Biggest Loser 5: Couples, Episode 11 – The Smoking Gunnby Brian Towers -- 03/19/2008
Last time: The eliminated players had a weigh-in, with Alison and Mark earning the right to reenter the game. Much to trainer Jillian’s chagrin, Mark chose to train with Bob and Alison seems to favor the other team, too. Things looked grimmer that ever for her charges when the show ended abruptly, leaving Brittany and Maggie up for elimination and Dan with two votes.
Following is a list of the players still remaining.
This week’s action begins pretty much where we left off, with elimination pending for Brittany and Maggie. In fact, the opening shot is of the contestants marching back to see series host Alison Sweeney in the elimination room to cast their votes.
Dan is called on to vote first, and he casts both his votes (he received the ability to cast an extra vote last week) for Maggie because he sees her as a bigger threat. Kelly votes for the one she thinks will do better at home, Brittany. Mark votes for one he admires for her work outside the house, Maggie. Ali casts the critical vote for Maggie.
Alison sends Maggie out. No hugs this time, Maggie just waves goodbye and walks out. She is happy to have lost 55 pounds and is grateful for the whole process. More current video shows us she now weighs 172 pounds, a loss of 67 pounds. She hasn’t lost her big smile, though. Maggie says she is more self-confident around other people now.
That took all of five minutes – why couldn’t we have seen that last week?
Brittany realizes she’s going to have to hang with other people now, because her two friends in the house are gone. Better late than never, I guess.
The next day, the contestants are taken to Macy’s without knowing what’s going on. Alison is on hand to tell the contestants they will be “strutting the catwalk” in a photo shoot for Prevention magazine. She adds, “To get ready for the photo shoot, I’m bringing out the big gun.” And it’s Project Runway’s Tim Gunn! That’s a Tim Gunn bobble-head pictured at the top of this article! The ladies are excited, but no more than Mark, who recognizes that he has no fashion sense.
Contestants look through racks of clothes as Tim advises each. Roger is surprised to be able to wear a jacket right off the rack. Kelly has on her first dress in a long time, and Tim warns her not to wear something too long, because it looks dowdy.
Tim has selected clothes for each, to be worn in the photo shoot. For Ali, it’s a sleeveless dress, which leaves her weepy. All the men like what they’ve been given – a lot.
Brittany’s next. Tim tells her he wants to celebrate her youth and selected something with oomph and wow factors, and wow… the neckline plunges to the navel! She likes the dress in general, but is a little worried about the neckline, which she describes as “very J-Lo.”
Tim reveals that they all get their outfits as gifts, plus a $1000 gift card, both from Macy’s.
Next up is hair and makeup. Hairdresser Ali admits she’s “a haircut snob,” but has decided to go with whatever is proposed to her.
Dan is the real surprise though. Previously, he wanted his hair long like a rock-star, and trainer Bob had warned him not to cut it off because he likes it longer. Today, he says he wants a “Keith Urban” look (which doesn’t help me any), and then he decides to make a more dramatic move. Sitting in the next chair, Roger tells him he looks good, but due to some clever camera angles, we don’t see it yet.
This brings us to the reveals. Each in turn takes a stroll down a short runway, and Alison sends them down twice. For the second time, a family member has stepped out of the crowd to be located at the foot of the runway as a surprise. Mark cries more than anyone, but when Jay reacts to seeing his wife, even Tim Gunn sheds a tear!
Hetero male that I am, I think the best outfit is Brittany’s, for a couple of obvious reasons, and I also like how Kelly’s straighter hair makes her look several years younger.
Dan’s haircut and sunglasses remind me of either early Elton John, or early Tom Petty with a better complexion. Dan likes it, so I’m probably wrong. Ali looks pretty good, too, and it is she who will have a small picture in the lower left corner of the next Prevention magazine cover (available now).
The next day, the trainers see their charges for the first time. When Bob comes in, Dan is missing… by design. Dan then comes into the room and “ahem”s a couple of times. Bob is afraid to turn around and look, fearing that Dan’s hair is gone. However, Bob finally turns and likes what he sees. An obviously appreciative Mark tells Bob, “It was first class, from start to finish.”
Jillian finds the ladies sitting outside and admires their haircuts, too. Jillian tells Brittany that she’s never worked someone as hard as her and not gotten bigger results, saying she’s registered two pounds or less in seven out of eleven weigh-ins. Brittany tells us it’s frustrating for her, too. Jillian suggests that perhaps Brittany’s electrolytes are off, and Jillian wants to take a risk – by adding more sodium to Brittany’s diet. Jillian thinks it might be a risk for this week, but if she gets by, she’ll be in a better place down the road.
Series host Alison has assembled the players at night beside a pool. Seven treadmills are mounted on a big beam raised ten feet over the water, and the players must walk up the incline… backwards! The last one still dry wins a week at a healthy resort in Utah.
The challenge begins. The players are all wearing bicycle helmets, contributing to a classic “dork” look. After all, we have people using a treadmill backwards here, so they look kind of silly right off the top!
After ten minutes, the incline and speed of the treadmills is increased, and again at the forty minute mark. Almost right after that, Kelly falls into the pool. Nice splash! Roger is right behind her, and Dan bails too. At 45 minutes, Brittany also bails out, leaving Ali to battle the brothers.
Just under the one-hour mark, Jay jumps in and the two who were returned to the game are left. Ali goes in shortly after the one-hour point, and Mark wins the trip! Mark apologizes to the others for being so competitive, and Roger shakes his head. Roger thinks Mark is a changed man, and not for the better. Roger thinks Mark worries too much what others think and wants Mark to just be the old, unapologetically competitive Mark.
The topic comes up again the next day when Bob comes to take them to the gym. Mark remembers that his competitiveness got him in trouble with some of the others, but Roger says he’s tired of hearing Mark apologize. Mark snaps back at Roger that he has the right to play the game any way he wants, and this time, he doesn’t want to be as “out in front” as he was before. Bob executes an awkward segue to get them into the gym for last-chance workouts.
Jillian’s squad is there, too. Kelly comments that there have been several distractions this week, and none have worked out as much as usual. Both teams are working hard, but Mark is still upset over the argument with Roger and is having difficulty maintaining his focus.
We’ve reached the point in the show when Alison meets the teams in front of the big faux scale to announce the weigh-in results. Here’s how the weigh-in goes. This week, I’m listing results as the summary board appears after all seven results are announced.
Congrats to Mark for meeting the century barrier (losing 100 pounds), and to both Dan and Kelly for dropping below the 200-pound mark. Impressive!
Had Brittany lost one more pound, she would have escaped the elimination process. I hope that extra salt didn’t spoil her game, but it well may have.
As the weigh-in completes, Alison summarizes that Brittany and Jay are up for elimination. As usual, they have an hour before voting. Brittany is sure she’s toast, and she and Jillian exchange a teary farewell hug. With that, the trainers are sent home. As usual, Alison informs the contestants they have an hour to talk before voting.
In the kitchen, Roger asks Kelly how she will vote and she says she cannot vote against Brittany. When the discussion continues, Kelly blows up, accusing the guys of ganging up on her and Roger of rolling his eyes at her. She walks off, angry.
Ali and Brittany are discussing things back in their room. Ali tells us that she and Brittany are in the process of starting an alliance. She doesn’t want to play “Black versus Blue,” but she wants to see a woman win.
Back in the dorm, Brittany knows how Mark will vote and doesn’t feel she has a relationship with Roger, so talking to Dan is her only hope. She does so, and although it comes from desperation, she raises decent points. Later, Dan tells us he knows Brittany isn’t a threat to him, but Jay has that potential. He says that at this point, no one’s battling to save their life any more and now it’s just about the money.
It’s time to vote. Roger votes for Brittany, no surprise there. When Dan votes the same way, the result is sealed. Ali votes for Brittany also, and that’s enough. In post-elimination video, Brittany tells us that she is excited about life again. The hardest thing for her was saying goodbye to Jillian, but she’s looking forward to starting her new life.
Arriving home the next day, Brittany is greeted by her parents. She admits she’s glad to be home and shows us some of her target outfits for the weeks ahead. In more current video (three weeks later), we find out that Brittany now weighs 159 pounds, a nice loss of 62 pounds from her first day at the ranch. She went skydiving, and loved it!
My Opinion: I know that part of the whole effort in getting these people back on track in their lives involves them feeling good about themselves, but there’s so much more to it than a new haircut. There’s enough shows dedicated to that already, and it isn’t necessary for this one to take such a detailed trip down that path.
Join me here next week for a recap of all the latest action, sprinkled with my own reactions and opinions. 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 email@example.com. He’d like to hear your opinions and promises to respond to all serious email!
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