The Biggest Loser: Weight Loss Through Tears

If you didn’t cry last night while watching Biggest Loser last night, you are made of stone. It was a three-hanky night, and the sheer volume of tears must have been good for weight-loss all around.

First there was father/daughter duo O’Neal and Sunshine. In flashbacks from week 7, O’Neal worked himself into a tizzy over the mere idea of Sunshine getting voted off. She was never even close, but his freakout helped set the stage for the many weepy scenes of paternal love to follow.

In a step meant to prepare the contestants for the harsh realities of life outside the show, it was Work Week at the Ranch. Everyone would be working 8-hour days, commuting by bus (reality show exemption: the bus picked them up and dropped them off at their front door) and the gym would be open only from 6 am to 7:30 pm. Harsh.

Every morning, the crew bussed off to the LA Area Food Bank to help out with distribution, inventory, and thank-you calls. As expected, there were many heartwarming scenes in which the contestants helped out the less fortunate. Cue weeping.

But not before we cue the monster truck pull. This week’s challenge had the teams pulling 33,000-pound tractor-trailers along a runway in an attempt to win a year’s worth of groceries. As Sam so succinctly put it, “That’s something I can really use because I’m [shrug] broke.”

The manly Blue Team, with its members' superior upper body strength, won it, but it was far from a shut-out. Black Team was right on their heels thanks to O’Neal. For a while it seemed as if his slowness was going to cost the Blue Team its victory, but then Sunshine started cheering him on and that was all the motivation Mr. Sentimental needed. His daughter’s voice was like a turbo booster, and off he limped, to help unite the Blue Team with its groceries. Gratuitous gloating (ahem, Koli) followed.

Meanwhile, back at the Food Bank, much was made of the sweet bond between Cheryl and Sherri, the two middle-aged moms who've become total BFFs. Depending on who you ask, they are like sisters, like Mutt and Jeff, like the blind leading the blind. But one thing is certain: They are as inspiring and heart warming as all get out. If you didn’t sniffle when Cheryl said, “I used to be afraid to dream and I’m not that way anymore,” I repeat: You are made of stone.

There was little suspense at weigh-in, despite all the David and Goliath comparisons, despite the scenes of Black Team working their butts off as Sam urged them all on with fervent sports metaphors. During the workout scenes Blue Team just looked stronger, and buffer. We’re getting to the point where the weight loss is really starting to show. Some contestants, like Daris and Sam and Koli, are even looking downright slim.

Blue Team won, which meant Black Team had to vote someone off. Which meant camera time for Koli as he sobbed at the thought of Sam leaving.

In the end it was the sweet, inspiring Cheryl, the lady who had learned to dream, who went home. Poor Sherri (her percentage of body weight lost earned her immunity) was sobbing like a baby as her friend Cheryl’s refrigerator light was turned off forever. Black Team is going to need to do some real grunting to stay in the game.

The reveal informed us that Cheryl is down to 164 pounds from her original weight of 227 pounds. She's gotten an unfortunate haircut since her time at the Ranch, but other than that, she looks great. Go middle-aged moms!

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