'Biggest Loser' Gains Some Dignity
'Biggest Loser' Gains Some Dignity
Eleanor Bryan
Eleanor Bryan
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
So this week Alison tells everyone that they will be competing as one unified team, and all I can think to say is, finally. Was anyone else getting tired of the perpetual team and color changing? This week everyone is wearing blue shirts, which is A-OK with me.

Alison tells the team that they have a unified goal. If they can beat last week's cumulative weight loss of 64 pounds, they will all have immunity. If this doesn't get them working together, I don't know what will.

Welcome Back, Dr. H

First, we drop in to see Dr. H. Personally, I missed Dr. H. Not because he has any particular kind of charisma, but because the endless product placement in lieu of actual health info has given me a thirst for the hard medical facts he provides.

Dr. H tells Courtney that her body fat is currently down to 35 percent. She's come down from over 50 percent body fat, and that's simply amazing. Her percentage of body fat is now at the same level as the average American woman.

Marci has erased all of her risk factors in the 11 weeks she's been on the show. She is at 23 percent body fat, which is optimal. Dr. H tells her that she is at her ideal weight, and now all she has to do is focus on maintaining it. I'm getting choked up already. Marci's such a great example for everyone.

When Dr. H and Moses first met, Moses' risk of having a stroke within the next five years was 49 percent, and his death date was 4/23/25. Since then, Moses has gained back 19 years of his life, and cut down all of his risk factors to the single digits.

Rulon has gone from 62 to 48 inches around. Basically, everyone at the Ranch is looking fly, and Dr. H is pleased that they don't appear to be at death's door anymore.

Pop Challenge

This week's pop challenge involves Curtis Stone in the kitchen and Hannah going out of her way to let everyone know how dreamy she finds him.

Alison tells everyone that they will be split into pairs for this week's pop challenge. Each pair will have 30 minutes to put together a dish that Curtis Stone and Lorena Garcia will judge based on originality, calories and taste.They are competing for the The Biggest Loser meal plan. The winner will have prepared diet foods of their choice delivered to their door from the time they leave the Ranch, until the finale. Um, is it just me, or does eating prepared foods make the challenge of preparing your own healthful food kind of null and void?

Jen and Kaylee make a turkey taco tostado. It's 350 calories, and Lorena is practically salivating over it.

Olivia and Moses make baked cod with roasted asparagus. It's 170 calories and apparently delicious, although Curtis Stone thinks that perhaps they used a little too much dill.

Ken and Hannah make salad and filet mignon, which weighs in at 230 calories, and a peppermint milkshake for dessert that is 75 calories.

Irene and Justin also make steak, but with mashed cauliflower. Apparently the cauliflower is harder to blend than Irene had anticipated, and it comes out looking lumpy. Lorena and Curtis frown and make comments about the importance of presentation. As Irene said, "Am I on the wrong show?"

Courtney and Austin make a chocolate dessert tortilla using Dutch cocoa, Greek yogurt, and almond milk, with strawberries on top. Austin makes a little chocolate shake to go with it. The tortilla is 170 calories and the shake is 75. (Reason #38264 Why I Love Courtney: While Courtney is cooking, Curtis Stone comes up behind her to see what she's doing. "You're making me a little nervous," she says. "Why?" says Curtis Stone. "Because you're hot," says Courtney, looking at him with less admiration than no, duh, sass. Love it.)

Marci and Rulon make a spicy cod with vegetables. Rulon spends most of the cooking time eating strawberries. It clocks in at 200 calories, and Curtis Stone pants in happiness at the abundance of colors presented.

Olivia and Moses end up winning with their 170-calorie baked cod!

Sweat and Secrets

We spend the next eternity watching everyone work out together. There is lots of sweat and grunting. Nothing new.


Bob hunkers down and asks Rulon what his story is. What does he want out of The Biggest Loser? What are his goals? This is the kind of heartfelt schmaltz we could have gotten over with in the beginning of the season, but we didn't really know Rulon during Week Two, and so we've missed out on these little nuggets of emotion. Rulon tells Bob that his wife is 11 years younger than he is, and he wants to improve his health so that he can make sure he's still holding her when he's 80. "I'm here to be with her. That's what I want." Bob tells Rulon that, to accomplish this, he needs to learn balance. "You know zero and you know 200 miles per hour. You need to find the middle," he advises.

Cara has basically the same talk with Hannah, in which she expresses a desire to get her life back, live a full life, etc. The problem with having these little therapy sessions back-to-back, though, is that by the time we roll around to Hannah's turn to cry and hug, I'm bored. Sorry, Hannah.

Challenge Time

In this challenge, there is a big yellow rope buried under the ground. Alison tells the team that, two at a time, they have to pull the rope out of the ground until they unearth a large piece of wood with a trivia question on it. They have to answer the question correctly, otherwise the rope they pull will lead to a dead end, and they will have to go back to the beginning. Every time they reach a new question, they will be able to call in another pair of contestants to help them.

Alison tells them that, if they can finish the challenge in 1.5 hours, they will win a five-pound advantage for the weigh-in. If it takes them over 1.5 hours, five pounds will be added to their final weight.

Rulon and Marci decide to start. Pulling the rope out of the ground to reach the questions proves to be harder than they had anticipated. They originally chose the wrong answer for their trivia question, but Marci catches their mistake in the middle and they don't waste too much time pulling at loose ends. Ken and Hannah come join them. They answer their question correctly, but as they try to dig the rope out, something in Hannah's arm pops and she has to be removed from the challenge. Justin subs in for her and does a great job.
At this point, answering the trivia questions seem to be a minor annoyance compared to the backbreaking labor of pulling the rope out of the ground.

Olivia and Moses join them next. The team is already an hour into the challenge. Things aren't looking great. Courtney and Austin join them. They are cutting it right down to the wire. The entire team pulls as one.

They finish the challenge in 1:29.54, with 6 seconds to spare. Cue lots of mushy teammate bonding and hugging.

Last Chance Workouts

Watch Austin's Last Chance Workout here:


Watch Olivia's bonding with Brett during her workout here:


Weigh-In

WIth the five-pound advantage, the team needs to lose a total of 59 pounds to keep everyone safe from elimination. They each have to lose an average of five pounds. First to weigh in is Jen, who loses five pounds. This is a much better showing than last week's one pound, so things are looking good.

Next is Hannah, with four pounds. She's disappointed, but hope is by no means lost.

Olivia loses three pounds, and Justin loses five. Both are disappointed, but then Rulon loses seven and picks up some of the extra slack.

Ken also loses seven, and morale greatly improves.

Austin loses eight.

Courtney wants to lose six pounds so she can have officially lose 200 pounds since the beginning of her weight-loss journey. She only loses four, but once again, her positive attitude prevails. "A pound lost is a pound lost," she says, and resolves to be below 200 next week.

Irene loses two pounds. This puts the team average back to exactly five pounds each.

Moses loses six pounds.

Marci loses zero pounds. Everyone is shocked, but Marci isn't. She says that maybe her body is telling her that it's tired, and that's fine with her. She handles the situation with such grace. Everyone else is sobbing, but she holds her head high.

Kaylee needs to lose eight pounds to save the team, but I don't think anyone is expecting that. Instead, Kaylee GAINS TWO POUNDS. Ridiculous. 

I have never seen so many people gaining weight on a season of TBL before. Bob and Jillian tell Kaylee that she's been having really good weeks and really bad weeks, and that she just needs to even herself out. "We can fix that," they assure her. I think at this point it's clear who needs to stay more.

Altogether, the team loses 49 pounds. There will be an elimination, and it will be between Marci and Kaylee.

Elimination

Before the elimination, Marci and Kaylee stand up in front of the group. Marci puts her arm around Kaylee and tells her team that it is her time to go home. She tells everyone how wonderful they were to work with, and how she does not regret one second of her time on the Ranch. She tells Courtney to be focused and Courtney, always stoic and happy, is crying like a little girl. Hard to watch. Moses tells Marci that he'll watch over Courtney like his own daughter. (Reason #54759 Why I Love Moses: That moment.)

"Watch over each other," Marci says. "All of you. You're all good, I promise. It just hurts right now."

My response? WAHHHHH.

At the elimination, Courtney votes for Kaylee, despite Marci asking everyone to vote for her. "I could never write my mom's name down," she says.

Likewise, Moses votes for Marci because he could never write Kaylee's name down.

Jen votes for Kaylee because she says that to write Marci's name down would be like voting off one of her parents. Oh, hey, Jen?  Remember that time when you gleefully sacrificed your own father so you could get more airtime? Remember when you let him volunteer to go home without so much as a peep?

Hannah, Olivia, Irene, Rulon and Justin all tearfully tell Marci how wonderful and inspirational she is and vote her off. Marci leaves with dignity, and everyone cries in her wake.

Watch the heartbreaking elimination here:



At-Home Results


Since the beginning of the show, Marci has gone from 238 to 162. Since she is already at her goal weight, she smartly makes her new goal to maintain her current weight and fitness level, rather than to lose more. We see lots of footage of her training and interacting with customers at her health club, and it's good to see her continuing to use the leadership skills she developed on The Biggest Loser.

Watch a sneak peek of next week's show here:



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(Image courtesy of NBC)

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