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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Biggest Loser: Get your head in the game

It was student/teacher week on the Biggest Loser this week. One player in each pair was the teacher, one was the student. The students did not get to workout with Bob and Jillian. Instead, their teacher partner had to deliver all the training to them and the student was the only one whose weight counted at weigh-in.

To determine who of each pair would be the student and the teacher, the contestants had to face a candy challenge. Players had to eat only one piece of candy per round. Each candy was 5 calories each. (M&Ms, I think.) If you didn't eat, you're out. The one who ate the most got to pick the students and the teachers. Only two people ate candy in the first round -- Michael (White) and Sherry (Pink). Michael bowed out after the first round. So Pink got the power for only 10 calories.

For the most part, they chose the heaviest partner in the pair to weigh in. They were very deliberate about not making enemies with their choices. However, Green team -- Migdalia (daughter) and Miggy (mother) -- was upset that Migdalia was chosen as the teacher because they thought that she would have the best weigh in of the two. The other odd choice, in my opinion, was that the White team teacher was selected to be Michael, leaving his mother Maria to weigh in.

Migdalia was obviously angry, but when Bob asked her about it, she denied being angry. So Bob and Jillian went all psychiatrist on Migdalia, trying to break her down. Even though it was a bit overly dramatic, Jillian did make sense in saying that feelings and emotion are a compass that let us know when things are out of kilter in our life. That allowing ourselves to be vulnerable really is to be strong.

But Migdalia was not having it. When she finally started to allow herself to feel the pain, she walked out of the gym and threatened to quit.

Jillian followed her out of the gym, sayin that quitting is weak. True strength is digging in to the feelings you're having. Fixing the inside is the only way to make what's going on outside better. Once Jillian got Migdalia crying and broken, she sent Bob in to finish the deal.

When Bob goes in to talk to Migdalia, her mother is there too. Miggy argues that coming to the ranch was about changing your ways, not your personalities. They won't let themselves see that it's their insides that made their outsides 300 pounds.

A few times the show checked in with the Blue and the Yellow teams at home. I really wish that Green would go home and they would bring back one of the teams that is willing to work on their whole selves. As a seriously overweight person myself, I will venture to bet that there are very few obese people who are that way because they just love pizza and beer. Most people eat to extremes for the same reason others drink to extremes or take drugs or shop -- to fill a hole inside themselves. And until we face down those holes and learn to fill them with something emotionally -- and physically -- healthier, we will always be sick individuals.

I wonder if they have real therapists on the ranch, besides Bob and Jillian doing their best Dr. Phil impersonations?

The middle segment of the show was one big product placement. The first was in the training room for Walgreens. The second was with Chef Curtis Stone who showed the contestants proper portion size. While seeing how many calories are in certain restaurant foods was eye opening, it was basically an extended commercial for Muir Glen fire-roasted organic tomatoes.

With the product placements out of the way, it was time for the student-teacher challenge. The teacher had to unwind 1,000 feet of ribbon through a school playground. The students were told they would draw for which ribbon they had to untangle. The winning team would earn immunity and the ability to switch teacher and student roles on one team.

Once the tangling was done, the twist was that the students didn't really draw to see which ribbon they were untangling. They had to untangle their own ribbon -- blindfolded. The untangling would have been hard enough, but blindfolded seemed impossible. Gray, Red and Green did a remarkable job untangling the ribbon, but Gray won. They had until the weigh in to make the teacher/student switch if they chose too.

In the last chance workout, Mike was kind of slacking off, joking around. It made me wonder if Gray would choose White to switch teacher and student at the weigh in. And I was right. Of course, that made Mike mad.

Weigh in (Teacher, Student)

Gray: Koli -13, Sam -11

Even though they had immunity, they said they were there to work and that's what they planned to do every week. Gotta have a lot of respect for that.

Green: Migdalia -8, Miggy -7 (3.2%)
Black: Andrea -7, Darrell -12 (3.22%)
Orange: Cheryl -7, Daris -9 (2.9%)
Purple/Brown: Stephanie -7, John -14 (3.1%)
Red: Melissa -1, Lance -12 (3.57%)

Was this more game play from Melissa? Bob and Jillian seemed to think so. An argument ensued with Bob and Jillian accusing Melissa of throwing the weigh in and Melissa denying it. I think Melissa just guaranteed that Bob and Jillian will not be giving her much attention in the workouts next week. This is not over. The previews for next week, show Melissa scoring a 28 pound weight loss, proving Bob and Jillian right; Melissa is all about the game play and also lied about not throwing the weigh in again this week.

White: Maria -4, Michael -10 (2.08%) - not enough to keep them safe, unless Pink falls below
Pink: Sherry -6, Ashley -12 (3.48%)

So White was up for elimination. I think that everyone will give Michael an opportunity to prove that he really does want to be on the ranch. Sending him home at this point could literally be sending him home to his death. John wasn't buying Michael's sob story about being in pain. And John would know best. He only weighed about 60 pounds less than Michael when they all arrived at the ranch. And John and Stephanie (Brown/Purple) were the only ones who voted to send Michael home.

Maria was eliminated, as she wished. I only hope that Michael sees this as a wake up call that he needs to engage in the processand take advantage of the gift that the Biggest Loser ranch is.

While on campus, Maria lost 27 pounds. At home, she's lost another 23 pounds, for a total of 50 pounds. She's also taking swimming lessons and is conquering her fear of water.

This episode has given me more to think about than any episode in a long time. I think I'll come back to revisit that whole idea of healing the inside. In the meantime, I'm curious to hear your thoughts about it.


Jenny McB said...

Thank you for providing a recap! Last night I missed segments due to the election in Massachusetts.

Maybe it's a matter of editing, but I just don't see Michael's head in the game. He seems very immature in comparison to the other young guys on the show (Like Daniel's friend two seasons ago)
Very good suggestion about the green team, they're another one just going through the motions.
Still not sure if I have a favorite yet.

Joanie said...

Thanks Amy! Your blog was the first one I read this morning because last night, I went out with a group of women from high school. I haven't seen these gals in 37 years!! Anyway, I missed the episode.

I agree with Jenny, Michael seems really immature... coddled by Mommy all these years probably.

Not liking Red Team either. I don't understand the reasoning behind Melissa throwing the weigh-in if Lance was going to be the one weighing in. UNLESS they did it for next week!

I haven't had any feelings about any of the others yet. I thought Green was going to be good, but after reading your post, I'm not sure.

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Wendy said...

I'm finding myself fast-forwarding through the Biggest Loser more & more & more. The product placements, the crying, the pseudo-psychology... it's really distracting from the encouragement I used to get from it. I can usually watch an episode in 20 minutes.

The game players are just annoying. Doing it once is one thing, but twice? Why is she trying to alienate her trainers? So dumb.

I agree with the commentator who said Michael is immature. I hope he'll be there for a few more weeks at least, to cut those strings & do something on his own.

Healing the inside IS important. It's how they got to this place. But it should be done by a real psychiatrist, not Jillian and Bob trying to manufacture drama. That's just damaging. You can really see that this week with Migdalia, how she was so offended by Jillian's prodding, and rightly so. What I read from the Migs? "Quit trying to screw with us." Good for them. I would be SO frustrated and angry if I were them.

Janet said...

I tend to clean house (at least pick up) and watch at the same time.

I can't decide if I like the red team or not. I did like their attitude at the challange - they just laughed when they found out they would have to untangle their own ribbon. Good attitude. Starting out mad/frustrated/etc. isn't the way to get to win a challange.

Sara said...

I was so happy to get online and find your opinion of the show! I love coming here and seeing your thoughts and comparing them to mine. I do think Melissa threw both weigh ins because her weight didn't matter. I did miss the preview part about the 28 lbs next week...I am bummed about that. My opinion about her is that she is there for the money and her husband is there to lose weight. Sucks to be her when they go to singles LOL Not that I expect her to last that long or anything. The whole issue with green team has me up in air. I think that everything Jillian said made sense. And I dont think that they understand. Never one did Jillian say she was a bad parent. She was just being honest. You are your childrens role model. And if you are over weight it is more likely to happen to them. I look at me, and my mom ( also overweight) and then I look at my daughter...I am sad to say that at 7 1/2 she is 98 lbs. That is changing this year. This is the year our family gets healthy. Anyways, now that I rambled on...Thank you for your wonderful summary of the show each week!!

Joanne said...

Finally able to catch up with your comments - as always bang on.

Lets talk about product placement for a minute - can we? Didja get the feeling that Bob and Jillian said "enough" - can't remember seeing them do one. Although during the coversation with Miggy - she kept chawing the gum and I was sure I was going to hear Bob mention the best way to deal with stress (and conquering hunger) is Equal Sugarles Gum - or whatever it is.

Not liking Red team - looked like Lance was going to kill Bob and Jillian - total respect for grey. Hoping they don't turn silly like (crap can't remember the other Tonga cousins - old-timers disease)

Thanks Amy

Jessica McCoy said...

I really liked the green team in the beginning but I agree with you that I would like to see Blue or Yellow in their place.

I like the red team but I really wish that they would be honest about playing the game. I didn't see that she lost 28lbs next week so I was thinking that if she was serious about not playing the game they needed to get this girl some medical attention because she has something seriously wrong with her to not lose any weight in 2 weeks if she was honestly trying her best.

Marine Wife said...

I suspect the woman on the red team threw both weigh-ins because they were in no danger of going home either week and she saw that as her best chance of staying on the ranch longer. Let's face it: next to the other contestants, she hardly looks like she belongs there. Her time is limited. That said, she should just be honest about it. The game play plus the lying about it have really turned me off of that team.

While it seemed like Green team didn't get what Jillian and Bob were saying while Bob was "closing the deal," later Miggy talked to Migdalia about the same issues. But she waited until her daughter had had time to calm down and was more receptive to the message. So maybe there's hope there.

Love that the Tongans seem to be there for all the right reasons!

*hmmm, my word verification is "foodhet"

Beth said...

I'm having trouble with this season of TBL. I have always been mildly annoyed by the product placement commercials especially when they are flat out stupid! I'm annoyed now that the wrap they were putting on John's leg is completely different than the one in my Walgreens or Sometimes I just want to scream "Hey not all big people are on TV but the rest of us need stuff too! Including ice packs for our swollen knees!" And I have informed my husband that if he wants to live he will NEVER suggest Extra SF gum when I want a candy bar or cookie! But that's not my issue ...

If I went on TBL (which I never will) I could give Shay a run for the money as biggest woman. I'm not proud of this fact but it is my reality. I lost almost 200 pounds a few years ago and I have relocated, and replaced, every ounce! Now my knees are screaming for relief and I know that if I don't make some big changes NOW ... I will be permanently handicapped by my morbid obesity and loss of mobility. I don't want to go there but it is the track that I'm on. So I GET all these "you have to fix the insides" speeches. And I feel the peoples pain. I share their hopes that my children will not walk this path and Jillians fear that of course they will. I want to look in a mirror and not cringe. I want to shop in a regular clothing store. I understand the lack of desire for intimacy because I am ashamed of my body. I understand believing that the only thing most people see in me is my body. There are few that will look past the fat to find my heart. Anyway ... every time they do one of these "Dr. Phillian" moments I hold my breath and hope they will share the secret. But it never happens. And on the retro show I would say that a majority of the ex-contestants had gained some of the weight back. And I guess they're still looking for the secret too! I wish I could figure it out because I don't have it in me to fight this battle more than this next one more time. This time I need to win the war. But the enemy isn't playing fair if he won't reveal all his players! :(

Michelle said...

I am disgusted with the red team's gameplay and attitude. I wanted the gray team to switch them!

BayBabe said...

Thank you so much for your synopsis. I fast forward more and more each week. Mike (white team) has such an attitude that I can barely stand to look at him. He is lazy and taking up valuable space. I hope he proves me wrong!
This is the most uninteresting group they have ever had - it seems that Bob & Jullian look for personality problems! so thanks!

Bay Babe