Biggest Loser 5: Couples, Episode 8 – Home Sweet Homeby Brian Towers -- 02/20/2008
Last time: We spent a week examining the potential long-term benefits of therapy, compared to the sure short-term benefits of walking up a steep hill. The Blue Team had to go to elimination for the second time in a row, where an injured Trent threw himself on his sword.
As a bonus, here are the remaining players listed in order of percentage weight loss, as of the start of this episode:
Action begins shortly after the last vote, when series host Alison Sweeney told the teams they would be going home this week. It’s been 58 days since they left home. Alison warns them that returning to the place where they got heavy is both a blessing and a curse. Bob and Jillian will not be making home visits, so the contestants are on their own. And when the players return, there will be the usual weigh-in and ensuing elimination.
The next few scenes show us the players packing and expressing various concerns. Brother Jay is still taking it hard that he’s losing less than the other guys. Brittany and Bernice’s packing includes a lot of the healthy food they need to stay on track.
The former spouses will be going their own separate ways, and they are worried about being without the support of a partner. I should point out that of the remaining players, only the brothers live close enough to help each other out.
Former-Orange Team son Dan is looking forward to checking up on his mom and making sure she is still working out. Maggie is discouraged to find snow on the ground in New Jersey, which will make it difficult for her to do her workout out of doors. Roger is concerned he will fall back into old, bad habits.
The next scenes are of the various contestants arriving home to many happy and screaming relatives and friends. It’s all very nice for everyone concerned. It’s notable that every reception contains a lot of foods that are not on their diets! To their credit, no one seems tempted.
The biggest surprise of all is Paul. On the show, Paul pines heavily for partner and ex-wife Kelly. Well, Paul has a girlfriend at home! More on that later.
Over at Mark’s house, Mark has a tough time keeping sticky buns from his very young son. Daddy is only home for a week, so I’m not sure this party is the right time to be instilling new rules of the house.
Otherwise, it’s the same scene eight times over, lots of happy people hugging and celebrating. So let’s move along.
Mark tells his wife that he did the cooking at the ranch, and she wonders hopefully if he’ll be taking over in the kitchen at home. She has been dieting on her own and has dropped two dress sizes. I can also see the difference in her face.
Brittany’s friends take her to a local pub. It’s frustrating for her, because she cannot partake of the offerings. In fact, she has water! Jillian calls her on the phone to check in, and Brittany is happy to report that she’s drinking water and eating halibut.
Bernie visits his favorite bakery. They even have a Boston crème-pie cupcake labeled with his name! Bernie tortures himself by taking in all the terrific aromas.
Meanwhile, Roger relates that he is hearing Bob’s voice over his shoulder while at the gym. A funny insert of Bob lets us see it, too.
Paul, however, is not doing as well. We see him scarfing down a huge plate of wings, plus a massive cola. Some of his friends are eating a piece of cake that’s about as big as a rabbit, and Paul looks it up in his calorie counter to see if he can have any. Paul, I doubt a book that small can display a number that big!
Maggie has been invited by Jenn to work out together with her trainer. He has mounted a picture of Jillian on a punching bag for her! Maggie recognizes she’s not getting her homework done. Meanwhile, we cut back to Paul, who is “suffering” in a Jacuzzi.
Roger goes to a favorite restaurant with his family. All the Southern-style fried food on the menu is a no-no for him, but with some effort, he’s able to work out a reasonable meal.
Although Jay and his wife are now eating well, somehow his kids are still eating fried chicken sticks! He intervenes, taking away about half the food, but everything on their plates is still fried food. He comments, “Those french fries feel good.”
At their not-for-profit after-school child care facility, his mom plays dodge-ball with the kids. He’s impressed that his mom is there playing, and pleasantly surprised to see how easily he can run around without getting tired.
Controlling brother Mark wants the younger brother Jay to work out with him, because he wants to be sure Jay does his work. When we see them together, Jay is not working as hard. He also begs off on the next day’s workouts, promising Mark (and us) that he’ll get his work done. Hopefully, that happens.
It’s time for the players to return to their ranch. For those who make it to the end, there are still six weeks to go. Understandably, some of the contestants’ younger kids have trouble comprehending that the parent who returned so recently is going away so soon.
Back at the ranch, Dan meets up with the brothers. They all lie and say the others look thinner. With the bulky clothes they have on, it’s just not possible to tell.
Alone in their room together as is so often the case, Kelly tells Paul that she thinks she ate well, but didn’t meet the workout goals. Paul counters that he put on four pounds in two days, and then he stopped checking. Flashback footage shows us he also ate some of the huge cake!
Bob meets his team and asks how they did. He asks if they drank. Dan says he has a glass of wine. When pressed, Dan says, “It was one glass… filled twice!” Bob doesn’t think Dan is funny. Subsequent comments indicate it may have been filled more than twice!
Jillian is quite hoarse, but she wants to hear the stories from home. While they were away, she called each person first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Bernie is proud to report that he didn’t sample the confectionary they named after him. Brittany admits to a small piece of pizza… and a chocolate chip cookie. Kelly reports she plays better tennis now.
However, Paul never took or returned any of Jillian’s calls. He lies completely unconvincingly that he didn’t know it was her on the line, like he always gets calls from the other coast. Paul says to us that he didn’t think she cared (really?), and now he wishes he’d taken the calls. Jillian is not pleased with Paul.
Jillian, Maggie, and Bernie cook broccoli, pepper, and squash together. It’s really a commercial, so let’s move on.
At night, Alison meets with the contestants for a challenge. But first, she announces that because he was “the biggest loser of the week” last week, Paul wins a lifetime membership to 24-Hour Fitness. Great prize!
This week, the team that wins the challenge will get to name two players from the other team that must weigh in right away. This is 24 hours earlier than usual.
The challenge is similar to one from Season 2, Episode 9. The players stand in the path of bars that rotate around them on an overhead shaft. As the structure rotates, one bar that is a foot off the ground must be jumped over, while the other (about four feet from the ground) must be ducked.
Three from each team must compete. For the Blue Team, obviously Mark’s broken leg will keep him out. Instead, he coaches his teammates on the complexities of how to duck and hop. On the Black Team, Paul with his bad knees and jump-phobic Kelly will observe.
Mark warns Roger to watch his back foot, because he’s barely clearing when he jumps. Sure enough, he doesn’t lift it high enough, and he’s out early. Bernie drops out about the 15-minute mark, because he forgot if he was jumping or ducking. At the 30-minute point, Roger tries to negotiate a draw. No deal!
Dan and Maggie go out about the 40-minute mark. This leaves Jay and Brittany… and Brittany wins it for the Black Team.
After talking it over, they name Dan and Roger as the ones who will weigh in now. I should point out that this gives those two guys an extra day to work toward next week’s weigh-in.
Dan goes first, and he’s down 11 pounds. Roger did even better, dropping a stunning 16 pounds! Alison asks if they will report these numbers to the other team. “Hell, no… we’ll surprise them,” says Roger. I’ll include these results in the usual table that accompanies the regular weigh-in.
It’s last-chance workout time, and the Black Team is working hard. Bernie regrets drinking so much soda pop.
Alison meets the teams in front of the big scale to announce the weigh-in results. Jillian is expecting Paul’s results to be “tragic.” When Alison announces Dan and Roger’s loss, the Black team look discouraged.
Here’s how the weigh-in went:
As the weigh-in is complete, Alison runs through her announcements. Jay is the Biggest Loser of the Week. Members of the Black Team are the ones up for elimination, and, as the biggest loser on the losing team, Kelly is immune from elimination.
As usual, the teams have an hour to talk before the voting. The three young ones seem decided on voting out Paul. Those chicken wings did him in, I think.
The last chance strategy hour is over, and Alison assembles the Black Team in the elimination room. Paul wears his yellow shirt to indicate he feels like an outsider. The others see this as a slap in the face. Kelly is getting emotional again and says she sees herself as a member of the Black Team.
Bernie and Brittany vote for Paul, then Paul votes for Bernie. So does Kelly, who is now quite weepy.
This leaves the deciding vote up to Maggie. After a pathetically long delay, she also votes for Paul. This makes their protestations over Paul’s shirt seem fake and self-serving. Paul has hugs for Kelly, nods to the others, and he’s gone.
Paul says he’s learned that he and Kelly are better as friends than they were as ex-spouses. He says he has accomplished much more than he thought. He no longer needs to take blood pressure medicine. When he arrives home a day later, his family tells him they have all benefited from his journey.
We are told next that shortly after getting home, Paul got double pneumonia and gained six pounds while in the hospital for two weeks. He’s since lost half of that.
Paul’s current girlfriend Julie (who has a resemblance to Kelly) informs us they were only dating for six weeks before he left to be on the show. She philosophically says, “It was very hard, not being sure how he would come home, or who he was going to fall back in love with. If it was meant to be, it was meant to be.” I hope things work out, but it had to be tough for Julie to watch some of these episodes.
News From NBC:vThere are more details about the casting tour for next season, with respect to some of the venues they will be at. If you’re interested, details are here. Good luck!
My Opinion: Paul was on the wrong side of the numbers, so he goes home before Kelly. That’s how alliances work. Kelly’s only hope of staying in the game is to avoid the elimination room (or be biggest loser on her team) until the individual part of the game arrives. But for the next week or maybe two, Kelly is wearing a shirt with a big target on the back. Whether it’s yellow or black it just won’t matter.
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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