The Biggest Loser: The Thin Yellow Line

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I realize it takes a very long time to lose hundreds of pounds, and that this is the reason The Biggest Loser drags on while mountains crumble, civilizations are born, and stars explode into anti-matter. But, please, let’s get on with it!

I didn’t write about the show last week in part because it was so epically boring. Drea got voted off. Suze Orman showed up to talk about the relationship between debt and weight loss. There was a challenge of some sort, which I can’t presently recall. That’s all you need to know.

The producers are still trying to milk the emotional drama—this week, O’Neal’s personal misfortunes took center stage—but really, we're all just waiting around to see who wins. My money's on Sunshine, who, despite falling below the yellow line this week, is looking awfully strong.

The best thing about Tuesday’s episode was Koli. I know I insinuated a few weeks ago that he was jealous and evil, but he really seems to have perked up since Stephanie was voted off and he has Sam all to himself once more.

And it was really quite fun to see him pig out so epically this week. The Temptation Challenge went something like this: The scene opened in a room filled with all kinds of food, something for every meal of the day. There were healthy things, like oatmeal and veggies and turkey patties, and then there was the good stuff: cheeseburgers, donuts, bacon, chicken wings. The contestants had to eat every meal in the room, alone, and the contestant who'd eaten the most calories at the end of the day would get to cast the sole elimination vote. But no immunity.

Since Sam is so buff these days, he has trouble dropping the poundage like he used to. Koli decided to win the Temptation Challenge and use his all-powerful vote to keep Sam on the show should he fall below the Yellow Line. It was a loyal move, but it was also sort of lame; Sam is nearly done with his weight-loss, and people like Ashley and Mike still have more than 100 pounds to go. Of course, there is $250,000 at stake.

To ensure that he would emerge triumphant, Koli really went to town. “If I’m going to eat all those calories I want to make sure I win,” he said, before tucking into a 1,545-calorie breakfast that included bacon, sausage, and donuts.

I said it was fun, but actually it was kind of gross. It was easy to see how someone like Koli could so easily fall back into the kind of eating that got him to 400 pounds in the first place. You could also see how little he was enjoying it. The first 1,000 calories were a thrill, but then he was shoving the food into his mouth like it was a garbage disposal: A sausage down the hatch with nary a chew, half a donut in one gulp. Apparently he prides himself on being able to strip a chicken wing of its meat in a single bite. And indeed, it was rather extraordinary.

At the end of the day, Koli had eaten 4,164 calories and felt like crap. “You smell that, America?” he asked during an extra sweaty post-gluttony workout. “That’s the smell of obesity, and it’s disgusting.”

He won. Not only because he ate so much, but because no one else played. Not one other competitor chose to overeat. Ashley had one guilt-inducing taquito, and that was it.

Then, during weigh-in, he blew everyone out of the water by losing 10 pounds.

Sunshine and Victoria fell below the Yellow Line, and Koli used his vote to give Victoria the heave-ho.

Back in Houston, and reunited with her newly svelte mother, Victoria seemed happy. She’s lost 118 pounds and is down to 240 pounds (she claims to be size 12, which means she must be about 6’ 5”). Also, she calls her punching bag “Koli.” Can’t say that I blame her.