The Biggest Loser: Fat Olympics

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When the remaining 15 Biggest Loser contestants walked onto the Olympic Training grounds in Colorado in their matching black down jackets with fur-lined hoods last night, they really did have an Olympic bearing. Maybe it was the slow-mo, but I have a feeling there is a lesson here and that it is this: Coordinated athletic gear goes a long way toward making you look fit.

The first part of week six was sort of like those feel-good, rah-rah ads for the Olympics we’ve been seeing for the past few weeks (perhaps NBC should consider a crossover promo?). We got to meet some of the athletes. We got to hear their inspiring stories (it’s hard to argue with Allison Jones, who was born with only one leg and who now competes in not one, but two, sports in the Para-Olympics). We got to see where they train and what they eat (anywhere from 1,600 to 8,000 calories a day, depending on the sport). And, we got to hear Lance say, “It’s crazy that being fat actually got me to the Olympics.”

There were some mildly interesting variations on the usual workout shots. Instead of treadmills, there were mini-obstacle courses. The pop challenge involved speed skating slide boards and a medal ceremony; Sam won the gold, Melissa got silver, and the lovely Sunshine took home the bronze. And the immunity challenge was a Biggest Loser biathlon, which required the contestants to run a loop in the snow and then shoot laser guns at other contestants’ targets in an effort to eliminate them. The winner? The hobbling but hearty O’Neal, who beat Darryl by a fraction of a second.

While the whole Colorado experience did get me pumped for the Olympics, it felt like a big distraction from The Biggest Loser. I sort of missed the Ranch.

Plus, as Allison kept reminding us, this episode was to end with two people going home, so it was sort of a nail-biter.

Back at the Ranch, after a grueling last-chance workout with pairs figure skater and Olympic favorite Rockne Brubaker, the group gathered for the first individual weigh-in. Bye-bye, teams.

The person to fall below the red line would go home immediately, without a vote. The two people below the yellow line would be subject to the usual voting rigmarole.

Weigh-in highlights include: Michael falling six pounds short of breaking the one-hundred-pounds-lost record but remaining happy and proud of himself; I’m pretty sure he’s back on everyone’s good side. The unstoppable Sam dropping a whopping 12 pounds for a total weight loss of 78 pounds. Daris losing another 9 pounds and becoming the person to have lost the biggest percentage of weight this season. And—are you ready for this?—Melissa gaining a pound and being automatically eliminated. Not only is the witch gone, but it seems as though she may not have been such a witch after all. Surely she didn’t throw the weigh-in this time. Maybe she was telling the truth about her mysterious plateau in weeks 2 and 3. Which would mean—gasp—that Jillian was wrong. I can’t bear the thought.

After Melissa was gone, Allison threw another curve ball. There would be no vote. Instead, the two people below the yellow line—the fortuitously rhyming Darryl and Cheryl—would compete in a challenge, and the winner would get to stay.

Enter the weirdest challenge I’ve seen. Darryl and Cheryl were made to squat under these flaming bowls meant to look like miniature Olympic torches. On their heads they balanced “torch stems” or what looked like spray-painted Styrofoam columns. The first person to drop their “torch stem” would go home.

By the time the episode ended with a “To be continued…” Darryl and Cheryl had been squatting, torch stems balanced on their heads, for more than six minutes. Apparently they are still at it. Poor things.

Melissa is back in Texas, where she has taken up boxing and lost a total of 58 pounds. She looks great. And not just fat-great, but really great. She looks trim and fit. Good for her.

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