The Biggest Loser: Grunting, More Grunting, and a Trip to the Emergency Room

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On this week's installment of The Biggest Loser, much was made of the infamous “week two curse.” It’s hard to drum up dramatic tension week after week for what is essentially the same ol' sh*t—fat people work out, skinny people scream in their faces, fat people cry, fat people get weighed, one fat person goes home—so, I can understand why they do it. But really, all it means is that the amount of weight lost the second week is going to seem piddly after the enormous globs shed the first week. We would not see any more 30-pound drops; the show made that perfectly clear going in.

Gym Rats
We started with the usual gym scenes. If last week's first round was about bodily fluids, this week's second round was about grunting. It was like listening to a bunch of Chewbaccas bellow their way through push-ups and kettle balls sets. At one point Jillian was actually perched atop one of the machines like a vulture, yelling down at her suffering subjects from on high. I’m pretty sure they do shots like that just to drive home the shocking size difference between Jillian and her victims the contestants. And it works; at some moments they looked like different species.

Aside from highlighting Jillian’s tiny drill sergeant thing, the initial gym scenes showed Michael emerging as Bob’s favorite. Sweet, sweet Bob vowed to become Michael’s biggest cheerleader. They make a cute pair. Then again, Bob plus anyone makes a cute pair.

This week's gym scenes also taught us that John (the remaining twin) has suffered a lot of tragic loss and death and believes he is cursed. Jillian gave him an anything-is-possible-if-you-believe-it’s-possible pep talk that was so Inspiration 101 it seemed like a joke. Then she made him pound on a tractor tire with a sledge hammer. I assumed this is how her people mourn.

The Doctor Will See You Now
How sick were this season’s contestants at the start of this competition? They were—you got it—the sickest group in the history of the show. And Dr. Huizenga of the Flowing Locks devised some humiliating ways to drive home just how poor their health really was, including making Michael watch as Bob strapped on 303 pounds of extra weight and then groaned and grimaced and complained about his knees.

Purple Team had to watch a video of the good doctor telling their family members they might die if they didn’t do something. Red Team had to look at an armored car filled with $3 million in cold, hard cash—the amount of money they have apparently wasted by being fat. This particular statistic was a little fuzzy, but mathematics aside, Lance and Melissa seemed adequately chastised and ashamed of themselves.

Next in line for a public flogging? Orange Team and their eating habits. Jillian—who was supposed to represent a "normal, healthy person"— stood before a counter laden with Daris and Cheryl’s average daily food intake: a flotilla of nachos, burritos, and unidentifiable fried nuggets of who knows what. We'd been promised by a teaser that we were going to see how a day’s worth of their food would affect our “normal, healthy person,” but alas, Jillian couldn’t even choke down an entire burrito before spitting it out and launching into a lecture about the processed garbage they were eating (for the record, it did look disgusting). Maybe it’s the sadist in me, but I would have really enjoyed watching Jillian eat those mystery nuggets.

The Challenge
It seemed like a reality-show standard: Balance beams over a pool. Ten beach balls per team that needed to be carried across the beams and piled in a basket thingy. Loser gets a two-pound penalty at weigh-in.

Oh, but we did not account for Maria’s crippling fear of the water. Or her ensuing panic attack. Or the misguided leap from the beam onto the pool’s edge, resulting in a bloodied nose, a broken finger and an ambulance ride to the hospital on a spinal injury board. What should have been a standard-issue challenge became reality show gold. Oh, how the producers must have loved all that gushing blood.

She was fine, by the way. A little banged up, but essentially fine.

Oh, and Red Team—hello, Texas!—won immunity with their superior balance-beam skills.

The Doctor Returns
Dr. Flaxen Locks was back, armed with some more grim news, a few body scans, and a video of Koli waking up 100 times an hour due to sleep apnea. Seeing a scan of Michael, whose body fat was more than 50 percent, was pretty shocking. Wrapped around a regular-sized man with regular sized organs was this big, puffy thing that sort of looked like a giant snowsuit—but turned out to be 303 pounds of extra fat.

Other bad news: Inner ages. Sherri, Daris’s mom, is 51. Her inner age was 75. But that wasn’t half as bad as poor Ashley, the largest female contestant. She is only 27, but her inner age clocked in at 57. She also found out she's diabetic.

Last Chance Workout
Epic grunting. Some exercise-induced gagging. Lots of talk about how majorly hard the last chance workout is.

The Moment of Truth
Red Team’s Melissa gained a pound, but they had immunity and she was strategizing (lose less while you have immunity so you drop big time the following week) so she was not bummed.

Top losers: White Team, with Maria losing 10 and Michael dropping 11! Can we all please give Michael a big woot woot? He kicked butt and his gravity-defying mushroom cloud hair deserved its own cheering section.

Below the Yellow Line
Last week, Patti, Purple Team’s mom, lost the most weight ever lost in a single week by a female contestant. Week two, not so much. With a collective loss of 7 pounds, Purple Team was the, er, smallest (?) loser.

After asking to be voted off so her daughter Stephanie could stay, beloved Patti was in fact voted off. Everyone had awfully nice things to say about her, and after vowing to return as a “hot senior citizen” she went home, lost 43 pounds, and went from nine daily medications to two. She looked awesome—totally hot senior citizen.

Best Moment:
Ashley telling the camera that the other contestants see her as weak but that she is going to “Creep up like a ninja on their asses.” You go, you 380-pound ninja!

Worst Moment:
Bob and Andrea’s awkward product-placement conversation about Extra sugar-free gum. Bob: "I like sweet watermelon." Andrea: "Uh huh. Smells like watermelon."

Nagging Question:
The show can build a super gym in the middle of nowhere but they can’t provide the contestants with decent sports bras? Come on, people. Give our girls the support they deserve.

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