Welcome to week three! This is the week we get to meet the new trainers. Does it get more exciting than that? The answer is no. No, it doesn't. After two weeks of shadow and silhouette and borderline-ridiculous mystery, all you'd have to do right now would be show me just one of the new trainer's faces and I'd be happy for at least two hours. As it is, I'm getting a lot more than that. Which means I just might be happy for more than two hours. I'm pumped.
At Long Last
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Right off the bat, we are put face to face with the new trainers. I'm so shocked that I almost fall over. A whole face? After so long? Watch our introduction to the new trainers here:
But this isn't just a face. This is Cara. And Cara means business. Cara learned to box when she was 5 years old. She won the Golden Gloves twice. Her goal, she tells the cameras, is to teach her team how to fight for themselves again. Cara equates losing weight with fighting, which appears to work for her. However, I am interested to see how her team achieves in the end. A boxer isn't exactly the same as an all-round trainer, after all.
Our other trainer is Brett. Brett is a martial artist, fitness trainer and motivator. Also, he tells the camera proudly that he "was pre-med." Excuse me, but what exactly does that mean and why does that make this man qualified to do anything? However, Brett reveals that he struggled with his weight as a teenager, which, I suppose, more than qualifies him to be an empathetic Biggest Loser trainer. Watch Cara and Brett introduce themselves fully here:
For the first time, we start the episode in the Unknowns' camp. Rulon and Justin appear to have taken on the role of leaders for their team, and they decide that Q is not losing as much weight as he could be. They sit down and confront him in front of the entire team, informing him that he has not found his passion. To top this little shame-session off, Justin turns to Austin and announces, "To be honest, I wasn't very happy with your performance this week, either." Austin admits that he wasn't happy with it, either, possibly just out of shock at being addressed like that by a peer rather than a trainer, but Justin hears what he wanted to and nods like a sage.
Alison is standing around in a yellow raincoat and looking smug, which can only mean one thing. Yes, another challenge is upon us. Bob and Jillian's team appear, looking bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Some intimidating black vans with creepy, tinted windows roll up. It's the Unknowns, but I'm confused as to why the show is continuing with the whole mysterious angle when we've already been introduced to the trainers. The suspense has been lifted, you guys. Enough is enough.
The teams unload on either sides of a big black wall, presumably so they remain hidden from each other. Alison tells the two teams that this week, one winner from each team will win the chance to compete in a final challenge with Curtis Stone. The winner of the Curtis Stone challenge will win a two-pound advantage, which is a big deal to some people (Marci, Denise) and not a big deal to others (Arthur).
Everyone seems to be geared up for some kind of big physical challenge, like maybe scaling the enormous black wall, but that tricky Alison has something different in mind! She tells them that they will have to balance an egg on the top of a frying pan. This, apparently, is a mental game. The Unknowns start talking smack and Courtney yells, "I got you, gold medalist, don't even start with me!" The guts of this girl will never cease to amaze me. I want her to be my best friend.
Mere seconds into the challenge, all the Unknowns but Denise launch their eggs over the wall. Alison laughs at their cleverness and Denise gushes about how happy it makes her that her team admires her grit and tenacity enough to reward her with a chance to win a two-pound advantage. I don't care how nice they were to Denise, throwing eggs just makes the Unknowns seem like a bunch of jerks and I'm pretty sure that I don't like them anymore.
The Ranch team don't really have time to make any judgment calls at all because they are too busy trying to avoid being splattered with yolk and still keep those darn eggs balanced. One by one, everyone drops their eggs but Marci, who flips hers into the pan all fancy at the end and makes a totally killer face. Good for you, Marci!
Dr. H, We Meet Again
Dr. H already put the Ranch contestants through the wringer and made them cry about their cholesterol, and now it's the Unknowns' turn. He comes roaring out of the gate and tells Q that he has 248 pounds of excess fat weighing him down. Q is 27, but his internal age is 51. This just might be the motivation that Q needs to finally start pulling big numbers. He chokes up and reveals that he has a 2-year-old son who he needs to get well for.
Ken has both diabetes and degenerative joint disease. Eight people in his family have had gastric bypass surgery. Austin has more excess hydrogenated fat and higher blood pressure than his father does, and he is only 20. His internal age is 44. Poor Austin appears to be having a hard time of it on this show. He seems to cry a lot, and I wish I saw him every so often so I could figure out what was going on with him.
At 58 percent, Sara has the highest body fat percentage of any person on the entire show. She is shocked to hear this. She reveals that she was in a car accident several years ago that left her in extended recovery. Her muscles atrophied quite severely, and she feels that she used that as an excuse not to exercise and take care of herself. Her metabolic rate is the slowest of any one contestant on the ranch. Dr. H tells her that she is going to have to put in 90 minutes a day six days a week for the rest of her life.
Moses' risk rate for being a full-fledged diabetic is 90 percent. He realizes that he is living the same life as all his uncles, who died in their early 40s or 50s. Dr. H projects Moses' date of death as April 23, 2025. Moses says that he wants to be alive to see Kaylee and his other daughter grow up and get married. He vows that on April 23, 2025, they are going to throw a big party to celebrate his life, rather than his death.
Um, Excuse Me?
Here we have Brett and Cara, the new trainers, pacing around and being angry about the fact that the Ranch contestants beat the Unknowns at the last weigh-in. You can tell that they're new trainers because you can practically see the words printed on the cue cards when they say them. They vow to make everyone sweat because last week's results weren't acceptable, and then we watch a whole lot of boxing. At one point, Brett begins punching Austin in the stomach. At another point, he sits on top of Kaylee and yells at her to, "GET UP!" While it is slightly more interesting than watching people run on treadmills, I am not sure if I would want Brett training me.
However, the Unknown team doesn't seem to be complaining. Watch their thoughts on their new trainers here:
Bob plugs everyone into the treadmills while Jillian takes Don and Dan out for a hike. They are not engaged, and Jillian is going to FIGURE STUFF OUT. Dan and Don tell Jillian that they are both incredibly homesick. Dan, especially, is having a hard time being away from his wife and 9-year-old daughter. Jillian asks him to tell her about the death of his son. Dan explains that he was helping his son overcome a drug problem. He spoke to his son every day on the phone to encourage him, and one day he missed the call. That was the day that his son died. He doesn't talk about this issue with anyone because he doesn't want to be an emotional burden. Jillian tells Dan that, unless his processes this grief in a cathartic way, he will never be able to get healthy and he will lose his own life.
Meanwhile, Bob takes the Purple team outside to figure out what's going on with them. Hannah reveals that she was an athlete in college, just as her dad was before her. They had big dreams that she would make the Olympic volleyball team, but then she got injured, gained weight and began to hate herself. She felt as if she let both her dad and herself down. Bob tells her that she needs to find new dreams and not dwell on her old, defeated ones. Good advice, Bob.
ZOMG CURTIS STONE
Denise and Marci won the challenge, so they get to go meet Curtis Stone. In case no one knew, Curtis Stone is hot, he cooks, and he has a confusing, semi-foreign accent. He tells the women that he is going to make them lunch, and that the winner of the challenge is the one who guesses how many calories are in the meal. I don't know about you guys, but as the owner of a health club, my money is on Marci with this one.
Oliver explains to the women that it is important to experiment with cooking so that they learn new foods to enjoy, new ways to prepare it and new recipes. This way, they won't fall back into their old patterns and begin eating the same foods that pushed their weight over the limit in the first place. He makes them a squash and arugula salad with vinaigrette. He makes them quinoa and halibut with a parsley dressing. He poaches them a couple of pears in orange juice and apple cider with cinnamon, vanilla and anise. I'm amazed that the ladies can keep all these ingredients together in their heads, especially since most of the time he just drizzles things on and then blanks when they ask him how much of this or that item he is using.
After eating and appreciating the food, Marci guesses 480 calories, and Denise guesses 440. Curtis Stone reveals that the true number of calories in the entire meal is 570, making Marci the winner of the two-pound advantage. This thrills Marci because it keeps Courtney in the challenge for longer, and I have to say it thrills me for exactly the same reason.
This time, Alison is wearing two different kinds of plaid and standing in front of a row of pumps. Unlike before, it is only the Ranch contestants who will be competing. Alison reveals that each team has to use a hand-pump to pump water into a Q-drum, before pulling the full drum a quarter mile uphill and emptying it in a competing team's tub. The last team to get their tub filled will win and get the only vote in that night's elimination.
This challenge sounds easy but ends up being hard. The Q-drums weigh 100 pounds when filled all the way, and the uphill run is steep. Courtney and Irene start off running and hold a decent pace the entire time. The Purple team also does well. Eventually, it becomes clear that all the teams are systematically filling up the same drums and eliminating the same teams, one by one. Jen eventually tells Alison that they strategized to save Irene, because she is competing by herself, and also because she is the only one to have faced elimination before. The team feels that she will be the best choice to speak fairly for everyone. Good strategy, Ranch team! The challenge ends with Irene the winner and no one is surprised. I'm excited that they're pulling themselves together after failing so miserably in last week's challenge.
Last Chance Workout
Bob and Jillian come to visit everyone at the ranch. They discuss who may go home. When Dan reveals that he is prepared to go home, Jillian flips out. She accuses him of giving up.Dan argues that he simply is prepared with a Plan B. "There can be no Plan B," Jillian tells him. "You have to live in the moment. There is only plan A."
We get to see the Last Chance Workout and there is the usual sweating, grunting and Bob being obsessed with Courtney. We find out that Arthur's injuries have kept him from being in the gym most of the week, so he is very worried about the weigh-in. Jay wrote 349 on his arm in permanent marker because he is so committed to his 15-pound goal. Bob is into it. Of course he is.
Welcome to the weigh-in. Alison's dress zippers down the front, and Bob is wearing what appears to be a leather cardigan. The contestants should thank their lucky stars that they spend most of the show wearing workout clothes; otherwise they'd be stuck in disasters like this.
As always, Alison shares the triumphs of the Unknowns with the Ranch team before weigh-in. Q lost 19 pounds, so I guess Rulon and Justin yelling at him was effective. Moses lost 11 pounds for a grand total of 64 in three weeks. When the two teams are finally joined together, Moses is going to take over everything. I can't wait.
Alison gets all huffy with the Ranch team for joining forces and letting Irene win the challenge, yet she giggled like a schoolgirl and congratulated the Unknowns on their cleverness when they basically threw a challenge. Alison, please stop wearing such ugly clothes and get yourself together, thanks.
The Aqua team is the first up, and for once, they do not dominate. Marci loses seven pounds and Courtney loses six. Bob tells Courtney that he "grimaced" when he saw her numbers. Courtney, however, does her thing and announces that six pounds is still six pounds, and it will be more next week. Good for you, Courtney! This puts the Aqua team at 2.91 percent.
Irene is by herself, and she weighs in next. If she falls below the yellow line, she will automatically be eliminated, but she loses eight pounds. This girl is on fire! Her percentage is 3.45 and once again I am impressed by how well the girls are doing this season.
Jay wanted to lose 15 pounds, but he only loses 14. This is still an incredible number and everyone claps and cheers for him. Jen loses eight, which puts them at 3.58 percent. Jay is officially at 350 pounds, and his excitement is contagious.
The Blue team is up next, and it's obvious they're nervous. Arthur put in a ton of time in the pool, but he's injured and that's all there is to it. He only loses four pounds. Jesse loses nine, but it's not enough to save them and they replace Aqua below the yellow line. Arthur is crying, which is hard to watch. Jesse, ever the optimist, tells him that four pounds is still something, but Bob breaks in to announce that this is nothing to celebrate. He lists off a series of reasons why Arthur isn't losing more weight. One of them is the fact that he is on antibiotics. I'm sorry, but didn't we find out last week that Arthur was facing kidney failure? And we're angry with him for being on antibiotics and not losing more weight? You have got to be kidding me.
Purple is up next, and they both lose six pounds each again. Unlike last week, they are happy with their numbers this week. Their percent of weight lost is 2.58.
The Black team is up next. They each gained nine pounds. Let me repeat that: They each gained nine pounds. Everyone is shocked. Jillian and Bob both make a big deal out of how disappointed they are. Dan and Don are both upset and apologize to Bob and Jillian, but the trainers walk right past them. It's heartbreaking to watch, because you can tell that the twins are just as flummoxed as everyone else is.
At elimination, Courtney sticks up for the twins, saying that if she had been at home watching the show, she would have assumed that they threw the week, but that she knew how hard they'd worked and that they hadn't done anything wrong. Jesse tells Dan that he has all of their blessings, and it's obvious at this point who is going home. Sure enough, Irene reveals that she voted for Dan because, as he said, he could lose weight anywhere, but he could only be a father to his daughter at home.
Dan is eliminated.
See the elimination here:
It's OK though, because Dan has lost 70 pounds at home! He is down to 215 and he looks great, although a little shocking in comparison to how he used to. We see footage of him doing some kind of father-daughter martial arts class with Madelyn, his daughter, and he tells us that she once told him that she wanted him to get healthier so he wouldn't leave her like her brother had. I feel like Dan could do awesomely at home if he keeps this up. We'll have to wait and see how he looks at the finale!(Image courtesy of NBC)