The Biggest Loser
is covered in pink hearts this week. Don't adjust your monitors; it's just Valentine's Day! Just when you didn't think Bob, Jillian, and the gang could get all warm and cuddly, they come back and surprise you. But, wait! Is this a love-fest or potentially the most dramatic episode of the season? I guess we're just going to have to wait and see.
The beginning of the episode sees the two teams switching to black and red uniforms. Brett and Cara's team is becoming a more unified Red team, and Bob and Jillian's crew is dressing in black. From now on, the teams will be directly competing and life will look a lot more like we're used to seeing it at the Biggest Loser ranch.
Right away, Alison introduces a challenge. She leads the teams into a room covered in chocolates, candles and rose petals. It's a temptation challenge! It's business as usual; everyone is given three minutes alone with the candy, and the person who eats the most wins. However, this time there is a catch. The winner of the temptation challenge can choose to either swap two people from each team, or to keep the teams the way they are. In addition, the winner of the challenge will be kept anonymous and no one will know who ate and who didn't. Because love is blind, or something like that. That's what Alison says, anyway. This seems to change a lot of people's minds as to whether they would eat or not. Anonymity is an addicting possibility.
Sara goes first. She informs the camera that, "We didn't come here to eat chocolate!" and doesn't eat. Wisely put, Sara. Next is Jen, who also doesn't eat, and Hannah, who expresses her hatred for Valentine's Day by also not eating.
Next up is Q. Especially seeing last week's drama, and the promise he made to Larialmy to do his most to lose weight, he can't really afford to mess up. However, he doesn't want to leave his fate in anyone else's hands, so he eats four pieces of chocolate.
Rulon is next. He proclaims (rationalizes?) that if giving in to a temptation helps you towards your long-term goal, it's okay to indulge. He eats five pieces.
Marci eats one piece for each of her teammates and then two for herself, for a grand total of ten. She is committed to keeping her team together, and since she's one of the smaller competitors anyway, one can argue that she maybe has a little bit of wiggle room as far as the weight-loss goes.
Moses eats twenty-one pieces. At the end of the three minutes, he says that he feels like he let his team down because he knows he could have eaten a lot more candy. I'm sorry, but don't people usually cry because they consumed too many calories and let their team down that way? This seems like some kind of bizarre flip. YOU GUYS, MY WORLD IS TURNING UPSIDE DOWN.
Arthur is up next. As we already know, Arthur does not like letting other people determine his fate. He eats thirty-five chocolates. Arthur points out that this is still a game, and that you have to start playing eventually.
Once everyone has had their shot at temptation, Alison reveals that the swaps are actually happening. She tells Jen and Jay to switch places with Sara and Deni. This is a baffling move. Everyone assumes that someone on the Red team must have won. Taking the Black team's two strongest players and replacing them with the Red team's two weakest? Heck, even I thought that. I'm confused. Did someone eat more than Arthur? Did the show choose not to reveal this person, to keep true to the anonymity factor? What's going on?
Everyone cries and is angry and then cries again. Everyone hugs and Alison hands people new tee shirts. Jen burbles something vaguely coherent about how she doesn't like the color red because black is more slimming than red and therefore she is sad to leave her team. I'm not sure, but I think it was a metaphor?
Then Arthur speaks up and I am even more confused. He reveals that he was the one who won the challenge, and says that he feels he owes everyone an explanation for why he chose the way he did. He does not trust Jen and Jay, and so got rid of them in favor of players who he thought were weaker than he and his dad. He tries to play it like a loyalty card, saying he wants to make sure to save people he is loyal to in favor of sending Deni and Sara home.
Absolutely no one is glad to hear this. Courtney, in particular, looks like she is going to shoot someone. Harsh words are exchanged on both sides, and Jen tells Arthur that in the end, the scale will show. Alison actually has to cut the hate fest short.
The next day in the gym, Bob and Jillian come in and pretend to be shocked while everyone explains what happens. Arthur tries to explain himself again, and he gets yelled at some more. Finally, Arthur breaks down in tears. Jillian gives him a hug. Since when does Jillian hug people? Watching Arthur cry is kind of heartbreaking, and his team must ultimately agree, because eventually they concede that he had "good intentions but poor execution" and they cut him a break. Which makes me breathe a sigh of relief, I don't know about you. I'm a softy like that.
The Red team shows up at the gym to work out and things get kind of tense, because this is the first time that the two teams will have to share the gym. I guess last week doesn't count because Bob and Jillian weren't there the whole time? Cara looks terrified, even when she is punching things.
Brett and Cara work out in front of the team for a while, apparently to show that they can "walk the walk as well as talk the talk," but as the Black team points out, the Red team isn't burning any calories just standing there watching.
Halfway through the workout, Olivia has another little fit. The Red team's workout is loud. People are shouting and grunting and punching things. Hannah agrees with her sister that it's the most disrespectful thing she has seen since coming to the Ranch. "I can't even hear my trainer!" Olivia yells in frustration. Jillian tries to calm Olivia down by saying something like, "You are in your skin and they are in their skins and no one can change the place of where you skin is in the gym." Um?
Alison shows up wearing a pair of truly tragic camo cargo pants and I know that it's time to mentally prepare myself for another Valentine's themed challenge. And I'm right! Who would have thought? This week, the teams are fighting for videos from home. Each team forms groups of two and is sent to do five different tasks. At the completion of each task, they get a wrapped package, and at the end of all five tasks they will have to use the contents of the packages to solve one final challenge.
The first challenge is the rolling of a boulder up a hill. The catch is that the roller of the boulder is blindfolded, and their partner has to direct them. This challenge features Courtney and Olivia against Kaylee and Jen. The boulders crash into each other and Kaylee almost rolls her boulder over the edge of the bank, but both teams finish within seconds of each other, with Courtney and Olivia taking a small lead for the Black team.
The second challenge involves stacking bricks six feet in the air. The tower has to hold for five full seconds. Marci and Irene already have a slight lead over Rulon and Austin, and they finish first, but again, by mere seconds. At this point, the race is still pretty tight.
The third challenge involves putting five different meals in caloric order from lowest to highest. This time, Sara and Deni beat Ken and Justin handily. I think the trick here was realizing that chili is actually fairly low in calories, because as soon as the girls figured this out, everything else fell into place and they were running away while the men were still stuck thinking that chili has the same caloric content as a cheeseburger and chips. This is the first instance in which I think the Red team's catered meals are putting them at a disadvantage. Maybe if they had to prepare their own food, they would learn more about the how and why of nutrition.
The next challenge involves walking a log across the length of two telephone poles. Arthur and Jesse have to hold the log between them while walking along the poles. Especially since the temptation challenge, Arthur has a lot to prove to his team. This is a nerve-wracking event. Arthur falls once and has to start over, but they get it on the second try. The Black team moves on to the last challenge, while the Red team is still stuck on the nutrition challenge. Q yells helpful things to his teammates like, "THINK HARDER!" Good advice, Q.
Hannah's event is last. She has twenty-five arrows and has to shoot one of them in the inside of a fairly enormous heart tacked to a hay bale. She pretends to be nervous, but nails it on the first try. Everyone runs off to the very last event. They unwrap their presents, and inside are big puzzle pieces. They solve the puzzle, and the end result is a big, black heart. Everyone gets videos from home and they jump around excitedly. Good job, Black team! On Valentine's Day, Bob and Jillian come over and everyone watches their videos from home together. Predictably, everyone cries.
Once again, this is a high-pressure weigh-in. Arthur has to pull a huge number this week to make things up to his team, and Sara and Deni have to pull similarly big numbers to prove that they aren't just sacrificial lambs.
The weigh-in starts with the Red team. Jay is up first. He loses fourteen pounds, which is huge. The camera pans to Arthur's face and you can tell that he regrets throwing such a strong competitor away.
Jen is up next. She also loses fourteen pounds! That's amazing. Austin loses ten pounds. Ken loses fourteen pounds. (This week, because the teams are competing against each other, there is no yellow line and the percentage of weight lost is shown for the total group, not for individuals.)
Q loses seven pounds. This is officially a Big Deal. His team decides that seven pounds is simply unacceptable, especially because he promised Larialmy last week that he would not throw away his opportunity to stay at the Ranch. Justin tries to read Q a guilt trip, but then Justin only loses ten pounds and apparently that is okay, so I am really confused right now.
Rulon loses twelve pounds ad Kaylee loses five. Next up is Moses. Alison informs him that, if he breaks one hundred pounds of weight lost this week, he will break the record for the contestant to lose one hundred pounds the fastest. Moses loses eleven pounds and smashes the record! Kaylee runs up and hugs him and it's just about the sweetest thing I ever saw.
As a whole, the Red team loses ninety-seven pounds and 3.43%. In order to beat them, the Black team has to lose seventy-seven pounds, which is nine pounds a person. Everyone, especially Arthur, looks nervous.
Deni and Sara are first. New to the team, and expected to be underdogs, they have a lot to prove. But then, Deni loses nine pounds and Sara loses ten! This is phenomenal and they get a lot of hugs all around.
Arthur is next and he only loses nine pounds. He looks properly ashamed of himself, but I have to wonder what is going on that is keeping this man from throwing up bigger numbers? Bob is strangely encouraging instead of getting mad, which makes me wonder if there isn't a bigger issue going on that we aren't being shown on screen.
Jesse loses eleven pounds, which is amazing. At this point, everyone has lost at least the nine pounds required for the Black team to win, so things are certainly looking good, but the Black team isn't out of the woods yet.
Courtney loses ten pounds and Marci loses an amazing thirteen! She has lost fifty-one pounds since the beginning of her time at the Ranch, and this is a huge accomplishment for her.
Olivia is up next. The sisters usually lose around six or eight pounds each, but this week Olivia loses an amazing sixteen pounds, officially winning the week for the Black team!
Irene and Hannah get weighed, too, just to finish things up, and they lose twelve and nine pounds, respectively. Not only did the Black team beat the Red team percentage-wise, with a fantastic 4.38%, they also crushed them pound-wise. Considering the fact that the Black team consists of more women and thus, smaller contestants, this is amazing.
As the person with the highest percentage of weight lost this week (6.07%), Jen has immunity, so no one can vote for her. She, however, votes for Q. So does Jay. After the drama of last week and his relatively poor showing on the scales, this isn't super surprising.
Q himself votes for Jay. Ken votes for Q. Moses votes for Q, as well. Next is Justin's turn to vote. After all the guilt trips Justin has laid on Q over the course of the season, it's no surprise when he votes for Q, as well. Everyone tells him how much they love him and what a great man he is. But, Q is still sent home.
Watch the full elimination here:
At home, Q is back with Larialmy, and we get to see bonus footage of her looking awesome and foxy. Q himself has lost 92 pounds since the show started, and he weighs 345! We watch Q and Larialmy celebrate Valentine's Day. I like his tie. Q explains that, in past years, Valentine's Day was all about food for him and Larialmy, so this year he is going to show her his commitment to change. So he takes her to the gym. And they work out together.
Um. Happy holidays, everyone.
See a preview for next week here:
(Image courtesy of NBC)