I am digging this new format on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.” Let’s fact it, the show was beginning to grow stale, as some of these reality shows do, but the producers decided to make it so that the contestants have no margin to slack from week to week. Everyone is in danger of being eliminated every week, and that’s how it should be. But they have taken things a few steps further, and it makes for a much more intriguing and enjoyable watch right now.

So last night, the episode began with Tina saying to all of her co-contestants that she changed her mind, and that she was going to ask if she could go home and leave the show. Say what? Yeah, the other 14 said the same thing. Well, 13, because Lisa also said she was going to go home…not to take care of her own family, but to take care of Allie, the person who was eliminated last week and lives 10 miles away from her. Um, okay. This of course infuriated everyone else. For all that you have to go through to get onto that campus, to say you want to exit after a week on it is ridiculous and, in Tina’s case, horribly unfair to Allie. Frado called them “selfish” and Brendan said, in his New England accent, that it was “GAH-bage.” Exactly.

Trainer Bob Harper agreed, but said he thought that after the first elimination, it made the other contestants a bit crazy. Then he proceeded to work them out, hard. He said that because he didn’t know when to expect a weigh-in, that every workout had to be a Last Chance Workout. Yikes.

Then Jillian pulled aside all of the women, saying that she was somewhat annoyed that seven women wound up below the yellow line the night before, and that they all needed to fight harder to stay on campus.

After that, host Alison Sweeney introduced tennis star Anna Kournikova, who took part in a tennis-based workout and made some of the guys googly-eyed. After this came a tennis ball-based pop challenge, in which they contestants had to clean up tennis balls from the court and put them in bins assigned to each other. The first to 25 balls was out, and so on until one person remained, and that person would have immunity this week. Tina was the first one out, big surprise. But it came down to three guys who were quickly forming an alliance–Brendan, Frado and Patrick. And Frado won…then they showed the three of them in a room later confirming the alliance. Oh, but first Alison told them they would be weighing in the following day, another pop weigh in and another way the producers are not letting anyone slack.

There would be another split yellow line this week, meaning with Frado having immunity, seven would be above the line and seven below. Awesome! Frado weighed in first and lost 3 pounds, and after Jillian said she didn’t suspect him of gameplay, Frado basically admitted he was playing the game and that he would have been stupid not to–his words!

Then the weigh in went like this:
Burgandy -1
Tina -4
Sophia -6
Ada -6
Lisa -5
Aaron -7
Adam -12
Elizabeth -3
Rick -8
Mark -11
Jessica -7
Jesse -10
Patrick -12
Brendan -5

Adam had the highest percentage of weight loss and was able to save one person the way that Rick did last week. Meanwhile, below the line were Burgandy, Tina, Sophia, Lisa, Aaron, Elizabeth and Brendan. Five women and two men. Jillian worked out Aaron harder than everyone else, and then after them showing Burgandy and Aaron pleading their cases to Adam, Adam wound up saving Aaron.

So now you had five women and Brendan to compete in the challenge. This is another area of this season that is better. They don’t make the entire cast compete, only those below the line. But this one was different than last week. They showed four piles of sand, and had to dig through to find a giant brass ring, four of them. Whoever did not grab a ring would be up for elimination. Easy enough, right? Wrong. They also had four dump trucks that dumped tonnage of sand on each box, making it 100 times more diifficult to dig through. Yikes.

The first one to grab a ring was Elizabeth, and then while Brendan uncovered the next one, Sophia grabbed it before he could. Ouch. But then Brendan found his own, and Burgandy grabbed the last one. So it was down to Tina and Lisa. Hmmm, interesting. The two people who claimed they wanted to go home (and that since changed their tune) were up for elimination. Oh, but it’s worth noting that during their little “interviews” they did during the sand box challenge, the contestants were cliche-ing the crap out of us, using terms like “do or die” and “hell or high water.” Nicely done.

At the elimination, it was a clean sweep to send Tina home, and it was clear that everyone was so bitter about her announcement earlier about wanting to go home. So she ultimately got that wish. But Tina showed that her situation was a bit different…her and her daughter had applied for the show together, but Tina made it and her daughter didn’t, and the daughter was the one pushing to get on in the first place. So she went home to continue the journey and do it with her daughter. And so far, she has gone from 263 down to 205, and her daughter has lost a whopping 85 pounds. Good for them!

Okay, down to 14…and next week they are showing a red line as well as a high yellow. The producers are absolutely not messing around this season, making for a much more riveting show. So I thank them for that, and will see you all next week!