Note: This post may (well, honestly it WILL) contain spoilers from last night’s episode of NBC’s The Biggest Loser. So, if you have yet to watch the episode and don’t want to be spoiled, please come back later. But, please DO come back.
We finally get a 2-hour episode this week! I don’t know about you, but being a viewer/fan of Biggest Loser now for 14 seasons, I am used to the longer format, so it was definitely nice. I feel like we got to see a lot more with the contestants even though much of it was rehashing their stories to a degree.
The episode opens with the trainers, Bob, Jillian and Dolvett talking about how it’s been three months since they choose this season’s contestants and now it’s down to the final month. That’s right, the LIVE finale is just four weeks away! Can you believe it? I know I can’t. It seems like it was just yesterday that we met these amazing people. Of course, looking at their progress, it’s obvious they have kicked some serious butt in that gym!
After the “catch-up” portion, we are returned to the same place that we left off 3 weeks ago before the break, with everyone at the weigh-in right after Matt and Hap are told they are going home. It was also in those final minutes of episode 10 that we learned that the eliminated players were back on the Ranch for a chance to make a return appearance.
The previously eliminated contestants trail in, all smiles. “We’re back!” announces Craig proudly. These guys and gals are looking pretty darn good too! The look of surprise on the current contestants faces is priceless. This was definitely an unexpected turn of events. Notably, is Marie’s shock, “what, like this is crazy right now.” Alas, that is just how The Biggest Loser plays the game!
After everyone lines up, Hap and Matt join the eliminated group of contestants. Alison Sweeney informs everyone that the way this “second chance” is going to work is that the eliminated player who lost the highest percentage of weight up until now gets to re-enter the house. So there it is, out in the open. I have to say, I thought that was the fairest and best way to play this, but again, you just never know with The Biggest Loser.
Once Ruben, Fernanda, Craig, Bobby and Holly weigh-in (Hap and Matt just weighed in, so their current percentage was already known), we learn the winner of the second chance. Bobby gets to rejoin the game and get the keys back on the Ranch with a current weight loss of 97lbs. It was close, Matt was right behind him.
The next morning, the three trainers walk into the house and see Bobby with the others and are definitely surprised. Bob is happy, as he thought that his work with Bobby wasn’t done yet. The two sit down away from the others to have a brief chat before the workout. “Being eliminated made me appreciate everything I had here,” Bobby tells Bob explaining how grateful he was for this experience. He goes on to tell Bob that he came out to his father when he was at home and it went well. Bob expresses to Bobby how glad he is to have him back in the house and they hug.
Everyone is working out in the gym. This week, they now have a yellow line instead of the red line that they have had to contend with all season. The yellow line means that two players will fall below the line and everyone else will have to vote to decide which contestant is eliminated this week. You can see the determination and extra push of strength emitting from these guys and gals. The women especially are looking strong in the gym. Rachel, who is already looking great is thinking about how far she’s come in just ten weeks, “I lost a huge part of my identity…food was my friend,” she states about her previous self.
The guys definitely aren’t slacking, they are also bringing it in the gym. “I came here fighting to get my life back,” Jay explains. Meanwhile, Bob is working with David one-on-one and has him pushing himself to the limit with a time challenge involving the treadmill, rower and jumprope. The first time he does the series he completes it in 5:23. By the third round, he has his time down to 5:02. Talk about kicking some butt in that gym and pushing himself, David is doing it.
Dolvett has some amazingly motivational mantras in this episode including, “this ain’t for everybody, just your body,” and “not some times, every time!” That he yells out to keep the contestants going.
Working with Tumi, Dolvett tells her that she is strong and she needs to know that. She has lost 94lbs up until this point which is awesome.”I’ve changed my life,” Tumi tells him as she continues to workout, that yellow line not far from anyone’s mind this week. Dolvett then tells her that she needs is great and needs to believe that. He makes her repeat it, “I am great, I am great.” It’s not just physical work going on in that gym!
We get to see Jillian working closely with Tanya. She is on the treadmill, Jillian trying to get her to push herself and believe in herself. “I know you can do it, just breath,” Jillian encourages her as she can see that Tanya wants to jump off of the treadmill before Jillian wants her to. Tanya is afraid, she is afraid of failure. She wants someone to be proud of her, because she never had that kind of relationship with her mom. The hurt inside of her is still working it’s way out. “You got to do it because you want to do it,” Jillian explains. You can’t do it for a parent or anyone else. Jillian states that Tanya needs to not look to others for praise, but to praise herself for what she can do and does. Tanya conquers that treadmill workout and runs 10mph. Talk about a new person and an emerging athlete!
Before the commercial break, we get a “Where Are They Now?” with the just eliminated Hap Hapstead. He’s continuing to work on his weight loss, but he’s back to work traveling a lot. He explains that the traveling was always a struggle for him eating-wise, so now he brings a lot of his own food and even cooks things in his hotel rooms. He talks to Matt Hooper regularly, and he has helped keep him motivated and on track with his journey away from the Ranch. His current weight as of this update is 270lbs.
Outside, Bob and David are talking. Bob is aware of David’s previous history, but would like to know more about his current life, where he is now. David tells Bob that he met his current wife through some friends. He explains that the relationship just happened naturally and that, “she is a perfect gift for me and my family.” David is so thankful for his wife because she came into a very tough situation with David and his daughters and has just been so supportive and a blessing to him. Bob agrees, that finding a woman like his current wife is a blessing, that she must be amazing. “I see a man who has been torn up and trying to find his way back,” Bob tells David about what he sees within him and that he’s a really good man. The two hug.
Challenge time! The contestants walk out onto a sunny beach where they see Alison Sweeney waiting for them amoung colored tower looking things over a big sandy hill. Ali explains to the contestants that this is a Planet Fitness sponsored challenge and that the winner will receive $25,000 worth of gym equipment for their home. The challenge is to pick up the kettle bells that are buried in the sane and one at a time, bring them to the weight tower atop the hill. The first person to get to 10 wins the challenge. There is also a bonus, one kettle bell is worth five points, so if they find that one, they only have to find five others. Oh, and to make the challenge even more competitive, the last person to finish gets a one pound disadvantage this week on the scale. If they can’t win that gym equipment, they certainly don’t want to finish last in this one.
For those who have not run on sand, even without the hill/incline that this challenge has to the beach, it’s not easy. Even when it’s flat, it’s a challenge. Once the challenge begins, Jay immediately heads up the hill to the weight tower. His strategy is to get all of the kettle bells that are closest to the towers first. It doesn’t take long to see that the race is on between Rachel and Jay. Both are booking it and getting those kettle bells on their towers. David is having a lot of difficulty getting up through the sand. As Jay and Rachel are closing in on the 10th kettle bell, Marie finds gold, she has discovered the golden kettle bell worth 5 points. This puts her right behind the two leaders in the running. Jay runs up and puts on his 10th kettle bell though seconds before Rachel does and wins the challenge. After Rachel is Marie, then Chelsea and Jennifer in 5th. David follows in 6th and Tumi right after in 7th. Now, it’s just Tanya and Bobby still out there struggling to not be last. Tanya is really struggling, and states that the sand is hot and every time that she moves, she falls back. Bobby ends up making to the top and to his tower with his 10th kettle bell before her, but she gets up there and finishes. Unfortunately, this means that Tanya now has a one-pound disadvantage at the weigh-in. “I’m going to work my butt off,” Tanya firmly states.
After the challenge, we see David inside of the house at the computer. His wife appears on the screen and they have a face-to-face conversation through the miles. David shares with his wife how far he’s come so far on the Ranch, not just physically, but emotionally as well. He explains that he had some things that he just still hadn’t worked out yet, but he is able to do that now. He goes on to tell her how much he appreciates her and everything that’s shes done for him. He doesn’t believe the last nine years have always been the best in what he’s given back to her. But, that she’s the glue to their family. “You’ve give me so much.”
Season 8 contestant, Abby Rike comes to visit the current contestants on the Ranch. She tells them about her story of overcoming great tragedy and coming out the other side in a much better place. “There’s joy past circumstances,” Abby tells them. This meeting has a definite impact on them all, especially David.
The contestants take a field trip to a race track with Dolvett. “I want these guys to know what moving forward really means,” Dolvett says. He introduces them to friend and race car driver, Carl Edwards of the #99 car sponsored by Subway. Carl states that the reason he is there is to have fun and be inspired by the contestants. He informs them that even though he sits in a car all the time, drivers work hard. With that, Carl Edwards takes the group through a workout in the speedway like the one he does all the time. They run the track and then the bleachers. Dolvett reminds them that their is a yellow line to stay above, they need to move! Each one of them is remembering where they were when they began this journey, almost 11 weeks ago. They all express how excited and bright that their future now is for them. After the workout, they all enjoy a lunch of Subway of course!
Back at the Ranch, Rachel is in her room with Jennifer. She has pulled out a pair of jeans that she hasn’t worn in 6 years. They are a size 8, can she fit into them? She does! “Its just insane,” Rachel remarks in astonishment at this amazing accomplishment.
Outside the house, Marie has pulled Jillian aside for a chat. She tells Jillian that she is questioning if she wants to go in it to win it or just go home healthy to start a family, have a baby like she wanted from the moment she stepped onto the Ranch. “Seeing that athlete come out is exciting,” Marie tells the trainer. Jillian responds that she will be there for her, but that once she asks for this, it’s on. Marie decides that yes, in fact she wants to go for the Final 3, she is ready. Jillian agrees to help her, but says that she may regret this conversation later.
Last Chance Workout time! This workout is a big one with that yellow line now making it’s appearance at the weigh in. “Don’t crumble, stay tall!” Bob yells to everyone in the gym. There is a lot of pressure and it can be seen on everyone’s faces. Bobby is definitely feeling the seriousness of this weigh in after he just came back. David is feeling more empowered after his conversation with his wife. “I want to make it the rest of the way,” Rachel states firmly.
Outside, Jillian is working Marie out hard. “Am I gonna see this through… I want to do this,” she says. Jennifer is pushed a lot during her workouts by thoughts of her daughter Taylor back at home also now working hard to get healthy. Meanwhile, Jay just wants to take advantage of every moment he is on the Ranch. As Jay runs full out on the gym, Bob is happy with his performance. “9.5 with a cowboy hat on, that hat just stays on,” Bob states with a laugh.
We now get to see Matt’s Where Are They Now? He has now set a wedding date. He and his fiance will be saying “I do” in May. He is back getting re-fitted for his tux and they inform him that he is now six sizes smaller than his tux that he had fitted for before Biggest Loser. Talk about a great life change! “Now I’m the man I want to be when I get married,” Matt states as he re-proposes to his wife.
It’s here, time for the weekly weigh in. This week’s theme has been about ‘moving forward,” and these guys and gals truly have been doing just that the last 11 weeks on the Ranch. They are getting healthier and fitter every week.
Here’s how the weigh in went down.
Tanya -3lbs (becomes 2lb loss with the disadvantage – however, she is now in ONEDERLAND!)
Bobby -7lbs (104lbs lost so far)
Chelsea -6lbs (she says can’t wait to hit the 160s, she is 171 now)
Rachel -6lbs (99lbs lost so far — Jillian states that she is constantly impressed by Rachel, she’s a phenomenon)
Jennifer -6lbs (189lbs now)
Marie -4lbs (the convo with Jillian really opened her eyes, she’s ready to step it up)
Tanya and Tumi have fallen below the yellow line. With 7 players, it takes 4 votes to eliminate. Each contestant has to go privately in a room to choose one or the other. Each one states how difficult this vote is for them. David comments about how they are two of the strongest women he’s ever met. Jay is not happy with the whole yellow line business but understands in the end, it’s a game.
In the end, Tumi gets the four votes and is eliminated from the Ranch. It’s a bittersweet moment. Never something anyone on the Ranch wants to deal with. “I am looking forward to going home to finish the work she started here,” Tumi says after learning she is going home. We will get to see her “Where Are They Now” segment next week.
So, what did you think of the episode? Did you like that it was 2hrs?