The Biggest Loser: yes, it’s a game

Last night on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser: Couples,” it was confirmed that part of seasons’ past gameplay has been caused by trainer Bob Harper. As they were all shown last week voting Blaine off the ranch, there was some footage of Harper telling his team to vote Dane off, because he was a bigger threat, even though Blaine pleaded with everyone to send him home so he could be with his new baby and family. While everyone told Harper that they felt for Blaine and felt like they did the right thing, Harper was annoyed and told his team not to ask him for advice anymore on voting. Um, I don’t recall them asking for his advice. Further, this is the eqivalent of firing someone and muttering, “Sorry, it’s just business.”

Meanwhile, host Alison Sweeney greeted the contestants with a pop challenge again, this time telling them to scale a giant hill next to the ranch to retrieve a key each time they reached the top of the hill. The key would be tried on a lock on the gym door, and only two keys would work out of 130. Whoever had those keys that worked would have access to the gym that week, while everyone else would have to work out outside or somewhere else. Yikes. Tara and Sione were racing up and down the hill like crazy to increase their odds, but Tara started puking after about 7 or 8 tries up and down the hill were futile. Shannon of the pink team and Mike of the brown team made it, and that was good for Mike and his dad Ron, who has a bad knee and can barely make it up and down any hill. It was nice to see the contestants all helping Ron too, and it’s clear that these are all good people and not gameplayers, much to the chagrin of Harper.

So Harper and Jillian Michaels had to improvise with training, and this week Jillian was having a problem with Tara, who claimed that she was running out of steam at this point in the competition. Jillian pushed her and Tara responded. Then there was a weird moment as Kristen and a few of the others slipped in some mud and began wrestling…yikes! But it was funny and no one got hurt.

The main challenge was on a row of rowing machines with lights attached. Each team had a green light and had to row to keep the light green. If it turned yellow, that was a warning, and if it turned red, that team was eliminated. The winning team had immunity that week. It came down to the green team of Tara and Laura, and Dane, the remaining black team member. Laura couldn’t hang on, so Dane won.

At the weigh in, Dane went first and lost four pounds. Cathy and Kristen lost 13, 12 of those by Kristen who was finally under 300 pounds. Filipe and Sione lost 16, Tara and Laura 15, and Mandi and Aubrey 12. Helen and Shannon, who had the advantage of the gym all week, only lost 9 pounds, and after Mike and Ron put up a 17-pound loss, that put Helen and Shannon below the yellow line. So the teams had to vote one of the pink team members off this week.

This was a weird one, because Helen wanted to stay and Shannon went along with her mom, saying she wanted to go home but we all knew that was a lie. As far as gameplay, there wasn’t a right or wrong choice, so everyone went along with Helen’s wish and sent Shannon home. She was shown at home and to date has lost 85 pounds, down from 283 to 198. Let’s forget all the game stuff and remember that this is what the show is all about. I’m talking to you, Bob Harper. You are clearly drinking the producers’ Kool Aid, and it has far too many gameplay calories. See you all next week, as NBC is making me watch their show both Tuesday and Wednesday…yippee!

  

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