Alison tells the contestants that they’ve reached the final week on campus and there’s only one obstacle in their way … “make that two.” Alison, you saucy minx. This week there’s a yellow line and a red line. Dang! Not that Team Mafia has anything to worry about, they’ve got numbers and an alliance that’s thicker than blood. They go into their own little room to gloat.

“It’s laughable,” says Brendan. I hope the show is setting them up for a big disappointment. But they don’t know they’re being edited, so they agree that the winner is in the room. If only it were over-confidence, not curiosity, that killed the cat.

Oh hi, Olympic Gymnast Nastia Liukin! And Alison. Nastia talks about goals, Alison talks about a sweet $10,000 pop challenge from Subway. After the pop challenge, everyone gets a sandwich! Thanks, Nastia!

Pop Challenge
The contestants will compete on five different types of exercise, with one contestant eliminated after each round. They’ll start on the Street Strider (that’s a thing?), then run, then row, then jump rope, and the final two will climb 500 feet on Jacob’s Ladder. For $10,000! The first person to get nothing more than a Subway sandwich is Elizabeth. Of course.

Ada finishes the running first, easily, followed by Team Mafia. Mark is eliminated. Next on the rowing (by the pool, for effect), Ada is eliminated by a hair. I was hoping it would be Frado, who is grunting and yelling like there’s $10,000 on the line.
The best part of this was definitely the jump roping. Alison tells them to start, and they all jump on the rope. I’m guessing Bob and Jillian don’t have them jump rope very often? Frado’s out, leaving Patrick and Brendan to compete on Jacob’s Ladder. You know what looks like no fun at all? Jacob’s Ladder.
Brendan wins. Nastia Liukin robotically congratulates him. Everyone has a sandwich.

Elizabeth warns everyone (in an interview) not to underestimate her. I don’t know, I just can’t see her as a threat. Consider yourself underestimated, Elizabeth! Bob suggests a drinking game, that we all drink when he says “Brendan.” If you insist! Don’t worry I will drink that Biggest Loser Protein powder drink (no!).

If we need to warm to some of these people by the finale, this is the week for the producers to start working on it. I don’t think Patrick is so bad, I guess. That conversation in the room didn’t exactly win us over, though. Brendan, who has donated $1000 to Warriors in Pink, talks about starting a foundation for at-risk teens, like the ones he works with. Mark wants to start traveling with his dad now that he fits in a single airplane seat. Patrick was going to buy a car but he doesn’t need it anymore. Ada just wants to be happy, so she decided she might as well start a foundation, too. They all agree that they should “pay it forward.” Good idea!

Frado doesn’t have diabetes anymore. Dr. Huizenga congratulates himself. Bob and Jillian gather everyone around the fire pit to talk about keeping your motivation and coping when you get home from the Biggest Loser Ranch. Everyone is worried (“don’t send me home! I’m not ready!”). Patrick has a good shot at winning, I think, because he doesn’t have a job. He wants to look for one, of course, but he can still work out a lot during the day. This is the second time we’ve heard from everyone except Elizabeth. What would she do with the money? What’s she going to do when she gets home? Hmmm.
Bob tells them that they’ve pulled the curtain back and met the wizard, which is an awesome way to say that ignorance can no longer be bliss.

The Final Challenge
“Where’s the challenge where everyone puts on their old weight?” I wondered out loud. In the immortal words of Tag Team: whoomp! There it is! I love this challenge. They will start out with what they weighed at the beginning of the season, and drop the weight they did at each weigh-in after 100 step-ups. After 500 step-ups, they’ll run to different stations and drop off the rest of their weight week by week. The winner gets a one-pound advantage. Worth it! They also get a home gym.
What about when people gained weight? Do they pick it back up? I guess we’re supposed to forget that “Marine week” ever happened.

It’s no surprise, Elizabeth still hates step-ups. Alison gets them started as a big gust of wind blows through the desert. Awesome. Does Elizabeth have an advantage since she’s lost the least? Everyone keeps flashing back (at least, we are supposed to imagine they are), and Frado says something disturbingly mob-like about “bodies dropping everywhere.”

Finally, the running starts. The step-ups weren’t very fun to watch, and last year’s version of this challenge was way more awesome because they threw their lost weight OFF A CLIFF instead of placing it nicely on a pad. Ada’s dominating the running portion again, but everyone promises they will never go back to their old weights. Seasons 1 and 3 winners might beg to differ (ouch).

Ada wins (yay!) and will get the one-pound advantage but EVERYONE gets to feel good about how far they’ve come, followed by immense stress caused by that red line.

Last Chance Workout! littered by lots and lots of flashbacks. Next week’s episode is sure to be like, at least an hour of just flashbacks. Why watch the whole season when you could just watch the last three episodes or so? Ohhh because it’s not about instant results (I’m looking at you, Bridalplasty!) Speaking of Bridalplasty, Alexandra from The Biggest Loser two seasons ago is on that show now. Interesting!
Jillian got her breakthrough from Ada, and celebrated by buying another angry-sounding t-shirt. Bob got a breakthrough from Elizabeth, who decided to “go for it.”

The Weigh-in
Ada is first to weigh in and Bob already looks concerned. She lost 6 pounds and receives a polite clap. Elizabeth lost her usual 4 pounds and, for whatever reason, is surprised. Mark is next and he announces that it’s his father’s 60th birthday, which provokes a confused look from Alison. Relax, Alison, we know it’s been a long day but just keep it together. Mark lost 7 pounds, which he deems “unacceptable.”

Now it’s time for Team Mafia to weigh in. Dramatic! Patrick lost 12 pounds, securing his place in the Final Four. Is America not voting for that third spot this season? We’ll see! Frado is next, bringing all the intensity he can. Frado lost 15 pounds. Crap. Seeya, Mark! Alison asks Frado if he’s the one to beat and he says, “I am. I’m gonna win this.”

It all comes down to Brendan, who could send Ada below the yellow line with Mark (and Elizabeth is just obviously gone). Brendan only lost 5 pounds, leaving him below the red line.
I’m actually surprised. Brendan tries to take it in as Frado gets verbal diarrhea: “hey man I love you man you’re gonna be fine hey my bro.” What a shock! At least he got that $10,000 and a good shot at the at-home prize.

So who will go home next? Elizabeth or Mark? Patrick won me over in his interview about who to vote for: “Elizabeth has been below the yellow line like, eight times. At what point do you say enough is enough?”

Apparently enough is never enough. Mark goes home because he’s a threat (even though last week they said they liked the challenge). Elizabeth is like a cockroach in this game! I hope Mark wins the at-home prize!

(images courtesy of NBC and E!)

Carla Patton

Writer, BuddyTV

Originally from Seattle, Carla recently took a husband and moved to Austin, Texas, where she is finally using her television “problem” to her advantage. It’s sort of like Dexter, but boring and less murdering. Carla’s favorite shows include 30 RockThe Amazing RaceProject RunwayModern Family, anything with murder, and pretty much anything gross and weird (CSIThe BachelorToddlers & Tiaras, etc.). Favorite canceled shows include: Arrested DevelopmentVeronica Mars and Average Joe. In her spare time, Carla leads tours of downtown Austin on a Segway (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!), blogs about Netflix Instant, and visits elementary schools telling children they don’t need math to succeed (just kidding, stay in school, kids).