Last night’s “Biggest Loser” season premiere featured 16 contestants, some of them among the heaviest the show has ever allowed on. And the theme of the season is “second chances,” including Daniel Wright, the dude who last season was the heaviest competitor ever at 454 pounds. Daniel has returned this season to try and finish his mission and become The Biggest Loser. There are also folks who have had the short end of the stick in life, so to speak, none more dramatic than Abby, who lost her husband and two young children in a horrible car crash a couple of years ago, and let her weight balloon up. She’s been given a second chance to get her life back on track, as have others who have had their lives de-railed in one way or another.

So the episode began with the contestants being bused to the beach, where they met up with show host Alison Sweeney. Mrs. Mike reminded me to mention that Alison looks positively awesome, especially after having a baby last season. Seriously, she does….and I think I speak for all of America when I say I’d like to know what her own diet and workout regimine has been!

At this point, Daniel arrived in a limo and the rest of the contestants immediately connected with him, with absolutely no one bitter that he was allowed to return. The first challenge was, they would have to run or walk one mile, and the winner would have immunity the first week. Not only that, but since they would be breaking off into teams, the winner AND his teammate would have immunity. Well guess who won? Daniel did, an amazing feat when you consider where he started on this journey. But as the contestants crossed the finish line, two of them had to be rushed to the hospital…..including Tracy, who became limp and frighteningly losing all awareness around her….and Coach Mo, who also needed medical attention.

Dr. Huizenga announced that both Tracy and Coach Mo were fine but needed more recovery time in the hospital. Meanwhile, the other 14 contestants had to go through a series of tests with Dr. H to see how sick they all really were. As if seeing Tracy and Coach Mo weren’t sobering enough.

The contestants then had to choose their teammates, and Daniel went first and chose Shay, because she was going to be the heaviest person (476 pounds), something he could relate to. Amanda, who was chosen by America in the season finale back in May, kept going on about being honored that America chose her to represent….um, it was you and one other girl Amanda, America had two choices! Coach Mo returned and found out that Tracy was going to be his partner when she got out of the hospital.

Anyway, after the teams were selected they all weighed in and the numbers were just staggering, with four of them over 400 pounds and Shay at a stunning 476. Daniel is down to an incredible 312 pounds. After the weigh-in, the teams learned that Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels, their trainers, would be training them all together and not in teams as in previous seasons. This is because of two reasons–Jillian was beating Bob’s ass each season, and she kept producing winners, and also because they wanted the competition to be between the contestants and not the trainers. Good call.

So as the training commenced, the contestants were fighting back, because their bodies have not endured this type of work in years. Shay even went outside and threatened to quit, but she smartly returned. Then, after enduring a ridiculous amount of fluff and commercials, they all marched back onto the scale.

Daniel and Shay went first and lost 29 pounds, with Daniel losing 12 of those and getting down to a svelte even 300. Amanda and Rebecca went next and lost 24, with Amanda only losing 6 and wondering where she went wrong. Those two had to sweat until everyone else weighed in. Rudy and Dina lost 36, Antoine and Seaen 40, Danny and Liz 34, Abby and Allen 34. Alexandra and Julio lost 26, but with Julio being as big as a house, that was not enough to keep them above the yellow line. Amanda and Rebecca were safe. But Coach Mo still had to weigh in, and he lost 19, enough to keep him safe and send Alexandra and Julio to the chopping block.

Being that each of the two had lost 13 pounds, Alexandra was kind of bitter that Julio had only lost a small percentage of weight comparatively. But both of them had to state their case to the rest of the team on why they should stay. Alexandra, at 20 years old, needed to stay because she had a lot to learn, but Julio is a father and husband who needed to be there to get healthy for his family. It was tight, but the final vote was for Alexandra and she was sent packing.

They showed her having lost 60 pounds since she arrived back home, an amazing feat but with a long way to go. But we at least know she has a shot at winning the consolation $100K.

Still, I want to know what happened to Tracy. Hopefully she’ll return next episode. Meanwhile, this season promises to be extremely dramataic, just like the producers want it to be. There are lots of contestants to pull for, but you have to believe that America is pulling for both Abby and Daniel.

Who do you like? Let me know in the space below, and see you all next week…