So let's talk about Arthur.
It's no secret that I love Arthur. Of course I do. The show has been formatted precisely so that I, and everyone else who watches, will love Arthur. He's an underdog, and who doesn't love an underdog? He loves his dad, he loves his kids. He cries sometimes. He calls the Black team "his girls." Of course, I know that all these personality traits have been picked and chosen to be highlighted by the producers of The Biggest Loser. I know that, but I still love him anyway.
Arthur is obese. There is just no way of getting around this fact. Every time they show that picture of him sitting on the couch eating a slice of birthday cake, clocking in at close to 700 pounds, it's hard for me to keep looking at the TV. It's horrifying and sad to see a person get to that level of unhealthiness, but what's happened with Arthur is that that picture on the screen, the one that's hard to look at, has become a real person who sweats and talks and gets yelled at by Jillian. And through this, we come to know and empathize with this character. We celebrate his triumphs, we get frustrated when he makes mistakes. This is true of every contestant on The Biggest Loser
, but, for me at least, it is especially true of Arthur.
Arthur got voted off the show last night and I know that I, for one, was not happy about it. However, one can also possibly see the Red team's side. There are two ways of looking at last night's elimination. The first way is to agree with me and think that the Red team is horrible. Let's examine that way first, shall we?
Arthur is sick. There are no two ways about it. I always wonder why the show doesn't feature Dr. H more prominently. This could be because, if they did feature him more regularly, he would have to conspicuously ignore all the health problems the contestants are bringing on themselves by working out 16 hours a day and depriving themselves of hydration before weigh-ins, but whatever. The fact is, in a show that's so focused on the health of weight-loss, we don't get a ton of information on health. The Biggest Loser is great because the emphasis is on losing weight for health instead of aesthetics, but yet we just hear a lot of vague statements from Bob and Jillian about, "your heart!", "your health!" and nothing much more specific than that. I'm sure if Dr. H were more prevalently featured on the show, he could explain to us exactly how the health of Arthur and the other contestants is being improved as they continue on their journey.
All the same, it doesn't take a genius to see that Arthur is still the contestant with the most at risk in the health department. He still has the most cardiovascular fat, and the highest risk of all the diseases Dr. H warned us about in the first few episodes. And didn't Arthur have something going on with his kidneys in the beginning of the show? Is everyone forgetting that part, the part where Arthur was on antibiotics and cried because he knew they would effect his number on the scale? So yeah, I'm saying that Arthur needing to stay is a no-brainer. I hate to pick on Kaylee, but her? Not so much. Kaylee has lost a ton of weight and honestly doesn't have that much further to go before she reaches her goal weight. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Kaylee could probably manage to lose 20 pounds on her own at home, easy. If I were Kaylee, and I stayed and knowing sent someone as sick as Arthur home, I would feel pretty horrible about myself. Just sayin'.
On the other hand, while The Biggest Loser isn't technically a game show, the contestants all do compete for a pretty significant amount of money. If you want to focus more on money than on health, yeah, I guess it is a game. I suppose, if you want to look at it that way, and keep to an alliance, then the Red team really had no choice but to send Arthur home. I guess what they did makes sense.
(Except that, really, if they're focusing on game play, then it really would have made more sense to send Kaylee home, because she's almost reached her goal weight and soon she won't be able to contribute much to the team's weight loss anymore. Oh and also because she only lost one pound at home. In two weeks. And Arthur lost 16 pounds in two weeks, which is more than anyone on his team except for Rulon. Heck, that's even more than Justin, who loves to pep talk so much.
So I mean, really, it doesn't even make that much sense as game play. Which basically just means that the Red team is a bunch of selfish jerks. But, you know, that's just one girl's opinion.)
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(Image and video courtesy NBC)