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July 31, 2014

The Biggest Loser

'The Biggest Loser' - 'Week Fifteen' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 28th 2010 8:42AM
Daris George, 'The Biggest Loser: Couples 3'(S09E15) With the elimination of Victoria last week, it was suddenly two teams of two versus three teams of one. Looking at those numbers, if those teams of two united, the solo acts would be in trouble. Seven contestants left. It doesn't matter if you're best friends in the whole wide world. When you're this close to the end, you play the game.

That's exactly what the contestants started doing this week, in a way more transparent than we've seen all season. Unfortunately, in that same week they had to leave the comfort of routine at the 'Biggest Loser' ranch and head for the dude ranches of Texas. Alison Sweeney informed us that five of the fattest cities in America are in Texas, which means they need some motivation.

In honor of those five cities, that motivation comes in the form of a 5k run the contestants will be doing with groups of Texans rallied through the radio. Get through that, corral some calves and get ready for a weigh-in where the temperature is only 34 degrees. Everything's ... colder in Texas?

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'The Biggest Loser' - 'Week Fourteen' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 21st 2010 8:36AM
(S09E14) Half of the remaining contestants in the house will make up the Final Four, and the other half will be going home. Want to know how I know that? Because Bob explained the math to me. That Bob Harper, he's not only a trainer, but he's clearly an advanced mathematician as well.

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'The Biggest Loser' - 'Week Thirteen' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 14th 2010 3:03AM
Danny Cahill, 'The Biggest Loser 8'(S09E13) Danny Cahill, who won last season of 'The Biggest Loser,' was so much fun to watch on his journey to success. Who better to come and inspire the current batch of contestants? He was joined by CNBC's Suze Orman, who came back to offer financial advice to the contestants, or at least that's what we were led to believe.

In truth, she did little more than ask a couple of them how in debt they were, and then made her prediction as to who would win based on various financial factors she knew about them. She made a last minute change to her pick based on a revelation one of the contestants made right there.

I remember last year her talking about the financial burden of being overweight, and really getting into some real discussion, but this time she had virtually nothing to say. Maybe they saved all the good stuff for her CNBC show this weekend; which would mean her appearance was little more than another blatant 'Biggest Loser' commercial.

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'The Biggest Loser' - 'Week Twelve' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 7th 2010 11:15AM
Jillian Michaels, 'The Biggest Loser'(S09E12) Is there any point in saying it was a crazy week in the house anymore? The producers seem determined to make every week more intense and stressful than the week before, and that's exactly what happened.

Right off the bat, Alison Sweeney announced that contestants would have a chance throughout the week to earn immunity. They stuck a button in the middle of the gym. The first person to hit the button opened the scale. If they lost at least 2% of their total body weight, immunity was theirs. If they didn't, they were out of the hunt for that week.

Right away, the queen of gameplay, Melissa, was gunning for that button. With no allies in the house, she would need it to save her bacon should she fall below the yellow line. And then there was the challenge.

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'The Biggest Loser' - 'Week Eleven' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 31st 2010 3:19AM
Victoria & Cherita Andrews, 'The Biggest Loser: Couples 3'(S09E11) Well, all hell broke loose at the Biggest Loser ranch this week. There was so much chaos going on, we didn't even get time for a normal challenge, which isn't to say there wasn't a challenge, and there weren't two people with immunity this week. But I'm getting way ahead of myself.

As promised, we got to see a lot of familiar faces, and a couple of not-so-familiar faces, as the eliminated contestants returned yet again for a chance to return to campus. It was a little odd seeing some of them at a size that is clearly before what we saw in their "after elimination" packages.

The return was especially difficult for the original blue team, Cherita and Victoria Andrews, as neither of them have had the opportunity to spend even one full night as part of 'The Biggest Loser' on-campus experience.

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'The Biggest Loser' - 'Week Ten' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 24th 2010 5:15AM
Melissa & Lance, 'The Biggest Loser: Couples 3'(S09E10) This week, the contestants got a chance to see what life will be like after their time on the show when they were all sent home for a week. No trainers, no access to the gym, no ranch kitchen. It certainly wasn't going to be a walk in the park. But at least it means we got to see some of our favorite past contestants, as they were there to welcome their loved ones home.

And we got to see Melissa again. Lance's wife has to be one of the most controversial figures of this entire season. Not to let her original stint stand, she was back in über-competitive mode again this week when Alison revealed that there was a marathon of a challenge for the contestants while they were at home.

There've been competitive game players before on 'The Biggest Loser,' and there are some there right now. Michael has proven himself more than willing to strategize to better his position. So why does it come across so poorly when Melissa is doing it?

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NBC Sets Launch Date for 'Losing It,' Yet Another Reality Show

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 17th 2010 4:02PM
Jillian MichaelsDo we need another reality show on NBC about losing weight? IT DOESN'T MATTER. We're getting one anyway. Jillian Michaels, from the same network's 'The Biggest Loser,' has a new show premiering June 1 called 'Losing It.'

Each week Michaels will visit a different family and try to help them with their eating habits, health and exercise. She'll replace their Ding Dongs with carrot sticks, their ice cream with lettuce, and will break into their cars and steal them so they're forced to walk everywhere.

Getting people to eat better and exercise are noble goals, I just hate having another another of television taken up by yet another reality show (and a spinoff of one still on the air yet). I like scripted shows.

Hey, why not make this a scripted drama? Maybe call it 'Sara Summers, Health Investigator.' Each week Sara (played by Jennifer Garner) infiltrates a family, posing as a long lost relative or as a friend, and secretly helps them eat better and lose weight. Maybe there can be a mythology to the show and an evil organization hell bent on stopping people from getting in shape.

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'The Biggest Loser' - 'Week Nine' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 17th 2010 3:39AM
Ashley Johnston(S09E09) This was a very emotional week for the contestants. Remember when O'Neal thought Sunshine had been eliminated, and the producers made him wait until the last possible moment to see that she was still there? They were at it again this week with Daris, only the news wasn't so good. Why they can't just let the first person in say, "Sorry, bud," and put him out of his misery, I don't know.

Actually, I do. It's good for ratings. Also good for ratings is a sexy chef, which is why they brought Curtis Stone back for a food-themed week. Even the blatant product placement in-show commercials were food-based, covering avocados, milk and a silent shout-out to Subway.

There were two challenges this week, and I'm going to go ahead and spoil right here that the black team finally won a challenge, though I won't tell you which one -- or if it was both. It was a much needed boost of confidence for the team, coming off of that brutal weigh-in loss last week on top of all those challenge losses.

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'The Biggest Loser' - 'Week Eight' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 10th 2010 3:18AM
The Biggest Loser, Sam Poueu(S09E08) Poor O'Neal. Apparently, nobody clued him in to who the vulnerable members of the blue team were going into last week's elimination. That meant he could sit there at the house a completely and total emotional wreck for the cameras to zoom in on, fretting that his daughter Sunshine had gone home. How much do you want to bet a producer outside asked the blue team to go into the house with Sunshine last to up the emotional drama.

Gotta wring out those tears however they can!

This week it was all about wringing out sweat in double-time, as Alison dubbed it "Work Week." Contestants had to add an eight-hour-a-day job to their regular exercise routine for one week to give them a taste for what it will be like for them when they get back out into the real world. But first ... why don't you pull that semi?

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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.

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'The Biggest Loser' - 'Week Six' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 10th 2010 9:30AM
O'Neal and Sunshine Hampton, 'The Biggest Loser 9'(S09E06) In honor of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, so conveniently on NBC as well, the contestants of 'The Biggest Loser' got to spend their week working out with the world-class athletes at the Olympic training center in Colorado. The vacation, along with the higher altitude, impacted how their bodies reacted to their workouts, leading to smaller numbers on the scale, and one startling result.

To make matters worse, Alison informed them they would not only be competing this week as individuals, instead of teams, but that two of them would be sent home. It was the return of the dreaded red line. The contestant falling below that would be eliminated immediately. The next two lowest percentages of weight loss would fall below the yellow line and one of them would be going home. But even that process wasn't quite as expected.

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Review: 'The Biggest Loser' - 'Week Five'

by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 3rd 2010 3:00AM
Victoria and Cherita Andrews, 'The Biggest Loser'(S09E05) This was the week the Blue and Yellow teams have been waiting for. After four weeks at home, working out without their trainers, both teams were back on campus to see which would be allowed the chance to return to the show. It came down to which pair had the highest percentage of weight loss.

But before they got on the scales, Bob and Jillian treated them to their first -- and for one of them, their last -- "Last Chance Workout." I couldn't help but feel for the team that was going to be heading home again. Twice they'd come to the Ranch to participate in 'The Biggest Loser,' and twice they'd come up short. At least they still had the chance at that "At Home" prize.

This week also saw Alison handing out immunities like they were going out of style, as well as a two-pound penalty to the team to finish the week's challenge last. I'm a huge proponent of this element being added, as it keeps the incentive on the contestants to give it their all until the finish.

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Review: The Biggest Loser - Week Four

by Jason Hughes, posted Jan 27th 2010 8:28AM
Sam Poueu and Koli Palu, The Biggest Loser 9(S09E04) Good lord there was a lot of drama in the Biggest Loser house tonight. After the yell-fest last week between Bob, Jillian and the Red team, I was confident that we'd get the fallout from that as the trainers tried to work with Lance and Melissa -- and we did -- but drama came from another direction as well.

By the end of the episode, I was ready to completely send two teams home just so there could be some damned peace and quiet in the house for once. I got 25% of my wish.

Faced with the challenge of forging ahead on his own, and after getting encouraging, but tough, words from the other contestants, the pressure was on Michael to prove his worth in the house, with the other contestants and most importantly, for himself. His journey of commitment was completely overshadowed.

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Review: The Biggest Loser - Week Three

by Jason Hughes, posted Jan 20th 2010 3:18AM
Migdalia Sebren and Miggy Cancel, The Biggest Loser: Couples 3(S09E03) The theme this week at the Biggest Loser Ranch was apparently anger. The first part of the episode focused on the Green team. Migdalia, the daughter, does a great job of bottling her emotions, thinking of tears as weakness. But those defensive walls almost prove her undoing. I thought her anger issues would be all we might get, but by the end of the episode, there was anger, bitterness and resentment flying all around.

Alison lets the contestants know that this week will be Student-Teacher week. One teammate will be the teacher, and will be the only one training with Bob and Jillian. The other teammate will be the Student. The only training they'll receive will be at the hands of the Teacher, and only the Student's weight will determine which team falls below the yellow line.

After that, she threw an Immunity Challenge at them that had more twists and turns in the way it played out than it did in what the contestants were actually doing.

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Review: The Biggest Loser - Week Two

by Jason Hughes, posted Jan 13th 2010 10:00AM
Michael and Maria Ventrella, The Biggest Loser: Couples 3(S09E02) Remember last week when I said that most teams don't go in for the gameplay this early in The Biggest Loser. I will now stand corrected, as strategy definitely came into play during tonight's episode.

Most of the episode, however, was a showcase for Dr. Huizenga. I'm still haunted by that 3-D MRI image of Shay from last season, and he's at it again, this time showing us the new heaviest-ever-contestant Michael's physique under the computer simulator. He also spotlights the impact of the contestant's weight and health issues in a variety of ways, so that we at home will be sure to get the point.

I applaud The Biggest Loser for the message that we need to get off the couch and do something before we wind up like many of these contestants. But all these constant reminders are really making it hard for me to enjoy this deep-fried Twinkie.

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