They have a negative mindset about the weigh-ins, as Bernie isn’t sure they can lose big again. Maggie goes one farther, telling us, “You can’t have two good weeks in a row.” “Can’t?” Nonsense! This team needs the help of a sports psychologist!
Bob meets with his team and he is not impressed that they didn’t win. The boys aren’t worried because they are sure they will win the next weigh-in. I guess it’s good to be confident.
Trent says he’s not into the game play aspect of the show, just the weight loss. He begins talking about his family being the reason he’s here and begins to weep, and the rest comfort him (in the most manly of ways, of course). Bob smiles – he likes his team again.
Meanwhile, Jillian hears these same results. She suggests they pick names out of a hat for their own immunity, because she doesn’t want anyone to feel less important that any other. “Everyone is equal?” – that’s Communism!
Sure enough, the names go into a hat, and immunity is won by the most vulnerable of them all, Maggie. In a solo moment, Paul opines that Maggie doesn’t have a chance to win, implying that giving her this immunity is a waste.
Somebody tell me why the trainer is deciding how the teams should play the game? Two weeks ago, after comforting Kelly, Jillian said it wasn’t her place to tell them how to play. What changed? If they lose, they will have to split up another couple… and I’ll have to recap more wretched “sad and lonely” footage!
During the next day’s workout, Jillian notes that Maggie is upset and pulls her aside. It’s nothing current, but rather some old problems. Maggie is upset that she’s sure that other people don’t want a fat friend. It also comes out that her dad left when she was young. We don’t see an attempt at resolution right now.
Jillian feels that if the reasons behind their weight gain are not addressed, the weight will come back. Jillian realizes she needs to get some special help. This segues to her mother coming into the house. Since the only name we ever hear her called is “Mommy,” that’s her name as far as this article is concerned.
Besides being Jillian’s mother, Mommy is also a psychotherapist. I’m thinking they need someone with “game play advisory” skills more, but after all the “Dr. Phil” moments of the past few weeks, I guess her skills are also necessary.
Meanwhile, Bob tells us that he doesn’t push therapy on those not seeking it. He offers his team a choice between therapy with Jillian’s mom, or a hike. Privately, Roger is distrustful of Mommy’s confidentiality. It’s unanimous – they’ll hike. Dan says they have a slogan, “We want to walk it out, not talk it out.”
I’m not going to recap the therapy. Suffice it to say that some Black Team members bring up some painful personal issues. At the end of it all, everyone feels better, be they a walker or a talker.
Later in the day, the former Yellow Team is talking about their situation. They feel they are the two outsiders in their team of five. They have the most weight to lose, though, and ought to be kept in the game if the vote is guided by strategy instead of emotion.
Back at the gym, it’s last-chance workout time. Both teams are giving everything they have to give. In one unusual clip, Bernie’s having an Ultimate Fight with a duffle bag. I think he’s ahead on points, but I doubt the bag is about to tap out.
Maggie thinks the Blue Team have turned into a bunch of jocks and does a funny impersonation of a typical member. And as if on cue, Roger compares his teammates to a football team and tells us what position they’d all play. He’s got Dan out at wide receiver, while the other four are in closer formation.
Alison meets the teams in front of the big scale wearing an attractive black dress with a loose tie at the front of the neck. But first, it’s time to announce who wins immunity. It’s Maggie and… Jay?!?! Maybe they want to keep a lower loser in the game, but what happened to protecting their buddy Dan?
During the weigh-in, someone from the Black Team is shown weeping (often Kelly), or admitting in an interview that they were sure they were going to lose. We get this between almost every person. Even Jillian is expressing doubts. This is getting old fast. At any rate, here’s how the weigh-in went.
The difference is one mere pound! That’s enough to dry Kelly’s eyes.
When the weigh-in is complete, Alison runs through her standard announcements. Paul is the Biggest Loser of the Week. Members of Bob’s Blue Team are the ones facing elimination. And as the biggest loser on the losing team, Roger is also granted immunity from elimination.
Just before the announcements conclude, Bob strides out of the weigh-in area. He explains himself in a later interview as being “disappointed.” If he’s disappointed, how does he think his team feels to lose a close one and then watch their mentor walk out on you? It is very unprofessional.
As usual, the teams have an hour to talk before the voting. As the Blue Team sits together, no one is talking much initially. That’s except for Jay, who is apologizing repeatedly. Out of the blue, Trent offers to go home. He says his injury is affecting his ability to drop the bigger numbers he needs to produce. He adds that for him, it has never been about the prize money; it’s learning how to make the lifestyle changes. He figures he can handle that on his own once he gets his leg repaired.
Surprisingly, Mark wonders aloud if it might not be better to send him home instead. He makes sure they know he doesn’t WANT to go home, but he has similar problems to Trent, in that he’s injured and it affects what he can do. Meanwhile, Jay is still apologizing.
Dan stays mute. Internally, he wonders if he’s being played like he was last week.
The strategy hour is over, and Alison assembles the Blue Team in the elimination room. Luckily for Dan there are no snakes in the grass this week. Trent gets his wish, and he’s going home. The big boys are all pretty emotional, and it’s all Alison can do to stay stoic herself. She figures it out that Trent took one for the team tonight and adds that his 87 pounds was the biggest loss in the house to date.
The team does their “pride on three” rally chant, and Trent is gone.
In his funeral video, Trent says he stayed true to his reason for coming. He says, “I have a great start to the rest of my life.”
In a bit of a surprise, action returns to Alison. She assembles all remaining players in the elimination room and tells them she has a Biggest Loser first for them. They are all going back to the one place that could prevent them from losing the weight they need to lose. They are going home!
But we’re not done with Trent yet, and now we see his return to his home the next day. He has a great family who are proud and supportive of him. He gets to hold his newborn son for the first time!
In more current video, we see that Trent was feted at a pep rally at the high school where he works. He now weighs 324 pounds, for a total loss of 112 pounds. He does resistance and cardio workouts every day, plus goes to the gym time four times a week, and he fits into his old football jersey!
News From NBC:
NBC has announced that ratings for this show are the highest since Season 1, even though they have been up against American Idol in recent weeks. Also, they revealed that versions of The Biggest Loser are filmed in 25 countries, and aired in 90 different countries. That number surprises me.
Next season, the show will again follow this season’s “couples” format. The casting tour hits nine cities, starting with Boston on February 16th. The first 500 in line are guaranteed an interview, but they say they will see as many folks as they can. If you’re interested, details are here. Good luck!
I feel that the people who get injured get a raw deal, but both Trent and Mark cannot perform at the levels they want to. The team made a good choice. Maybe Dan will be around a lot longer than I first thought?
In terms of actual pounds lost, all the men still in the game except for Jay are within six pounds of each other. They also hold down the top five loss percentages.
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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