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'The Biggest Loser: Couples' Season 11, Episode 19 Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted May 11th 2011 6:40AM
The Final Five, 'The Biggest Loser'['The Biggest Loser: Couples 4' - 'Week Nineteen']

It was back to two-hour shows this week, and just in time. I don't think they could have covered five rounds of "exams," two challenges and a weigh-in this week in just one hour. That's right, Alison Sweeney announced that this was Final Exams week.

The contestants would be subjected to one test for each of the trainers, and then a final test with Alison. It was Spinning with Bob, Health and Wellness with Brett, Boxing with Cara, and Motivation with Jillian. Alison's test was a surprise for later.

The tests were to win a $10,000 prize, but it was a one-pound advantage at the weigh-in on the line in the physically brutal challenge of the week.

After nobody went home last week, and with the Final Four looming next week, our five remaining finalists gave it their all this week, and it showed impressively on the scale. Truly, this is anyone's game to win ... or lose.

After two weeks where we barely had time to watch someone get yelled at by Jillian or get called a fighter by Cara, it was nice for each of the trainers to get a little screen time. Bob was probably the toughest teacher, while Brett looked the most like one. It took me back to college looking at him in that snazzy suit coat and those glasses.

Once again, Hannah and Olivia proved themselves to be real threats in this game. In fact, after the final test with Alison, she revealed that there was only a three-point difference between the sisters for first and second place.

As for that last challenge, while it was a pretty blatant product placement for the new 'Biggest Loser' X-BOX game, I have to admit it was pretty effective. It certainly made it look like a good tool for a weight-loss program at home.

In the next challenge, Olivia again proved herself strong and up to any task. Hannah's old back injury was apparently what slowed her down, leaving it between Austin and Olivia. It was more than impressive that at 35 years old, and a fraction of his physical size, Olivia could stay right with the 21-year old Austin throughout a grueling sandbag stacking and moving competition. However, he did win in the end.

I can't help it. As much as I like Jay and Austin, I'm rooting for Team Purple to make it into the finals as well, and I'd love to see one of them win it. I love Jay, but he's been given three chances and there's something so inspiring about watching those girls blossom on the show into strong and beautiful women.

Their progress, both external and internal, has been astonishing. As impressive as Irene has been on the scale and in the competition in general, I don't see that same emotional growth from her. In fact, she's kind of slipped off my radar these past few weeks, though she's clearly been working just as hard as ever.

When we got to the weigh-in, I expected the exact opposite of what we got when Alison presented a choice to the winners of this week's competitions. Olivia could give up $10,000 for a one-pound advantage. Austin could give up his one-pound advantage for $10,000.

I felt for sure they would both switch. Olivia fought so hard for a one-pound advantage against Austin and it would make a huge difference for her on the scale. These girls just aren't that big any more. On the opposite end, Austin seemed to think he wouldn't need that pound as he's been giving consistently big numbers. But they both stuck to their original prizes.

And then, with Hannah pushing closer below that yellow line after her weigh-in, Olivia's worst fear was realized. If she'd taken the pound, she would have placed above Irene, assuring that she would not fall below the yellow line with her sister.

Luckily for them --- though not for him, obviously -- something went horribly wrong with Austin's weight loss this week. He only lost one pound. And with impressive results from the other four, his one-pound advantage did nothing to help him.

He didn't stand a chance against Hannah. Olivia wouldn't vote off her sister. Irene was as close as sisters with the Purple Team, and Hannah was instrumental in bringing Jay back to the Ranch. He knew it the second he saw that "-1," and so did we.

Maybe Austin reached his goal weight, or nearly so. Either way, he was right in saying that he arrived as a broken boy and left as a man with a bright future.

Who do you think will win this season of 'The Biggest Loser'?
Hannah Curlee374 (18.8%)
Irene Alvarado484 (24.3%)
Jay Jacobs394 (19.8%)
Olivia Ward738 (37.1%)

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

[Follow Jason on Twitter.]

Watch the full episode here:

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This is turning out to be the worst season ever of TBL.
Last seasons, gameplay made me wanna change the channel, but I didn't because there where always interesting people struggling above all odds to win it all. This season is just... bad.
Since day one the whole show has been made around the Jillian-Bob team and then about the annoying team Purple. It is just shameful how they stuff us with about 20-30 minutes of Hannah and Olivia eternal yammering, and about 10-15 of whoever's left. Irene for instance probably has got less segments on the first 15 episodes than Hannah in half that time, it's unnerving.

I seriously hope Irene goes to wins the America's vote to kicks one of the sisters and then destroy the other one in the final, just so that NBC can finally get that we are freaking tired of the "The Purple Team's Talk Show" that the Biggest Loser has become. Otherwise, together with Jillian, me and pretty much a great piece of the audience will just say goodbye to the show.

May 15 2011 at 4:39 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

i think Irene might take it. if she doesn't fall below next week, because if she does she won't get voted in the top three since she doesn't have an emotional connection with the audience, she technically is still overweight and has more weight to lose. the sisters are at their goal weights. not to mention, Irene is already the biggest loser... if the game ended last night, she would be taking home the $250K. don't count her out; she's a dark horse in this game.

May 11 2011 at 9:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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