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October 31, 2014

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Best and Worst TV of 2009: Jason's List

by Jason Hughes, posted Dec 21st 2009 5:06PM
Daniel Wright2009 was a good year for television. It offered the resurgence of the comedy on network television, and the continuing growth of original programming on cable. In all honesty, I don't think I could just do a list of what was great and what was horrible on television because I would need pages and pages.

Instead, I'm going to focus on the things that really stood out this year. Sorry, Mad Men fans, but even though this was a great third season and an amazing finale, I expect it at this point. It's the only way I could come up with to keep my list manageable.

Also, as a point of protest I did not include Jon, Kate or the balloon boy hoax. These events got more attention than they deserved already this year, and I feel bad I even mentioned them.

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'Biggest Loser' Results: Shay Sorrells and Daniel Wright Elimination Interview

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 11th 2009 11:21AM
Shay SorrellsIn a first for 'The Biggest Loser,' there was a red line in this week's elimination, and there would be two contestants going home.

Daniel Wright had the lowest percentage of weight loss, and was immediately eliminated without a chance to plead his case.

Of the remaining contestants, both Amanda Arlauskus and Shay Sorrells fell below the yellow line, despite Sorrell's dramatic 17-pound weight loss. The feat established a new 'Biggest Loser' record, as Sorrells became the fastest female to shed 100 pounds. Still, it wasn't enough to keep her in the competition. Sorrells was eliminated in a close 3-2 vote.

Sorrells and Wright spoke to the press today about their experience on the show. Here's what they head to say.

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Review: The Biggest Loser - Week Eight

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 4th 2009 2:00AM
Liz Young(S08E07) As promised, absolutely everything Biggest Loser was transported to our nation's capitol, Washington DC, for the week. The contestants had to deal with vacation eating, exercising, and even their challenges and the weigh-in happened surrounded by national monuments.

It was a pretty exciting thing for our contestants, and even Bob and Jillian were somewhat in awe of the majesty of where they were. The episode wasn't as emotionally gripping as it's been the last few weeks, but I think a lot of that has to do with the distractions of everything that was going on this week.

It's hard to have an emotional breakthrough when you're away from the comfort of the Ranch and the Biggest Loser Gym, and all the trappings that have come to make these contestants feel at home. So I found myself worried as to what would happen after a week of chaos when these guys got up on that scale.

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Review: The Biggest Loser - Week Seven

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 28th 2009 2:10AM
Shay Sorrells(S08E07) These eliminations just aren't getting any easier, which is frustrating because there are people there that I wouldn't mind seeing booted off of the ranch. They just keep staying there. You could read that as a spoiler if you want, saying that I just revealed at least that Tracey wasn't eliminated, but not so.

Maybe I've come to respect her competitive spirit. Maybe she showed some real growth as a person this week, or maybe I just enjoy the heavy dose of crazy that she brings to the house. Maybe I don't want Tracey going anywhere. Have we ever had a crazy winner of The Biggest Loser?

Regardless of who went home, though, this was a huge week for emotional breakthroughs, as well as emotional turmoil for me watching at home. Every time Abby goes into the story of what happened to her family, it just breaks my heart and I want to wrap my arms around my own family to keep them safe.

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Review: The Biggest Loser - Week Six

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 21st 2009 1:19AM
Danny Cahill(S08E06) What's the most bittersweet prize you can win on The Biggest Loser? A trip home. Oh how great it is to see your family, but all that time at home with your favorite temptations and without Bob and Jillian kicking your ass up one side of the gym and down the other. It can also be the worst reward possible.

At this week's opening reward challenge, the winning team won tickets home. But, to make things more interesting, they also got a choice. They could take the tickets and the trip home, or they could send the other team home, thus gaining the advantage of an extra week in the gym with their trainer.

I was looking for a lot of things to happen this week, but I was a little surprised at what came about with Daniel. He's been such a positive force of inspiration and support that I was actually surprised when he had an emotional epiphany and breakdown stemming all the way back to his initial weight gain.

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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.

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The Biggest Loser: Week Four

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 7th 2009 1:10AM
The Biggest Loser: Week Four(S08E04) Last week's episode of The Biggest Loser was about choices. Tracey made the choice to become the most hated woman in the house. This week, the theme was again choices. More specifically, how do you choose what to eat when you have to eat out? To drive home the point, Alison locked up the kitchen and forced the contestants to eat out for every meal this week.

To make matters even worse, Tracey hasn't been able to work out at all, and as the promos showed, her frustrations with her health continued into this week. However, despite restricted exercise, Tracey dropped eleven pounds last week. Could she do it again?

Could they all hang in there to make it another week on the Ranch? See, that was funny because of this week's challenge. Everybody had to hang on an incline above a pool as long as they could. Scary thought for 437-pound Shay. But surprises awaited.

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The Biggest Loser: Week Two

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 23rd 2009 3:28AM
The Biggest Loser's Tracey(S08E02) It's week two on The Biggest Loser ranch, and you know what that means? You don't? Well, let me tell you.

Biggest Loser first week weigh-ins are notorious for ridiculously huge numbers. These people are shocking previously inactive bodies they've been filling with the worst possible foods into a sudden regimen of regular exercise and proper diet. Before their bodies can react, they dump weight. It's nothing for contestants to drop 20-30 pounds in the first week.

By the second week, their bodies go into a protective mode, hoarding carbs as they try to figure out just what the hell is going on. It's common for contestants to turn around and drop only a pound or two, or even gain weight. So why not, Alison Sweeney, come out and tell the contestants that if the 15 of them can collectively lose 150 pounds in week two, none of them will be going home. If they fail, two are out. No pressure, right?

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The Biggest Loser: Episode 1 (season premiere)

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 16th 2009 12:48AM
The Biggest Loser: Second Chances cast
(S08E01)
Last year was the first time that I got sucked into The Biggest Loser. But I was quickly drawn in by the inspirational work these contestants were doing to transform their bodies and their lives. And, as with any reality show, I got hooked by many of their dynamic personalities.

One contestant stood out early on. Mainly because Daniel Wright was the largest contestant in the history of the show. But it was his spirit that stood out even more. I was crushed when he was cut from the show, largely because of the poor attitude his partner displayed. But, as reported earlier, Daniel's back again this season as a part of their theme of "Second Chances."

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Daniel Wright getting a second chance on The Biggest Loser

by Jason Hughes, posted Aug 21st 2009 9:35AM
Daniel Wright, 312 lbs.Yesterday, NBC revealed the cast for the new season of The Biggest Loser, and I was thrilled to see that last season's heaviest contestant Daniel Wright was among the new losers. Daniel was heavily crippled in his weight loss goals by the "Couples" format in place last season.

Dan had a great attitude and really wanted to make things work, but his partner David didn't have the drive to change, which ultimately cost them both the chance to continue beyond the fourth week. Daniel, who started at 454 pounds (the heaviest contestant ever until this season), still managed to drop to 312 pounds by the finale.

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