After a three-week hiatus due to NBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics, “The Biggest Loser” returned with a bang last night, with lots of controversy. First, you may remember that they left us hanging three weeks ago with Cheryl and Darrell hanging on in squat position balancing an Olympic torch replica. Darrell’s knees finally gave out, and he went home, with Cheryl remaining on campus.

Then, host Alison Sweeney announced that the teams would no longer be couples but would be broken up into blue vs. black. They do this every season and it doesn’t get any less annoying. Really, do they have to keep confusing us and messing with the show’s format? Alison then announced the initial challenge, which would give one person control in the game. But first, before they agreed to play a game of Memory, they had to agree to the fact that with the game came the possibility of eating a lot of calories, mostly in the form of chocolate chip cookies that were worth 100 calories each. Behind each memory card were food items, and behind two of them were golden tickets that would determine the game’s winner. The only two that stepped forward to play were Michael and Andrea. After the game went back and forth, and after both consumed way more calories than they wanted to, Michael won…despite eating 2310 calories worth of cookies and other junk. He was then given the right to choose the teams, and he also would have the power to give immunity this week to either himself or to one other player.

Michael chose Sam, Cheryl, Drea, Stephanie, Sherry and Ashley for the black team and to train with Jillian, while he chose Koli, Daris, Lance, Miggy, Sunshine and himself for the blue team to train with Bob. He gave O’Neal immunity, putting himself on a strong team instead of giving himself immunity. Next week, O’Neal would join the team that eliminated someone this week. Michael’s strategy was to put the potential big weight losers on one team, and making the black team weak and vulnerable. In the process, he broke up several teams and showed favoritism to Lance and Miggy.

The trainers were pissed, especially Jillian, who was left to coach a team that didn’t have much of a chance to lose weight like the blue team did. Well, on paper anyway. Then the first challenge as blue vs. black was to raise their team colored banner up a huge building. The winning team would receive letters from home. Blue won, as you would expect looking at them all.

Then they had Dr. H meet with some of the contestants to track their progress, and I admit I skipped through both this and the last chance workout. Blah, blah, blah. Then came the weight in….

O’Neal had immunity so he went first, and lost 9 pounds, or 2.77%. Not bad at all, but he had immunity so they wiped him off the board. Then it was the blue team…..Michael went first and lost 15 pounds, now having lost 109 pounds in just 7 weeks! Sunshine lost 7, Lance lost 5, Miggy lost 4 and was furious with herself for letting the team down. Daris lost 7 pounds and then Koli lost 10. The blue team in all lost 48 pounds, or 2.7%. Not bad at all, and the black team then had to lost 39 pounds to win.

Andrea was first and lost 5 pounds, followed by Cheryl with 4 and Sherry with 6. Then came the big guns….Sam lost 8, Stephanie 8 and then Ashley lost 10 pounds! That gave them 41 pounds lost, or 2.82%….and the victory. The blue team was devastated, as Michael’s dream team didn’t come through. But lucky for him, since he had the highest percentage of weight loss on his team, he could not be eliminated. Instead, it would likely come down to the two worst performers this week–Lance and Miggy. Both of them pleaded with their teammates to stay.

Then after Lance and Daris voted for Miggy, Miggy and Michael voted for Lance, tying it up. Then Sunshine and Koli voted for Miggy and it was her that went home. Whew, you could feel the stress level in the house drop immediately! Miggy has lost 41 pounds, down from 240 to 179, and is training at home with Nicole from Season 7. Good for her. She is also meditating to ease her own stress levels.

Then they showed Darrell at home, and he has lost 120 pounds, down from 413 to 293. Good for him too!

So now with Michael having made a few enemies, there is some lingering bitterness among the black team, but the blue team is strong and even stronger now with O’Neal. Should be interesting to see how it all plays out. I like Michael’s overall chances but he’s playing the game a bit too much and that always winds up biting these contestants in the butt.

What do you think? Let me know below and see you all next week!