The Biggest Loser 2, Episode 4: Feeling Lucky?by Brian Towers -- 10/06/2005
Welcome to Week Four of The Biggest Loser 2, the series that pits two teams of overweight contestants in a competitive struggle to lose weight and, in the process, regain control of their lives. Challenges and temptations bar their way to a nice prize.
Last week, Suzy yielded to temptation as all contestants learned how hard it is to lose weight on take-out and restaurant food in “Food Gone Week.” The weekly competition of racing along a train lead to a pair of ambulance rides, and at the end, lone wolf Nick was eliminated.
The question of the week is: can the women find some degree of unity on their team?
As a reference, these are the contestants in this year’s show:
THE WOMEN (Blue Team, coach Bob):
THE MEN (Red Team, coach Jillian):
Eliminated, in order:
As the show opens to the strains of “Proud” by Heather Small, we learn the contestants have lost 386 pounds so far. Way to go, gang!
We begin with series host Carolyn Rhea coming up to where the teams are assembled. The clothes she has on are god-awful, accentuating her bosom and her hips unnaturally. The skirt looks like she was rejected as the fourth Dutch girl from this week’s tulip challenge on The Apprentice.
Getting past that, her news is that everyone’s going to Las Vegas. As usual, Suzy is nervous. This time it’s because she doesn’t eat properly on vacation. Well, that has to be the “old Suzy,” not the “new Suzy,” or your team will yell at you! Preacher’s daughter Ryan is a bit overwhelmed by the prospect of being in “Sin City.”
Apparently they’re staying at The Aladdin, so unfortunately anything I learned recapping Caesars 24/7 is not going to help me much. Carolyn tells them they’ll be dining at Planet Hollywood and that their rooms are on the 50th floor. She concludes, “Usually those rooms are reserved for the biggest winners, but tonight they’re reserved for The Biggest Losers!” Everybody is really excited by this.
The scene shifts to dinner at Planet Hollywood. The trainers are not present. Most everyone is behaving themselves, eating vegetables and green salads. Matt pretended it was his birthday to get a free cake. Funnily enough, the cake is about a tablespoon big, barely enough to support the single candle. When asked to make a wish, Matt says, “I wish it was my birthday!” And when asked if he’s going to share his cake, he says, “No!” and quickly pops the one bite of cake into his mouth. All laugh.
After dinner, there’s time for a little gambling. Suzanne calls herself “Lady Luck.” And sure enough, she hits a slot machine for a $1,626.41 jackpot. Nice! Matt says he normally wouldn’t go to Vegas because he tends to do things to the extreme. And, true to his prediction, he’s losing.
Trainers Bob and Jillian are telling their teams about workouts you can do in your hotel room. Both insist that being away from home is not an excuse to skip your workout. Ab crunches, push-ups, bicycle leg-circles and mountain climbers are involved.
It’s Temptation time. The competitors are brought into the High Stakes room, where there are lots of chips on a pair of blackjack tables. A dealer shows them a special deck of cards, with monetary amounts on them ranging from one to $5,000. The catch is, to get a card you have to agree to work without your trainer until the next weigh-in. “So… who’s in?” she asks.
It turns out that several of our group has yet to discover that one ought not yield to Temptations on this show. After the Red Team decides that they won’t hold it against anyone who wants to play, Matt further agrees to train anyone on his team who plays.
So who plays? Jen, Suzanne and Shannon for the Blue Team, and Seth and Mark for the men. Ryan is upset in a confessional that anyone from her team played, she sees it as an insult to trainer Bob. Well, yes, it is!
The five players all get to pick a money card, but it stays face down initially. Then, each is turned over, one at a time. Seth is playing for $1,000, and Mark is playing for $2,500. Shannon also has a $1,000 card, and Suzanne, $2,500. Finally, Jen shows a $1,000 card as well. In a cameo, Andrea admits, “I was so jealous, I could spit nails.”
And now for the twist. They have the option of playing one round of “Hi-Low,” to double (or lose) their money. Either way, the trainer is gone for these five this week.
Both guys decide not to take the risk. Jen, too. But Suzanne and Shannon are in!
The game begins. The card to beat is the eight of spades. I’m sure that was set up, no way was an ace or a deuce coming out. Shannon decides to bet her card is higher – and it is, it’s a jack! She celebrates with an ear-piercing scream that was heard by dogs as far away as Phoenix.
It’s Suzanne’s turn now. She picks lower, and “Lady Luck” also wins, she has the four of clubs! Again, sonic messages are sent to the hounds of Arizona. That’s a nice sum of $5,000 for Suzanne, while Shannon won a tidy $2,000.
The trainers meet with their teams in separate rooms. The scene of the trainers being told about the Temptation shifts back and forth between teams with each sentence, but neither trainer can believe that some of their team members succumbed. “You’re f*ing dead! What are you thinking?” shouts Jillian, whereas Bob is stunned and disappointed.
Andrea comments that their team is separated into two camps by this decision. Funny, we hardly saw Andrea before episode and suddenly she’s the series narrator! Both her and Suzy are upset. So is Ryan, who thinks she chose Bob over her family. Bob says her appreciates their choice, and vows to do what he can for them. Andrea asks, “Will you write me a cheque for $5,000?” Ah, no.
Later that night, the teams assemble by the pool for a challenge. I’m sure they’re all anxious to show off their bathing suits on international television. Carolyn is again attired oddly, this time in a low-cut maroon top with an Elvis-inspired white cape with sleeves. It’s really windy, and the cape thing is blowing about most unflatteringly.
Carolyn explains that the prize will be a trip back to this resort in 2006, when it’s finished being built. Huh? Good thing Omarosa isn’t here, that wind could bring down a piece of dangerous, concussion-inducing plaster!
The challenge is to move piles of gold bricks from the bottom of the pool to the team’s scale at one end of the pool. Each person is responsible for moving a pile of bricks weighing the same amount that they do, and the piles are labeled appropriately. Like a relay, each team will have one player working at a time.
There’s a second prize. The winning team will decide which of the ladies (who have an extra member) will stay out of the weekly weigh-in. Got it? OK!
The teams need to be even for this challenge, so the ladies need to pick one of their number to stay out of the challenge. They decide on Jen, the biggest of them.
Trainer Bob advises his team to start with the heaviest member first, and work towards the lightest. I have no idea why that would matter, but, whatever. The men lead with inspirational Matt.
As the challenge starts, the trainers are shouting encouragement to their teams. It seems one only needs carry the bricks to the side of the pool and dump them there, and the trainers actually stack them on the scale. The way the bricks are bounced about, I hope they aren’t real gold, or else that pool strainer is going to be worth more than Dr. Jeff made last year.
As we progress, it’s pretty neck and neck. Matt is tossing bricks about like they’re footballs, he doesn’t need Jillian to get them onto the scale’s platform. We get some unflattering shots of Shannon on the underwater-cam. Also, when some of the guys enter the pool, the water rises about an inch.
When it gets down to the last two (Seth and Ryan), it becomes apparent that Ryan is having a bit of trouble with this task. Sure enough, the men win. I think that with their general advantages of height and greater leg and wrist muscles, this task did favor the men.
It seems our loveable Losers have returned home to the ranch. While Andrea, Ryan and a grunting Suzy work out, Shannon and Suzanne sit in air-conditioned splendor of their room. Gee, we know you’re not supposed to work out with Bob, but that doesn’t mean you should just laze of the beds and think thin thoughts! Well, one must never underestimate the power of a good nap, I suppose.
Matt of the Red Team is busy getting his workout with Jillian. Later that night, he works out Seth and Mark. Jen and Shannon join in – Jen even has a red shirt on! Shannon is working really hard, and it impresses Matt. Matt hopes that down the road, they remember he helped them after their own team abandoned them.
As they eat their communal dinner that night, there’s definitely an increase in the tension level. Ryan tells Suzanne it’s better with only three of them working out with Bob. Ooh, red flag! Mark says that Ryan is a backstabber who says one thing to your face and refuses to admit it.
Someone told Shannon that Bob likes it that his class is smaller (that’s not true). Bob passes by and tells them he’s tired of their drama. Hey, I’m not, it makes for great reality TV! Jillian tries to intercede but Shannon walks off, saying, “No, I’m good.” Bob tells us in a confessional, “What I’m seeing in the Blue Team is, that there really isn’t a ‘Blue Team,’ and that offends me.” He delivers a stern “unity rant” to the remaining five, wrapping up his lecture pointing at and talking directly to Suzanne. He’s as mad as I’ve ever seen him. In a confessional, Jen thinks it’s going to be hard to come together as one team again. Whoever of this group goes home first, her two friends may not be far behind!
It’s finally weigh-in time. The men nominate Jen as the Blue Team member whose weight loss will not count. Mark explains their reasoning – it’s that since Matt trained her this week, they know she’s lost weight. Jen gives an “aw shucks, me?” laugh and a wave of her head. It is a pretty smile, you know!
She’s still grinning as she gets on the scale. And why not – she’s lost 10 pounds! Matt nods knowingly. Jen skips back to her team with joy. In an aside, she gives the credit to Bob though, because he’s taught her more in four weeks that she learned the rest of her life.
The rest of the ladies weigh in. Their starting point is their combined weight without Jen, 1,045 pounds. Here are the results:
Carolyn notes that all four of the smaller girls cracked the 200-pound barrier this week. Congrats, that’s a real milestone! The team loss is 28 pounds, or 2.68%.
Now for the men. They started out with a team total 1,583. They have to lose more than 42 pounds to win.
The teams are tied! So it all comes down to Pete, who needs to have some kind of weight loss for the men to win. And lo and behold, he lost his own whopping 17 pounds! They win!
In a confessional, Pete is overcome with emotion about his weight loss. I doubt he’s been at 350 pounds for quite a while!
The total loss is 59 pounds, or, more importantly, 3.73%.
Carolyn announces that with her ten pound loss, Jen wins immunity from elimination this week.
Jillian finds her team in the dining area the next morning, and she has but one question: “Who won?” Pete and Mark fake her out, pretending that they lost, but by the time Dr. Jeff lifts her into the air, she’s figured it out. In an aside, she confesses she’s proud of her team, and we see the Red Team hoisting their flag. She knows the women don’t utilize the support available from their teammates, and that’s to their disadvantage.
Next up is the obligatory clip of the women working out and reaffirming their desire to lose weight. Well, they had a good week, but the men simply had a great one!
The women file into the Elimination Room. They even sit in two groups of three, with the “un-temped” to Carolyn’s left and the tempted trio on the right. Carolyn reminds us that in the case of a tie, the other team decides who goes home.
The first three vote for Shannon, the next three for Ryan. Suzy was so weepy she could hardly speak, to which Shannon responded with her best “What-ever!” face. Jen said that Ryan was too full of excuses and blame. But NYPD cop Suzanne, casting the tying vote, had the best line, saying, “I work with murders, thieves and robbers every day in New York City. And some of these women could show a trick or two about manipulation.” Ouch! She adds that she’s willing to take the gamble that any of them might be going home. Well, actually, Jen is immune from this next vote too, but we get your drift.
“Oh, ladies,” Carolyn says in her most discouraged tone, “You have left it up to the men.” That look of utter disappointment she gives them reminds me of the one I got from my own mother that time when I dropped a full gravy boat on the dining room carpet.
The men are resuscitated and file in with Mark carrying a single serving tray with their team vote. He explains that they decided to take “out one of the lighter ladies in the house” (meaning, Shannon is safe, too). Although the men know this person works out hard, they also noticed that the conflict in the house often starts with her… yes, it’s Ryan.
“Wow,” she says softly. Ryan did not see that coming. She may be alone in that department.
Suzanne is just looking down at her tray. When asked if she wants to say goodbye to her teammates, Ryan says, “Yes… goodbye.” And with that Ryan scampers off without further word.
Carolyn tries to buoy the Blue Team. She says, “You’re five strong women. You need to find something you like in each other, and unite, and make a team like those men have. Otherwise, the consequences will be terrible.” Andrea is crying big tears. Suzanne is still looking away from the others. Carolyn dismisses them with, “Try and enjoy the rest of your evening. The big smiles from Shannon and especially Jen indicate she was wasting her breath.
As we pipe Ryan out with her funeral video, she tells us she was happy she was on the show and hopes the woman can get it together. Yeah… maybe after Andrea and Suzy are gone. Otherwise, that just is not going to occur!
The current picture of Ryan shows a very pretty woman. She has not used her inhaler once since returning home. Since her first day on the ranch, she’s lost a total of 55 pounds and works out six days a week.
Next Week: One of last year’s contestants comes back to show off their new body; both teams express confidence; and the obligatory “videos from home” are received, “to inspire the most incredible weight loss yet.”
My Own Thoughts:
The ladies have a permanent fracture in their team, don’t they? I don’t see how Andrea and Suzy can save themselves, except by being the biggest loser. However, you can’t do that every single week.
The Red Team remains very cohesive, and I expect them to pull out another win next week.
And who’s not lovin’ this show? I do!
Join me here each week for a recap of all the action, sprinkled with my own reactions and opinions. And let me know what you think, at the eAddress below!
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