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The Biggest Loser: longest season ever comes to a close

Last night on the finale of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” host Alison Sweeney mentioned that this is the longest season in Biggest Loser history. Since it began shortly after New Year’s Day, I can see the math adding up. There were also 22 contestants this season.

The live finale of the show is always a big event, probably why “American Idol” decided to move its performance show to Tuesday this week–to compete head-to-head. Of course, I blog about both here, so that was annoying to me. Anyway, the first order of business was to bring out Jay and Irene, and find out who America voted to compete for the $250K grand prize along with sisters Hannah and Olivia. The winner was…Irene! So there would be three women competing for the grand prize, and Jay was relegated to compete for the $100K “at-home” prize.

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The Biggest Loser: no marathon this time

For a reality show that changes things up frequently, “The Biggest Loser” can get a tad predictable and formulaic at times. That’s why I was fully expecting the final four to have to run a marathon as they have done the last few seasons. But alas, they did not. Maybe they felt they had proved their point. Anyway, here is how last night’s episode went down….

They had the final four–Jay, Irene, Hannah and Olivia–sit in a post-eliminating-Austin pow-wow with host Alison Sweeney and kind of feign fist pumps that they were in said Final Four. Okay, we get it! But seriously, who saw this coming? Tell me you had any of these folks in the finale.

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The Biggest Loser: final exams

Last night’s episode of “The Biggest Loser” exposed who the Final Four would be, but not before some weird “final exams” administered by the trainers–Bob, Jillian, Cara and Brett. Of course, the prize was not weird–a cool $10K. They would have to show the trainers how much they learned by either showing them how to ride a spin bike, offering advice, boxing Cara, or answering questions about nutrition. The second part of that was that they would be competing in a Biggest Loser video game using their own avatars. Ha! Olivia won the overall challenge, edging out her sister Hannah by a hair.

The main challenge was stacking sandbags up colored flights of stairs or something (can you tell how much I actually watched this?). Austin won the challenge and had a 1-pound advantage at the weigh-in. Then, there was more final exam stuff–Brett took them all to Subway where they had to guess the exact calorie count of a sweet onion teriyaki sub. Hannah won that and a $500 Subway gift card.

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The Biggest Loser: makeovers, fairy tales and new cars

Last night’s episode of “The Biggest Loser” on NBC was overshadowed again by “The Voice,” and that’s fine because it kept the show to one hour. It was also, finally, makeover week. “Project Runway’s” Tim Gunn rode in on a horse and buggy to the Biggest Loser ranch and announced that it was not only makeover week, but that he had two surprises.

So the five semi-finalists–Austin, Hannah, Olivia, Irene and Jay–were treated to makeovers, and most of them looked great. Hannah’s hair was dyed blonde and looked borderline hideous. Then they had their family members waiting for them back at the ranch for a celebration, including Gunn’s hiring of the band One Republic. Well, I know he didn’t actually hire them, but you get the drift.

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The Biggest Loser: shocking? Not really

Don’t you just love it when reality TV hosts, judges and contestants are “shocked” at something obvious? I am exaggerating, sure, but not a whole lot when you think about how things went down on “The Biggest Loser” last night.

First of all, thanks to the show NBC is pimping hard, “The Voice,” which premiered last night, they chopped “The Biggest Loser” down to an hour, a way more reasonable amount of time to expect us to devote, DVR or not.

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The Biggest Loser: skinny girls unite

One thing I noticed about this season of “The Biggest Loser” is that there are quite a few people, mostly the ladies, who have lost a ton of weight and look like athletes now. And fatter folks like Arthur, Jay (even though he’s back), Arthur and Q get voted off. Last night that happened again.

The episode began as the two teams were still in New Zealand, and this time they were in Queenstown, and also host Alison Sweeney announced that the contestants would be going to singles again. No more teams, not nearly as much gameplay. And since they were doing that, Brett the trainer was brought back. But he was brought back in a parachute. That was cool. But it was just a sign of things to come, as this episode featured a lot of extreme sporting challenges and workouts.

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The Biggest Loser: might as well jump

Last night’s episode of “The Biggest Loser” featured another surprise for the contestants–a trip to New Zealand. And the show featured a bit of everything. The first thing they had to do when the arrived was to climb up the famed tower in Auckland and either decide to take the stairs back down or jump off using bungee style wires. I don’t know about you, but I was getting the willies just watching that. Moses and Rulon were not allowed to do it based on their weight, and Jay because of a heart condition, but everyone else was eligible and chose to do it with the exception of Ken. Ken was terrified of heights, but Bob Harper said he would do it if Ken did, and Bob was equally afraid. But the both did it. But hell, I still wouldn’t!

Then they showed Moses telling Bob that his dad went to college in New Zealand, helping his family move to the US for a better life, Bob gave Moses his cell phone to call the dad. Pretty cool but way too fluffy a story. Then they showed Ken and trainer Cara fighting because Ken felt he needed more from Cara in the way of getting in his face and being more like Bob and Jillian. Ouch. But Cara was really indignant and defensive, just like most New Yorkers are (I am from there, I can say that!). But they kissed and made up.

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The Biggest Loser: really, 2 hours?

I have to ask as I do occasionally. Does “The Biggest Loser” HAVE to be two hours long every week? Last night, I swear, there were commercials between each contestant’s weigh in. Well, not really, but between every team for sure…..and there was just so much fluff and stalling for time, while this show could have been easily 90 minutes long and maybe even one hour. But thankfully I watched it on DVR delay and skipped the crazy amounts of commercials.

They began with a challenge, where the contestants had to walk a mile and place a flag on where they thought was the exact spot that constituted one mile. There were markers all over the place, but they had to put a flag on the marker they thought was the mile marker. They also only had 15 minutes to do so. The winning team won a night of luxury in Hollywood, while the other three teams had to clean the campus. It was sort of like a “Hell’s Kitchen” type prize and penalty. Well, the black team of Hannah, Jay and Rulon won…even after Hannah’s complaining the whole way that they were approaching the challenge wrong. Ha!

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The Biggest Loser: pampering should wait

Last night’s episode of “The Biggest Loser” was an interesting one with a lot going on. It began with Kaylee talking about how she felt bad about thinking she was ready to go home last week and throwing the weigh-in. Some of her fellow contestants, and especially her trainer Cara, were pissed. Kaylee’s dad Moses pointed out that he knew Kaylee was tired of the show’s gameplay, and that’s why she was ready to go home. Interesting.

Then they all walked into the gym and host Alison Sweeney was waiting for them. As Hannah said, that is never a good thing for them! Alison showed them all video from when they first were told they made it to the show. It was similar to “American Idol” where the contestants who made it were in a holding room in a hotel conference area, and Ali walked in to let them know if they were in or out. But while 11 teams made it, Alison spoke about the 12th team that did not—mother and son Leanne and Vance. And she showed footage where she had told the “white team” that they could earn their way onto campus in midseason. So here they were, but they had to have surpassed the person with the lowest percentage of weight loss currently on the show, who was Kaylee with 25.32% Vance weighed in first, and he had begun at 379 pounds, which meant he had to lose about 90 pounds to grab a spot on campus. He lost 30 pounds, so was way off. Leanne began at 315 and lost 45 pounds, which was great but not nearly good enough. Okay, so that was that. But both were told they were still eligible to win the “at-home” prize of $100K.

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The Biggest Loser: addition by addition

One of the best parts of “The Biggest Loser” on NBC is that they bend the rules, often. So even when someone is eliminated, it’s not always forever. And last night they brought back one of the eliminated contestants.

The show began with host Alison Sweeney meeting the contestants in the gym, and then screwing with any remaining team chemistry again. They would be broken into four teams of three, and each would train with one of the four trainers. Each would draw randomly a color that represented a trainer, starting with the person with the highest percentage of weight loss to date, Justin. He wound up with the red team, training with Brett. And here is how it went down–Brett’s red team was Justin, Jen and Courtney; Cara’s green team was Austin, Ken and Kaylee; Bob’s blue team Moses, Irene and Olivia; and Jillian’s black team was Rulon and Hannah. Um, wait. That team was one person short, but Alison announced that Rulon and Hannah could choose from any eliminated contestant and bring them back into the game and onto their team. Would it be Arthur? Jay? Q? More on that in a bit.

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