And you thought this season of “The Biggest Loser” couldn’t compete in gameplay with last season’s Vicki and Heba antics? Last night it was made painfully clear that it’s all about the game once again, but the producers surely make it easy for that to happen.

Anyway, since Nicole was voted off by a slim margin last week, with Filipe, Sione and Helen all voting for Ron, there was hell to be paid by Ron, who Kristin said is competitive, manipulative, and that they call him “The Godfather.” Wow. But check this out….when they all went back to the dorms, Mike and Ron said they felt betrayed, and Ron said “Thanks to all of you who voted to keep me here, but for those who didn’t, may you be struck down and die.” Holy crap, did Ron just say that? Then he went on some rant to Filipe about Filipe lying to Ron’s face, and Filipe didn’t defend himself, but he was clearly upset that Ron called him a liar. Let’s face it, this is a game and now that game was on.

So the initial challenge this week was a gameplay inducer if there ever was one. There were about 100 covered silver trays, and under each one was either a high calorie snack, or a few packs of sugarless gum with $500 or $1000. But there was one that held “the golden ticket,” which granted that person the one and only vote at this week’s weigh in, provided that person was above the yellow line. But as the contestants opened a tray, they had to eat what was under the cover before moving on to another tray. The calories could, and would, add up fast. But nobody wanted somebody else to have that golden ticket, so they all indulged, knowing that their trainers would be pissed. Well, Kristin actually ate maybe one snack and then stopped, thinking that if she ate less than everyone else, she had a better chance of avoiding potential elimination. I like Kristin, and now that Ron has been exposed as a gameplayer as well as his son Mikey, I want Kristin to win.

Anyway, Laura wound up with the golden ticket, and she immediately tried to convince her game partner Tara to throw the weigh in so that Laura would have an easy choice. But Tara wasn’t sure she wanted to disrespect the reason they were all there, and feared that Laura might fall below the line with her anyway. Needless to say, Bob and Jillian were extremely annoyed, and vowed to make everyone work extra hard in the gym that week.

Kristin then brought Laura breakfast in bed, which was quite hilarious. Then Jillian brought her team to Subway for some product placement, and Jerry and Coleen from last season were on hand to show everyone how they were both still living the healthy lifestyle they learned at the ranch.

Then it was time for the main challenge, which took place at The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, one of the most storied football venues in the country. But they weren’t there to play football. The teams, broken into men vs. women, had to run up and down the stairs, ultimately grabbing their own colored flag to bring back to the starting point. The two players who brought their flags first would face off in a second heat to determine the winner, who would claim the prize of a family spa vacation. Not surprisingly, it came down to Sione and Tara. But for as much as Sione kept saying he wanted to win, he was once again no match for the fiery Tara. Okay, so we’re back to this again. I’m now fully convinced that Tara threw the challenge last week to make everyone like her more.

They then showed Kristin going for a walk with Helen, Sione and Filipe, ironically the alliance that voted to send Ron home the previous week. Kristin kept her mouth shut when Filipe asked for Kristin to join their alliance, and that was smart. Then there was another product placement as Bob treated his team to the DVD of “Marley and Me” while showing them the difference between air popped popcorn and movie theater popcorn. I’ll tell you what the difference is, Bob…..your version is like eating unsalted cardboard while the theater version is crunchy, oily and wonderfully salty. Of course, that’s why I have a bit of a spare tire, so I won’t say Bob is wrong.

Then came the weigh in. Mikey went first and lost 5 pounds, which is not what he wanted. Ron lost 9, which he was happy about but not happy that he did better than Mikey. Whatever, dude. Tara was next and lost only 3 pounds. Jillian was pissed and thought that Tara purposely threw the weigh in, but Tara vowed that she didn’t and I have to say I believed her. Kristin lost 6 pounds which made me really happy, but Helen lost 2 and was in danger of falling below the line. Filipe lost 7 but Sione only lost 4, putting he and Helen at the bottom. Now it was Laura’s turn. Would she fall below the line and lose her vote, or would she be faced with the task of voting off either Helen or Sione?
Laura lost 8 pounds, which not only gave her that one vote, but put her in first place for the week. Wow.

So as she contemplated what to do and listened to Helen say Laura was like a daughter to her and Sione say she was like a sister to him, Sione and Filipe then did some weird Hawaiian dance and chant for good luck. Then as they showed them at the chopping block, Mrs. Mike said something that made total sense….that is, who would Tara want voted off? Clearly that would be Sione, her biggest rival and a big threat to win it all. Helen is not going to win, and she will likely get herself voted off soon. And sure enough, Laura used her power to vote Sione off and send him home.

Sione was at peace with the decision, and they showed him at home with his family being more active and being a better father and husband than he had been before. Good for him. But he’s also gone down from 372 pounds to 235. And trust me, dude is not done yet. I’m quite sure Sione is going to battle Nicole for that $100K.

So that’s it. We’re down to the teams of Ron and Mike and Tara and Laura, with individual players Kristin, Filipe and Helen. Ron was shown telling Mikey that having two of the players who voted for Ron last week fall below the line was the perfect scenario for both of them. But I think Ron is setting himself up to turn the house against he and his son. We’ll see.

Meanwhile, aren’t you all so thrilled that gameplay is back? Ugh.