The Biggest Loser 3, Episode 10: There's No 'I' in 'Team,' But There Is One in 'Erik'by Brian Towers -- 12/01/2006
Welcome to the tenth episode of The Biggest Loser 3! This series focuses on two trainers that help overweight contestants in their struggles to lose weight and, in the process, regain control of their lives. Challenges and temptations bar the way to a $250,000 cash prize for the contestant who loses the greatest percentage of their original body weight.
Last week, the network tossed us a curveball, substituting a Madonna special for our show. That was a shock, wasn’t it – are we the same target audience? Anyway, as a reference point, here’s a chart of our six remaining contestants and where they stand on the season, as of the end of the previous episode of two weeks ago:
The episode begins the morning after Marty’s elimination. This is the beginning of week ten for our contestants, and Heather tells us that with only two weeks remaining on the ranch, everyone’s feeling the stress to keep losing weight at a high level. Erik, however, is more nervous about telling trainer Bob that he was the deciding vote in sending his former teammate Marty home.
Sure enough, the next shot is of trainers Bob and Kim striding up to hear the results of last night’s vote. Kim is surprised to see Wylie is still there. I think Kim is not realizing the level of gameplay going on this season. When she asks Bob, “Does this surprise you?” he responds, “Nothing surprises me.” However, in a voiceover he admits his true feelings, saying, “When I heard how the vote went, I was so mad, I couldn’t even see straight.”
When they are alone, Erik explains to Bob that although his initial concerns were only about losing weight but now, he’s thinking about the game. Well done, Erik!
This next section cuts frequently between a Bob and Erik discussion and a cameo where Bob further expresses his thoughts. Kicking it off, Bob just doesn’t understand Erik’s logic and tells him that he’s upset to have worked so hard to build a team, and it’s fallen all apart. To us he says, “All these people were playing a game,” like that is news to him somehow. He concludes that cameo with, “I hope the hell you know what you (Erik) are doing because you are the only one left on the Blue Team. Huh! Are you kidding me?”
Back with Erik again, Bob bemoans that, “The competition could have been a great and fierce competition, having your competitor beside you like that. Having Marty and you in the finals would have been… fantastic.” Erik responds by outlining a possible sequence of events that we know from last episode’s conclusion are true – that Marty could lose enough weight to win the title.
In his own cameo, Erik understands that Bob has forgotten that these events are all taking place within the confines of a game. Wake up, Bob – there’s a quarter-million dollars on the line! Why would Erik throw away his shot at that for a guy he didn’t even know existed two months ago?
Bob takes Erik to work out. Bob says to Erik, “You’re the only one I have to focus on. This is what you wanted, this is your dream.” Erik tersely replies, “Don’t tell me what my dreams are. It’s not my dream.” Bob tells us, “Not only is Erik fighting to keep himself on the ranch, he’s fighting to keep me on the ranch.” I’m guessing that Erik isn’t seriously concerned about Bob’s face time in the next episode or two.
Commenting on the hard workout he’s getting, Erik tells us he knew he’d be alone with Bob and says, “That was part of my decision, I have to live with that.”
Meanwhile, trainer Kim assembles her group in the kitchen for some holiday cooking advice. It’s good to see all five of her charges are present this time. Here’s what Kim taught us all:
Everyone thinks the meal is quite tasty. There’s more holiday diet tips on the show’s NBC website.
The scene shifts to the Santa Anita Racetrack, when series hostess Caroline Rhea is on hand for a challenge she calls “The Biggest Loser Derby.” The contestants will have a mile-long race, with each carrying weight equal to the weight they’ve lost so far this season. That number ranges from Heather’s 44 pounds up to Erik’s one hundred pounds. We see that this total is divided up into separate weights corresponding to the amounts of weight each contestant lost each week.
We’ve seen a similar challenge in earlier seasons, except previously it was a lap around a high-school track. This time, there are nine barrels located along the way and the players drop a weight onto each. The weight dropped at the first barrel is the weight corresponding to their weight loss in the first week, and so on. Their load progressively lightens until the sprint to the finish is performed without any weights.
The prize is a one-day visit from someone from home. Nice! Unfortunately for Heather, she has bursitis issues with her knees and cannot compete. As everyone else loads up with their weight, they can’t believe they used to be so heavy.
The start is funny, as they line up in the starter gates used for racehorses. There’s also a track announcer, and on-screen graphics showing those currently in the win-place-show positions. After all those weeks re-establishing self-esteem, our players are being treated like beasts of burden this week!
Wylie takes a big lead, and lengthens it when Adrian’s weight doesn’t stay atop the second barrel. However, he loses the lead to Jaron when Wylie’s own weight falls off the third barrel. Apparently neither can hear the track announcer and I wonder if that feature was added later on.
At any rate, Adrian soon passes Wylie as well. Kai and Erik walk part of the course, though they run out the last yards to finish last together.
At the end, Jaron holds on and wins a visit from his wife, Tara. Too bad Adrian lost time at the second barrel or it might have been really close. That was quite the challenge.
In Wylie’s confessional, the symbolic nature of dropping their “baggage” as they progressed along their path is not lost on him.
The next scenes are of Jaron’s wife Tara’s visit. She says she can tell the difference in Jaron after three weeks. When everyone else in the house meets Tara, they share a meal together. Nice!
Already it’s “Last Chance Workout” time. Tara is taking part as well, and she’s jogging at the front of the pack with Jillian and the gray-shirts. In the gym, Erik is working desperately, almost maniacally hard.
Kim alludes to the possibility that if Erik goes home, so does Bob.
Jaron must say goodbye to Tara before the weigh-in. She’s obviously very supportive and proud of Jaron.
Next up is a moderately lengthy video sequence of Erik and his journey at the ranch. It seems a little early for a funeral video, and since there won’t be any decent material left to show if he does go home, I think this means he’s not the one going home this week.
It’s evening, and time again for weigh-ins. Again this week, the two individuals with the worst results will fall below the dreaded “Yellow Line,” and those two will be up for elimination.
This week, there were several milestones met. Jaron hit the hundred-pound mark. Kai has now lost more pounds at the ranch than any previous female, and Erik’s numbers have never been topped. Well done, folks!
The chart that follows shows the results after the final competitor was weighed.
So, the pair up for elimination is Adrian and Heather. As he was getting weighed, in a cameo Erik relates that Adrian and Jaron told him that if he falls below the yellow line, they will vote him out.
When Adrian saw her comparatively low number of two pounds, she whined, “No way!” repeatedly. In a cameo, Wylie is sympathetic after seeing disappointing results the previous week. Adrian shakes her head and seems ready to cry, again. She explains that this is the level she’s gotten stuck at before; she’s never been able to get below 160 pounds.
A cameo shot later on catches her in the same discouraged, weepy mood, as she keeps repeating, “It doesn’t make sense.”
The next day, when the trainers come up to their charges to hear the numbers, Bob is nervous to hear what Erik’s number is. Needless to say, he’s pleasantly surprised. However, Kim soon spies the one person who isn’t happy, and speaks to Adrian alone.
In an aside for us, Kim says something I’ve been dying to hear all season long – “Relatively speaking, losing two pounds is awesome!” But she also knows it is a bit disappointing for Adrian this week.
Adrian starts to get weepy when she tells Kim, “I can’t beat the 160s.” Kim tells Adrian that she can, because she knows more about nutrition and exercise than ever before. Kim tells us privately her main message for Adrian is, “First of all, quit beating yourself up, quit thinking you’re a fat girl,” and, “She needs to quit the negative self-talk.”
Bob is giddy that Erik has lost 43 pounds in only three weeks. Bob says to us, “It’s moments like this that remind me why I come out here every single day. As much a great a moment as this is for Erik, it’s even better for me.”
All six players file into the Elimination Room. The first vote is from Kai, and it’s no surprise that it’s a vote against Adrian. Jaron is next, and also no surprise, he votes for Heather. Erik is up third and votes against someone who is not an original on the ranch, Adrian.
That’s all that matters, for even if Wylie votes for Heather, the tie-breaking factor is the numbers posted this week, and that favors Heather. We do not see Wylie’s vote.
So, it’s Adrian’s time to go home. Initially she seems stoic about a result she had to expect was coming. However, when Erik says he hopes his daughters turn out like her, she cries in his arms.
Maybe there’s some fancy editing at work here, but except for Jaron (who she calls, “Mr One-Hundred”), we don’t see any goodbye hugs for the other players.
It’s time for the funeral videos from Adrian. First up is the farewell video, in which she says, she had hoped to break the 160-pound barrier while at the ranch. She also says, “I love Kim. She helped me set some goals. She put some great thoughts in my head.” After a pause, she concludes, “I’m not a bad girl!” She says her next goal is to be “the biggest loser at home.”
More current video tells us Adrian is now at 166 pounds. She has become a gym rat and her friends find her very energetic. However, it seems the 160-pound barrier remains elusive for her.
NBC Press Release:
NBC issued a press release this week about Biggest Loser, and it’s all good news for fans of the show! The primary announcement was – the series has been renewed for a fourth season! Yay!
Secondly, there is also some news about the finale. It will be two hours long (8-10PM ET/PT) and be aired live on Wednesday, December 13th. The show begins with the 36 ghost contestants and a $50,00 prize for the biggest loser in that group. I’m not sure if Adrian and Jaron are eligible for that prize or not, but the press release specified “36 contestants,” so I must assume they can win.
The ten (or is it twelve?) kicked-off contestants next vie for $100,000, which again goes to the biggest loser within that group. Finally, the champion is crowned amongst the remaining four contestants.
In The Mail:
After the word “unfair” was bandied about so freely over the last couple of episodes, reader Mike wrote in with his comments about what is fair. He wrote, “I am getting sick of the ranchers talking about how unfair it is for Jaron and Adrian to come back now. Yes it IS unfair. It is unfair that fifty people showed up at the ranch and almost forty of them had to go home immediately. It is unfair that these two (as well as the others) had to actually work on their own while living their normal lives. I know Kai thinks that was a bonus for them but it SHOULD definitely work against you.” Well said, Mike.
Another reader (Tanana) pointed out a potential flaw in my idea of eliminating any player who gains weight. They cite the case of Matt from season one, who inexplicably gained weight in week two. Clearly, it wasn’t game play; it may have been that his muscle gain exceeded his fat loss. So, maybe we allow a pass in the first three weeks when such game play makes no sense, or else – maybe such players just suffer an unfair eviction. I don’t know, but gaining weight on purpose needs to be stopped somehow. Any further ideas, folks?
If you have any thoughts you’d like to share about this week’s episode (or pretty much any topic), let me know at the eAddress below. Otherwise, join me here next week for a recap of all the latest action, sprinkled as usual with my own observations and opinions.
Brian lives in Toronto where he can be reached at Uncle_bto@rogers.com. He’d like to hear your opinions and promises to respond to all serious email.