15 November, 2011

Biggest Loser S12E09 - What Kind of School Do You Teach?

Alison Sweeney greets the contestants and informs them they are finally going to singles and the yellow line will be greeting them at the weigh in this week. But that isn't what's going to make the week so hard. This week will be five times as hard as they will be competing in a pentathlon. There is going to be five challenges during the week at which point they will all score points. At the end of the week, whoever scores the most points wins immunity, and the person with the least points will have a one pound disadvantage on the scale.

Challenge One - Merit
Each contestants goes into a 'voting booth' and chooses who they think deserves to be the biggest loser, from the most deserving to the least deserving. However, the results of this first challenge are going to be hidden till the end of the week. John realizes this event is more like a popularity contest, just like High School, and he was never popular in High School.

Challenge Two - Survival
For the second challenge, the contestants are brought out to the tennis courts. But there is no net or balls in sight. Instead, at one end of the court each contestant has three pegs sitting on a stand, at the far end are peg covers. When Alison gives the word, they will each run over and grab a cover, run back and cover one of the others pegs. Once all three pegs are covered, the corresponding contestant is out of the competition. The last person with a peg bare, will win the challenge and the most points. Points will the be awarded in order of who was last standing.
The results are: Sunny-7, Becky-6, Antone-5, Bonnie-4, Vinny-3, John-2, Ramon-1,

Challenge Three - Knowledge
7 trivia questions are going to be asked the contestants. If they can answer all 7 correctly, they will win 7 points. If they answer none of the questions right, they will win 0. Becky, being a math teacher hopes there is a question involving math as she'll have an advantage. Bonnie is confident as she's much older and should have more knowledge than the rest. One of the questions is "How many calories must a person cut out daily to lose 1 pound a week?" As the average person knows, one pound equals 3500 calories. So essentially the question is, "What is 3500 divided by 7?" The answer of course is 500 calories. Just about everyone has the correct answer to this math problem, but Becky. Right away Alison asks Becky what kind of school she teaches. Becky admits she's lost her mind.
Results: Antone-6, Vinny-4, Ramon-3, Bonnie-3, Becky-3, John-2, Sunny-1
Total: Antone-11, Becky-9, Sunny-8, Bonnie-7, Vinny-7, John-4, Ramon-4

Challenge Four - Strength & Balance
The next challenge takes place in the pool. Ropes are strung across the length of the pool and the contestants must use the ropes to pull themselves along as quickly as possible while trying to balance on a floatation device. Winner is the quickest person to do so, those who fall off will be judged by how far they go. Bonnie barely gets situated before she immediately falls off.
Results: Sunny 1:24(7), Joe 2:01(6), Vinny 2:08(5), Antone 2:09(4), Becky 2:10 (3), Ramon 2:29(2), Bonnie 2.1m(1)
Total: Antone-15, Sunny-15, Becky-12, Vinny-12, John-10, Bonnie-8, Ramon-6

Challenge Five - Speed
For the final challenge, they will be running another mile, as they did the first day. This time, they are more fit and able to do so without much difficulty, with the exception of Bonnie who only makes half way before the rest finish. To show their support for her, the rest of the contestants run out and walk her in the rest of the way. Points will be awarded according when they finish the mile.
Results: Ramon-7, John-6, Sunny-5, Antone-4, Becky-3, Vinny-2, Bonnie-1
Total: Sunny-20, Antone-19, John-16, Becky-15, Vinny-14, Ramon-13, Bonnie-9

With 20 points, Sunny is currently in first place. But the results of the first challenge have yet to be awarded, and will be done at the weigh in.

Weigh In
First Challenge Results:
Antone-7, Becky-7, Sunny-5, Bonnie-4, Ramon-4, Vinny-4, John-1
Final Results: Antone-26 (immunity), Sunny-25, Becky-22, Vinny-18, John-17, Ramon-17, Bonnie-13 (one pound weight disadvantage).

Antone -9 - "I feel fantastic about 9 pounds"
Sunny - 9 4.17% - "You know I was worried about the Pentathlon"
Vinny - 10 2.9% - "That's three weeks in a row in double digits."
John - 9 2.82% - "Nine is fine."
Ramon - 7 2.5% - "That's what I want, right there."
Becky - 4 2.15% - "Four pounds is really not a bad number."
Bonnie -5 (4) - 1.88% - "I just want to say to every body. If you believe you can achieve."

The choice for the night is between Becky and Bonnie, but Bonnie makes things easier when she essentially falls on the sword for Becky. She wouldn't feel right staying on the Biggest Loser ranch, knowing Becky was sent home. She asks for everyone to vote for her and they all comply. By the finale, Bonnie's goal is to weigh 160 pounds.

08 November, 2011

Biggest Loser S12E08 - It's Never Good When You're Here, Alison

Ramon is heartbroken and upset his team helped vote out Jessica. John tries to explain how she was a threat and needed to go. Right away, Vinny comes to Ramon's side and says he hates Johns thinking. Bonnie looks bewildered knowing it was her who 'should' have gone home. Joe add his two cents, but it just makes Ramon madder. He asks to talk to Ramon later, but Ramon is not having it. Joe suddenly realizes they are in a divided house. Ramon realizes this also and knows he can't trust Joe any more. Vinny and Ramon then discuss how Joe may have made the biggest mistake of his game.

Before the trainers go in to talk to their teams, Alison meets them to discuss how things are going to operate for the week. This week each team is going to have only one person represent them at the weigh in. Only their weight is going to count. And the decision of who is going to represent each team will be decided on by the trainers. Bob, who loves the show but hates the game, hates this new twist.

Dolvett is worried because if his team doesn't win, the person he has picked is going to automatically go home. He's torn between picking John or Bonnie. He knows John puts up big numbers on the scale, so he's worried this could be a plateau week. As he ponders who he's going to choose he has a chat with Bonnie. He reminds her the best wegiht lost she's had so far is seven pounds. He challenges her to do better this week. He inspires her by letting her know no one (including herself) expects her to pass that number and he wants her to prove them wrong.

Anna focuses her attention on Sunny who instead of being happy after a big weight loss, isn't very happy. Sunny mentions how tired she is, so Anna hopes she can push her to have another weight loss this week. As she's doing that, Bob is talking with Becky and trying to figure out what driving her. She blames a lot of her weight gain on her father, even though she knows it's truly her own fault. Bob has Becky tell him all the good points about herself. When she's finished, he tells her how glad he is she's on his team.

Another interesting thing takes place at the next challenge, the trainers are going to be able to help their teams. The teams will be playing a sort of 'Top Chef' type game where they are given a set of ingredients and must make a healthy and tasty meal. There will be two guest judges for the contest, Olivia (@BL11Olivia) - the winner of last season's Biggest Loser and Chef Devin Alexander (@ChefDevin), the author of every Biggest Loser cook-book. The prize for winning will be several things. Olivia will sit down with the group, giving them the opportunity to question a former winner. Chef Devin will include the winning teams recipe in her newest Biggest Loser cookbook. The final thing teams win, will be a one pound weight advantage.

Before the challenge begins, the teams are given five minutes to discus what they are going to work on. After which, the teams set out immediately, given 30 minutes to come up with a winning dish. Bob helps the team as they go 'shopping' for the ingredients they are going to use. Antone is excited, as this is a great challenge for him. He's been in the restaurant business for the past five years so he thinks this is going to be an easy task. All being from the South, their dish is going to be a 'Slimmer, Summer Slaw'.

The blue team are worried, as none of them are great at cooking. They ultimately decide to work on a 'No mess, Tex Mex lettuce fajitas with chicken'. Sunny is happy to help work on a low calorie version of a Tex Mex they would normally make with beef with no trimmed fat.

Dolvett and his team are making a 'London Bridge' with asparagus tips. Dolvett explains the name, it's a dish "bridging the gap between bad eating and good eating". Having worked in the kitchen since he was five years old, Dolvett is very excited. After the last ten minutes start to tick away, he's worried they may not have cooked the meat long enough. Bonnie isn't so certain either but knows her son and grandson likes to eat their meat as raw as theirs are.

Once the time has drawn out, Alison takes the food out to the judges. There is a monitor in the kitchen which will allow the teams to see the reaction of the judges as they try each dish. They start with the 'London Bridge' and Olivia loves the colors but Devin is unimpressed with how rare it is. Olivia takes a closer listen to the plaste and thinks she can hear the meat still moving. From the kitchen, Vinny exclaims "♫London Bridge is Falling Down.♪" In the end, Olivia thinks the sweet potatoes with ginger are the star of the plate.
Calories - 440 / Fat - 9g

Judges take a look at the Tex Mex next. Devin likes how they seasoned the chicken directly, before cooking. Something some people fail to do. She also likes the grilled tortilla chips, giving them extra points. Both judges are wowed by the size of the plate for the limited calories.
Calories - 300 / Fat - 11g

The final entrée is the black teams Slimmer Summer Slaw with Pork Medallions. Olivia likes how it looks right away, thinking it does not look like diet food. Devin thinks they cooked the pork perfectly, but does not like the cranberry chutney and thinks it does not compliment the 'Asian Slaw' well enough.
Calories -210 / Fat - 7g

Taking into account, the taste, the calories and the effectiveness as a Biggest Loser themed dish, the judges unanimously decide on a winner. Olivia says it was a hard decision, but declares the Slimmer Summer Slaw the winner, Bob's black team wins again. The next day Olivia sits down for lunch with the black team and has a special prize for them. She's contacted their family and they each have a special scrap-book prepared for them to help encourage them.

A few of the contestants next meet with Dr. Huizenga who has brought in David Linden, a brain scientist from 'John Hopkins'. He studies and has a video prepared which explains how food affects the pleasure center of the brain. The video illustrates how a lean person when seeing or smelling food has a nominal release of a neurotransmitter Dopamine, triggering a slight desire for the food item. But an obese person has a much bigger release, triggering a larger craving for the food. But when the lean person eats the food item, the pleasure center gets a strong response from Dopamine and the obese person gets a smaller reaction, which drives him to eat more of the food.

Weigh in.
Earlier in the episode, Alison gave the trainers the job of picking only one person to represent each team. Now has come the time for each of them to do so. Bob chooses Becky,
Anna chooses Joe and Dolvett goes with John.

Red Team
Bonnie - 8 - 3.62% - "Becky, I'm in the teens!"
John - 10 - 3.04% - "I'm not happy at all. I completely let the red team down. In my eyes, I have failed."
Total - 3.04%

Black Team
Antone - 5 - 1.42% - "Who get's a five when you're six pounds away from 100?"
Vinny - 10 - 2.82% - "That's huge, I feel great."
Becky - 6 - 3.65% - "It kinda seemed like a 'Mission Impossible' for the black team but you know the black team has a few good men and one good woman."
Total - 3.65%* With the one pound advantage won earlier in the episode.

Blue Team
Sunny - 2 - .92% - "I'm glad Anna didn't choose me."
Ramon - 6 - 2.10% - "I'm glad she didn't pick me."
Joe - 2 - .74% - "I don't know what happened. I was doing my exercises and getting my burn."
Total - .74%

Vinny - Joe - Reason: Had to write down Joe's name.
Bonnie - Joe - Reason: Close to Sunny and "Us girls are trying to stick together".
Antone - Joe - Reason: Question of loyalty. Joe being leader of blue team deserves to go home.

Joe is floored by Antone's vote and hurt Vinny voted for him, despite their friendship. Since beginning the Biggest Loser, Joe has gone from 348 to 230 pounds. He can now ride the rollar coaster with his daughter at Dollywood.

"I don't go home a different man, I go home a better man."

01 November, 2011

Biggest Loser S12E07 - Would You Like Cheese With Your Whine?

Piggy-backing from last weeks episode, Alison tells the contestants to wear the same shirts they did the first week, before the teams were chosen. The contestants are freaking out expecting a team shake up. Meeting Alison the next day, the group are surprised to see three flags representing the three trainers. Immediately Alison has everyone line up according to age. She has the three on the far left step aside and the three on the far right step aside. Contestants are giddy to realize the teams have not been broken up that much, till Alison drops the bomb these are NOT the new teams. They will be grouped this way for the next challenge only, which will determine the makeup of the new teams. Each new group is given three dishes, a favorite dish of each individual. The person who comes the closes to guessing the calories in all three dishes gets to chose which trainer they want. The next person then picks one of the two remaining trainers and the person furthest off, gets whatever trainer is left. None of the contestants are very happy about the teams being mixed up.

The first group is Ramon, Jessica and Vinny. Jessica's dinner is revealed to be Chicken Caesar Salad with extra Caesar dressing and lots of bread. Ramon's meal is 12 tacos and 2 burritos. Vinny's meal of choice is a country breakfast consisting of eggs, bacon, hash-browns and featuring chocolate gravy and biscuits. Ramon has 1747 calories in his meal, Jessica's meal has 2249 calories and Vinny a total of 3100; for a grand total of 7096. Jessica guesses 6200 for all three, Ramon 2570 and Vinny 9000. With Jessica guessing the closest, she picks Dolvett. Vinny is next and chooses Bob, leaving Anna for Ramon. Ramon is less than pleased. He says he doesn't want to be with Anna, he doesn't even want to speak to her, and now he has to.

The next group is Antone, Sunny and John. Antone's meal is a large cheeseburger and fries. John has three double patty cheeseburger, though slightly altered because he never wanted the fast food cashier to realize they were all for him. Sunny's meal is salsa and chips followed by two cheese enchiladas with Spanish rice and refried beans. Antone's meal contains 2165 calories, John's has 2512 and Sunny a whopping 4162 for a total on the table of 8839 calories. Antone guesses 7000 for the table, Sunny figures 6500 and John comes up with 5720. Antone comes the closest and picks Bob, Sunny is second closest and decides to go with Anna, despite knowing Dolvett is a great guy and knows how to motivate his team. But Sunny realizes Anna has "a great body" and must definitely know how to keep it that way. No say in the matter, John is now on Dolvett's team.

The last group is starts off with a reveal of a large pepperoni pizza as Becky's favorite meal. She says never having another piece of pizza is unrealistic but she now knows more about portion control and eating an entire pizza is now out of the question. Bonnie has two veal cutlets with baked mac-n-cheese. Joe has an Italian sampler meal complete with spaghetti, meatballs, lasagna Caesar salad and garlic bread. John admits this feast was at some times consumed on a weekly basis. Bonnie's meal totals 1793, Becky 2640 and Joe 2975. The grand total of calories for the older team is 7408. Joe guesses 8580 for the total calories, Becky goes with 6850 and Bonnie decides on 9114. Becky comes the closest and decides to start training with Bob. Joe is next and decides to try Anna, leaving Bonnie to train with Dolvett. Though she's received her trainer last, she seems to be the happiest with her new trainer. Everyone else is busy complaining.

The new teams:
Bob (Black) Vinny, Antone, Becky
Dolvett (Red) Jessica, John, Bonnie
Anna (Blue) Ramon, Sunny, Joe

Anna decides to visit her new blue team. Ramon is upset with her for calling him out while still on the scale. He thinks she should have taken him aside if she had something to say. Anna explains herself but Ramon still feels she handled the situation wrong and assures her he's focused on his own health and not solely on Jessica. Joe talks about how upset he is he's no longer with Bob and Anna is shocked they are so hung up on the new situation. She tries to explain to her new team they need to be less reliant on the trainers and more focused on what they can do, as the trainers are only giving them direction, they are doing the work. Before coming to the ranch, they were addicted to food and now they seem to be addicted to their favorite trainer. Joe is still moping so Anna says it's like someone took his favorite toy away and needs to start acting like a man and get tough and stop crying. Joe does not take kindly to the comparison. Anna finally leaves and tensions couldn't be higher.

While that's going on, Bob is in the gym with his new team, already training. As the red team enters, John breaks down and hugs Bob telling him he's going to miss him. Bob reassures him things are going to be fine. Finally the blue team show up, each discussing how much they actually hate tennis. They see Anna is already waiting for them outside the gym.

In-between workouts with the trainers, Alison has a challenge for all three new teams. In the "Slip N Slide" challenge, teams send one person at a time down a giant lawn, water slide. At the end of the slide they pick up a cube with lettering on it. The lettering from all cubes spell out one of three prizes. The first team to slide down, pick up a letter and run back uphill and correctly spell out whichever prize they are shooting for, will win that prize. The prizes are immunity for one team member, a weight advantage or money. The blue team immediately notice the word 'immunity' is forming one on side of the cubes and start shooting for that prize. The red team notice a dollar sign and opt to shoot for the money prize. It's a close race at the end as the blue team are trying to unscramble the immunity prize as Antone is running back up with the last piece for their prize. But the blue team finally solve the problem and win the prize. But the immunity prize is good for only one person on the team. They decide the easiest way to decide who to give the prize to is by playing 'Rock / Paper / Scissors'. Joe beats Ramon and Sunny and now has immunity at this weeks weigh-in.

Red Team
Bonnie - 7 "I'm happy world, I'm thrilled to death."
Jessica - 8 "I feel pretty good about losing eight pounds."
John - 15 "Very happy with that, very happy. Even happy enough for a little silent dance party." Does a dance.
Total 30 - 3.84%

Black Team
Vinny - 12 "It's the highest number I've got since the first week."
Becky - 11 "I'm almost speechless. I have made it to wonderland."
Antone - 16 "It feels good, it feels real good."
Total 39 - 4.15%

Blue Team
Sunny - 9 "Oh yes, yes, yes, yes. It's my destiny to be with Anna."
Ramon - 16 "Anna, little Miss Blondie kicking my butt. I love it."
Joe - 15 "I've gotta thank Anna. She absolutely killed us this week in the gym."
Total 40 - 4.91%

The lowest percentage of weight loss is the red team and John is the biggest loser on his team so the targets this week will be either Jessica or Bonnie. Ramon is very worried as he doesn't want to lose the love of his life.

Ramon - Bonnie - Reason: Not voting for the woman he's going to pend the rest of his life with.
Becky - Jessica - Reason: Bonnie did not vote for Becky when she could have.
Vinny - Bonnie - Reason: Knows she's strong enough to do it at home.
Antone - Jessica - Reason: Look at what he sees and has seen Bonnie open up.
Sunny - Jessica - Reason: Come marathon time, Jessica will take it. Bonnie is just starting her journey.
Joe - Jessica - Reason: Bonnie has blossomed this week, but voting whats best for the team.

Ramon hates what has happened, but Jessica says she holds no hard feelings and she'll see everyone in a few week. Since her journey began at the ranch she's gone from weighing 254 pounds to 185. She is determined to win the marathon and earn a spot as a finalist.