'Biggest Loser' Fights Toward The End
'Biggest Loser' Fights Toward The End
Eleanor Bryan
Eleanor Bryan
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
All snarkiness aside, you guys, this week has me worried. I'm willing to put aside my differences with the show at this point. I'm willing to forgive the endless team switcheroos, product placement, and that one belligerent clip of Rulon eating a tortilla chip because, for me, this week is all about Courtney. I don't have the time to waste on sarcasm about anything else. Okay, maybe just a little...

Courtney Worries

The show opens with Brett being perhaps the most honest anyone has ever been on The Biggest Loser. Now that Courtney is his sole trainee, Brett says, "I have to make sure she stays here, so that I stay here." In this economy, Brett, job stability is something to strive for. I hear you, kiddo. Brett also explains to Courtney that her body is going into starvation mode, clinging to every calorie because she's spent so long cutting calories and working out a lot. "How do we fix this?" asks Courtney. Brett's vague response, "We're going to come at it from both ends." Um. Maybe it's not such a bad thing if you lose your job this week, Brett.

In a similar vein, Courtney asks Hannah, Irene and Olivia to help hold her accountable this week. She reveals that she often has a hard time reaching out to people, but that she knows she has to do this in order to improve her chances. The girls are all very sweet and tell her that of course they will help her out. Aw.

Pop Challenge

Alison reveals this week's pop challenge. Every team has a flag. Between the teammates, they have to guess where the mile mark is from the point where they are standing. There are black tiles placed at even intervals along the path they are on, and the team who places their flag at the marker closest to a mile wins. That team gets a night out in Hollywood, but all the losing teams have to stay home and clean the Ranch. Everyone balks as if the Ranch hasn't been cleaned in fourteen weeks. I'm pretty sure it's against the law to leave gym equipment dirty for that long. If the gym really is that filthy, all the contestants should have ringworm and its ilk by now, no?

The different teams use different tactics. The Green team opts to count Ken's paces, and they figure that when Ken steps 1,760 times, that will be a mile. The Blue team is measuring a mile using Moses' 3-foot stride as a measuring tape. Black is using two different methods. Jay is going to run at what he feels is a 15 minute-per-mile pace, and Rulon and Hannah are going to try to measure the mile with their steps. Courtney is reportedly "doing her own thing," but she never really reveals what that is.

At the end, the top two teams are within four feet of each other. The Black team wins, and Hannah, especially, is ecstatic.

Check out the bonus light bulb challenge that didn't make the episode:

In The Gym

During a workout, Ken develops a sharp pain in his side and tells the medic he doesn't think he should be running on it. What worries me is that the medic's response is, "We don't stop here. We keep going." He tells Ken to walk as much as he can tolerate, but I'm still disturbed. Plenty of lifelong, debilitating sports injuries are caused by fighting through pain. Shouldn't the medics on the show know better?

Austin is worried about his dad, and also about the team, since he doubts Kaylee's ability to put up a big number. He feels that the burden of carrying the team falls exclusively on him this week, and he's nervous about it.

Jillian sits Rulon down to talk about what she calls his "compulsive eating." I'm amazed because I expected Jillian to yell and scream, but she actually remains quite calm and rational. Rulon explains to Jillian that, when he feels he's put in his all during a workout, he likes to reward himself for that with a snack at the end of the day. Jillian tries to work with him to figure out other ways he can reward himself, because this same urge is going to crop up in the real world as well. She tells Rulon that he can reward himself with a ride in his Jeep, spending time with his wife, or a workout he enjoys. She points out that the idea of deprivation is counter-intuitive when it comes to weight loss. She tries to open a line of communication, and works on helping Rulon work foods he likes into his daily diet in moderation. This way, he can feel as if he is nurturing himself and still be healthy. YES. Watching this segment made me so happy. THIS IS WHAT THIS SHOW SHOULD BE ABOUT. Make more segments like this, NBC. This is the kind of thing people want to see.

All Dolled Up

The Black team doesn't want to tell Jillian about their glam prize because they know she will freak out. She weasels it out of them, and she absolutely freaks out. "How is this an award? This isn't a prize! This is bad! You guys are gonna make me burst a blood vessel in my eyeball!"

However, the Black team seems excited, and for good reason. The show provides them with glitzy new clothes, and it's so wonderful to see them dressed up and looking good in their new bodies. It must feel amazing, too, to be wearing something other than their workout gear. Hannah has a dress with sparkly sleeves and killer heels, Rulon looks downright dapper in a vest, and Jay has a new jacket. They cruise to Hollywood in a limo to the dulcet tones of P!nk's "Raise Your Glass" and stare at the wonderland around them. Honestly? I can't even make cracks about how corny this all is because it really is like a whole new world for all of them, going nice places in their brand new bodies. It almost makes me tear up.

They get sushi for dinner and make choices Jillian would be proud of. They have seaweed salad with the dressing on the side, sushi with no rice, and King crab with a citrus sauce instead of butter. Rulon says, "I was glad I got to have crab. It made me feel like I was still alive." Instead of dead and eating rice cakes at the Ranch, we get it.

Some creepy guy with shifty eyes ambles over with a shot of sake that he casually sips the entire time he's talking to them. He asks them about The Biggest Loser and tells them that they all look "really ... like, thin." Jay and Rulon catch on to the fact that this guy wants to talk to Hannah, not them, and they make the most awkward and adorable getaway in the world.

"I have to go downstairs," Jay tells this guy, "and my friend has to go. With me. We're both going." And then they skedaddle.

Shifty-Eyed Dude's real name is Ted, but that doesn't matter because he's mostly a vehicle for Hannah to talk about her self-confidence. She says that, in the past, if someone came up to her and talked to her like this, she would think there was something wrong with them, or that they were making fun of her. Now, she feels more self-confident and can enjoy meeting new people in a way that she couldn't before. And, guys? That's a really big deal and I'm so happy for her.

Back At The Ranch

Bob saunters into the kitchen holding enormous brown bags and cooing, "I brought you lunch because I care about you!" Moses, Irene and Olivia open the bags to find fast foods that they used to love. Burgers covered in Ranch dressing and fajitas covered in sour cream sit in the middle of the table while the Blue team stares as Bob as if to say, Why do you hate us so much?

Just when I'm beginning to think, "Wait! We already did the whole This-is-your-old-favorite-food-isn't-it-gross-now-decide-whether-or-not-you-want-to-eat it thing," Bob whips out some 100 calorie packs of Wholly Guacamole! and I relax. It's okay, it's just another commercial.


The Black team weighs in first. Hannah loses 4 pounds, Jay loses 6, and Rulon loses 7, which just proves that they made great choices on their night out. Their team total is 17 pounds and 2.2%.

Blue is next. Olivia starts the team off with 2 pounds, which is lower than her usual number. Moses loses 7, which is fantastic, and Irene pulls through with a 6, which is exactly the amount they needed to keep the team safe. Their team total is 15 pounds and 2.32%.

Ken starts the Green team off with 4, which is a pretty decent number but much lower than Ken's usual. However, considering his injury, it's still amazing. Kaylee loses 1 pound and gets all huffy, neither of which surprise me. Austin loses 2, which is very unusual for him. Their team total is 7 pounds, 1.01%.

Last up is the Red team, or as I like to call it, Courtney All Alone. Courtney only has to lose 2 pounds to be safe from elimination, but somehow she only loses 1. When they hear this, everyone starts crying. Even Jillian. Even. Jillian. Courtney tries to be all happy and optimistic about how she'll be able to carry on her weight-loss at home, but Bob says, "I don't care. I'm selfish. I want you here because I want you here." It's really sad. Olivia, Irene and Hannah are all bawling. Everyone hugs Courtney goodbye. "It's not right." Bob repeats. "It's not right."

At the last minute, everyone remembers that this means Brett is leaving, too, and some of the original Unknowns get weepy about it, but it pales in comparison to the grief at Courtney's leaving.

Watch the drama again:

At Home Results

Courtney's family welcomes her back home, including Marci, who looks so freaking good! Courtney has now lost a total of 225 pounds, and is looking into getting Dairy Queen to introduce healthier options, like frozen yogurt. Heck, if anyone could change DQ's menu, I think it would be Courtney.

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(Image courtesy of NBC)