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'The Biggest Loser' - 'Week Seven' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 3rd 2010 11:18AM
The Biggest Loser(S09E07) With Olympic fever finally over, we can get back to the real competition on NBC prime time: the one involving weight loss. 'The Biggest Loser' returned, dropping us right back to the last new episode, the competition between Darrell and Cheryl to stay on the Ranch.

From there, we get one of the nastier temptation challenges with the highest stakes yet. The winner of the challenge would get to divide the remaining contestants into the Blue and Black teams, as well as assigning Immunity to one player. They could even choose themselves for that latter position.

To say the winner's selections were interesting would be one of the bigger understatements of the year. Thankfully, this person was able at least to secure their own position on the Ranch into the next week, because there's no guarantee anyone else would have done so.

As with most temptation challenges, very few contestants want anything to do with pouring empty calories into their decreasing waistlines. This time around, all they knew going into it was that Alison Sweeney had hundreds of cookies on a pillar nearby and in front of them was a wall of square doors, not unlike the wall of a gym locker room. And that's all they were going to get to know before deciding if they would participate or not. Well, that and the control they would gain in the game.

In a panic that his fate might lie in someone else's hands, Michael joined Andrea as the only two contestants competing. That meant more food torture for the both of them, as it turned out most of those doors held sweetly disgusting treats. Set up like the classic board game Memory, they had to find the two matching doors with golden tickets in them. Any time they found a food match, their opponent had to eat it and they got to go again.

Andrea did well enough to pile more than 3,500 calories into Michael, but he still managed to come out on top in finding the tickets. What followed was the most lop-sided arrangement of teams I've ever seen on the show. In an attempt to look out for himself, as he explained over and over again, he filled Jillian Michaels' Black team with the smallest women left in the competition ... and Sam.

Then, he stacked Bob Harper's Blue team with the stronger, bigger guys, along with Sunshine and Miggy, before placing himself among them. Miggy only made the team over Sam, likely, because Michael had a personal bond with her. That left O'Neal as the odd man out, earning immunity for the week. He would join the first team to lose the weigh-in.

It's all fine and dandy to make bold moves to ensure your survival on the game, but there are ways to do it without coming across like a complete and total ass. Michael's division was so blatantly obvious that it alienated almost everyone on both teams. It also lit a fire under the little Black team the likes of which the Biggest Loser Ranch has possibly ever seen.

That fire wasn't enough to muscle their way to letters from home in the flag-lifting challenge, but that was to be expected. It's one thing to manage impressive numbers on the scale, but quite another to expect these women to be able to match the upper body strength of a team stacked with men. Nevertheless, Sam stepped up and tried to lead his team to victory, and it can certainly be said that the Black team showed an impressively growing bond of unity.

Their status as underdogs in the eyes of everyone must have really spurred them in their workouts as well, because while it was expected by the time we got to the weigh-in, it was still exciting to see the smaller Black team come out victorious on the scale, particularly when it came down to Stephanie and Andrea both pulling impressive numbers to catapult their team to victory. We do like our underdogs victorious, don't we?

But really, while they are underdogs in physical challenges, there was no reason to consider them necessarily so on the scales. History has shown that many smaller women have done very well in the competition, even going so far as to win it all on more than one occasion. Smaller beginning size means smaller numbers on the scale lead to bigger percentages. Michael inadvertently put a bigger burden on all of his team's bigger guys to pull double-digit numbers every week to match the six and seven pounds the women below 200 pounds can throw up there.

In a decision that only increased those numbers for next week, the Blue team ultimately eliminated their smallest member, Miggy. The strategy was to maintain strength in challenges, since O'Neal is joining the team and cannot compete. But with O'Neal's size, those numbers just went up again for the big guys. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Black team run away with the weigh-ins, even if they never win another challenge.

Lucky for Michael, he had a great week and earned himself immunity by having the highest percentage of weight loss, as his own team might have cut him to ease their burden. His 400+ pound weight certainly is keeping their weight-loss needs to succeed higher.

I was very glad to see that Miggy has been working on meditation methods to calm herself and manage her stress levels, as she is one of the most self-critical and high-strung contestants we've ever seen. Her progress is impressive at home as well, though I'm not sure how she scored a former contestant to train with for the rest of the season. That seems a bit of an advantage over those who don't get them.

We also checked in with Darrel, who looked fantastic sporting the leather jacket he was wearing when he and his wife first hooked up. With nearly 100 pounds left to go before his goal weight, it's astonishing the transformation in his face and demeanor from the moment we first met him.

[Catch up with clips and full episodes of The Biggest Loser on SlashControl.]

My Pound for Pound Challenge - Take Two

I've decided to start this whole thing over and consider the first nine weeks a wash. At 4 pounds weight loss, I kind of have to. Things were going great during the Olympic hiatus until I helped move a 200+ pound console television downstairs and outside. In the process, I slipped a disk in my lower back (a nagging old injury) and rendered my lower back and right leg unusable -- effectively ending my workout for more than a week-and-a-half.

  • Starting: 224 lb.
  • Week 1: 222 lb.
  • Week 2: 225 lb.
  • Week 3: 220 lb.
  • Week 4: 218 lb.
  • Week 5: 221 lb.
  • Week 6: 216 lb.
  • Week 7: 221 lb.
  • Week 8: 220 lb.
In that time, I learned that losing weight is apparently much harder now that I'm past 30, and that my body seems bound and determined to be at least 220 pounds. That damn number has been plaguing me for a few years now, and I'll be damned if it's going to plague me now. Healed up and with the weather warming, I'll be outside jogging and riding my bike along with my continued exercising indoors. I will make this weight-loss happen if I have to sever a limb to do so (NOTE: I will not really cut one of my limbs off).

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Denise is right about diet. You can lose weight if you diet and not exercise, but it's really hard to lose weight just by exercising. I exercised 3 hours a day and while I dropped my fat percentage, I didn't lose any weight until I joined Weight Watchers and learned portion control. The BL people exercise like 8 hours a day to lose their weight.
Try eating half or a third of what you normally eat and see how that helps you. Good luck!!

March 03 2010 at 5:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jason - what about your diet?? As we see on the show, diet is a HUGE factor in how these people lose weight. Maybe you need to look closer at your diet? Unless, of course, you know the exercise is the issue. ;-) Stick with it... and good luck!
re: the team split - I always question how these people split the teams up. I never feel that they are really thinking about what they're doing! I thought the same thing about the "weighted"(heheheh) black team not really being advantageous.
I hate the temptations, because inevitably someone will screw themselves and gorge on.. whatever they have to gorge on .. in order to get some superficial "advantage". Seems like the better advantage is to NOT undo what you've done so far and just... keep losing the weight instead of relying on team splitting and 1lb advantages and disadvantages etc. It seems to me, that if they are faithful to their program those straggling extra 1lbs/2lbs/team-splitting are hardly necessary.

March 03 2010 at 1:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent Todd

I too have started a "round 2". While there wasn't an injury for myself just busy with work, I stopped working out for dumb reasons. But in the last week I have been back at it.

I am installing a pullup bar tonight (waiting for the drill to charge) as that is one aspect of my workouts that I couldn't do but now can.

To keep things more fun I recommend trying to do "spartan workouts". Come up with 5-10 exercises and do each one for a minute straight. Take 15 seconds rest between exercises, and then a full minute in between sets. These not only get your heart racing, but are a lot of fun as well. There's an app for the iphone that will do the interval aspect for you and that has helped me a lot.

March 03 2010 at 12:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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