Last night's episode of The Biggest Loser began with yet another weigh-in twist: one contestant's weight loss would seal the entire team's fate, and the opposing team got to choose the player. Nobody else's numbers on the scale would count in the battle between the two teams, Black and Blue.
Following last week's division of pairs into two six-player teams, it was an episode about teamwork and having to rely on someone else for your success -- which is a concept that never flies in the real world of weight loss. I can assure you that I'm the only one in control of what goes in my mouth and how many minutes I log on the treadmill ... you know, kind of like these players will be when they return home and don't have trainers telling them what to do or a team of BFFs patting them on the back. I think sometimes the contestants forget that.
When black team contestant Frado and tough-as-nails trainer Jillian Michaels butted heads in the gym, Frado ended up walking out on her -- prompting Michaels to dub him "The Godfather" of the show for his incessant game play and inability to see the bigger picture. But the show is about much more than weight loss, as evidenced by Michaels' need to play therapist with the contestants every week. Her subsequent heart-to-heart with Frado may have worked: we got to watch this big, burly man start bawling like a baby at the weigh-in for breaking the 300-pound mark.
However, I doubt her later discussion with black team contestant Elizabeth did much of anything. She knew she'd be the likely target for the weigh-in given her mediocre losses: typically five pounds per week. I should be so lucky. Despite all that, Elizabeth was sitting pretty, knowing teammates Frado and Brendan would certainly save her from elimination before newbie Anna, who won the opportunity to return to the show last week and doesn't seem as concerned with making friends as everyone else. She dropped 39 pounds on her own at home, and when she shed "only" three pounds this week, she announced she was happy because it was still a loss. You go girl.
Anna truly gets it, and I wish I could say the same for some of the other contestants. Granted, I wouldn't mind a big fat $250,000 check, but since these people are morbidly obese and so dangerously unhealthy, you'd think they'd want to focus on absorbing all the nutritional and fitness lessons they're learning on the ranch and less on forming "alliances" that are no more than a couple of childish cliques.
Celebrity chefs Lorena Garcia and Curtis Stone stopped by for a cooking challenge, and when things ended in a tie, Frado once again threw a tantrum when he and his teammates couldn't come to a consensus on the calories in a grilled peaches dessert. The blue team prevailed and won an obscure prize: "10 seconds," according to show host Alison Sweeney.
The "all for one" concept was exploited again when the contestants had to go head-to-head in a dragon boat race: a traditional Chinese boat that contains a large group of paddlers, a drummer, and someone to steer. Once again, blue demonstrated their team unity for the win -- even if it was mostly due to their 10-second advantage. They now had the opportunity to block the other team's selection for whose weight would count at the weigh-in.
The weigh-in was entirely predictable. Elizabeth's less-than-impressive losses put her up on the scale against Jessica, the blue team's smallest girl. Personally, I think Elizabeth needs to spend less time whining about her asthma and more time doing whatever Jillian says, while Jessica appears to be cursed with a body that can't deliver double-digit losses.
The blue team declined their challenge win in an attempt to "show confidence in their teammate," or something equally ridiculous. If any of them were actually thinking of themselves and their future in this game, they'd have opted to put any of their men on the scale, who as usual all dropped huge numbers.
Well, they paid the price for their warm-and-fuzzy "team first" decision. Elizabeth contributed her usual five-pound loss for the black team, trumping Jessica on the scale by a pound. The elimination tied Jessica and Adam, who was still carrying a growing one-pound-per-week advantage from a previous challenge win.
Can we say huge threat once the teams return to individuals? Jessica's losses may not make her much of an asset to her team right now, but getting rid of Adam was a no-brainer. He works hard, but his decision to keep hanging on to that advantage for himself equated to a big bulls-eye on his back.
The black team came in for the tie-breaker and, not surprisingly, sent Adam home ... which is unfortunately what happens on reality TV when you put yourself first.