'Biggest Loser' Recap: Cupcakes and Confidence

Last night's was a two-hour episode, and the main theme through the whole fast-paced episode was "believe in yourself."

The show got going right away with the "cupcake challenge," which was handled differently than it has been in previous seasons. This time, they had to find the one cupcake, out of about 400, that had a little yellow disk underneath it, which would grant the person who discovered it a one-pound advantage. The really cool part for the contestants was that if the person chose not to use it this week and they weren't eliminated, they could hold on to it. It would add another pound to their advantage every week, which could be an 8-pound advantage by the end of the regular competition.

One would expect a stampede of large people fighting over the cupcakes for such a huge prize, but it pretty quickly came down to Adam and Rick.


Adam ended up winning it, after consuming 1,350 calories worth of cupcakes, which he swore he'd burn off that day (is that even possible?).

Ada, Patrick, Frado, and Brendan immediately formed an alliance against him, vowing to vote him off if he ever ended up below the yellow line.

Curtis Stone shows up (Lisa has a weird crush) and shows them how to make a 100-calorie raspberry cupcake. Which sounds great and all, but this leads into one of my many irritations with this show. We are treated to endless views of the contestants working out, collapsing, sweating profusely, and puking, but they can't give more than a minute to a demonstration of how to make these cupcakes? Weight loss needs a combo of burning calories through exercise and reducing calorie intake through food, and not showing us clearly what the contestants eat is not helpful at all.

And on to the endless gym sequence. Aaron is a sweetie and I think I'm on Team Aaron for the season. Mark throws out his back, Lisa hurls, Frado goes gonzo, and Jillian Michaels does the thing that makes me want to reach through the TV screen and strangle her (except for the fact she could snap my neck like a toothpick with her pinkie): she plays shrink. Bad shrink.

She bullies these people into revealing their innermost pain, but she's not a psychologist or counselor and has no idea how to deal with the fallout when they do crack up. One of these days someone is going to go seriously nutty thanks to her nastiness. She started screaming at Elizabeth, who was developing a full-fledged asthma attack. Elizabeth rallied, and she taunted, "You don't have anything wrong with your lungs ... you just keep stuffing [your feelings] down." Oh reallllyyy, Jillian? And your degree in pulmonology comes from ...?

The weigh-in was in the middle of the two-hour episode this time. It was a "red-line" episode, when the person who lost the lowest percentage of weight got booted immediately. That was Sophia, who said she was really ready to go home and was driven to succeed.

More workout stuff, Jillian bullies Ada (even threatening her during the weigh-in) and then Bob Greene invites the six people who fell under the yellow line to come to his house for dinner. He serves them a delicious-looking vegan meal and gets on Lisa's case for feeding her kids $5 pizza, but unsurprisingly gives no alternatives that are also cheap and fast.

Burgandy is tossed from the challenge because she developed severe tendinitis in her shin, forcing her to wear a boot. The challenge was to unroll a 300-foot, 900-pound roll of carpet to the end and then race back. The guys smoked the girls, which you'd expect in a challenge like this; men tend to have more muscle mass and hence be stronger, and none of these guys are little skinny wispy dudes.

The nice thing here is that Elizabeth really struggles, and everyone comes back to cheer her on once they have finished and run with her back to the start. Awww.

They also previewed a little twist for next week: Some of the people who were cut before they even got to the Biggest Loser campus will be rejoining the group. DRAMA!

Burgandy and Elizabeth are up for elimination, and Burgandy gets cut. In the update, both she and Sophia have lost a bunch of weight and look awesome. Sophia is an inspiration to the cheerleaders she coaches and the people in the spin class she teaches, while Burgandy has started leading friends and family in early morning walks and including her five kids in her workouts, so she doesn't need to be away from them for long periods of time. Both women say the show taught them a lot about believing in themselves and that they can do anything they set their minds to.

Should Burgandy and Sophia both have gone home? Does Jillian cross the line with the contestants?

Image via NBCUniversalStore.com

Read More >