'The Biggest Loser' Hits Competition Overdrive
'The Biggest Loser' Hits Competition Overdrive
Eleanor Bryan
Eleanor Bryan
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Last week's episode of The Biggest Loser set the grounds for what has the potential to be the most dramatic season in the series' history. There's still so much we don't know about season 11! Who are these mysterious new trainers? Do we care about the Unknowns? Like, at all? Why is there so much boxing being done all of a sudden? When did Jillian turn into Dr. Freud? The answers to these questions can only be found within the episode.

New Incentives

Right off the bat, we learn that this episode is going to be Super Intensely Competitive. Alison, decked out in a sequined top and a striped cardigan (really, Alison's stylist? Really?) tells Bob and Jillian's team that last week, the Unknowns lost more weight with five teams than Bob and Jillian's team did with six. Clearly, they need an extra push. Alison informs them that this week, they will be fighting for $10,000. Everyone looks thrilled, especially when Alison informs them that, on top of this, Bob and Jillian's team will receive immunity if they win.

Alison shows Bob and Jillian's team footage of the Unknowns' workouts, presumably to strike fear into their hearts. The faces of the new trainers are actually blacked out when they address the camera. Am I the only one who thinks this has gone on long enough? Mysterious New Male Trainer barks, "If I don't see someone passed out or almost puking, I am not going to be happy!" Bob and Jillian's team looks grim and troops into the gym, armed with knowledge.

The Good Doctor(s)

Bob and Jillian split their team up. They are planning on a totally CRUSHING workout so that they can totally CRUSH the Unknowns who totally CRUSHED them last week. Bob pulls some people onto various cardio machines and proceeds to gaze adoringly at Courtney and her unflagging energy while she dominates the treadmill. Meanwhile, Jillian takes Green, Purple  and Irene outside for some boxing. Is it just me, or does the number of boxing gloves seem to have skyrocketed since this season began and an ex-fighter became one of the new trainers?

Back in the gym, Bob is making everyone do squats with barbells. Jillian's workout looks easy compared to this. We get a quick photo montage of smiling family members before Bob busts out the Freud. Bob confronts Marci with carrying around guilt, which he claims is keeping her from losing weight. Marci admits that she feels guilty not only for being overweight and yet owning a health club, but also for allowing Courtney to get to such an extreme weight. Before this can turn into a sob-fest, however, Courtney breaks in. She tells Marci not to feel bad, that her weight is entirely her own fault because of her own decisions. Courtney has taken responsibility for her weight and is actively dealing with her problem. She says this all while sweating and digesting whole grains. I think I might officially love Courtney as much as Bob does. Watch Bob's pep talk here:



Next, Bob turns his attention to Arthur. Arthur admits that his body feels good, but his head doesn't. He doesn't want to talk about it, but Dr. Bob pries it out of him. Arthur admits that he feels ashamed because he knows that he has not lived up to his potential. All his life, he had planned on playing pro football, but he fell in with a bad crowd, stopped caring about school and let everything go. Bob tells Arthur that he has been subconsciously trying to kill himself with food because of his shame. Bob actually says, "We are not walking away from our feelings anymore, dude. You're going to feel [your feelings] and you're going to learn from them." He tops this inspirational speech by making Arthur do some treadmill sprints. Arthur emerges feeling triumphant and amazed at his own abilities. Bob tells us that his biggest concern right now is getting Arthur "dialed in" so that his head doesn't sabotage him anymore.

Paging Dr. Jillian

Suddenly, we are at the Unknowns' ranch in Malibu. There is a lot of boxing and jumping rope going on, I think, but it's hard to tell through all the secrecy. We see Denise have some kind of breakthrough about gaining self esteem, but since half the contestants have been hidden from us this entire time, I'm having a hard time remembering who Denise even is, let alone caring about this breakthrough of hers. Watch more of Denise here:



Back on the Biggest Loser Ranch, Jillian is confronting Jen about her feelings toward her father. I didn't know Jen had any feelings towards her father, but Dr. Jillian did. Jen cries and admits that she doesn't want to feel responsible for his weight loss and guilty if he doesn't succeed. Jillian claps her hands and announces, "And that is why you are not losing weight!" Jillian makes Jen spar with Jay to get out all her anger. Jen tells Jay that she needs him to tell her than he can lose the weight on her own and doesn't need her help. Poor Jay looks kind of bewildered, but he cries, too, and Jen tells him that she needs to lose the weight alone. Jay says that taking on the responsibility for his own weight loss makes him feel better, but since he's still crying, it's hard not to feel like Jen just essentially wrote him off on national television. Jillian smiles wisely in the background.

Those Wily Wascals

Everyone heads back to the gym to put in some extra time. Lo and behold, there is a note and a box! They are props gifts from the producers Unknowns! The box holds two-dozen doughnuts. This is officially the worst thing to ever have happened in The Biggest Loser history. Arthur reveals that doughnuts are his all-time biggest temptation food. Everyone takes the doughnuts outside and steps on the box. Dan and Don reveal that, as cops, they have "heard every doughnut joke there is" and that this insult "lacks some imagination, truthfully." I love how deadpan they are.

The doughnuts tempt Arthur. He goes outside to take the boxes to the Dumpster and ruminates for a long time about how easy it would be to eat one. As he lifts the box to the Dumpster, a cruller falls out. CRULLERS ARE HIS FAVORITE, YOU GUYS. We are supposed to be very upset at the possibility that Arthur might break down and eat a doughnut, and then relieved when he doesn't, but seeing as the pastries are all smashed beyond the point of recognition, my anxiety is at a minimum.

The Monster of Cardiovascular Fat

Boys and girls, it's time for a visit to Dr. Holzenga! Dr. H welcomes all of Bob and Jillian's team members into his office and sits them down to tell them each how devastatingly unhealthy they are. Since we aren't seeing them at all, I wonder if he's also relayed this information to the Unknowns, or if they are allowed to live their lives without seeing diagrams of the fat clogging their arteries.

Dr. H starts with Courtney. He tells her that, despite the fact that she is only 21, her inner age is 39 and the stress on her internal organs is huge. Courtney barely pauses to frown before taking this all in stride. She knows that she is making herself healthier every day and says that she feels blessed to have the information and help that she does to be able to deal with this problem.

Next up are Olivia and Hannah. Dr. H shows Olivia a diagram of her body and tells her that her fat is pushing up her diaphragm so that she can't take deep enough breaths to properly sustain the notes she has to sing in her career as an opera singer. Olivia cries and reveals that she is not only afraid of this, but that she is worried that her husband may never become a father because of her weight.

Dr. H then appeals to Dan and Don's police background. He asks Don what he would say if he knew Dan's killer and the date of his death. Don of course says that he would take immediate action. Dr. H reveals that the estimated date of Dan's death is March 29, 2020. At this point, it's fairly obvious the direction he is going and I half-expect an actor wearing a costume labeled CARDIOVASCULAR FAT to come jumping out of the closet. Instead, Dr. H simply puts the cigarettes, corn chips, chocolate and sugar that are killing Dan on the table. Dan gets all choked-up and we see a picture of his 9-year-old daughter. Dan says that, especially since the death of his son, he does not want to miss out on his daughter growing up. Dr. H get's Dan's daughter on the phone, and Dan promises her that he will do whatever it takes to get better.

Dr. H is, of course, appalled at Arthur. He tells Arthur that he is carrying 370 pounds excess fat. Arthur, too, is afraid of not being able to see his children grow up. Dr H., that tricky little minx, brings in Arthur's sister and niece. Arthur's sister, Jessica, brings Arthur a message from his daughter, telling him that she wants him to get better. Jessica challenges Jesse to give "better than the best that he can." Dr. H tries to get in on their group hug and the results are awkward to say the least.

Everyone comes back from the gym and there is a DVD in the kitchen from the Unknowns! Everyone is outraged! All gather to watch and get more outraged as Moses and the Yellow team boast over their weight loss from the week before. When the DVD is over, Bob and Jillian's team look tired instead of angry. They try to be peppy and talk some smack, but it's not convincing. Instead, they agree to hit the gym. I'm confused because I thought they just came from the gym, but whatever. Watch the team regroup after seeing the DVD here:



In Which There Is General Confusion

Alison is wearing a horrible hat on Long Beach. Today's challenge is for a three-pound advantage at the weigh-in, so everyone gets excited. The Unknowns already completed the challenge in 38.23, so this is the time to beat. Bob and Jillian's team have to build a bridge from the shore to a pier using big rafts. We catch a clip of the Unknowns completing the challenge, and Rulon smacks someone's butt jock-style, which makes everyone look a little uncomfortable and is totally hilarious.

Bob and Jillian's team is excited about the challenge, but immediately hit a brick wall when it comes to strategy. Jen tries to be the leader, but it doesn't work, and when Alison blows the horn to start the challenge, they still don't have a plan and it shows.

It's hard to describe the challenge, because it is baffling to watch. People are flopping around on rafts, falling in the water on accident, jumping in the water on purpose and yelling indiscriminately. Some people are busting their butts in the water, while others are standing around on shore looking confused. It's obvious that no one has the slightest clue what they're supposed to be doing. In the end, it takes Bob and Jillian's team longer to get to the halfway point than it took the Unknowns to complete the challenge. The Unknowns win handily, and everyone is depressed.

Davey and Goliath

Bob comes to visit his group. Jillian is sick and is not going to be training that week, so it's all on Bob. Morale is really low, and everyone looks tired and defeated. Bob tries to pep talk, but eventually he just schleps everyone onto the treadmill.

Back at the Unknowns' camp, we watch some more boxing while the female trainer talks to us with her face blacked out. Austin tells us that the female trainer told him to look at himself in the mirror and focus on what makes him who he is. Austin says that he doesn't make sense to himself anymore, so therefore his Biggest Loser journey has become a personal journey as well as a weight loss journey. Rulon throws the female trainer over his shoulder and jogs around the training area. I catch a flash of her profile. It's the most exciting thing I have seen all week. Watch those wiley Unknowns eat some turkey sandwiches and talk some smack here:



Bob asks everyone if they want to go home and they all dutifully respond, "no sir" while doing squats. Arthur's leg has been bothering him, so Arthur is just walking the presidential mile continuously while everyone else works out in the gym. Bob contemplates making Arthur walk outside until the moment of the weigh-in, but then reveals that he was just joshin'. Bob, you are such a kidder! Get an update on Arthur's health as he approaches the weigh-in here:



Everyone talks about his or her motivations for the week. Courtney wants to lose 9 pounds in order to get under 300 pounds, and I genuinely want her to do it. Don talks about the son who disowned him, because he claimed he was not going to watch his father die of obesity. He just wants his family to be together again.

Bob feeds on the low morale of everyone in the room. He uses the analogy of David and Goliath and asks his team who they'd rather be. Bob is so pleased with himself both for coming up with an analogy that he repeats himself about four times.

A High-Pressure Weigh-In

The weigh-in is high pressure for everyone. Alison, who is wearing a dress with a confusing neckline, reminds them what is at stake: immunity for all and $10,000. Alison tells Bob and Jillian's team that they have to throw down impressive numbers tonight because they got "destroyed" in the challenge. Bob informs her that he wants to "march right up those stairs" and yell at her for using such disrespectful terminology. Once again, he makes his David and Goliath speech, and his team nods appreciatively and pretends that they have never heard it before.

The Unknowns had a big week, despite the Week Two curse. Rulon lost 17 pounds. Moses lost 12, for a total of 53 pounds in two weeks. As a whole, their team lost 79 pounds. With the added three-pound advantage, Bob and Jillian's team has to lose more than 2.46 percent to win.

Alison tells Bob and Jillian's team that they have to each lose seven pounds. Upon hearing this, Arthur is ecstatic. He promised his team that he would personally make up for the lost three-pound advantage, and he is confident that everyone lost at least seven pounds. Bob is less confident but loves Arthur's attitude.

Despite having lost the support of her mother last week, Irene lost 10 pounds. Right off the bat, this puts everyone in a better mood.

Dan and Don are next. They are super-confident before being weighed, which as any connoisseur of reality TV knows, is never good. Lo and behold, Don loses eight pounds and Dan loses five. Everyone is shocked and upset and instantly less confident.

Olivia and Hannah lose six pounds each, which is not enough to get the team immunity. Olivia actually cries because she feels so bad for letting the team down. Bob has to remind her that, for Week Two, six pounds is amazing, but she is having none of it.

Green team is feeling a lot of pressure, especially after Jen's little fit. Jen loses eight pounds, and Jay loses 10! Jay reveals that he is now able to fit his wedding ring on over his fingers, and believes that it brought him good luck that night.

Courtney and Marci are next. Marci loses six pounds and Courtney loses 10! Everyone cheers for her. Between her impressive numbers and her awesome attitude, I definitely think Courtney could make the final four this season, if not win the whole thing.

The Blue team is last. They have to make up 16 pounds to win immunity. Especially since Arthur personally promised to make up the lost three-pound advantage, this is a lot of pressure. Bob is worried about what will happen to Arthur's new confidence and positive attitude if he doesn't achieve what he wants this week.

Arthur is on the scale and he is loving it.  He keeps telling everyone to get ready to celebrate, and they're trying to smile and feed into his enthusiasm but they all just look terrified. Poor Jesse is afraid to have a low number again. He's not smiling. This scares me. Jesse is always smiling. Can we make Jesse smile again? Someone? Please?

Finally, the beeping stops and we find out that Arthur lost 13 pounds and Jesse lost eight! Arthur does the best victory dance I have ever seen right on the spot. This puts Bob and Jillian's team at 90 pounds lost, for a total of 2.81 percent. Irene has the highest percentage of weight lost on either campus! Bob crows about how "David slayed Goliath," and Bob and Jillian's team gets $10.000.

Just when you think it can't get any better, it does: NEXT WEEK WE GET TO FINALLY MEET THE NEW TRAINERS. ZOMG, guys. I can barely stand it. Can you?

(Image courtesy of NBC)



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