The Biggest Loser: Makeover Madness

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This week was Makeover Week on The Biggest Loser. Is there anything more truly American than a Makeover? It’s a symbolic rebirth. A new beginning. The very essence of a brighter future. Also, it’s pretty fun to watch.

I’d thought that fuzz balls Michael and Daris were growing all that hair because they liked it. Turns out it was just in preparation for this episode, which started when Allison handed each of the remaining six contestants $1,000 and sent them off in limos to go shopping. I was really hoping for a romantic comedy-style montage set to some catchy music; instead, we got to watch the contestants paw through racks of clothes and tear up over the possibility of fitting into a size large. I have to say, my love for Daris just keeps growing—especially when he says things like, “I’ve never really shopped before. I just bought jeans at a farm and ranch supply store, right there next to the tarps.”

There were some good hair salon moments, but the real money shots were the makeover reveals, which were pretty amazing and proved how much a good haircut and some well-fitting clothes can do for a person. Gorgeous Sunshine looked like Beyonce. Koli rocked a nerd-chic look with a vest and glasses. Sam could have been a cast member on The Hills. But the real gasper of the episode was Daris, who looked like a completely different person. Earlier in the show he said, “I want to be able to look in the mirror and think, ‘there you are.’” I just hope he recognized himself when the time came, because I sure wouldn’t have.

After being sent into a tiny, mirrored booth to admire themselves, a wall slid open to reveal two members of each contestant's family, there to revel in their new-found beauty. Once all the hugging and crying and jaw-dropping ended, the contestants and their families were taken to a pillow-strewn set for a surprise concert by Ashanti. The concert was excruciating in its awkwardness. But at least it gave Sunshine yet another reason to have a good cry. And then it was back to business. This week's challenge had the contestants climbing those endless Jacob’s ladders mounted ten feet above a pool. The first person to splash down would be saddled with a one-pound disadvantage, and the winner would receive a one-pound advantage. Ashley lasted a whopping three minutes before falling off, and Michael lasted for only a few minutes more. In the end only Koli and Daris remained, after climbing the ladder for two-and-a-half hours. Two-and-a-half hours! I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember the last time I did anything for two-and-a-half hours. The battle of wills only ended when Daris gave up and let himself drop.

The fact that Daris gave up really pissed Bob off, so Bob put him through the mother of all last-chance workouts as punishment. At one point he admitted, “Jillian and I couldn’t do what Daris is doing in here today.” It paid off, too. At weigh-in he had dropped nine pounds, showing that he didn’t even need that one-pound advantage.

Mike and Sam ended up falling below the Yellow Line. During elimination, they each received two votes (Daris and Ashley voted for Sam; Sunshine and Koli voted for Mike). Sam had lost a lower percentage of weight, so he was sent home—but since he’s already reached his goal weight, it wasn’t such a heartbreaker.

His “where are they now” segment included the official outing of Sam and Stephanie as a couple. They are now living together in L.A. and looking almost unbearably cute. I worry a little about Stephanie, who admits to having a “a serious case of the Sams” but for now at least, their relationship is perfect TV harmony.

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