Last night's Biggest Loser pissed me off. No matter how many times I watch it, I don't think the way the competitive reality show approaches weight-loss will EVER sit well with me.
You see, I'm a proponent of healthy, holistic weight-loss that takes into account factors other than pounds lost in the fastest amount of time. But by its basic construct, The Biggest Loser is all about speed on the scale. Oh, it's also about mind-gaming contestants ...
Yeah, that was some of the "heaviest" drama last night. The contestants -- who earlier in the episode swapped out of their Ranch and "Unknowns" personas to become Team Red (Cara and Brett's team) and Team Black (Jillian and Bob's team) -- were led into a temptation challenge that looked like a Valentine's Day spread on crack: Candles, rose petals, pink and red galore, and most importantly ... a ton of CHOCOLATE!
Per usual, Alison tells the teams that everyone will have three minutes alone with the candy, and the person who eats the most "wins" (air quotes all mine). The "winner" can choose to either swap two people from each team or to keep the teams the way they are. What's more, the winner of the challenge will be kept anonymous, and no one will know who ate and who didn't. Obviously, this secret chocolate face-stuffing sweetens the pot a bit.
Anyway, long story short: Arthur ate 35 chocolates, beating everyone, and then he swapped out Jen and Jay for Sara and Deni (the two "weakest" contestants from Team Red). He even "came out" of the temptation closet in front of everyone. An anger fest ensued.
Okay, Arthur is an idiot. He clearly thinks he's "getting away" with something in this episode, and he doesn't seem to be genuinely interested in making life changes. I bet he gets voted off soon. That aside, my bone to pick is moreso with the show itself. Telling overweight people that they "WIN" if they eat the most chocolates? It's like a grown-up version of torturing the chubby kid at the middle school lunch table. Just plain sick.
Fast-forward to the scale part of the show ... It was awesome to see some of the ladies really bring it last night. Jen lost fourteen pounds and Olivia lost SIXTEEN pounds (excuse me?!?!).
On the flipside, some of the men dropped "measly" amounts, like Arthur (nine pounds -- probably cuz of the chocolate, ya know) and Q (seven pounds -- which officially made him a disgrace to his team).
I don't get it. Rulon and one of the other guys dropped ten-plus pounds, but they both felt like they fell short, so Cara and Brett (who totally lack the charisma of Jillian and Bob, by the way) had to be like, "You're crazy ... the pounds are coming off, and that's what's important!" Oook, but when it's only seven pounds instead of twelve, they're worthy of head-shaking and shaming?
When you're obese, weight-loss is weight-loss. Losing NINE pounds in one week is amazing for anyone, and by no means should these people be taken to task for not "pulling bigger numbers." But this is Biggest Loser world, not the real world, so Q went home for "not living up to his promise." Gag.
Although this was the V-Day special, maybe next week the show will have a little more heart? One can hope.
How do you feel about the show's temptation challenges and scale shaming?
Image via NBC.com