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: 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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The Biggest Loser: producers go too far

I’ve long thought that the producers of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” try too hard to manipulate the game itself, and last night they went way too far in doing so. The more I think about it, the more clear it becomes that last night’s challenge was a ploy to have Arthur, the so-called “unhealthiest” contestant in the show’s history, sent packing–or more to the point, figuring out a way to have the evil red team send him home.

It began innocently enough, as the contestants were told at the start of the episode that they would be going home for two weeks to return to normal life for a bit, and then return to a 5K challenge. The contestants, based on how they finished in the 5K, would get to choose their trainers–i.e., if they wanted to stay on their team or switch teams. Now think about that for a second. How did they think that would turn out? Arthur would finish last and be forced to switch teams, because there had to be at least one red team member that would switch to the black team–Jen, who knew her days were numbered with the red team’s “alliance.”

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The Biggest Loser: red avoids red

“The Biggest Loser” is certainly not afraid of throwing curveballs at its contestants or its viewers, and last night was no exception. After Jay was eliminated at the end of the last episode, host Alison Sweeney invited the black team into the room and detailed what the next week would hold–namely, that there would be two contestants going home this next week. There would be a red line, in which the person with the lowest percentage of weight loss would automatically be eliminated, and then there would be the regular yellow line, and the team that lost the weigh in would send someone else home as well.

So when Brett and Cara, the red team trainers, found out about the double elimination, they decided that no one from their group would be going home, and they set off to train at an MMA gym. It turns out that the owner of the gym is a guy who trained Rulon for the Olympics in 2004. Pretty cool. Even cooler that the guy didn’t judge Rulon for gaining all that weight.

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The Biggest Loser: nice family values

Yes, my subject line is being sarcastic, and last night’s episode of “The Biggest Loser” was a bit eye-opening. The show opened with a challenge between the black and red teams in which they were tangled up as teams in rope, and had to collectively untangle, and then go grab a “key” to the gym. That team would be able to train as usual in the gym all week, while the losing team would be locked out and forced to work outside or somewhere else. The red team won easily, as the black team could do nothing but trip over themselves. So Bob and Jillian would have to train their team outside, which didn’t seem to be a big deal as the weather cooperated.

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