Last night, as the 11th season of The Biggest Loser settled in to its second episode, two camps of contestants continued to duke it out for most weight shed.
If you missed the season opener: Battle lines were drawn last week when five pairs volunteered to work with two mysterious, "unknown" trainers—and, in turn, were given four weeks of immunity. But even sans Bob and Jillian, the "Unknowns" ended up losing more weight than the pairs who stayed behind on the Ranch.
Caught up? Cool. OK, so this week, with the contestants going head-to-head in two separate camps, host Ali Sweeney sweetened the pot for the Ranch team with a challenge: If they could beat the Unknowns in this week's weigh-in, they could have immunity for the week. And whichever team won on the scale would also take home $10K.
What ensued was like one of those cheesy movies from the '80s or '90s about a group of scrappy, pre-teen underdogs who are knocked down, but get back up, then are tortured again ... to pull together to ultimately beat the big bad bullies. Like Little Giants or The Sandlot or something.
For starters, there was a really disorganized challenge in which the Ranch team had to build a bridge with water rafts. But no one could take charge and create a definitive plan, so they ended up failing pretty miserably. When that was over, the Unknowns were given a three-pound advantage on the scale. Oh NOES!
And we got a dose of "comic relief" when the Ranchers entered the gym for a late night workout, only to find a "gift" from the Unknowns (supposedly, you know, not from the producers): two boxes of doughnuts. Arthur, who weighs over 500 pounds and confessed to having a penchant for fried pastry, quipped, "Two dozen doughnuts and a bunch of fat people is like Bambi sitting in front of a pack of lions!" (Speak for yourself, buddy.) But while everyone else seemed pumped to discard the mean-spirited sweets and take a ceremonial stomp on the boxes, Arthur lingered at the trash dump ... before eventually walking away without a bite. Whew—that was a close one!
But no BL episode (or popcorn flick) would be complete without a sobfest, or two, or three. The main sniffles surrounded Jennifer (Green Team), who Jillian says can't lose weight because she's fearful of leaving her father in the dust; Arthur who keeps turning corners in his workouts with Bob but obviously has a lot going on "upstairs" that is serving as his greatest challenge; and cop twins Don and Dan (Black Team), one of whom has a 9-year-old he wants to live for.
We also got to witness lots of Hollywood-ified number switching drama on the scale, Ranchers feeling guilty that they weren't pulling their weight lost for the team, and then some head-butting between Ali and Bob (Ali used demeaning language, saying the Ranchers were "destroyed," and Bob was like, "Hey now!"). After all of that, the Ranchers won the week! And yay—Arthur dropped 13 pounds! (I still don't get how some of the contestants who clock in at less than half of Arthur's weight—especially the women—could feel bad that they only lost 6 pounds. Don't they understand that everyone is DIFFERENT and has varied amounts to lose? Six pounds is a LOT!)
Cue happy, uplifting music for the underdogs! But don't get too comfy, because next week ... dundun-daaaah! The identities of the Unknown trainers will be unveiled, and Jillian will shake her head and ... walk off the set! Even though season 11 is so far playing out like a predictable summer blockbuster, I kinda can't wait ... oh, right, that's the point!
Did you watch The Biggest Loser last night? Do you agree that the drama is a wee bit contrived?
Image via NBC.com