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August 31, 2015

'The Biggest Loser' Season 11, Episode 15 Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 13th 2011 7:20AM
Jillian Michaels, 'The Biggest Loser' - 'Week Fifteen'['The Biggest Loser' - 'Week Fifteen']

Before the contestants even got a chance to recover from the "double" elimination last week when Brett was sent packing right behind Courtney, Alison Sweeney hit them with a bombshell.

For the next two weeks, 'The Biggest Loser: Couples' is relocating to Auckland, New Zealand. It's a huge trip and a very exciting opportunity for the contestants, but also a very daunting and frightening situation.

Travel wreaks havoc on weight-loss regimens, particularly if you're going to the opposite end of the world where your sleep schedule is going to have to be rewired. As expected, we saw some very interesting numbers on the scale, but the tension started long before that, as one contestant confronted his trainer for what he perceived as a lack of skill or effort.

Cara was already having a rough time dealing with Brett's surprise "firing" from the Ranch. The two of them joined the show together this season, and for much of it were paired up against Bob and Jillian.

With Jillian leaving next season, it could be seen as a trial-by-fire to see which of them might replace her. But there's no indication either of them is a lock for Season 12. So Cara has to go into every day like she's here to prove herself, and based on recent weigh-in numbers, she hasn't been really doing that.

Yes, Brett came in dead last three weeks in a row, but Cara's team hasn't fared much better. In some cases, Bob and Jillian have each doubled her weight-loss percentages with their teams, and apparently I'm not the only one to notice.

Cara Castronuova, 'The Biggest Loser' - 'Week Fifteen'Ken called her out on what he saw as her being inadequate. Cara wasn't pushing him hard enough, he told her, or properly accommodating his injuries. Understandably, she took this personally and wound up shouting at Ken and crying that she was passionate and had given everything she had to him.

Maybe not getting to work with Bob and Jillian had him a little jealous of those who had. "I feel like those two individuals have a level of expertise that maybe nobody else has because they've been doing this game for as long as they have," he told Cara.

So Cara vowed to give him the attention he wanted, and show him that he was in good hands. "This is my chance to prove that I am just as good as Bob and Jillian," she said in a confessional later. As good as her word, she pulled Ken aside twice (that we saw) and gave him special attention, though we're not sure why she didn't give the whole Green Team that kind of attention -- especially during the last chance workout.

Trainer drama aside, New Zealand was absolutely breathtaking. The contestants got to enjoy the view from a wonderful hilltop and then from the top of Sky Tower, the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere.

Ken took center stage there as well, and maybe it was this earlier experience that gave him the cajones to stand up to Cara like he did. A fear of heights turned out to be something he shared with Bob Harper, so the two of them made a reluctant pact that they would both take the bungee line down from the top of the tower.

In fact, everyone was able to enjoy this experience, except for three of the guys. Moses and Rulon are still too heavy, while Jay's heart condition made it too risky for him. Cara also didn't make the drop (at least, not that we saw). But according to the previews for next week, she'll get her chance to face any heights-based fears she may have.

'The Biggest Loser' - 'Week Fifteen'The challenge saw the contestants facing their third 5k of the season, only this one was on the natural terrain of New Zealand and included running along a creek bed and climbing up a massive sand dune. Ken struggled on the dune, allowing the Blue Team to surpass them and claim total victory. But in a moment of kindness, the girls of Team Blue gave their part of the prize to Kaylee so she could share it with her father, Moses.

Moses' father was chosen from his family in Tonga to go to Auckland as a young man and get an education. It was this experience that led to him making his way to America and allowing Moses and Kaylee the opportunities they've had in their own lives. So New Zealand is a place of special meaning for both of them, and it was a very warm moment for them to share a reward together there.

At the weigh-in, Cara's hard work with Ken paid off: He and his son both had a good week. But Kaylee was one of three contestants to lose no weight. She gained four, while Jay went up two and Moses didn't lose or gain. Luckily, the three were split among the three teams, so at least each team could register a team loss of weight.

Bob's team came in the lowest, and once again a parent threw themselves under the bus. With Irene earning individual immunity, it was down to Moses and Olivia. Olivia spoke of wanting to start a family and, at 35 years old, needing to get this weight issue fixed now. Moses asked everyone to send him home, and they did. But isn't Olivia much closer to her goal weight than Moses is?

Cara saw the Green Team win at the weigh-in as a vindication of herself, but I'm not so sure. We saw Bob and Jillian take on Austin and Kaylee when she had her fight with Ken. Then at the last chance workout, Jillian led a calisthenics warm-up followed by a Bob-led yoga session. So her Green Team was worked out by Bob and Jillian, except for the extra time she spent with Ken. How exactly did she prove herself?

As for Moses, he took another trip to New Zealand with his father after he got home, and opted for a bungee drop off the Auckland Bridge rather than the Sky Tower. He says he'll come back to do that later.

'The Biggest Loser' airs Tuesdays, 8PM ET on NBC.

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Gee, Bob and Jillian were newbies at this thing one time too so folks, cut Cara some slack. And yes, Jillian AND Bob have both lost it on contestants and both have cried and both have "lost their fool minds" and one time or another over the numerous seasons of the show. You also have to note that these "experts" had to change up their game because so many former contestants regained a significant amount of weight after the show ended. They began to teach more about the process and for a while at least less gamesmanship. They weren't perfect in the beginning but became better and they sure as heck didn't team up in the early days - they were so "team proud" and competitive for the first few seasons for sure. Especially Bob since Jillian's team members kept winning.

April 13 2011 at 7:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John T

I was really disappointed to see Cara lose her cool with Ken. Jillian has confrontations and screams too, but you never feels like she coming unhinged like Cara did. it might have helped if Ken hadn't used the word 'expertise'. That might have sounded to her as if he thought she was unqualified as a trainer. Even so, the defensiveness, the insecurity, the 'me vs. Bob and Jillian' attitude makes me worry about future seasons if she comes back.

April 13 2011 at 2:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BL Fan

I really want to like Cara but she comes across as having as many insecurities as some of the contestants. Plus, she doesn't come off as a "fighter" as much as just obnoxiously confrontational.

Bob has said online that he and Jillian combined their teams during the weekly workouts and it obviously paid off. I don't know if it was ego or what that splintered the other two trainers from doing the same but Ken's accusation of her being less effective as a result of being inexperienced at the GAME isn't without merit. Unfortunately, instead of taking it the way it was intended, she went back to, "All of them against poor little me," mode and completely missed the point.

She could also learn a thing or two from Bob and Jillian about maintaining professional behavior in the confessional as well.

April 13 2011 at 12:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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