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August 29, 2015

The Biggest Loser: Week Five

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 14th 2009 2:31AM
The Biggest Loser (Alison Sweeney, Bob Harper, Jillian Michaels)(S08E05) It's been a lot of fun seeing Bob and Jillian working together to help everyone on the Ranch lose weight and become better people. It was a good idea to pair up these total strangers as teams of two, so that they could develop a personal support structure. Everyone was in a good and happy place, and things were moving along.

Everyone except for Tracey. It is amazing how soundly she is despised in this game by nearly everyone there.

But still ... one big happy family, right? Wrong! This week everything we thought we knew about this season was thrown out the window, and once again a single contestant was given ultimate power in how the new face of The Biggest Loser would play out. At least until they change it again.

How funny was it that everybody was talking about how the wind changed and there was a strange feeling in the air when Tracey stepped up to the wheel in the Temptation Challenge this week. Even stranger that on her first spin she gained the control I was talking about. My wife and I joked that maybe she's a witch ... but maybe it's not a joke.

As I said, everything was set to change this week. Gone were the teams of two and back were Blue Team and Black Team from seasons past. Team Bob and Team Jillian would once again face off at the Weigh-Ins. What Tracey won was the ability to determine which team everybody in the game would be on, and then choose their trainers for them. In the three chances for control in the game, the one person who hasn't worked out at all yet has won.

And yes, the Tracey-hate continued in full force. Primarily because, other than her own Purple Team, with Coach Mo, and Orange Teams Daniel and Shay, she split up every single team there, ripping them apart from the support structure they'd built over the past month.

As with the last time she had control, it was pure strategy for Tracey's gain. She kept saying in her interviews, "Can't they see how badly I want to be here?" What she's missing out on is the social aspect of the game. Yes, you should build a strong team and yes you should fight to stay there, but if you piss off everyone in the game, your ass will be going home the first chance you get.

At the weigh-in, it was looking grim for Jillian's Black Team; it was looking like Tracey had built her team the right way. She hand-picked the strongest members of each team for Blue and got rid of both Daniel and Shay. As I indicated last week, they hadn't been putting up the numbers they needed week in and week out.

But in a dramatic turnaround, and after a slow start by the Black Team at the weigh-in, it was the impressive weight-loss of Daniel and Shay that sent Team Blue to the elimination chamber. First Danny dropped ten, then Daniel upped that number by shedding eleven. But Shay stunned everyone by throwing up a huge 16 on the scale, sealing Black's fate. And seemingly sealing Tracey's fate.

Or at least, you'd think so. Poor Coach Mo, who has stood by Tracey's side through all her crazy decisions, has been plagued with injuries and pulled in the lowest number on his team. So, like a team player, he threw himself on the sword and convinced everyone that what they needed was for the team to be strong. Getting rid of Tracey might be good for morale, but keeping Mo would only increase their chances of facing elimination the following week.

Liz really came out of her shell this week, primarily for what she feels is righteous retribution against Tracey for tearing her and Danny apart, along with everyone else. Her plan is to be sweet and kind and then stab Tracey right in the back. But, not this week apparently.

I think, as Amanda learned, switching things up doesn't have to be the end of the world. Team Black was devastated and felt that they were real underdogs in the competition, but they learned that you're only as much of an underdog as you allow yourself to be put in that role. You're as great as you want to be. I was thrilled to see Shay step it up and earn her stay, and happy to see Daniel continue his amazing journey.

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I could deal with "Trazey" if she was actually interesting to watch.

She's not. Her craziness is actually pretty predictable at this point, and all it serves to do is create awkward and "pseudo-dramatic" moments that the producers milk for all its worth. She's a distraction to everything else...

(Like the fact that Daniel and Shay pulled those huge numbers because they had immunity last week and water-loaded. No one remembers that... not even Shay... so suddenly 27 pounds between them sounds like they worked super hard. They were game-playing as much as everyone.)

I thought the Dina step story was far more compelling. The best trainers in the world couldn't get a totally capable young woman to jump two feet in the air. If it weren't for the fact that she's such a psychological wreck, it would have been hilarious.

October 14 2009 at 12:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

the ending was so soap opera-ish but i am sad to see Coach Mo go away and Trazey stay. she is a witch. other than that, no real surprises. i knew black and blue was coming back and i knew Shay had to pull a big number after stalling for two weeks.

October 14 2009 at 9:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Go Trazey! She's one of the most compelling characters on TV right now...including scripted shows.

October 14 2009 at 9:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Coach Mo was right in what he said but so wrong to go. His personality will be missed as will his leadership by perseverance. I am sure they will switch this up again. I like the team concept because it truly means everyone gihting for themselves as part of a larger group than just a duo. Shay cannot keep the pace.

October 14 2009 at 3:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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