30 September, 2009

Biggest Loser Recap - S08E03 Part-1

As always, the show begins with a recap of what happened the week before and how well they did at losing 155 pounds. But the show must go on and as Sean points out when seeing Alison on day one of week three, he knows something awesome or horrible is going to happen. Alison explains this week is “Would you rather” week. The group will be given choices they will have to decide upon. The first choice offered to everyone is between a weigh in advantage or sticking with their trainers. The teams are lined up and given the choice with a 2 pound advantage to whoever crosses the line. Alison explains if no one crosses the line, the advantage will go up to 4 pounds. Several of the teams discuss it, but Tracey on the purple team steps across without even consulting Mo. He looks shocked and disappointed but with Tracey making the decision for him, his ‘team’ is bound. This will be a week without any help from Bob or Jillian for the purple team and as the commercial break arrives, Bob and Jillian show up to find out what happened.

The trainers arrive to find out what happened with Alison and they are immediately told what the challenge and theme for the week is going to be. Bob and Jillian thinks it ridiculous for anyone to accept the bribe, especially with only two pounds up for grabs. They are told someone did and after assuming it was the pink team Jillian finds out Tracey took it. “It’s a slap in the face” Jillian tells her to think a two pound advantage is better than working out with Bob or her. To the camera, Jillian says her and Bob are probably the best in the world at what they do and Tracey must not be the ‘brightest bulb’ in the group. The others are dismissed to the gym so the trainers can talk to Tracey and see why she did what she did. Tracey tells them about her fears and anxieties but says she’ll work better at ignoring it. After reconfirming with her they are not going to be able to help train her she says ‘What have I done” and prepares herself for the gym. Not working out in the gym is Abby who is visiting with Dr. Huizenga. Abby has suffered from shin splints in the past but it looks like she may have a more serious case. An MRI is taken and she is shown a micro fracture on her tibia and is now restricted to water exercises only. Abby confesses she could give up and say ‘she’s injured’ so she has an excuse to give up but refuses to fall into that temptation. She remembers her husband and kids who were killed only five miles from home by someone driving over 100 miles an hour. She could have given up life then, given up on many things, but she refused then and she is not going to give in now.

A commercial break arrives but they are not quite over when Biggest Loser resumes. Bob is talking with Abby about her restricted training. He reminds her she has to be on target with her diet and nutritional consumption. He offers her Yoplait light because of all the goodness packed inside. He gives her a single serving which she eats quite happily and seems to enjoy very much (wouldn’t be much of a commercial if she didn’t). The commercials are finally over so I can continue with the recaps as written with my new Microsoft Office, home edition 2007. Word, Excel, Powerpoint, no matter what the task Microsoft has your answers, download a free 60 day trial today. The week of choices now continues with a temptation challenge. Every individual is tempted with a small cupcake of only 100 calories. The cupcake isn’t the only temptation however. Alison explains whoever eats the most cupcakes in 10 minutes will win control of the game for the week. This week only one person from each team will count at the weigh in, and whoever takes the power, will get to decide which team member from all the teams will count. The timer starts to count down and several people pick up and hold their cupcakes, looking at them and deciding if it’s worth it. Antoine makes a decision to eat a cupcake, hoping everyone else will resist and he may possibly win the control with only one cupcake. Alison then announces, ‘someone is now winning’ as she brings out more cupcakes. Tracey now makes a decision this is only a game and she has come to win. When the challenge is over Antoine is told he is not the winner despite eating two cupcakes. The winner goes to Tracey who ate a total of four. Mo asks her, ‘What were you thinking?’ Tracey just laughs to herself.

Returning to the gym the contestants explain to Bob and Jillian what the temptation was. Bob wonders who in the world would have fallen for this temptation, everyone looks to Tracey. She raises her hand and admits it was her. Jillian is furious with her and yells at her because the day before Jillian was obviously wasting her time trying to talk to her. Tracey looks unfazed. Bob admits to the camera, “game players get fat again”, and notes she is a ‘game player’ and not serious about losing her weight. Back in the gym you can tell Mo is upset he cannot train with either Bob or Jillian this week so he tries as best as possible to follow how they are training the others.

Moving on to the challenge for immunity, the contestants are taken outside to a large ramp along with large containers of weight. The teams must take the weight to the top of the ramp and place them in a special container, as more weight is placed a team flag will raise. When the flag reaches the top, they will win immunity. With the ‘choices’ theme of the week they are offered to take up two five pound weights placed at the bottom of the ramp, or a large 25 pound container placed several yards away. With Tracey and Abby on a restricted exercise routine they will not be able to participate, so Mo and Allen will join Julio to represent their teams by themselves. Because of this, their weight to reach has been cut in half to only 250 pounds. Alison asks what the teams are going to do and Purple, Green, Pink and Blue opt for the 10 pounds, while Brown, Black, Red and Orange go for the 25. Pink and Green teams take an early lead with Purple following everyone. Allen wins it for the Green team, but the others decide not to quit and instead go on to finish what they have started. With Mo being the very last team, and having many more weights to take yet, everyone helps him in completing his task. It’s quite the team effort and Allen says of this house, ‘If you think you are alone, you’re not.”

25 September, 2009

Biggest Loser Recap - S08E02 Part-2

The second hour begins with a recap of the entire first hour, in case you might have forgotten something in between commercials. Once the food quiz is done, the teams next meet for a water challenge. In the water are various platforms connected by balance beams. Each beam gets smaller and smaller. The objective is to get everyone from one platform to the next. The goal? For each platform they reach without anyone falling off, the contestants get a reward. The rewards for the platforms are 5 lbs weight loss bonus for the first two platforms, a call home for the third platform and for the fourth and final platform they will have the satisfaction of a job well done. Well, that and another 10 lbs advantage at weigh-in. The group must work as a team if they are to make it to each platform, but before reaching the first platform, Tracey just about loses her balance and almost falls in. They continue to the second platform but as the commercial break comes, it seems Abby is ready to fall.

As you might expect, the trouble Abby experienced before the break was slightly exaggerated. The team is successful in making the second and third platforms, thus winning a 10 pound advantage so far as well as calls from home. The final beam they need to cross is only 6” wide and clearly a difficult task for the majority. Victory is theirs and the prize of an additional 10 pound loss is awarded to all teams, making the total they need to lose now 115, a little less than 8 pounds per person.

Bob and Jillian are told the news of their success but the trainers are unimpressed. They do not want the contestants to be over-confident so the last chance workout begins. Bob tries to motivate Julio while Jillian works with Rudy, challenging him to a tug-of-war. Bob sees Jillian having trouble and runs to help her out.

Jillian talks about how her intense training can sometimes have a ‘truth serum’ effect. Trying to get Shay motivated she asks her what is wrong. Shay breaks down and reveals how she has not been happy for 30 years. She realizes she has to let go of the fact her mom died early in life as a heroin addict. Feeling somewhat better she continues her workout till the time to weigh in arrives. Pink team weighs in first and Alison reminds them of the total they need to lose, an average of 8 pounds per person. Rebecca and Amanda’s totals are:
Rebecca PW (Previous Weight)-261 / CW (Current Weight)-255 / TL (total Loss) of 6 pounds.
Amanda PW-244 / CW- 240 TL-4 pounds. The group WTL (weight to lose) is now 105 more to keep everyone safe.

After the commercial break the purple team weights in. Despite not being on the ranch the week before Tracey uses a weight taken while she was in the hospital.
Purple team /-/ Tracey PW-238/CW-228/TL-10 /-/ Mo PW-336/CW-327/TL-9
Red team /-/ Sean PW-422/CW-411/TL-11 /-/ Antoine PW-349/CW-341/TL-8
Green team /-/ Allen PW-306/CW-296/TL-10 /-/ Abby PW-232/CW-221/TL-11
Brown team /-/ Danny PW-406/CW-394/TL-12 /-/ Liz PW-257/CW-247/TL-10
Blue team /-/ Rudy PW-414/CW-400/TL-14 /-/ Dina PW-245/CW237/TL-8
We break for the final commercial break with just two teams to weigh in. It looks hopeful they will make it to their goal for the week, but Julio is next to weigh in and people are concerned because of his workout ethics, they are afraid he may gain weight and add to the total of only two pounds needed to obtain their objective.

Returning back to the weigh in, we get to hear Shay one more time talking trash about Julio and how upset she is he has done nothing to help the group. The weigh-ins continue.
Black team /-/ Julio PW-394/CW-375/TL-19 (Spoiler Alert!) He loses the most out of anyone this week.
Orange team /-/ Daniel PW-300/CW-293/TL-7 /-/ Shay PW-459/CW-443/TL-16
All teams have weighed in and not only do they make it to their 115 pound goal, they do better than the original goal of 150, finishing this week with a total weight loss of 155 pounds. The teams are all excited. No one is going home…… this week.

Biggest Loser Recap - S08E02 Part-1

As the episode begins, Julio reflects on the vote and reminds himself it’s still a game they are playing. Alexandra leaving hits a few of the members fairly hard, some believing Julio should have been the one to go home as he does not seem to be that motivated. Shay was very vocal about Julio staying. Before the contestants leave the elimination room however Alison gives them all a proposition. She asks what they would think if no one had to go home. They all agree that would be nice, but considering it’s a game, not very likely. So Alison gives them the deal. If they group combined can lose 150 pounds, no one will go home this week. The caveat however is if they don’t there will be two people going home. The great deal suddenly doesn’t sound to good to everyone as the dreaded second week is well known for delivering very low losses, and in some cases weight gains. The group leaves the elimination room to discuss a plan for doing what they believe to be extremely hard to do. Mo works on getting the team to work together and stresses the need for a plan. He says with a proper plan their task “will be done”. He then has Daniel explain to everyone exactly what week two is all about. He explains how his first week in the previous season he lost 30 pounds, and the following week he lost only 3. So the task is daunting considering the average total they need to lose is 10 lbs a person. Jillian and Bob arrive on the scene and the information is shocking to them. So shocked in fact they claim they should almost pick ‘two to go home right now’. Still, they decide to work this to their advantage and do all they can to help the contestants. They split everyone in two and Bob takes half to train, while Jillian take the other half to discuss nutrition. They then switch groups.

Most everyone is willing to give this their best, but Dina has doubts. She is concerned since she only lost 8 pounds the week before. With the second week weigh in approaching she’s afraid she’ll lose nothing. Bob reassures her if she puts her mind to it, she will do what she has set out to do. Meanwhile Jillian has a chat with the Brown team as it seems they are taking forever when it come to make snacks or meals for the day. She shows them (commercial mode) the ease of planning and portioning out meals and snacks for the week with the aid of Ziploc storage bags (commercial mode ends). Cut to Los Robles – Medical Center. Mo is heading to the hospital to see how Tracey is doing and if she will be coming back to the ranch. He wants to relax her and let her know there is no pressure for her to return if she is not able to. He brings her team shirt and she is ecstatic. She then reveals she is being released the following day. Why end this segment on a positive note? We once again hear Shay complain how Julio is not working out at all and not motivated.

Tracey is finally released from the hospital and she is welcomed by everyone on the ranch. Mo suggests she join the game officially by putting on her team’s colored shirt. Now it’s Bobs turn to sell a product and he shows the value of the Biggest Loser Protein Powder. Commercial break just after Jillian gives her training tip of keeping a food journal.

Alison gathers the teams together for a quick lecture given by Curtis Stone. The group is told they will be quizzed on the information he gives them, but if they can answer 5 of the 8 questions correctly, they will gain a 15 lbs pass from the total weight the group needs to lose at the weigh-in. Curtis talks about various topics including portion sizes, fats & oils, salads, pastas, soda and snacking. As he finishes Alison tells them the quiz will now begin.

The first team to answer a question is the purple team. They are given a question based on portion sizes which they get correct. The Orange team is next with a question on cooking with oil. They also get their question correct. Brown team is asked a question based on eating out and they continue the winning streak. Only needing two more questions correct, the pink team is asked a question on starches which they answer correctly as well. Green team is next with only one more correct answer to go. They are asked to guess the calories in a sample of soda. Unfortunately they get the question wrong and the team still needs one more correct question to win the 15 pound advantage. The red team is next and asked a multiple choice question on desserts. They are given three choices and asked to guess the one with the least amount of calories. They decide the parfait has fewer calories than the fruit with a drizzle of chocolate sauce added; they are so wrong. One more chance to win the quiz as the blue team must answer a question on protein and snacking. The group is relieved when they get the answer correct, thus only needing 135 pounds to keep everyone safe. Instead of an average of 10 lbs per person, they only need 9. As the first hour comes to an end, Curtis Stone gives a cooking tip on snacking. He highlights the grill and gives a suggestion of putting pineapple on skewers and grilling them.

16 September, 2009

Biggest Loser Recap - S08E01 Part-2

Another interesting twist this year is there is no team Bob and team Jillian. For the first time since I’ve watched the show each contestant can work out with whichever trainer they so desire. Also, each trainer will be able to work with whichever contestant they feel like. How will this affect the rest of the series, and will they at some point be broken up, that remains to be seen.

Dina, 28 Custodian (Blue)
Married with one son at home. Her son has mentioned he would like to have a brother or sister at some point but Dina has been told she would not be able to do so because of her weight. Starting weight for Dina was 253.

Rudy, 31 Engineer (Blue)
Another contestant who has not had much screen time. I find it interesting considering he is one of the heaviest contestant, only two pounds behind the heaviest male. His weigh in was 442.

Sean, 29 Youth Pastor (Red)
Very concerned because of his weight, he may not be around long enough for his 3 year old, 1 year old and expected child to remember much about him if he ‘passes’. On the physical examination form the contestants are asked to fill out he claims to have no abnormal medical condition. He is shocked to learn and breaks down in tears when he is told he actually has type-2 diabetes. He’s embarrassed to tell his wife he has let himself get so big he never even knew he was physically ill. He is the heaviest male contestant at 444 pounds.

Antoine, 23 Health Insurance Agent (Red)
No, the irony is not lost on me that a health insurance agent would be one of the heaviest contestants. He tips the scales at 367 pounds.

Alexandra, 20 College Student (Black)
Her entire life she has been overweight. Being a college student, she is horrified she can barely squeeze into her seat for classes. She starts out at 309.

Julio, 40 Mortgage Loan Officer (Black)
During the contestant pick for teams, he is the last one chosen. He’s not sure why he was not taken earlier but his goal is to prove everyone wrong because he knows he can lose the weight he needs to. 407 is recorded as his starting weight.

Danny, 39 Musician (Brown)
A self-proclaimed rock star when he was young. He is still involved in music but wants to lose all the weight he has put on over the years. He’s got a long way to go, starting out at 430 pounds.

Liz, 49 Grandmother (Brown)
She has nine grand children and wants to become a role model for them, but finds it hard to do so considering her current 267 pound weight.

Alan, 44 EMT / Firefighter (Green)
He came in second during the mile marathon, but when Tracey collapsed in the sand he was too winded to help her. As he explains, for an EMT that’s a hard pill to swallow. Beginning weight, 325.

Abby, 35 Teacher (Green)
Surely one of the most heartbreaking stories, several years back she lost her husband, 5 ½ year old daughter and 2 week old son in a car accident. Despite that, she has found the courage to start this fantastic journey to try as hard as possible to shed some of her 247 pound weight.

For the next hour (week their time), the contestants pour on as much as they can to lose as much as they can with Bob and Jillian riding them all the way. A few did what they could to make their trainers proud, while others had a hard time coping. Shay was one who seemed to want to throw in the towel early on. Bob and Jillian were at odd over how long they should let her sulk by herself. Jillian was willing to let her give up for a full day to see if she was just trying to gain the attention. Bob was in favor of checking up on her in a few minutes. Ultimately, the decision was Shay’s who swallowed her pride and came back to the gym.

After the week long battle on the fitness camp the teams weighed in once more.
The weigh in results:
((Starting Weight / Current Weight / Pounds Lost))

Orange Team (Immune) WLP (Weight Loss Percentage) – 3.68%
Daniel – 312/300/12
Shay – 476/459/17

Green Team – 5.94%
Alan – 325/306/19
Abby – 247/232/15

Purple Team – 5.35%
Mo – 355/336/19
Tracey – Still in hospital, has not weighed in. Mo alone represented his team.

Blue Team – 5.18%
Dina – 253/245/8
Rudy – 442/414/28

Red Team – 4.93%
Sean – 444/422/22
Antoine – 367/349/18

Brown Team – 4.88%
Danny – 430/406/24
Liz – 267/257/10

Pink Team – 4.54%
Amanda – 250/244/6
Rebecca – 279/261/18

Black Team – 3.63%
Alexandra – 309/296/13
Julio – 407/394/13

With the smallest percentage lost, the black team faced elimination. But only one would be heading home. The remaining teams had to vote for either Alexandra or Julio.
Votes to send Julio home came from the Pink, Red and Orange teams. Alexandra received votes from Purple, Brown, Green and Blue. With the most votes, Alexandra was sent home in hopes she will continue to loose weight. As the show comes to the ending we see Alexandra is still continuing to lose weight and is happy to report she has less trouble fitting into her college seat now.

Biggest Loser Recap - S08E01 Part-1

A new season of Biggest Loser has begun and I have to say I’m beginning to like it more than I thought already. The big reason for this is finding out that the couples theme this year has a twist to it. I have never liked the concept of playing this game with couples, but this year, the teams are made up of complete strangers.

The series begins with the contestants on a bus. Before making it to the fitness ranch the bus stops along the beach and the contestants disembark. This is the same stretch of land where the remainder of the contestants from last year ran the marathon. No, they are not asked to run a marathon but simply a mile down the beach. The winner will win automatic immunity and get to pick his team mate, who will also win immunity for the week. The contestants are:

Danielle, 20 Student (Orange)
He was on last season of biggest loser. When he began that show he was 454 pounds but had lost only 142 of it. He is being given a second chance to continue to lose the rest of his weight. For his first weigh in of this season he is 312, so he still has a way to go. Alison allows him to keep his orange color from last season and having won the mile marathon, he is allowed to pick his partner.

Shay, 30 Social Worker (Orange)
Starting out the mile in last place, she overcame her fear of coming in last place and finished ahead of several of the other contestants. Danielle chooses Shay for his partner because she turns out to be the heaviest person who has ever played Biggest Loser weighing in at 476 pounds.

Amanda, 20 Nursing Student (Pink)
At the end of season seven, there was a vote for America between two girls, to see who would be picked as a new contestant for Biggest Loser. Amanda was the person picked and weighs in at 250 pounds.

Rebecca, 25 Nanny (Pink)
Not everyone had a spotlight last night, just to many people. Still Rebecca seems like a very nice lady and cheered on several of the other contestants when they were having a hard time running/walking the one mile on the beach. She weighs in at 279.

Mo, 56 Couch (Purple)
In his youth he went to college on a football scholarship and was involved in boxing, tack and basketball. Now he is embarrassed to train other kids because of his weight and the bad example he is setting for them. After finishing the mile he is obviously out of breath and dehydrated. He is taken to the Hospital for overnight observation. He returns to the ranch after all the teams have been picked and misses the first weigh in, though it is revealed he starts out at 355 pounds.

Tracey, 37 Homemaker (Purple)
Despite being in the Marine Corp, Tracey had really let herself go. She recalls locking herself in the bathroom with an entire bag of Oreo’s so no one would see here eat the entire bag. She collapses before she is able to finish the mile on her own power. She begins to crawl to the finish as the medical teams are trying to attend to her. She finally musters enough strength, aided by other contestants and the medical team to finish the mile. However she looks to be in serious straights and is taken by helicopter to the nearest hospital. Alison lets everyone know she is okay but is also staying at the hospital for observation. She is still there when the final weigh in is done, so her current weight is still not revealed.