Everyone goes to the gym and acts surprised that Alyson is there. We should all be used to this by now, because this is the way every single episode has opened since the first one of the season, I swear. Alyson watches as everyone writhes in the agony of wondering what it is she could possibly be there to tell them. I don’t know why they bother getting upset anymore; either she is there to introduce some kind of humiliating challenge involving doing backbends over cheesecake, or the teams are going to be switched up again. I wonder which one it’s going to be this time.

New Teams! Again?

Alyson smiles mysteriously and announces that the unified Blue team is going to be split up into four new, exciting teams, one for each trainer. Everyone gets really upset because their super close-knit team is going to get broken up for the twelfth time in as many episodes. The teams are picked when each person pulls a dumbbell from a display. Each dumbbell has a color on the bottom, revealing which team they’re going to be on. This news is greeted with a lot of emotional crying. Yawn.

The person with the highest percentage of weight lost gets to go first, and that just happens to be Justin, who picks Red and gets Brett. Next is Jen, who also draws Brett and gets all mopey that she didn’t get to be on Jillian’s team. Moses really wants Cara but he gets Bob instead. Austin picks Cara, Irene picks Bob, and Rulon picks Jillian, who rubs her hands together in evil glee at the news. Olivia picks Bob, Hannah picks Jillian, and Ken picks Cara. Courtney picks Brett and Kaylee picks Cara. Is anyone else wondering how much it would have benefited her to go with a new, different trainer? Clearly Kaylee’s normal training isn’t working for her anymore.

The Black team only has two players, whereas the other teams have three players. Obviously, this means that the Black team is going to be able to chose one formerly eliminated player to come back and be on their team. Because that’s totally fair and rational and not only being done to boost ratings, right? Rulon wants to pick someone who got eliminated unfairly due to game play. Hannah wants to pick Arthur. Rulon isn’t sure that Arthur has the determination and strength to be an asset to the team, and wants Jay. Jillian, however, points out that Jay is a strong player, but he is actually strong enough that he could win the whole show and upset their own chances.

Four Different Workouts! OMG!

Each trainer takes their team and does a different workout. Bob takes Irene, Olivia and Moses to his gym, Crunch, where they participate in a spin class he’s instructing. He makes it look super easy and fun. I kind of want to take a spin class from Bob now. (But that’s the whole point of this scene, right?) Moses has a hard time with it, because Cara and Brett do so little cardio with their team. He pushes through to the end, but I think this is proof positive that Cara and Brett need to switch up their training styles.

Meanwhile, Ru and Hannah go to Jillian’s Malibu beach house for some patented Dr. Jillian time. She makes them do some random exercises, climbs onto Rulon’s back while he crawls along the beach, and then sends Hannah out on a little six-mile jog so she can get to the heart of Rulon’s emotional issues. (Rulon has a beautiful wife whose love he doesn’t feel he deserves because of his weight. Jillian advises that he get over this.) Guys, haven’t we done this already?

Brett has his team run up a mountain and calls it a hike, then makes them face out over the valley and think about why why want to be at the Ranch. (Ooh! Ooh! Pick me! To lose weight, right? Right?) Everyone cries happy tears and talks about how confident they now are. It’s moving stuff, really it is, but the thing is that it’s all moving stuff we’ve already seen two million times this season. Can we please see something original that’s not just another ridiculous splitting of the teams?

(Oh, in case anyone was wondering, Cara takes her team to the boxing ring. Where they box. Because Cara is a boxer. Did anyone forget?)


At the Challenge, Hannah and Rulon reveal that they picked Jay to rejoin their team. Everyone is happy, especially Jen, who runs out and hugs him as if she’d never thrown him to the dogs on national TV.

Alyson reveals that, in this week’s challenge, they will be fighting for video chats with their loved ones from home. Their challenge is that they each have to hold onto a rope attached to the weight they’ve lost since coming to the Ranch. If they let the weight fall, it falls into a tank of water, which overflows and symbolically extinguishes the flame below. The last team standing wins.

Green gives in first, but since the Green Team is composed of Ken and Austin, who have each other, and Kaylee, who still has her dad at the Ranch, they decide that other teams need the victory more, so it kind of makes sense for them not to fight that hard for the prize.

Rulon has some kind of injury to his shoulder. He’s “not sure what it is” and unclear about anything other than the fact that it hurts enough that he wants his team to give up. Shouldn’t the medical staff have done something about this by now? Either way, Rulon pleads his case to his team and they, too, give up.

Red and Blue fight it out till the very end. 45 minutes in, Alyson gets tired of waiting and tells them they have to switch to using only one hand. Red ends up winning, but they later donate their prize to the Blue team. Jen has her dad at the Ranch with her, and Courtney just saw her mom last week, so they decide Blue needs it more. Moses is so happy and grateful that his face makes me want to cry.

During the video chat, Olivia talks with her husband about the struggles she is having with the plateau of her weight gain. Her husband encourages her to push through and not give up. Moses tells his wife that he is ready to come home and start his real life with his family, but his wife reminds him of why he needs to stay.

Last Chance Workout

During the Last Chance Workout, Kaylee tells Cara that, this week, she found confidence. How this week was different from any other week I can’t be sure, but apparently it was, and Kaylee found enough confidence that she is now convinced she doesn’t need to be at the Ranch anymore. “I spent 20 years not knowing who I was,” she tells Cara. “Now that I know who I am and what I want, I want to start living my life.” Cara tries to get Kaylee to promise that she’ll see the show through to the end, but you can tell Kaylee isn’t going anywhere near that commitment.


The first team to weigh in is the Black Team. Jay weighs in first. He loses a pretty remarkable 7 pounds, but for reasons I don’t quite understand, his weight does not count towards the team’s total. Hannah loses 4 pounds and Rulon loses a disappointing 5, making their team’s total 9 pounds and 1.76%.

In order for the Blue Team to beat the Black Team and stay safe from elimination this week, they have to lose 11 pounds. Moses loses 3, putting him at 300 even. This is a flabbergasting number, considering how much work Moses puts in, but I have sneaking suspicion his flagging numbers have a lot to do with how much he misses his wife and daughter. Irene loses 5 pounds, and Olivia also loses 5, busting out of her plateau and keeping their team safe from elimination.

The Red Team also needs to lose 11 pounds to be safe. Jen weighs in first and loses 4. Courtney loses 3, which puts her at 201 pounds officially lost since the beginning of her weight loss journey. (Which is nothing short of amazing.) Justin loses 2, which is confusing and you can tell he feels horribly about it. The Red team only lost 9 pounds and 1.33%, meaning that they are now up for elimination, and the Black Team is safe.

Green needs to lose 9 pounds in order to keep their team safe from elimination. Right off the bat, Kaylee tells the camera that she is nervous for the weigh-in because she asked her team “to do something risky.” Heavens, could she possibly be talking about throwing the weigh-in?! How unheard-of! Kaylee loses no weight and tells everyone that she is done with the Ranch. She says that even though people won’t understand, for once, she doesn’t care what anyone else thinks.

Going along with that, Austin loses 3 pounds, which normally would be horrible but makes sense since he’s throwing the weigh-in. Ken, however, loses 7, which is amazing for him but means that the Green team is safe from elimination and Kaylee won’t be able to go home. Kaylee has the nerve to cry in the face of Ken’s amazing number. What a selfish little witch. I am not impressed with her right now.

Alyson asks Ken if he knew about Kaylee’s plan, and Ken basically says that you don’t get to pick and choose when you’re done at the Ranch, you just put in the work and let the cards fall where they may. I’m inclined to agree with him. For a hot second, everyone gets testy and it sounds almost as if they’re accusing Ken of game play, which isn’t right at all.

Alyson turns the aggression back to where it’s supposed to be, though, and tells Kaylee that if she wants to leave, the door is right there, thank you. Kaylee continues to cry because her coward’s way out didn’t go the way she wanted it to. Courtney asks what will happen if Kaylee leaves, and Alyson tells her that there will still be an elimination, regardless.

Moses goes and talks to Kaylee, and tells her to stay even though she clearly doesn’t want to. Kaylee agrees to stay, and then attention is turned back to Ken and everyone tries to make an effort to make him feel good about his seven pounds, but the feeling’s not in it.

The Red Team is up for elimination. Jen is the Biggest Loser for the Red Team that week, so the vote is between Justin and Courtney, two of the show’s most beloved contestants. How is this possibly going to happen?


Justin tells the assembled teams that they have to do the right thing, and that the right thing is to send him home and keep Courtney. “Don’t you think for one second about trying to keep me here,” he says. It makes him about ten times more endearing than he was at any other point on the show. Courtney cries and tells him that she doesn’t want him to go home and take such a strong, inspirational leader away from the group. “Let’s do what we need to do,” says Justin.

At the elimination, everyone but Rulon votes for Justin. They all cry and tell Justin how much he meant to them as a leader and a role model, and how much it pains them to vote for him, which makes me think that maybe in real life Justin was a whole lot friendlier than the show made him seem. Justin goes home.

At-Home Results

Since being home in Utah, Justin has dropped to 225. He’s lost 140 in total. He now delivers “Justin’s Call-Out” tee-shirts to people in his community who he feels are in need of a fitness wake-up call, and teaches a class at the gym that begins at 5AM. The people in his community rave about what a great and inspirational leader he is, and it’s good to see that he’s sharing what he learned on The Biggest Loser with others.


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(Image courtesy of NBC)

Eleanor Bryan

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV