Wednesday, April 7, 2010
I watched The Biggest Loser on DVR at 2am last night and was just too tired to post any reflections about it. However, I was thinking about it on my way to work this morning.
This season is different. Yes, it's the same trainers. Same host. Same shameless product placements. Even the same outrageously large weights at the start of the season. But this season's contestants are different. This season's contestants are supportive of each other. They truly want to see others succeed. They definitely seem to be there for their health, not their wallets.
The only real game player has been Melissa. Once she left the ranch several weeks ago, there seemed to be a lightening of spirits. When she returned last week, no one was throwing her a "welcome back" party. Melissa never made any secret of the fact that she was all about the game -- and I have to give her credit for that. At least she wasn't skulking around being all sneaky about it.
But her desire to play the game did not make her a favorite in the house. In fact, last night's swim challenge in which each player had to move 100 1-pounds weights from the bottom of the pool to a bin on the edge of the pool, demonstrated that quite clearly. Sunshine won the challenge and then moved on to help her father, O'Neal, finish. Sam, who came in second, also helped O'Neal. As each person finished, he or she worked to help another player. The player who came in last would receive a 1 pound disadvantage at the scale. The only person who did not receive help was Melissa.
She viewed that as stupidity, that people weren't trying to knock out the biggest threats in the house, that they obviously didn't understand how to play the game. What Melissa didn't understand is that the players this season don't care about gameplay. At least not yet.
When Melissa fell below the bottom line with Drea, her plea to those who would be deciding her fate was "I'm your fairy godmother. I can't beat you. So keep me and pick off everyone else one at a time." In other seasons, her argument would have been persuasive. But not this season. And so, with five consecutive votes, Melissa was sent packing once again.
I thought that her tearful display of emotion at being forced to leave the ranch for a second time was one of the few times we've seen her real self, instead of this tough competitor image she's projected throughout this season.
To Drea's credit, while she could have been smug and think "I've got this; no one likes Melissa," she didn't. She offered her own plea for why she should stay on the ranch.
I don't think the remainder of the season will be devoid of gameplay. As the numbers dwindle, people will be forced to make alliances and to make difficult decisions which will certainly be influenced by what's best for themselves. The next most likely gameplayer, in my opinion, is Koli. We saw him place seeds of doubt about Stephanie in Ashley's mind. And I think he's getting frustrated by his cousin Sam's success while his own weight loss has not been as remarkable.
So I'm sure the games will take place. But last night anyway, it was refreshing to see that there was no room for gameplay.