Stars Earn Stripes: NEW Celebrity Reality Show on NBC

While watching the Olympics, they were advertising a new reality competition show for celebrities: Stars Earn Stripes. According to the official NBC website:

Hosted by General Wesley Clark (retired) and Samantha Harris, “Stars Earn Stripes” is an action-packed competition show that pays homage to the men and women who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces and our first-responder services. The star-studded cast includes four-time undefeated world boxing champion Laila Ali, actor Dean Cain (“Out of Time,” Five Days of War”), actor and former National Football League player Terry Crews (“The Expendables 2,” “The Newsroom”), multi-platinum recording artist, actor, producer and television personality Nick Lachey (NBC’s “The Sing-Off”), Alaska businessman and four-time Iron Dog snowmobile race champion Todd Palin, NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” trainer Dolvett Quince, Olympic gold medalist Picabo Street, and WWE diva, Eve Torres.

In this fast-paced competition, the eight celebrities will gather at a remote training facility where they will be challenged to execute complicated missions inspired by real military exercises. From helicopter drops into water to long-range weapons fire, the contestants will be tested physically, mentally and emotionally. Each will be paired with a special operative from a military branch or one of our first-responder forces, including former U.S. Army Delta Force and Green Berets, U.S. Navy SEALS, U.S. Marines and police officers, who train alongside their partners and compete in the missions with them. Each of the teams is competing for a cash prize on behalf of a military, veterans or first-responder charity.

Committed to hiring recent vets on the crew, “Stars Earn Stripes” hopes to inspire other employers throughout the country to make similar commitments to our returning heroes to show audiences just how incredible these heroes’ missions really are. Dick Wolf (“Law & Order,” NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU”), Mark Burnett (NBC’s “The Voice,” “Survivor”) and David A. Hurwitz (“Fear Factor”) serve as executive producers. The series is a production of Universal Television, One Three Media, Wolf Reality, LLC and Bill’s Market & Television Productions.

What I find to be rather interesting is that there are two Dancing with the Stars veterans and one other whose brother will be on the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars: Samantha Harris (ex-host), Laila Ali (Season 3 contestant), Nick Lachey (Season 2’s Drew Lachey’s brother). Or they were or are involved with other NBC competition shows: Dolvett Quince (trainer of The Biggest Loser) and Nick Lachey (ex-host of Sing-off).

It would also appear that the contestants involved are those known to work out heavily and / or have partaken in sports in general. I am intrigued enough to give the premiere a courtesy look if I have time… but beyond that we’ll see.

August 3, 2012 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does blogging fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =) Though you may find me at either PureDWTS, PureSYTYCD or PureAmericasGotTalent at this point.

The Biggest Loser 11 Episode 5 Recap

Hello everyone! We are back to a two-hour edition of The Biggest Loser this week, and more importantly, the Unknowns and Team Billian will finally join up. I’m guessing this means we are going to start Blue vs. Black, but I’m thinking there will be another elimination first. It will be nice to finally get to meet some of the Unknowns in more depth, as they haven’t gotten too much screen time. I’m especially looking forward to seeing more of the Brown Team, as they seem really fun but also serious about losing weight.

Hey Cara and Brett made it into the title credits! They’ve hit the big time now!

We start off the episode two days before the Unknowns + Green Team rejoin the ranch, and there’s lots of boxing and yelling during the last workout. Cara plans a ball throwing contest with some of the players and also has some running and sit-ups mixed in. They even have a boxing ring! The producers should bring that to the Ranch in case any of the players start fighting with each other. But in fact the ring is supposed to have the opposite effect, says Cara. She wants it to foster teamwork, though based on the way they dominated that bridge building challenge a few weeks back, this shouldn’t be an issue for them. Plus who knows how long they will stay in these teams anyway?

Q, though, feels that this boxing is not for him and thus goes to work out with Moses on another station. Cara and the other boxers confront him about it, though mostly Cara and Rulon (unsurprisingly) are doing the yelling. Q claims he had done the boxing and wasn’t burning many calories, and that’s why he changed stations. I think that’s a perfectly reasonable thing to do, though I agree with Cara that he should have told her what was going on. Rulon, who was supposed to be Q’s partner, calls him selfish, but this is the one show where it’s okay to be selfish! But even Ken of the Brown Team questions Q’s tactics in the confessional, saying he is tired of Q’s excuses. I don’t see how wanting to change stations is an excuse, but if Ken is bringing it up clearly this is somewhat of a repeating pattern with Q. Either that or the producers are making Q the villain this year. Probably a little of both. Q claims that he has to figure out what’s best for him, and it’s odd that he’s making such a big deal about this when Bob and Jillian always tell contestants to focus on themselves and not worry about others. Well I guess that means Q will fit right in at the Ranch!

Back on the Ranch Bob is pushing the other contestants through a circuit for their last-chance workout. Jillian meanwhile is focused on Hannah, trying to show her that she is capable and has nothing to fear. This fear apparently started because Hannah fell down a flight of stairs and slit three disks in her back, ending a promising athletic career. This is what started her weight gain and made her think she couldn’t do much athletically. All this focus on her (I hope) means she will likely be in danger at the weigh-in. Anyway Jillian has Hannah fully arch her back, which she hadn’t been able to do since her surgery. She finally has confidence in herself, which is good since she may be going home in a few moments..

Ali from Season 5 is shelling protein bars during the commercial break, and wow has her hair gotten long!

After the break the Green Team returns just in time for the weigh-in, and they are ready to dish some dirt on the Unknowns! They mostly just said it was different but they are glad they picked Bob and Jillian as the team to train with. Well of course they had to say that- Bob and Jillian are standing right there!

Green Team is also first to weigh in, and I still think they are going to only lose a little this week as their bodies adjusted to the new routine. Instead they lose a modest 15 pounds, so I guess changing routine didn’t make much of a difference. Jay in fact notes that the reason they did so well despite the routine change was because they took the lessons they learned the first few weeks and applied them to the new routine. Although I’m sure Brett and Cara had a bit to do with Green’s success this week as well…

Next up is Blue, and since they are going this early in the weigh-in they will probably not be in any danger of going home. They need to lose more than 18 pounds to be safe right now, but they only lose 12. Jesse lost only three pounds, which is kind of the opposite of what happened last week. Arthur says this what right around what they expected though.

Aqua is next, and I hope their heart-to-heart with Jillian last week was not a precursor to them going home. They must lose more than eight pounds to be safe, and Courtney should be able to do that by herself! We cut to commercial with the contestants looking shocked, but it seems like a good shocked more than a bad shocked. Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking.

Hey even Brett is doing the product placement ads now! He is now officially a part of the Biggest Loser team!!

Anyway back to the weigh-in. Indeed Courtney did lose more than eight by herself, losing 10! Marci only lost three but it doesn’t matter because they are safe. And Marci is proud of her daughter so all is well. With Courtney’s big weigh loss Aqua moves into first place for the week.

Purple is next, which makes me think something big is going to happen at Irene/Don’s weigh-in. Most likely Don will lose a ton of weigh, further cementing the rumors that he threw last week’s weigh-in. But first we must hear from Hannah and Olivia. They must lose more than seven pounds to be safe, which doesn’t seem like much, but they are both light. And unfortunately they do make it by one pound, securing their place on the Ranch for another week. Hannah talks about how her backbend from the last chance workout changed her life, and she made Jillian cry! Hannah did only lose three pounds though, so the backbend couldn’t have helped her that much…

So last but not least we have Irene and Don. Blue seems pretty resigned to their fate at this point. Irene has done well with her weight loss to this date, so it would be ironic if Don did well and Irene did not. They have to lose more than eight pounds to be safe, and Jesse seems to think his team is doomed. Which of course means he will be safe. Again we have shocked looks as we go to commercial, and the last shot is Irene looking at Don. Could he have gained weight again?

In fact both Don AND Irene gained weight. At least they both come right out and admit they did it on purpose so that Don could go home. Wow I can’t remember the last time BOTH members of an original team gained weight so they could each go home. I certainly don’t think it’s happened in consecutive weeks. Well at least now another player who doesn’t want to be here will leave. Plus, since both brothers went home so close together it will be interesting to see who does better at home. I do find it interesting that Don admitted he gained weight on purpose this week but not last week. Bob actually seems okay with this decision, as he finally realizes that neither brother was happy on the Ranch, so staying there could have an adverse effect. I wonder what made Bob change his tune between this week and last week?

So twice in a row now Blue Team has dodged a bullet thanks to Don and Dan.

Bob even hugs Don as he leaves the weigh-in. Seriously did he get a new brain between this week and last week?

Anyway for the first time I can remember there is not even an official elimination. Ali just asks who wants to send home Don, and everyone raises his/her hands. It would have been funny if some of them actually wanted to send home Irene just to teach Don a lesson, but Irene seems too popular among her fellow contestants for anyone to do that to her. Don says some final words and personally thanks Irene for her sacrifice this week. Well it wasn’t much of a sacrifice- she was never going to go home this week, and now she’ll lose double next week!

I guess we don’t get the update on Don until later in the show…

The next day Team Billian prepares for the return of the Unknowns, and as they return we get some “before and after” shots of each team so we can see how much weight they all lost. Team Billian seems impressed by Rulon and the Brown Team especially, but Pink seems equally impressed with Billian. Moses has lost 75 pounds and looks the most visibly different of all of them. Sarah from Team Pink is looking forward to the positive energy in the house. Well that won’t last too long.

Ali reveals the on-campus players lost 48 pounds last week. If they lose more than that this week none of them will be sent home. Another way to milk the season for another week! I bet Irene now is even happier she threw the last weigh-in- otherwise the target number would have been higher. Courtney is very confident though, which makes me wonder if they won’t reach this relatively easy goal (they need to average just over six pounds a person to get it done).

Meanwhile the Unknowns will have an elimination just like Team Billian had been having all this time. But while the Unknowns will be training on the Ranch, they will still have their old trainers. I guess Bob and Jillian don’t want to deal with 20 players by themselves? Anyway with all this focus on Q this week I’m thinking he and his wife are prime candidates to fall below the yellow line.

Brett and Cara are a bit overwhelmed by the Ranch. Then I wonder how the Unknowns contestants are feeling! We get the “getting to know you” package for both of the trainers again. So the producers think the audience has short-term memories?

Team Billian works out on their own and watches Brent and Cara work out the Unknowns. Arthur is impressed by Rulon, who has broken two separate treadmills. Well that’s a new one! Their workouts seem pretty much like Bob and Jillian workouts, and certainly just as intense. Moses talks about how he is doing this for his family. I like him and all, but him talking about his family all the time is kind of getting old. He does now realize though that he is doing it for himself as well, not just his family.

Sarah from Team Pink says that she thinks either her team or the Red Team will fall below the yellow line. Makes sense considering Q’s struggles and the fact that Pink is the only all-female team with the Unknowns.

We come to the challenge, and it’s only for the Unknowns, must to the dismay of Rulon, who does not want to compete against his “family”. That family thing will REALLY backfire when they go to Black vs. Blue. The winner of the challenge will get immunity for yet another week. Each team must put weight on an opposing team’s scale, and when a team gets to 500 pounds that team is out. The last team left will win. So it’s another of those “popularity contest” challenges. Last time there was one of these Team Billian let Irene win, but the prize that week was not immunity. With such big stakes I doubt the Unknowns will do the same this week. I also bet they will take out Red Team first, since they obviously think he is least deserving of immunity. Gray in fact comes out and says they don’t want Red to get immunity, because they want to go up against the weaker teams in the weigh-in. This will give them a better chance to survive, and that strategy makes a lot of sense. If everyone follows that strategy then I’m guessing Yellow or Gray will win.

Cara gets to do a trainer tip now too! So now both are officially part of the Biggest Loser family!

Back to the challenge. Everyone clearly has the same strategy as Gray and goes to put Red Team out first. So clearly it’s not just Rulon and Ken who think that he doesn’t try hard enough. I still think Rulon and Cara overreacted to the incident at the top of the show though. And hey, Larialmy, Q’s wife, finally speaks! She’s not that profound though, saying that it was tough to be eliminated first. Clearly though they were cast on the show because of Q. Surprisingly Brown Team is next to be targeted, though it’s not really clear why. Pink says Brown is close to them in weight loss, but that doesn’t explain why Yellow and Gray joined in. Brown quickly puts a bunch of weight on Pink’s scale before Brown is eliminated, and Yellow and Gray finish the job. So it’s down to Yellow and Gray, just as I thought. Yellow already has a bunch more weight on its scale, but Yellow had also smartly been saving its heavier weights for the end. Moses admits he stupidly used his heavy weights early and now only has five and 10 pound weights left. I hope Gray is still able to pull it out, but all this talk about Yellow’s strategy makes me think the Olympian and his partner will ultimately pull it out. Yellow closes the gap pretty quickly and in the end wins it by literally one weight. Well that sucks.

But just when I cement my dislike of the Yellow Team, Rulon apologizes for winning the challenge and thus eliminating one of the other teams. They really are cemented in this “family” thing, but if the teams ever change I’m sure that will all go out the window.

Oh look Bob and Jillian are back in the gym! Now they are trying to make sure Team Billian sticks around for another week. So far it seems like a pretty ho-hum last-chance workout. I guess they need extra time for the weigh-in this week since there’s two of them, plus at least one elimination. Jennifer seems pretty positive that Team Billian will have immunity this week, which can’t be a good sign for them. Olivia says “it’s as good as money in the bank” that they will get immunity. Oh yeah, not a good sign.

Arthur is on this stepper thing, and he says that most exercise machines have weight limits (oh, the irony), so he couldn’t go on it for more than a minute at a time in the beginning. But now he stays on it for 10 minutes, which is a big milestone for him.

Jennifer has to carry Jillian across the room for her workout. Good thing she’s only a little over 100 pounds!

We don’t even see the Unknowns’ last chance workout because of the double weigh-in I presume. In fact though it’s really one giant weigh-in, with all teams present for each part.

Billian’s weigh-in is first, and Irene is the first one up. She better have a big number after what she did at the last weigh-in. And she loses a nice eight pounds to get her team off to a good start. Next is Green, and Jennifer is confident, which is never a good sign. Indeed she only loses four, but Jay makes up for it by losing 10. Jennifer, like the good daughter she is, quickly shifts the focus on the great week her dad had and not the bad week she had. Next up is Purple, and they lose a total of 11, led by Hannah’s seven. Aqua goes up to the podium next, and I wonder if Courtney is due for a bad week, which would then put the pressure on Blue. But instead they lose 15 pounds, including eight for Marci! She is now at 200 pounds, just one pound away from “the wonderland” as she calls it. More importantly, Billian has now lost 48 pounds, which means Blue Team just has to not gain weight and Billian will live to fight another week. Arthur points out that there have been weight gains the past few weeks, but he fails to mention that those were likely on purpose. I’m sure that was only put in to heighten the drama. Either that or we have a feel shocker on our hands. But no, Blue loses a total of 15 as well, securing immunity for the team. Makes sense- no way we were having three eliminations in one episode..

Now for the fun part- the second weigh-in. Yellow is up first since they both have immunity, and they lose 33 pounds combined! Wow those two are machines! Justin has now gone below 300 pounds for the first time in a while, and Rulon is below 400 now too. The only good thing is since they are proving to be such threats early in the season they will probably get sent home pretty quickly, if this year’s contestants are anything like last year’s.

Interestingly Red Team is next- I though they would be saved for last. Q has lost only 38 pounds so far even though he started at over 400 pounds. It’s hard not to compare him and Rulon. But for now the guy with one letter in his name is catching up, as he loses a strong 13 pounds. His wife also does really well, losing 11 and likely guaranteeing that this ear’s villain will be around for another week. And Larialmy speaks again!

Pink Team does not look happy, probably because they know they could be in trouble.

Brown is next, and the fact that they are not last hopefully means they are safe. They must lose more than 24 pounds to be safe, and they lose 30! Wow these Unknowns are dominating this week! Ali mention that this was a tough week for Ken, but she doesn’t say why. We still don’t know what the tragedy was that caused them to gain weight in the first place…

Gray is up next, and I fear Moses may be in for a bad week. After all he’s done so well so far. Meanwhile Kaylee is doing well herself, almost under 200 pounds. They lose a total of 23 pounds, including nine for Kaylee! She is indeed below 200, and these guys are early contenders who I can actually root for. They move up into second place, so either Red or Pink are going to fall below, just as Pink predicted before. Well as long as Brown and Gray are safe I don’t care that much, though I would like to see Pink stick around, especially because they are a likable all female team.

Pink must lose more than 16 pounds to be safe, which will be hard but is certainly doable. After this I note there is still 20 minutes left, which means we must have a pretty long elimination deliberation, even with two “where are they now” packages to show. Does this mean Pink falls below? The decision will likely be harder if they fall below, but of course if Red falls below we will have the whole debate over whether Q should stay because he needs to be there. And in the end they lose a whopping 20 pounds, and they share a group hug on the stage.

So Red team finally has a good week and they still are up for elimination. They probably would have been at the top of the leaderboard on Team Billian’s side.

I’m sure the producers want Q to stay because of all the drama, especially since Larialmy never says anything anyway. She does talk to the other teams though as the two of them reveal their plan. Larialmy is willing to sacrifice herself to go home, since Q clearly needs to be there more. He admits that if he goes home he won’t be able to succeed, and he is probably right. Justin is not convinced though and wants Q to promise that he’ll do the work. Justin looks REALLY mad at Q and wants Q to tell his wife that her sacrifice won’t be in vain. Q does so, but the other teams still don’t seem convinced. I think they should listen to him, since the fact that he’s not asking to go home or throwing weigh-ins like Dan/Don did shows that he wants to be there. Larialmy meanwhile says that if the other Unknowns are her real “family” they won’t hurt her by keeping her around when she is willing to leave. So THAT’S why the producers showed so much of the “family” stuff this week with the Unknowns. Rulon though says that it’s all about action, not about what he says. This is the first elimination of the year where it is really unclear what is going to happen.

Pink reveals their vote first, and Sarah admits Larialmy has shown more effort and decides to honor her wishes by sending her home. Gray goes next, and Moses said they came into the show wanting to send home players who gave the least effort, but they really became so close to the Red Team that they scrapped their plan and honored Red’s wishes. Indeed they too vote for Larialmy, but Yellow is up next, and who knows what they will do. Rulon points to Q’s promise to his wife that he made earlier that night and seals Larialmy’s fate. Well at least I don’t have to worry about how to spell her name anymore!

This was another somewhat anti-climactic elimination- hopefully when the duos break up we won’t have any more of this sacrificing so we can get more interesting endings to these shows…

Q thanks the other duos for keeping him because he realizes how much he needs to be there. And clearly the other Unknowns do care about the Red Team, as lots of crying and hugging commences.

Larialmy today has lost 74 pounds but still looks kind of chunky. She does lots of running with her sisters and is trying to help the rest of her family lose weight too. So clearly she has a support system at home as well to help her.

And now we finally get to meet up with Don. Did they save it for the end because he lost a ton of weight? Well kind of. He’s lost 87 pounds, so he’s doing a bit better than his brother. Speaking of, the two have been working together in the gym and motivating each other. Don’s son has also reunited with him, so that’s nice. Don realizes that his son was just giving him some tough love, though he seems to be forgiving his son a bit too quickly.

So that’s it for this week’s show? What did you all think? Are you happy Don is finally gone? Do you think Q will keep his promise to try harder? Post your comments below.

February 1, 2011 I Written By

The Biggest Loser 11 Episode 4 Recap

Hey everyone! Tonight is a shortened one-hour edition of The Biggest Loser because some guy is giving a speech about the state of the union or something. While I know some people prefer the filler-less, one hour version of the show, last year the one hour episode felt rushed to me. There wasn’t really any time to show the interactions among the contestants or among the trainers and the contestants because they had to go right from the challenge to the weigh-in to the elimination. But maybe tonight will be different.

Also, one last point on last week before we move forward. I saw Dan Evans from the Gray Team on the Today Show this morning, and he still seemed baffled as to his nine-pound weight gain. I think Don’s weight loss tonight will tell part of the story- if he loses a lot, it will certainly support the idea that he blew last week’s weigh-in on purpose.

We pick up right after the elimination, as the other teams ask Don what went wrong. Don continues to maintain his innocence, and the Purple Team notes that most players who have purposely gained weight in the past have admitted it, which I don’t think is true. Marci from Aqua throws down the gauntlet a bit, saying Don must realize the impact this weight gain will have on the rest of the team, though she doesn’t specify exactly what that impact is. To her credit though she is much nicer at calling out her fellow contestant than Justin and Rulon from Team Yellow were last week.

The next morning Ali reveals the latest twist: one team from Team Billian will join the Unknowns for a week. Well, that’s a good thing, isn’t it? Said team will get immunity the week before the two teams join back together. Purple however doesn’t seem too pleased at the prospect of saying goodbye to Bob and Jillian though.

That team will be determined by a temptation, which means lots of unhealthy food for me to drool at! This time a whole room full of it! Pizza! Cake! It’s obese person heaven! In fact it’s each contestant’s favorite foods. Arthur retells his story about getting a pizza delivered every night, but in the video he shoots in front of the store the name is blurred out. Too bad- that place could have gotten great business: “Our Pizza Is So Good, You Can Eat It Every Night!” Don’s fave food is chocolate cake- there’s a man after my own heart. We also have fried chicken, ribs, macaroni and cheese (yum!), Chinese food, monkey bread (which looks much better than it sounds), and cheesecake (which Hannah has eaten out of the trash!). Dang I’m hungry now!

Each team will have three minutes in the room of fats and sweets. Whoever eats the most calories will get to pick one team to spend a week with the Unknowns. Well I guess that team doesn’t get immunity then- they stay with the Unknowns but then come back to weigh in. Don and Irene are paired up for the challenge.

Aqua doesn’t eat anything, and neither does Green. I do appreciate all the gratuitous shots of Jennifer’s mac-and-cheese though. It looks so delicious! Purple is next, and they hold hands to maintain their willpower. They also say they don’t think anyone will pick them to go to the Unknowns anyway. That statement, plus their clear desire to NOT go with the Unknowns, likely means that they will in fact be chosen to spend a week away from the Ranch. Irene’s favorite food is a bacon cheeseburger, which makes me like her more than I already do. They also choose not to eat anything, especially because Don already gained enough weight last week. He says walking out of that room was “a piece of cake”. Har har. Blue is next, and they seem like the type who will eat something, mainly because they will probably be game-players later on. Arthur seems tempted, but Jesse tries to talk him out of it. Arthur takes one piece of chicken, which is smart because it’s fewer calories than pizza, but still enough to win (not that he knows that obviously).

I wonder what would have happened if no one had done the temptation. I don’t think that’s ever happened before.

Arthur says he doesn’t want to leave his routine and go to the Unknowns, which is why he ate. I guess that makes sense, but the Unknowns are clearly no slouches either (which he knows since the Unknown teams have been kicking butt for the last three weeks). He decides to send the strongest team over there, which is a good strategy. He says that is the Green Team, which is interesting because I would have chosen Aqua as strongest, mainly because of Courtney. Green is certainly up there though. The change in routine may hinder their weight loss, so this may be a good way to get rid of a strong contestant.

The Unknowns seem happy to welcome Green Team to the “dark side”. Jennifer and Q bond over their love of mac and cheese. The trainers then get to work seeing what level Jennifer and Jay are at, and Cara is impressed.

After the break Bob and Jillian confront Don about the weigh-in, and he still insists he did not throw the weigh-in. Jillian is mad that Don is lying, but I still think he might be telling the truth. The more he pleads his innocence, the more I believe him. Jillian is having none of it though, saying that he “quit” and imploring him to show emotion. She thinks he’s afraid of showing emotion. He proves her wrong by launching a tirade that would make Antonio Cromartie proud (sorry had to slip a Jets reference in there). At least he warns the producers to get the censor ready! He insists he is not a liar but he still seems low-key while cursing up a storm, which is hard to do.

Courtney is struggling at the workout, so she has some alone time with Jillian. This means she will probably do badly at the weigh-in, but I’m not too worried because I’m sure if her team does fall below the yellow line her mom will sacrifice herself. Marci seems like the type who will do anything for her daughter, just like I’m sure my father would do the same for me. She also says that she hates when her mother discusses how she hates others stereotyping Courtney. Her mom is just trying to help, but Courtney feels this is just her mother’s subconscious way of expressing her disapproval. Jillian says Courtney needs to communicate this to her mom, and that’s pretty much the end of that. Well one good thing about the hour-long episode is that the quasi-therapy sessions are short!

Back to the Green Team. They are getting used to the life on the Unknowns, including having their cooking and cleaning done for them. That’s my kind of life! Though I do think the contestants should be cooking for themselves, since at home they will have to every day.

We get some workout footage of the Unknowns, and Cara and Brett are working them harder than ever to prepare them for their upcoming lack of immunity. The workout itself looks pretty straightforward though. Boxing, sweating, yelling, etc.

Ah there is more to the Aqua team story. Courtney expresses her feelings to Marci, and Marci insists she is not disappointed at her daughter. She is proud of her daughter for standing up to her. Group hug!! I really do like these two; too bad it looks like they will be split up tonight.

Now it’s time for the challenge, and Green Team has returned! They say the new trainers are different in a good way. But in this challenge Green is competing against the other Billian members in the challenge. And once again food is involved! The same food from the temptation in fact! Well at least that food didn’t go to waste. The two teams must guess the total calories of all the food, and it’s a four digit number. They must hoist the numbers into the air, with a light telling them whether each digit is right or wrong. It seems like Billian has an advantage, as they can take turns hoisting the numbers so they won’t get as tired, but the system is rigged so that the hoist is heavier for the Billian members, since there are more of them. The winners get letters from home, which of course Don is looking forward to. Because they specifically showed Don saying how much he wants the letters, I’m sure his team will end up getting them.

If Green wins the entire Unknown team gets letter from home- no pressure on Green at all!!

There are only 15 minutes left- I’m guessing there’s no weigh-in tonight??

Both teams guess 8 as the first number, which I think seems a bit high. Ali notes Team Billian is working together, unlike the last challenge. But it turns out 8 is correct, so both teams are neck-and-neck. Billian is yelling out their different choices of numbers, and Green is listening and likely copying their competitor’s answers. Or more likely waiting to hear if a certain number is right or wrong and then making their decision accordingly. Billian chooses 4 as their next number, and Green team chooses 6. Billian’s number is too low, as is Green’s. Wow this number is going to be depressingly high. Billian tries 6 next and is of course wrong, while Green goes for 7 and pulls into the lead. Billian goes for 7 next though and is right behind. Both teams go for 5 next, which is right, and Green maintains the lead. I wonder if the producers are skipping some of the wrong choices- it seems unrealistic that the teams were so on the mark in so few guesses. Green goes for 3 as the last digit, and Jay confessionalizes that at this point he thinks they are going to win. Which of course means they won’t.

One last commercial break and we see Green try their final number, but they are wrong. Billian goes for 4, and since there are only five minutes left you figure one team will be right soon. And indeed Billian is correct and wins said letters, which then rain from the sky.

Green is not looking forward to telling their teammates that they lost. Meanwhile the Team Billian members laugh and cry at letters and photos from their families.

Arthur has a cute kid, and Olivia has a handsome husband. Marci’s husband tells her she already won. Well good because with her weight she’s not going to win this show! Don’s estranged son sends him a short but sweet letter. Biggest Loser- bringing families back together!

And indeed that is how the episode ends. It actually seemed like it lasted a while even though nothing really happened. Next week will be fun though, with the reunification of the teams. We will finally get to know the Unknowns a little better. Maybe Yellow won’t be such jerks after all? We’ll find out next week!!

So any thoughts on tonight’s show? Do you like the one-hour format? What would be your temptation food? Post your comments below.

January 25, 2011 I Written By

The Biggest Loser 11 Week 3 Recap

Hey everybody! Tonight is week 3 of this season’s Biggest Loser. Who are the new trainers? More importantly, does anyone care? Tonight we will find out!

Thank goodness we meet the trainers right at the start of the show. First up is the woman, aka Cara. “I don’t have my own line of DVDs” she says. Early shot at Jillian? She is replacing Jillian after all when Jillian leaves the show next season. Cara is a former competitive boxer and won the Golden Gloves in New York. Nope, still never heard of her. She wants to bring out the “fighter” in each contestant, whatever that means.

The male is a hunky man named Brett, a martial artist who brings a science background to training. Like Jillian, he was overweight as a child, and he knows the contestants must “earn” the changing of their lives.

See, NBC? That wasn’t so bad, was it? Did we really need to wait three weeks to find out who these trainers are?

Now that we have met the trainers, we are getting to know some of the teams on the Unknowns. This week the spotlight is on Q of the Red Team, who has lost just 17 pounds in two weeks, much to the chagrin of the Yellow Team. They call him out in a team meeting. Noo why are they jerks this year?? I was hoping those two would be my favorites. But I think pressuring him in front of all the other teams is a bit much. And shouldn’t they be focused on their own weight loss? Especially this early on when there is no Black or Blue team? And now Justin calls out Austin from the Brown Team?? Okay they are DEFINITELY this year’s villains. Austin to his credit agrees that his numbers were not up to par. His Brown Team is probably one of my favorites at the moment, along with Aqua and Grey.

An early challenge this week, where Team Billian is joined by the Unknowns, who come in mysterious black vans. Still a black divider separates the groups, so neither can see the other. But wait! The mystery may soon be over! One player from each team will win a dinner with Curtis Stone in the challenge, so these two players will each travel over to the “dark side” and see one of their competitors. Anyway to get Curtis Stone on the screen is fine with me! Those two winners will then compete for a 2 pound advantage in the weigh in. If the Unknown player wins, he/she will be able to hold onto the advantage until he/she returns to campus.

Marci from Aqua says how much she needs this, because she is the lightest player on Team Billian, so I’m guessing she may win. The producers always show an interview with the eventual winner of the challenge right before the challenge starts. Usually said contestant also talks about how much he/she wants to or needs to win.
The challenge is to balance an egg on an upside-down frying pan. What does that have to do with losing weight? Other than the fact that eggs are healthy? I guess they are running out of challenge ideas.

Just when I start hating the Yellow Team, however, they decide, along with the rest of the Unknowns, to throw the challenge so that one of the Unknowns who needs the advantage will get it. I still think Rulon and Justin are going to be gameplayers once their immunity wears off, though.

Indeed a few seconds into the challenge, every Unknown tosses their egg in the air so that it lands right where Team Billian stands. That seemed a bit harsh. The only Unknown left is Deni, who her teammates felt best deserved the advantage because she worked hard. She could use it too as one of the lighter players on the team. I’m starting to like Team Pink as well, and clearly I am not alone.

Eggs soon start falling on the Unknown Side too. But only Irene throws her egg onto the side where the Unknowns are. Team Billian does seem much more likeable, at least for the moment. Anyway like I thought Marci wins, and she hopes to get an advantage so her daughter can stay another week.

There’s a Biggest Loser Coach Network now? Wow this show comes up with more ways each week to take money from people.

Oh look it’s Dr. H again! As if we didn’t get enough of him last week! This week he is talking with the Unknowns. Q finds out his biological age is 51, almost twice his current age of 27. And we get our first cry of the night, as Q talks about how he has to change for his son. Well he should start by losing more than 17 pounds in two weeks…

Yellow is up next, which means more Rulon Olympic shots! He admits he felt his body could handle everything because he survived multiple vehicle wrecks. Justin finds out his inner age is 59, which isn’t that bad considering he is actually 39. Still this makes Justin break down and realize he needs help as much as his partner does.

Ken admits to Dr. H that eight members of his family have had bypass, yet most are still fat or have passed away. Austin meanwhile is following the family tradition and is actually in worse shape than his father. Austin’s biological age is 44, more than twice his actual age. Now both father and son start to cry, and Ken says he doesn’t want his son to go through what he did. Awww.

Sarah from the Pink Team finds out she has the highest body fat of all this year’s contestants. Wow she has more than Rulon or Arthur, that’s pretty impressive. She is 58 percent fat, which may explain why she keeps losing babies. We find out she was in a car accident years ago and had to stay in bed for a while, which caused her muscles to weaken. She then used this as an excuse to stop exercising. He tells her she will have to work out 90 minutes a day six days a week in order to stay thin, but she says that it is worth it to look and feel good. I beg to differ.

Moses of Grey Team is at high risk for a stroke or diabetes, and Dr. H does not beat around the bush telling him this. Both Moses’ uncles died early deaths, and he doesn’t want his family to go through that. He has the misfortune of getting the “death date estimate”, which says he will die in 2025. Well at least he has a good 14 more years to live! Moses promises he will have a party that day because he will still be alive.

Brett and Cara get their own montage now that we know who they are! They teach the Unknowns wrestling and boxing, and Q says how he has a lot to prove. I bet he’ll lose 20 pounds or some ridiculous number to shut the Yellow Team up. We see lots of sweating, though not much puking. I guess the contestants are in good enough shape now that they don’t throw up every time they work out anymore.

Brett is focused on Sarah, she of the 58% body fat, and Austin, who apparently loses focus in the workouts. The trainers don’t seem to yell as much as Bob and Jillian do; they seem more supportive of the contestants while kicking their behinds in the gym. Austin too wants to push himself and get a better number this week, and because of all the focus on him he will probably get it.

And now Bob is in a commercial for TurboTax?? That’s kind of random…

Jillian is back in the gym where she belongs, and she is taking Dan and Don for a hike while Bob works with the others. Jennifer has been fat since she was five, and I’m not sure if the focus on her is a good omen or a bad omen for her.

Now that it is week 3 Bob has decided it’s time to find out why these contestants got so fat to start with. First up to relive old emotional wounds are the Purple Team. Hannah was a former athlete who wanted to be in the Olympics, but an accident derailed those dreams and caused her to give up on her body. It must stink then for her to be on a season with Rulon, who then must open up all these old wounds even further. Hannah felt sports was the only thing she was good at, and she felt like her dad was now disappointed in her because she could no longer play sports like he wanted her to. Bob says she must now find a new dream. Well that’s obvious, and it’s easier said than done.

Meanwhile Jillian thinks Dan and Don are not fully engaged in the process, and they admit they are homesick and that the show is more difficult than they thought. Dan talks about the loss of his son, and how he feels his son’s death is the great failure of his life. He remembers every day when he wakes up, and he doesn’t want to burden others with his pain. Jillian though tells him that to heal he must share his pain. Those two really are likable, but I fear they may not last too long so I won’t get too attached, at least not yet.

And now we get the conclusion of the pop challenge, which truthfully I had almost forgotten about. Marci and Deni arrive in Curtis Stone’s kitchen, and he cooks them a healthy lunch. The winner of the challenge must estimate the number of calories in the dish. The dish is starts with a salad with lots of vegetables, including squash. I’m not sure how that is supposed to be “delicious”, but maybe that’s just me. Even the dressing sounds disgusting! Stone says that the amount of calories we burn while eating lettuce is equivalent to the amount of calories in the lettuce itself. Hmmm maybe I should eat more lettuce then- or I would if it tasted better. Next up is halibut and some rice-looking thing that I don’t know how to spell. Whenever I see halibut I think of Hell’s Kitchen, so hopefully Gordon Ramsey won’t show up to yell at Curtis for overcooking the fish.

Ooh and there is dessert coming too! I have a bad feeling it will include fruit though. And indeed it includes pear, apple cider, and yogurt. Why doesn’t he ever make healthy dishes that include chocolate?

Marci has been having trouble counting the calories in her head, which probably means she will win. I’m hopeful that she wins, because she needs it more anyway since she doesn’t have immunity. She guesses 480, which seems a bit low to me. Deni then guesses 440, which also seems low obviously. The answer is 572, so indeed Marci wins. Wow that was a low-calorie meal- too bad I wouldn’t eat half the food in it!

After the break we get the “real” challenge, and this time basins are involved. Ali tells them that they worked together in the challenge last week. Well that only applies to Team Billian if you take the term “worked together” loosely. Anyway this week’s challenge is pumping water into a kewdrum?, roll it over half a mile, and put it into another team’s barrel. It’s one of those popularity contest challenges, which I’ve never been a big fan of. It just brings out unnecessary gamesmanship among the teams. The winner gets the only vote at the elimination, so we will really get to see the true motives of the winning team in the end.

The teams make their way up the hill, and Orange and Aqua arrive first and put water into Blue’s bucket. The other teams do the same, and eliminate Blue before they even get up the hill. It sounds like this was somewhat of a sympathy elimination so that Arthur would not have to struggle through the challenge for that long. Arthur to his credit then says he didn’t want to in anyway, as it would have put too much pressure on his team. I like these early stages when the teams are all nice to each other, but inevitable the claws will come out in a few weeks when it goes to Black vs. Blue.

The remaining teams unite together to leave Irene as the last one standing, as they figured she would make a good decision since she had faced elimination before. That makes sense I guess, and it is nice that they all agreed at the start who would win so that there would not be any real animosity in the end about one team targeting another.

Jillian gets a standing ovation when she enters the Biggest Loser house after the challenge, but didn’t they all just see her at the workout they showed earlier in the episode?? Editing fail. Anyway Irene says she knows who wants to go home on each team, so there won’t be much deliberation before the elimination anyway. But then Dan? admits that he is prepared to go home, and Arthur adds that Dan doesn’t want others to go home who want to stay more than Dan does. I do think it is nice that he wants to sacrifice himself for the others who want to be there more, yet Bob and Jillian criticize him for this, saying that he needs to worry about himself too. I’d rather him want to sacrifice himself than insist on staying when he knows he doesn’t want to be there. I guess this is the one show where it is okay to be selfish…

By the way Jillian’s voice is really raspy, which is good news for the contestants. Less yelling this week!

Last chance workout time! And still no puking! With all the focus on the Black Team they will probably do really well or really badly this week. Apparently Irene does not get immunity with her challenge win, so she still may be in danger after her large weight loss last week. Jay from Green Team wants to lose 15 pounds and get below 350, so of course he will or it wouldn’t have been mentioned. Courtney says that she likes having the 2-pound advantage ,but she still wants to work just as hard because she’s there to lose weight. She really is the model contestant and actually has the weight to lose where she could possibly win. Purple says they are not nervous about the weigh-in, which is usually the kiss of death. Oh well I don’t like them much anyway. Arthur apparently has not been in the gym all week because of an injury, so he hopes this last chance workout will make up for it. Is this a precursor to a bad week for Arthur? And hey we do get some vomit from Arthur right at the end! Just when I thought we would go through a whole episode without it…

First up at the weigh-in we find out about the Unknowns. Austin lost 15 pounds (Yay!) and cried a lot. And Q lost 19! Guess he came to play after all.

Ali emphasizes how Irene will determine who goes home, but that’s not really that big a deal, since she knows who each team wants to send home anyway. So really each time is deciding for itself who to send home. Anyway Aqua is up first, and they lose 13 pounds total, and neither of them look too happy. Marci even semi-curses in front of the camera. I guess that two pound advantage will come in handy after all. With the advantage they lost 2.91 percent, which seems like a decent number.

Irene is up next, and this is really key for her, because if she falls below the yellow line she is out. She must lose more than six pounds to be safe, and of course we cut to commercial before we see what happens. Eventually we find out that she lost eight pounds and will thus determine who goes home (though like I said before really the teams decide for themselves). Irene seems like she could be a real force but she doesn’t have that much weight to lose compared to some of the other contestants.

Green Team is next, and since there hasn’t been much focus on them I’m guessing the only real story will be whether Jay gets below 350. Bob likes this high goal, but Jillian fears his expectations may be too high. They must lose more than 17 to be safe, and they do, thanks to a 14 pound loss from Jay (and a not-too-shabby 8 from Jennifer). It’s one pound short of Jay’s goal, but he doesn’t seem too upset by that. They also move into first place.

I’m starting to get worried about Aqua, though I know if they fall below Marci will sacrifice herself for Courtney.

Blue is next, and they are probably safe since there was also little focus on them this week. Arthur wants to be at 446 pounds (a loss of 17 pounds), which would mean a 200 pound loss since he was at his heaviest. Again I’m sure they are only showing this because he reaches this goal. They must lose more than 21 pounds to be safe, and they lose just 13! Wow Arthur only lost 4, which is slightly less than 17. So much for my theory that they only focus on milestones that will be met. Jesse is clearly happy for his 9 pound loss but disappointed for his son. This is another scenario where clearly Jesse will sacrifice himself if they stay below the line, but I hope that is not the case since I like Jesse even though I don’t like Arthur. And yay Aqua is safe! Apparently Arthur has been sick and was on antibiotics, and Dr. H upped his calories (maybe as a result of the illness?). So I guess the two-second line about how he hasn’t been in the gym all week really was a key point of the episode? Bob is upset because he fears Arthur may go home tonight, but he must know Jesse will sacrifice himself, right?

Purple is next up, and I wonder if they may fall below because they had a talk with Bob earlier. Teams who have emotional breakthroughs either do really well or really badly in said episode, and I’m hoping it’s the latter. Hannah says no matter the number this was a great week because of the emotional breakthrough. Though I’m sure it will be a better week if they lose more than 8 pounds and remain safe. And they do, again losing 6 pounds each. Well they are consistent, though those numbers might not hold up as the competition gets more intense.

So it comes down to Black or Blue. So either Jesse or Dan will be going home, unless Irene decides to keep Dan because he mentally needs to stay on the ranch. I’m surprised there is so much time left since the elimination will probably be pretty short. In fact that probably means Black will fall below, because there will be more debate over who should go home from the Black Team, while if the Blue Team falls below it is obvious who will go. Either that or there is some extra twist at the end. They need to lose more than 9 pounds, and they each gain nine pounds!! Wow I wonder if that’s a record! It’s a record for couples I think.. That also explains the extra time at the end- we need more time to process this result!!!

Like I said before, these two won’t last too long, so no need to get attached.

The whole room is in shock. Even Jillian is speechless! Bob immediately states that they gained weight on purpose so that (presumably) Dan could go home. Bob always points to water-loading before I even think of it, and sometimes he points to it at times when I don’t think it occurred. In fact usually I tend to believe contestants AREN’T water-loading unless they admit that they are. I confess I did not think of it before Bob mentioned it, but I admit it is a bit suspicious- Dan clearly wanted to go home, both gained the same amount of weight, and they appeared surprisingly cheerful when the numbers flashed. Don does try to convince the others that they did not gain weight on purpose though, and that makes me think there is a chance that their weight gain was legit.

Meanwhile, Irene does have an interesting decision. It sure would backfire if they lost the weigh-in on purpose on then Don was sent home instead of Dan.

The more the twins defend themselves, the more I think they may be innocent after all.

Again we don’t see any deliberation; just the teams walking to that dark elimination room. Courtney says that she normally would think a weight gain like that would mean a team threw the weigh-in, but she’s conflicted because she saw the twins work hard all week. But that’s the beauty of water-loading! You work hard in the gym, gain water weight temporarily, and then lose double the following week!

Irene says that Dan told her that he can lose weight at home but he can’t be his daughter’s father at home, and she sympathizes with that because her father was never around. So indeed she sends home Dan. Well at least now I can tell which twin is which since there is only one left! His heart clearly wasn’t in it so good for him to sacrifice himself (if indeed that is what he did) rather than let a more deserving player go home. I do wonder if he will be able to lose weight at home though; he hasn’t been able to do it for his entire life.

Dan today has lost 72 pounds, which is okay but he probably could have done a lot better if he had stayed on the ranch. He does say his daughter gives him more drive and that he’s a better, more active father now, so that’s good. He clearly is happier at home with his family, but he is a prime candidate to gain the weight back once the show ends. His daughter is glad he was on the show, though I wonder if she would be happy if she knew he (maybe) quit after two weeks. Even the description at the end of his “today” package is vague (it just says his daughter still inspires him), so I wouldn’t be surprised if he gained back some of the weight before the finale.

So that’s it for tonight’s show. Do you think Dan threw the weigh-in? Are you happy to finally know the identity of the Unknowns? Post your comments below.

January 18, 2011 I Written By

The Biggest Loser 11 Episode 2 Recap

So it’s time for another edition of The Biggest Loser, and the real question tonight is whether or not we will find out who the mystery trainers are. I’m guessing they probably won’t be revealed until after the four weeks are up. I still don’t get why NBC is keeping us in suspense, unless these trainers are actually famous or former contestants, which I doubt they are.

Anyway tonight we start off with Irene taking her mother’s elimination pretty hard. It must be difficult for her to be alone this early on when she doesn’t really have any friends in the house yet.

And hey Ali is in the house! As the contestants know all too well, that means something is up. She tells them that the five teams with the unknown trainers lost more weight overall (not percentage) than the six teams with Bob and Jillian. Of course this is all a setup for this week’s challenge: If the five Bob + Jillian teams (plus Irene, who is kind of her own team at this point) lose a higher percentage of weight than those with the unknown trainers, the Bob + Jillian teams will have immunity too. That sounds interesting, but I hope the teams remember that this is the dreaded Week 2. That actually might be good for the Bob + Jillian teams, as they lost less last week and are thus more likely to lose more this week. And then the producers will be happy because they can make up for the non-elimination this week by doing a double elimination next week! And double eliminations are always more fun than single eliminations!

I also wonder if this means we will actually see the immune teams weigh in this week…

And wait! There’s more! The winning group also gets $10,000. Is that for each duo or for the whole team of 10 or so people? I’m assuming it’s $10,000 for the whole team unless NBC got really rich all of a sudden. Still a nice prize though.

I do like the purple team’s healthy changing of the “cherry on top of the sundae” phrase though. Very appropriate considering where they are.

Of course the show reminds us in big letters that the mystery trainers’ identities are still unknown. No kidding!

And Rulon is trash talking already! Of course the immune teams don’t have as much to play for in this challenge, but they are excited about the cash and about showing off their own team pride.

Next Ali shows the non-immune team (henceforth known as team Billian so I don’t have to write Bob and Jillian’s names every time) clips of the immune team working hard with their new trainers. I’m not sure if this is supposed to motivate or scare Team Billian, but I think it did both.

Workout montage! This time with slow-motion boxing included. Jillian is focusing a lot on the Green Team, so I think they may be in trouble if Team Billian loses the challenge. Jillian tells Jennifer that she has to “reach”, whatever that means. And her father is apparently co-dependent and a bunch of other negative adjectives. Well Jillian is not one to sugarcoat anything.

Bob tells the other half of Team Billian to think about their families back home who are counting on them and looking up to them. Marci of Team Aqua blames herself for Courtney’s weight gain, but Courtney smartly realizes that she made plenty of wrong choices herself.

Bob tells Arthur of the Blue Team that he should be around until the end, but Arthur (also smartly) realizes that the problems are not just physical but also mental. He was going to be a pro athlete (or so he thought) but then blew it all hanging with the wrong crowd. He too has been focused on a lot early on, but I’m guessing that’s not because he’s getting eliminated but because he’s making the finals. Hey there’s that cake picture again! Once again Bob is there to encourage Arthur; I really hope he doesn’t have a breakdown every episode because these are kind of getting old already.

Arthur runs on the treadmill at 5.0 speed for the first time. Uh, I’ve never done that before either- I usually go up to 4.5. That can’t be good that I’m doing easier workouts than a 500 pound man.

The Unknowns are working out pretty hard too. And we get our first Rulon Olympic shot of the episode! I bet that shot and the cake shot of Arthur when he was 600+ pounds will be shown at least once a week. If NBC wanted to put subliminal messages into this show those two photos would be good places to put them.

Unknown Female Trainer (who seems very Jillian-like) is working with Denise from the Pink Team, who recalls being called “Dumb Dennie” as a child because she did poorly in school compared to her siblings. Hey we finally found parents worse than Ada’s!

Jillian is again talking with Jennifer from the Green Team. Oh yeah they are either going to do really well at the weigh-in or get eliminated this week. And our first tears of the episode! She’s tired of losing and then gaining the weight over again, and Jillian discovers it’s because she doesn’t want to lose weight and have her father still be obese. So of course the two relatives get their feelings out by boxing each other! And by Jennifer emphasizing to her father that she has to lose weight for herself and not for him. She tells him she has to do this on her own, and so does he, and Jay agrees as they both share a good cry (and a good hug).

Team Billian now goes to the gym at night to get some extra work in and they find a gift from their competitors. I bet it is some kind of fattening good. Indeed it is a box full of two dozen donuts. Hey I’ll take those if Team Billian doesn’t want them! Instead Billian jump on the box and leave it on the ground outside the gym. Hopefully the delicious smell won’t tempt some competitor on a future season. Black Team is of course especially unimpressed by the gift, because as cops they are all-to-used to donut jokes.

Uh, oh- Arthur’s stealing donuts! Oh wait he’s just bringing them to the trash. He was tempted a few times but in the end placed them all in the trash with nary a nibble. There may be hope for him after all! The “We Shall Overcome” was a bit much though…

Oh look it’s Doctor Huizenga! That much mean it’s time for all the contestants to find out that they could drop dead any minute! Fun stuff. And they still do that “inner age” thing- 22-year-old Courtney finds out that she is really 40- that’s actually not that bad considering some contestants find out their inner age in in the 60s or 70s.

Olivia the opera singer finds out that fat is pushing up her diaphragm and impacting her ability to sing. So maybe that’s why she keeps getting the sidekick roles!

Don and Dan can even find out what date they are supposed to die if they keep going on the same path. Okay now that is creepy. Dan will supposedly die in about nine years, but the way Dr. H was talking I thought he was going to say Dan was supposed to die within the next month or so. Still I’m sure at the end of the show we will find out that his “death date” is now about 30 years away rather than 10. Dr. H also has a lot of junk in his office considering he is supposed to be a health specialist. Anyway Dan has a nine-year-old daughter, so he now knows that if he doesn’t change he won’t be able to see her graduate from college or get married. And now Dan gets a call from said daughter too! Just another reason to show crying I guess.

Arthur is 370 pounds of excess hydrated fat- I’m not sure what that means but it can’t be good. He says the pizza guy knows him by name because he orders it so much. That’s my kind of guy haha. He gets the inner age too, and it’s 60. I’m actually surprised it’s that low. And they get family too! But their family (Jesse’s daughter and granddaughter) actually shows up in person rather than just talking on the phone. What happened to saving family visits for the makeover shows? Or giving away phone calls home as possible rewards? Now I guess they get to see their families just because the contestants agreed to be on the show. Even the granddaughter is crying now!

The Unknowns have yet another gift for the Billians, and this time it’s some kind of video. Maybe of how hard they are working out? In fact it’s a video of them bragging about how well they did. Wait Moses only tied the record for the most weight loss in one week? I thought he broke it? Anyway there’s Yellow Team of course, and Denise had the highest female percentage of all the contestants, including those on the ranch. They are burning thousands of calories a day and doing lots of exercise. All this bragging means for sure they are going to lose the challenge. Team Billian though is not discouraged, led by Courtney (who tells them to put last week behind them) and her mother Marci (who convinces the rest they should not stoop to the Unknowns’ level and send them junk food in return). Aqua is quickly becoming one of my favorite teams.

Challenge time! The teams must build a bridge of rafts from the shore to the pier and then from that pier to another pier. The Unknowns did this challenge before (so why didn’t the producers show it??). Whichever team gets every team member across first wins, and the Unknowns completed it in 38 minutes, 23 seconds. Oh we do see some highlights of their challenge, though it’s going by so fast I don’t really understand what’s going on. Yellow Team seemed to be the leaders though. The winning team gets a three-pound advantage in this week’s weigh-in, which is obviously huge.

Billian seem confident, but they don’t really have much of a plan at first. But the Unknowns were so overconfident that they have to lose, right? Then again Billian is so disorganized I don’t know how they can win. Even in the interviews with some of the Billian contestants they sound somewhat defeated and focused on their team’s lack of communication. So it doesn’t look too promising for them. And now their rafts are floating away! The girls are doing all the work while some of the males are just standing around, including Jay and one of the twins. That can’t be good for team dynamic…

Finally about 15 minutes in they start talking to each other, though it might be too late. They realize they don’t have enough rafts, so one of the purple team members dives into the water while some of the bigger men lay in exhaustion on the rafts. Irene is at the halfway point just as time expires. So yeah that was kind of thrashing by the Unknowns. I’m sure this is all a setup for Billian to win the weigh-in though; just when it looks like Billian has no chance because of the three pound advantage and the strength of the Unknowns, Billian will pull it out in the end.

Moses is shadow boxing after the break and thinking of his family as motivation. Kaylee comes in and they share another heart to heart, full of more crying of course. They are another of my early favorites. I’m not sure what the point of this scene is though other than to make us like the Gray Team (perhaps because they will be around for a while??)

And now Team Billian gets to tell Bob and Jillian about the challenge. This should be fun. But wait Team Billian is now just Team Bob, and Jillian is apparently sick. She must be really sick if she has to skip a day of yelling at these contestants! Bob tries to maintain high spirits and tells them to do the best they can, and apparently his pep talk worked, though the contestants on the surface don’t look all that confident.

Last chance workout time! Lots of sweat- at least no puking yet! And the Unknowns get a last chance workout too, complete with an interview with one of the “unknown” trainers. This is kind of getting ridiculous- they even put “unknown” as her name during the interview and conduct it with only her silhouette visible. At this point even if the trainers are famous their reveal will almost seem anticlimactic because of all this extra buildup. Even when Austin talks to the trainer he just calls her “her” and not by name. We can kind of see her from the side during her conversation with him and she doesn’t look familiar, but she does look like an Asian Jillian. And she has a tattoo on the back of her shoulder…

Rulon all but guarantees an Unknown victory, which of course means the Unknowns will lose.

Arthur’s leg is still sore (I knew he wasn’t faking his injury!) so he’s walking for hours on end while the others do the more intensive exercise. I think I’d rather have a challenging but varied workout than a (relatively) easy but repetitive one like Arthur’s.

Courtney mentions her goal of getting below 300 pounds this week (she needs to lose 9 to do it) and of course because they mention this that means she probably will do so.

Bob tells his team they are David to the Unknowns’ Goliath. Again that means for sure Team Bob will win, just as David did. And hey there’s another shot of Rulon and his medal (and one with the US flag thrown in for good measure)!

Weigh-in time! Jillian is still sick and is thus missing the weigh-in, so I guess only Bob will see David triumph over Goliath. Ali points out the obvious and says that Team Bob was dominated in the challenge, and Bob for some reason says this is offensive. I don’t know how else to describe that challenge other than to say that Team Bob was dominated though. Team Bob themselves seem to admit that this was the case.

The Unknowns did well again, led by Rulon’s 17 pound weight loss and Moses’ 12 pound weight loss. These two are clearly early favorites, and Moses is particularly impressive with his weight loss considering he can’t even use his legs that much because of a knee injury. As the other numbers scroll by though, they look pretty beatable. I saw a few 7s and a 4 in there. In all they lost 79 pounds, which is about 8 pounds a person. Not bad for the dreaded Week 2! With their three-pound advantage they lost 2.46%, which is definitely beatable. Team Bob now has to lose more than 78 pounds to win, which is about 7 pounds a person for them since they have more people. Arthur is already feeling confident, as they thought going in that they would have to lose over 100 pounds.

Irene is first and starts the team off with a 10 pound weight loss! Who needs a partner? Next up are the twins, and they lose a total of 13. So Irene almost lost more than both of them combined! Dan lost only five pounds, which I’m sure has his teammates nervous. Those two are probably two of the weakest in the bunch because of their age though so this isn’t necessarily a bad sign for the rest of the team.

Purple is the third team up, and their numbers will likely be low just because they are so small, at least relatively. They lose 6 each, which is good for a normal week but not good when others need you to lose 7 or 8 each. Bob is the voice of reason, reminding them how good 6 pounds is for Week 2.

I’m guessing this is going to come down to the Blue Team and Arthur will lose a ridiculous amount of weight to win it for Team Bob.

Green is next up and like I said before they probably will have a standout weight loss (either good or bad) because of all the focus on them this week. Jay loses 10, which I guess this week is somewhat standout, and Jennifer loses 8, which is not too shabby either. Jay also fit his wedding ring back on for the first time in years, so that’s exciting.

Aqua is next, which means my prediction of it coming down to the Blue Team was correct. Courtney wants to be below 300, which she hasn’t been since middle school. And she does it! She is down 10 pounds and her mother loses a respectable 6 as well. Courtney is clearly an early favorite of Bob’s as well.

So it’s all down to Blue, who must lose a total of 10 pounds. That’s certainly reasonable, especially since a few players have lost 10 pounds, and none are as big as Arthur. Arthur’s overconfidence though does make me wonder if he’s in for a big letdown. Or maybe Jesse will ironically be the one to save the day. After the obligatory commercial break we finally get the results. Jesse says how he wants to be the one to close it out. Oh yeah I definitely think Jesse will be the one with the big weight loss this week, not Arthur, especially since Arthur lost so much last week. As it turns out both do well, with Jesse losing 8 and Arthur losing 13. And Arthur does a dance! Hopefully we never have to see that again..

David defeats Goliath, which is how it had to be. Ali says they “destroyed” the Unknowns, beating them by 11 pounds. I wouldn’t say that’s “destroying”, but okay. As it turns out that’s how much the Unknowns beat them by last week. The way Ali was talking about it I thought the Unknowns had won by 30 pounds or something close to that. Irene also had the highest percentage of weight loss of anyone, including those on the Unknowns.

Meanwhile I have a feeling this non-elimination means a whole duo is going home next week. Purple team calls Team Bob “top dogs” at the end, and for some reason they are starting to annoy me, though I can’t really figure out why yet.

So what are your thoughts on tonight’s show? Did you like the Unknowns vs. Team Billian/Team Bob twist? Is there ever a time when David DOESN’T slay Goliath? Does the Purple Team rub you the wrong way too? Post your thoughts below.

January 11, 2011 I Written By

The Biggest Loser 11: Couples: Episode 1 Recap

Hey all the moment we’ve been waiting for is finally here! It’s time for the season premiere of the Biggest Loser. It seems like it’s been so long since the last episode, when really it only aired a few weeks ago. It is nice to have a show that goes on a short hiatus though, unlike most other reality shows that don’t come back until February or March.

Anyway since I already did a preview post detailing the lives of all the contestants, I will skip over recapping the early portion of the episode where we first meet all the teams. That is, unless they show the teams’ reactions when they find out they were picked for the show. I love when this is shown, but it hasn’t been for a couple of years.

My recaps will be done as I am watching the show, so I will be writing them without knowing who was eliminated until the end.

So apparently there is no shot of the contestants finding out they are on the show, as we skip right to them arriving on campus. Irene and Ana (The Orange Team) look a bit too happy to be on the show. They don’t know the pain they are in for! I can’t believe Olivia, the opera singer from the Purple Team, actually played a role that made fun of her weight. That opera company should be ashamed of itself. Moses of the Gray Team is seriously wearing an “I’m her dad” shirt in his pre-show interview that has an arrow pointing towards his daughter Kaylee. Kaylee seems to be wearing a similar one but her hair blocks me from seeing what it says. That may be a good thing, especially since she was one of my early favorites. I still can’t tell the Black Team members, Dan and Don, apart. They do seem pretty likable though.

And eight minutes in we get our first “Rulon Gardner winning the gold medal” photo of the season. Gee wonder how many times they will show that!

Jillian says that being in the Biggest Loser gym is like “coming home”. Then why is she leaving the show???

First up is the weigh-in. This is pretty anticlimactic for me since I already saw the starting weights on Wikipedia. But for some of the contestants I’m sure it will be a shock to see their weight in giant numbers for the whole world to see. And sure enough Austin of the Brown Team is crying already when he sees his weight of 396 pounds. Bob notes that there are sadly many families like them out there, which seems to be reinforced by the fact that most of the teams this season are either siblings or parent/child.

Marci and Courtney are apparently the Agua Team, not the Light Blue team, but I still think it would be easier for them to just be the White Team or some other non-blue color. Marci states after they weigh in that the two will be sure to “Pay it Forward”. Uh, I think they came on this show a season too late for that. I like that the children this year are taking responsibility for their weight gain rather than blaming it on their parents. First Austin did it and now Irene is doing the same.
Meanwhile, Deni, the mother for the Pink Team, takes responsibility for her daughter Sarah’s weight gain and subsequent miscarriages. Dang everyone seems so likable so far- wonder how long that will last?

Of course we go to commercial right before the reveal of Jesse and Arthur (The Blue Team)’s weight, mainly because of the shock over Arthur’s 500+ pound figure. Bob looks incredulous! Arthur reveals his story of losing 150 pounds, and Jillian says he has nothing but time to lose the rest of the weight. Uh, not really. With his large size he could drop dead any minute. Bob says he is the largest contestant in Biggest Loser history, because even though Mike Ventrella was larger, he was also taller. True, but in my books 526 pounds (Ventrella’s starting weight) is still greater than 507 pounds (Arthur’s starting weight).

Side note: Olivia and Hannah together weigh just slightly more than Arthur does by himself.

Of course we get Felipe and Sione and Koli and Sam flashbacks when fellow Tongans Moses and Kaylee weigh in. And Moses remembers when Koli promised he would beat Felipe and Sione, and he did. Moses then promises that they will do one better and actually win the show. He sounds like Rex Ryan with those boasts, but I hope he realizes that only one of them can win the show.

We already knew the Black Team, Dan and Don, had a sob story, as Dan had a son who died a few years ago, but as it turns out there is more to their tale. Don’s son cut him off because he knew his father was going to die any minute. Wow his son is this year’s version of Ada’s parents! About a month before Dan’s son died from drug problems, he proudly stated at a party that his father was losing weight. That memory has inspired Dan to continue losing weight, and I’m sure they will instantly be fan favorites as long as they don’t get too competitive/manipulative when the eliminations start.

And of course the last team to weigh in is the Yellow Team- AKA Justin and the Olympian, Rulon Gardner. I wonder if any of the contestants recognize him. More gold medal shots! Even Justin looks shocked at how far Rulon has let himself go. They are the heaviest team on the ranch, even though the Blue Team has a 500+ pounder. Rulon mentions his medal-winning past on the scale, so if the contestants didn’t know about him before they do now. Of course he has a beautiful wife though; an Olympic medal will get him whatever woman he wants!

After the weigh-in comes the first surprise of the season: Rather than have a workout right away, instead the teams will compete in a challenge. I bet this challenge has something to do with the new trainers, too. The contestants, though, seem to think someone will be going home right away. But indeed I was right, as the contestants find out what we have known all along, that there are two new trainers. And because NBC wants to milk the suspense as much as it can, we cut to commercial before we see who the trainers are. I don’t really get why this is so suspenseful- it’s not like it’s going to be people we’ve heard of.

Arthur wonders if the trainers are past contestants. I hadn’t thought of that, but it would be a cool twist. I love the confused looks on all the contestants’ faces. At first all the contestants want to stick with Bob and Jillian, the known quantities, but of course their minds seem to change when Ali reveals those who go with the new trainers get four weeks of immunity. Arthur notes this has never been done in the history of the show, and already he seems like he is more of a Biggest Loser expert than me. Maybe he should have my job! The contestants don’t get to meet the trainers before deciding who they want to train with, so I guess that makes the choice more difficult. I still think I would choose the guaranteed immunity though.

Anyway the challenge involves running a 5K on a manual treadmill. Of course, the Biggest Loser just happens to be hosting 5K’s all over the country. Coincidence? I think not. Most contestants have never been on a treadmill, so this should be fun. The contestants can take turns however they want during the run, so theoretically one person could run the whole 5K for his/her team. Though I guess these contestants are so out of shape they will have to take turns in order to survive. The order of finish is the order the teams get to pick their trainers, with six going with Bob/Jillian (Billian? Job?) and five going with the newbies. I am curious to see which option is more popular.

The Yellow Team unsurprisingly has an early lead, and the Gray Team and Agua Team are also in the hunt. Brown and Green are also in the Top Five early on, which guarantees them a chance to pick their destiny. After lots of intense sweating, it comes down to Yellow vs. Gray, though it really doesn’t matter who wins since both will get their first choice of trainers. But in the end Yellow wins, which will surely put an even bigger target on their backs. The next to finish are Gray, Aqua, Green (thanks to some spirited running by Jessica), Brown, and Purple. Pink, Red, and Orange are next, leaving Black and Blue in last place. Again unsurprising, as one team is old and the other has a 500-pounder and an old guy. But Blue “wins” in an upset, leaving the Black Team to wonder what went wrong. They must really be in bad shape if a 61-year old and the heaviest contestant of the season can beat them.

Now it’s time to pick the trainers. Aqua and Purple have already stated they want Bob and Jillian, but I wonder what the rest will do. Yellow was divided earlier in the episode, but in the end they pick the month of immunity. So they are athletic and smart! Jay from the Green team immediately questions their decision, and I immediately question my liking of them. In a twist Gray team also goes with the immunity option, and this time Purple is aghast. Aqua goes with Bob and Jillian as expected, as done Green, (obviously, based on Jay’s comments). Brown also goes with immunity, and Purple goes with Bob and Jillian, so now the teams are even. There are now two spots of month-long immunity left, and Pink immediately takes one, so now only one spot is left. Red then takes the final spot with the Unknowns, so Orange, Black and Blue are with Bob and Jillian. That might turn out to be a bad thing, as they seem to be the teams that needed an extended stay on the ranch the most, since they are the most out of shape. I wonder if Bob and Jillian will be mad to learn that extended immunity was more popular than their services.

Bob and Jillian don’t even know about the new trainers! Oh this should be good! They seem to take the news pretty well, and Bob and Jillian surprisingly agree with me that the teams should have taken the month-long immunity. Too bad I wanted them to flip out and yell at the contestants; that’s my favorite part of the show. Oh well there’s still plenty of time for that.

Hooray first workout time! Who will be the first to collapse? Jillian promises she’s not going to yell at the contestants this year, and Bob (and I) wonder how long that will last. I’d say less than a minute. Sure enough she immediately starts yelling at Dan/Don (not sure which) to pick up the pace. Orange Team Ana mentions her arthritis, and I wonder if the producers are showing this as a precursor to her getting eliminated (the show could be using her arthritis as an explanation for why she doesn’t lose as much weight right before she lands below the yellow line). Jessica’s competitiveness reminds me of Tara from a few seasons back. She doesn’t seem as likable though. Bob meanwhile is taking a liking to Courtney, who does everything he asks. As she says, if the biggest girl in the house can do something, so can everyone else. She is really becoming one of my early favorites.

Collapse/Vomiting montage! It wouldn’t be Biggest Loser without it! Orange Team and Gray Team seem to be struggling the most- not surprising considering the challenge results.

Maybe now we will finally learn who the unknown trainers are. Nope, all we see is the contestants working out and two shadowy figures. The first trainers is a former premed student who says training is a science. The other is woman who has been boxing for 10 years- she supposedly is replacing Jillian next season when she leaves to have children. Neither of their voices sound familiar so I guess the idea of former contestants is out. The female sounds just as tough as Jillian, as hard as that is to believe. The show is milking the mystery of their identities for WAY too long. They do seem to be working their team just as hard- the contestants seem on the verge of collapse, even Rulon.

After the break Arthur wants to take a break of his own, and Bob and Jillian are having none of it. And down he goes! He claims his leg popped, but Bob and Jillian aren’t buying it. I think he really is injured, but I guess that’s why the trainers are professionals. Arthur then is the first contestant to get one-on-one time with Bob, and he tells the story of his weight loss. He is clearly limping, so I guess I was right about him being truly hurt. We also see a photo of Arthur when he was over 600 pounds, and he has a slice of delicious-looking cake in his hand. Bob smartly tells Arthur not to focus on how much has to lose but just to take it one day at a time. I hope this epiphany is not a precursor to his elimination (many times they are), as he clearly needs to be here. I do think if they fall below the yellow line the other contestants will realize how much Arthur needs this and will keep him around, but you never know.

And just when the contestants think the workout is over, Jillian takes them all on a road trip, Biggest Loser style. They have to push a truck with Bob and Jillian in it. I doubt the mystery trainers are giving the other contestants this kind of workout. The best part is the use of Switchfoot music in the background! Still, nothing beats the old “Proud” theme song. My dad plays that on his iPod on repeat as his workout music!

We now have this week’s weigh-in, and we do get to see some of the results from the immune teams. Once again Yellow team led the way with a loss of 59 pounds. They should slow down a bit with the weight loss, as they are now putting a larger target on their back that will almost guarantee them elimination if they fall below the yellow line. Moses of the Orange Team lost 41 pounds! I guess those new trainers are competent after all. He also set a record for most weight loss ever in one week on the ranch. Maybe he can win the whole show!

I would have liked to see how all the immune teams did, but I guess the producers wanted to draw out the weigh-ins that counted as long as possible. They don’t really explain how the weigh-in works for this week, but it looks like last season’s “half of the teams falling below the yellow line” curveball is gone, which means eliminations will now be based more on weight loss and not on athleticism/skill, which I guess is how it should be. Aqua team starts off with a 29 pound weight loss, which actually seems kind of small for the first week, even for two women. Still it is a solid 5.17 percent of weight loss. It looks like only one team is falling below the yellow line, so I guess only one person is going home tonight rather than two.

Blue Team’s results should be interesting. To be Aqua they need to lose more than 41 pounds, and while Arthur pulls his weight (pun intended) with an impressive 31 pounds lost, his father Jesse loses only seven. Well I guess we know who the weak link on that team is. Still their number should be pretty high, and I think Orange Team will end up going home. Seven pounds in the first week is kind of embarrassing though, especially for a guy. It sounds like he is still having trouble counting calories and measuring portions, which is understandable since he’s never done that. Though you would think the other contestants in the house (especially Arthur) would make sure that he did so.

Green Team must now lose 32 pounds to be safe, and they crush that number with an impressive 46 pounds. Each of them lose over 20 pounds as well, so they seem to be equally strong. These two could be a force to be reckoned with, especially with Jessica’s Tara-like competitive edge. In fact they lost nearly seven percent of their body weight, putting them for the moment in first place.

Purple Team is next to weigh in, and they must lose more than 24 pounds, which is a pretty small number for the first week. Surprisingly though the show cuts to commercial now instead of waiting until right before the Orange Team’s results. I’m not sure what this early commercial means though. In the end it means good news, as they each lose 16 pounds and are thus safe for another week. Score one for the local girls! They still did not get high enough to beat Green though.

Orange Team is next to weigh in, meaning meaning Black is last. From my years watching this show, I know that the team that goes last either does really well or really badly. I would tend to think Black will do badly, but this show likes to set us up to think one thing and then show the opposite, so maybe they will have a great week after all. But first we must hear from the Orange Ladies. Since they are not going last I have a feeling they might be safe. They also need to lose more than 24 pounds, but they lose just 22. Like with the Blue Team, the older member is the weak link, with Ana losing just nine pounds. Again not a big surprise considering her arthritis.

That means Arthur is thankfully safe for another week, and this elimination will come down to Orange vs. Black. Black seems likable while Orange is forgettable, so I’m hoping one of the Orange members is out. Orange also got a bit more focus this episode, which also makes me believe they are going to fall below the yellow line; usually the team/person that gets eliminated is focused on throughout the episode. Orange also notes that Black Team struggled early in the week, so there’s a chance Orange could be saved. That DEFINITELY means Orange will be up for elimination; whatever a team says during the confessionals during the weigh-in, the opposite occurs. If a team thinks they did well, they did poorly, and vice versa. And if a team thinks they have a chance to be safe, they are goners. This is why I mute the confessionals right before each team’s weigh-in; I don’t want to be spoiled as to what will happen next.

Part of me does kind of hope one of the Black members go so I can tell them apart. But if I’m right and Orange falls below, I would get rid of Ana; she is clearly too old and arthritic to do well on this show. Black needs to lose more than 25 pounds to be safe, which should be no issue for them considering their size. But they did just show an interview with only one of the Black members, which does have me a bit worried that one of them might go home. Instead they killed it, losing a total of 40 pounds! One loses 21 pounds and the other loses 19, so they show similar numbers like the twins they are. Maybe these two will do well in this competition after all. They fall into second place, just behind the Green Team.

So that means the forgettable Orange team is up for elimination, which I’m guessing will be pretty short since there’s only 10 minutes left. Probably because their should not be much deliberation- Ana is the weak link and lost the weigh-in for her team. Then again the contestants on this show have surprised me before.

The show skips right to the elimination rather than showing the deliberation, which means Ana has to be gone. Lately the deliberations are only shown when it is a difficult or controversial decision. However Ana does need this more than her daughter, which could be her saving grace. Hmm each team gets only one vote- that’s interesting. Aqua votes for Ana and seems to imply that Ana asked to be sent home so her daughter could stay. Green Team implies the same and votes for Ana as well. Purple is next to vote and makes it interesting by voting for Irene, who apparently also asked to go so her mother could stay. Double sacrifice!

Side Note: I know Helen from a few seasons back got lots of flak for NOT sacrificing herself so her daughter could stay (which was why many of you were so upset when she won the show). But Helen’s daughter (Shannon?) sacrificed herself instead, and why does the parent have to be the one doing the sacrificing? Now I wasn’t rooting for Helen that season- I was pulling for Mike or Tara- but I don’t think she should have been criticized as much as she has been. End of rant.

Okay back to the results. Why are they even showing the final two votes? Even if Irene does get the last vote, she will be tied with her mother, and her mother will have the lower percentage of weight loss and will thus be eliminated. Unless they have some other tiebreaker I don’t know about. Blue Team votes for Ana anyway though, which is fine since she wouldn’t have lasted too long on this show anyway.

Update time! Ana doesn’t get a goodbye package, I guess because of lack of time. But she does get an update, and she has lost 50 pounds. Figures she only did okay since the ones who go home early usually don’t do as well. But still she looks pretty good and now can work her shifts as a mail carrier without being in pain. She has taken up salsa dancing too! She hopes to lose over 100 by the finale, which would make her look super sexy in the eyes of her salsa partners!

So what did you think of tonight’s episode? Who are your early favorites? Are you surprised so many teams picked the mystery trainers? And do you just want to know who they are already? What did you think of the elimination? Share your thoughts below!

January 4, 2011 I Written By

The Biggest Loser: Season 11 Preview

Hey everybody my name is Melissa and I will be your Biggest Loser blogger for the upcoming season. I have been watching the show in real time since Ali Vincent’s season and have also watched parts of earlier seasons in reruns. More importantly, I’m not afraid to admit that I’ve enjoyed a good brownie or cookie while watching this show.

Tonight is the big premiere, so for starters I will give you all a rundown on this season’s contestants. Of course we have our usual helping of sob stories, so already I have some early favorites. Of course those could all go out the window when I see how the contestants act on the ranch.

The other big news this season is the arrival of two mysterious new trainers. Not much is known about them except for the fact that the contestants will each have a choice of staying with Bob and Jillian and risking elimination right away, or going with the new trainers and being guaranteed immunity for the first four weeks. To me this isn’t even a choice- I would definitely go for the temporary immunity. The new trainers must surely be competent or they wouldn’t be on the show, so to me there won’t be much of a difference between the new trainers and the old ones. So why not choose the option that guarantees at least a few weeks on the ranch?

Anyway, on to the contestants: (All information on the teams comes from their nbc.com bios, and the weights come from Wikipedia)

Pink Team: Mother Denise (nicknamed “Deni”), 59 years old and daughter Sarah, 27 years old. Denise has eight children from ages 18-37 and is this season’s “Mother who takes care of everyone except herself”. She tried lap band surgery but ended up gaining back the weight she lost and now weighs 256 pounds. Sarah was shown in this past season’s finale as the woman who lost several pregnancies because of her obesity. Her bio states that she gained more weight after each pregnancy because she kept losing more control. She is now up to 261 pounds and hopes to lose weight so she can finally become a mother. While the pink team luck has worn off over the past couple of seasons, I hope that Sarah especially does well since she has gone through so much in her life already.

Yellow Team: Friends Justin, 39 and Rulon, 39. Justin apparently decided to try out for the show when he realized he weighed more than some of last year’s contestants. At 365 pounds he certainly would have been one of the heavier ones last season. He reminds me a lot of Patrick from last season, as his bio talks about his two children, ages 10 and 12, and how he wants to be around for them in the future. But the real story of this team is his partner Rulon, the former Olympian who won a gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling in the 2000 Olympics and the bronze medial in 2004. Olympians obviously have to eat a lot to counteract all the calories they burn (check out Michael Phelps’ diet if you don’t believe me), but Rulon continued his same diet after he stopped his training, and his weight ballooned to 474 pounds from there. In 2000 he defeated a wrestler who had not lost an international competition in 13 years, so clearly he is used to upsetting heavy favorites. But in this show he will likely be a heavy favorite because of his athletic background. So if this year’s contestants are anything like last season’s (i.e. constantly voting off the big threats instead of those who are always below the yellow line), one bad week from Rulon could make him a goner.

Gray Team: Father Moses, 47 and Daugher Kaylee, 20. Moses looks about 60 in his NBC picture, so I was surprised to see he is so young. He is a Tongan who is following in the footsteps of Sione and Felipe and Koli and Sam. His bio otherwise isn’t that interesting, though it does mention that he is athletic, which is obviously a plus on this show. His starting weight is 475 pounds. I already have a soft spot for Kaylee as she is close to my age and my height (but thankfully not close to my weight). She is however the lightest contestant on the show at 233 pounds but did the show mainly for her obese father. Her bio also says that she has a poor diet, does not exercise, and lacks self-confidence. Seriously this girl and I could be twins! Well except for her obesity. And the fact that she wants to go skydiving after she loses enough weight. Isn’t losing 100 pounds scary enough?

Purple Team: Sisters Hannah, 32 and Olivia, 35. Hannah is a former homecoming queen who couldn’t even go to her high school reunion because she was ashamed of her weight. She is another former athlete (seems like there are a lot of those this year) whose collegiate sports career ended after emergency back surgery. This was the start of her weight gain and she is now up to 248 pounds despite helping to design her company’s wellness program. Well at least she’ll have plenty of tips to give the company when she comes back from the show! Olivia was also featured in last year’s finale as the opera singer who constantly lost roles because of her weight. Now I do know of plenty of male overweight opera singers, but the standards are different for females I guess. She also was diagnoses with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, which caused her to essentially give up on her weight control. PCS is strongly correlated with obesity and is one of the leading causes of female subfertility. I also have an early soft spot for them since they are from NYC, which is 30 minutes from my hometown.

Red Team: Husband Jaquin (nicknamed “Q”), 27 and Wife Larialmy, 26. They are this year’s only husband and wife team, though I’m not sure if that’s an advantage or disadvantage. “Q” is another one who came on the show so he could be there for his family and has lost a few friends from complications of obesity. His story is similar to Hannah’s, as he was an athlete in high school who got hurt, stopped exercising and is now up to 437 pounds. Larialmy is 301 pounds, one of only two women this season over 300 pounds. Her bio isn’t very interesting- she mainly wants to lose weight so she can have more kids. With such a ho-hum bio she must either a) not last too long on the show or b) have a huge personality (either good or bad).

Brown Team: Father Ken, 49 and Son Austin, 21. With the Brown shirts and the father/son pairing, I’m immediately getting flashbacks to Mike and Ron from Helen’s season. Ken gained weight because of a “difficult childhood”, though his bio doesn’t specify what that is. I’m sure the trainers will get that info out of him though! His primary motivation is making sure his son doesn’t go through the same issues he does, and he had several surgeries to lose weight but none of them work. So he cares mostly about his son and had surgery to lose weight? Yep he is Ron 2.0, though hopefully without the manipulation. He also had a near-death experience two years ago, but again the bio does not go into further details. Even the bios have teasers to get us to watch the show! Anyway Ken is 377 pounds, just slightly thinner than his son, who is 396 pounds. His dad may remind me of Ron, but his hair reminds me of Daris. His bio too mentions his dad’s near-death experience without going into details. Dang now I am curious! He already suffers from sleep apnea and high blood pressure despite his young age and wants to lose weight so he can be healthy and set a good example for his other obese family members. Aw I like him already.

Orange Team: Mother Ana, 50 and Daughter Irene, 26. Ana actually looks good for her age! Irene’s father left Ana when the mother was pregnant, and she turned to food “as a way to stay unattractive so I wouldn’t get hurt again”. Wow that is just really sad. She now weighs 255 pounds and has arthritis in both knees and lower back pain, so I have a feeling she won’t last too long on this show. She would be smart to take the four-week immunity because otherwise she might be below the yellow line a lot since her body may not be able to handle the intense workouts. Irene has always been overweight but gained 90 pounds in the past year and a half to bring her total to 255 pounds, the same as her mother. Well at least they are consistent! She is Hispanic and suffers from asthma, so hopefully she is not another Liz!

Green Team: Father Jay, 53 and Daughter Jennifer, 28. Jay, like many other contestants before him, has lost over 100 pounds several times only to gain it all back. He then may be one of the biggest risks to gain the weight back he loses on this show. He hit his highest weight of 435 pounds in fall 2009 but now is down to “just” 400 pounds. Like Ken, he tried out for the show mainly to help his daughter, but he luckily realizes that he needs the show too. He wants to be a motivational speaker in the future. Well he picked the right show then since it seems half the people who succeed on this show become motivational speakers! Jennifer was 144 pounds in fourth grade and like her father has gained and lost the weight several times. Her goal is ultimately to run a marathon, so again it sounds like she came to the right show!

Blue Team: Father Jesse, 61 and Son Arthur, 34. Jesse is this year’s oldest contestant and at 293 pounds is also one of the lighter males. He too joined the show because of his son and takes 12 pills a day! Otherwise his story is pretty straightforward, but his son is likely going to be the real focus this season. Arthur is this year’s heaviest contestant at 507 pounds but actually weighed 646 at one point. He too is a former athlete, a wrestler in high school who had trouble making the required weight limit. He wants to inspire those who are too big to go on the show and reveal that they do have hope. That sounds all well and good but the previews show him fighting with Bob a lot, so he may end up a semi-villain like Mike Ventrella.

Black Team: Brothers Dan and Don, both 54. I hope one of these two goes home early simply so I can tell them apart. They look exactly the same and are of similar weights, with Dan being the lightest male at 287 pounds and Don being a slightly heavier 309 pounds. Their parents divorced when they were six, and Dan had a son who died in 2004, though he began to gain weight before that. Apparently his weight gain started when he joined the police force, which seems odd since cops usually run around all day chasing down criminals. Don is also a member of the police force, and also says his weight gain started when he became a cop. They are the other duo that has two older members, and I think that could hurt them in the long run.

Light Blue Team: Mother Marci, 49 and daughter Courtney, 22. First of all, having a light blue team and a dark blue team is just confusing. The producers couldn’t just make a white team?? Anyway this team is interesting because Marci is the lightest contestant this season at 238 pounds, and is the only contestant who is not in Obese Class III (the most severe). However Courtney is 323 pounds and this season’s heaviest woman. Ironically Marci is the manager of a health club, who, surprise, surprise, joined the show mainly to help her daughter. She too is a former athlete (man those challenges are going to be competitive this year) but never lost all her pregnancy weight and gained more because of everyday stresses. Courtney was another early favorite of mine based on her clip in last season’s finale. She is the one who had to lose weight just to come on the show- in fact she has already lost 112 pounds on her own! This might actually be a bad thing for her though, as other contestants might reason that she can lose weight on her own and thus doesn’t need to be on the show.

So that’s the rundown of this season’s contestants. What are your thoughts on this year’s batch? Do you have any early favorites? Post your comments below.

I Written By

NBC Casting Biggest Loser Season 9

Australian Idol Grand Final 2006

I previously posted about NBC casting the Biggest Loser Season 8. Too bad those casting calls are already complete. The good news is that NBC is already casting for Biggest Loser Season 9. Here’s the details from the NBC website:

WE ARE SEARCHING FOR FAMILY MEMBER TEAMS OF 2 WHO EACH HAVE AT LEAST 100LBS TO LOSE.

IF YOU ARE READY TO WORK WITH THE BEST TRAINERS, LOSE WEIGHT AND COMPETE FOR $250,000 THEN AUDITION TODAY! IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOREVER!

TO AUDITION GO TO thebiggestlosercasting.com to download the application and send in a videotape.

OPEN CALLS – June & July
*Check back in June for an open call location near you.

On the Biggest Loser Casting website they give a pretty good summary of what you should include on your video submission:

*WHAT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR 10-MINUTE VIDEOTAPE:

First and foremost, we want to see your PERSONALITIES and how you get along with your partner! Have fun with the tape. Be original. Show us why you should be on The Biggest Loser. Make your video as personal as possible. Start with your name(s), age(s), hometown(s), height(s) and weight(s). Show us how weight affects your life in every aspect. Show us and tell us why you and your partner want to lose the weight. If possible, Include photos on the tape of you growing up. Please do not edit the tape. *If you are unable to make a tape with your the partner, you may send us separate tapes.

So, get off of the computer and make your submission! Plus, you’ll get a chance to meet Bob and Jillian.

May 13, 2009 I Written By

A true lover of TV. Not everything about TV, but great TV. Not afraid to say what he thinks and be proven wrong when someone knows something more than he does. My favorite TV show is definitely Amazing Race. However, it's not my favorite TV show to blog about.

Models on Biggest Loser Couples

FORMER MODELS:
Tara Costa (Model/Finance manager), 23, New York, New York, and her friend Laura Denoux (Model/Sales director), 24, Miami, Florida.

Man TV shows are great at spin. I thought the idea of bringing a couple of models on the Biggest Loser was a great storyline. Of course, I had to search the internet to find some pictures of these models so we could see how their model look compared to how much weight they lose on the show.

Well, it turns out that Tara and Laura are plus size models. That’s not nearly as interesting a story. I was hoping for some models that were really skinny and then became fat. Then, the show would be them returning to their previous form. Now Tara and Laura are going to be without jobs at the end of the show. The beauty is that Tara and Laura will probably be very happy about that result.

January 20, 2009 I Written By

A true lover of TV. Not everything about TV, but great TV. Not afraid to say what he thinks and be proven wrong when someone knows something more than he does. My favorite TV show is definitely Amazing Race. However, it's not my favorite TV show to blog about.

NBC Casting Season 8 of Biggest Loser

Tonight’s episode of Biggest Loser was probably one of the best ever. It had you laughing. It had you crying. It had drama. It had fun. Just a great show.

The good news is that you can get in on the action and submit an application to be on season 8 of Biggest Loser. Take a look at the details for applying to be on the next season of Biggest Loser:

NOW CASTING SEASON 8!

NBC’S THE BIGGEST LOSER IS NOW CASTING!
WE ARE SEARCHING THE COUNTRY FOR OUTGOING AND CHARISMATIC CONTESTANTS WHO AE READY TO SHED THOSE POUNDS ONCE AND FOR ALL AND COMPETE TO WIN $250,000!!

SEND IN AN APPLICATION AND VIDEOTAPE ASAP!
You must be at least 18 years of age and a legal resident of the U.S.
**You can audition with a partner or on your own!

How to Apply:
Step 1: DOWNLOAD THE APPLICATION – CLICK HERE (PDF)
Step 2: MAKE A VIDEOTAPE (only VHS, DVD or MINI DV will be accepted) AND TAKE A PHOTO OF YOURSELF AND INCLUDE IT WITH YOUR APPLICATIONI.
Step 3: MAIL THE APPLICATION, PHOTO AND TAPE TO US ASAP (photo and tape will not be returned)

What to include in your 10 MINUTE videotape:
Show us why you should be on The Biggest Loser. Make your video as personal as possible. Start with your name, age, hometown, height and weight. Take us on a tour of your typical day at work and home. Let us know (and see) why losing the weight is so important to you! Show us, don’t just tell us, why you need to lose the weight. And, Remember, we want to see your personality. Have fun and good luck!

SEND YOUR TAPES WITH APPLICATIONS TO:
The Biggest Loser Casting
c/o Central Park West Productions
P.O Box 578
Manhattan Beach, CA 90267-0578

If you submit a tape, let us know. Best of luck to all who apply.

January 14, 2009 I Written By

A true lover of TV. Not everything about TV, but great TV. Not afraid to say what he thinks and be proven wrong when someone knows something more than he does. My favorite TV show is definitely Amazing Race. However, it's not my favorite TV show to blog about.