THE BIGGEST LOSER
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The battle of the bulge takes a high-tech turn as twelve people who have one thing in common... girth... will compete to see who can shed the most ounces.

Recaps by Gordon Pepper, GSNN


FACT FILE:
Host:
Caroline Rhea
Trainers: Bob Harper, Jillian Michaels
Creators: Ben Silverman, David Broome, Mark Koops
EP: Ben Silverman, David Broome, JD Roth, John Foy, Todd A. Nelson
Packager: Reveille Productions, 25/7 Productions, 3 Ball Productions
Airs:
Tuesdays at 8pm ET on NBC


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"Do or Diet" - October 19
 

We start a new era. After the disastrous exit of Last Comic Standing, we get the new show called The Biggest Loser, which hopefully won't be what it's called in the ratings.

The premise is simple - whoever loses the most amount of weight wins $250,000. The people will be divided into two teams, where there will be challenges. The team that loses must vote off one of their members. After team challenges, their will be individual challenges, where people also get voted off.

Does this sound familiar? I may sound like Jeff Suchard here when I say - look, it's Survivor, gym-style. Of course, staying on an island for 30 days with nothing to eat will also result in rapid weight loss... but I digress. Let's meet the 12 weight-winning wannabe's...

Lisa (26, Orlando, Fl - Sales) is dark haired, looks mid-western. She's sick of having to sit in the fat seat in planes and wearing granny panties.

Matt (25, Benington, PA - Marketing) has never been thin, and the short black haired guy's worry is that people will only see him as being thin and cute and not getting to know the real him. The problem here may be more than just weight...

Ryan (36, Van Nuys, CA - DVD Production) wants to be an old grandpa - but he won't get to be old if he's that physically obese.

Gary (40, Brooklyn, NY - Business Owner) has had some not-so-good news from his doctors. For this short cropper, balding white-haired guy, this is just not a game anymore.

David (39, Boston, MA - Real Estate Developer) is confident when he goes out on the beach with no shirt on, but the bald developer knows he has to lose weight.

Kelly (31, Belmont, MA - Stand-up Comedian) wants to be able to go to stores and wear whatever she wants. She wants to lose her insecurity as well as the weight.

Lizzeth (26, Westminster, CA - Childcare) wants to be hot - but the Latina is also doing this to be a role model for her family, who are also all on the heavy side.

Kelly #2 (28, Coopersburg, PA - Teacher) says that no one has said that she isn't datable because of her weight - but she knows that's a fact and she wants to do something about it.

Dana (21, Nashville, TN - Receptionist) wants to prove to herself and everyone else that she can live a healthy lifestyle. She has the Pippi-Longstocking braids and a very twangy midwestern accent.

Andrea (29, Franklin, MA - Pharmaceutical Sales) is the lone African-American Female in the group. She wants to do this not just for health - but for her.

Aaron (29, Los Angeles, CA, Writer), is doing this because he no longer wants to have man-boobs. Noooo man boobs for Aaron.

Maurice (well, apparently, he is shy and he doesn't want any of us to know his statistics), the lone African American male (who is bald), wants to show people that just because you're large, doesn't mean you're lazy. The group comes to meet the host, Caroline Rhea, as she tells everyone that the walk that they all did during the player introductions was their first new step to a healthier life. She warns everyone that there is no stapling, sucking or cutting - this is about improving your life the old school way - diet and exercise.

Caroline tells them all that there will be temptations along the way, but if you stick through the program, you will be a changed person. However, in order to get to your future, you have to remember the past. Caroline walks away, and a horse drawn carriage, which was behind her as she was talking, moves with her as well to reveal...

...what they ate last week. Damn, that's a lot of food. Playfully calling it the buffet, Caroline reminds them all that they are turning away from that. Lizzeth says that it made her sick and Kelly the comedian says that it's a good motivation to start losing the weight. Carolyn tells them all to go to their food and say good-bye to it, because their comfort food will soon be gone. They all do that - but Ryan sneaks a donut from his food and eats it, which everyone catches and isn't too happy about it. Way to go making a good first impression, Ryan.

They walk into a new home - a 24hour Fitness gym. Also in the gym - a huge scale. Andrea is terrified of the scale - and for good reason, because Caroline says that they all have to weigh themselves.... now, as she sends them all of to get their bathing suits. When they come out... let's just say that watching all of these half naked people could be a Fear Factor stunt. Ryan: "America is going to see my man boobs." Yeah - and they may be traumatized for life.

Gary, who is disgusted for letting him get this way and who looks like a slab of meat, is 234 pounds. They get measures and put in a water tank to determine their body fat percentage, and Kelly/teacher (236) says that the whole experience was humiliating. David (who said that he wasn't there because he looked like Vin Diesel) is 250, while Dana is at 175. Matt is the heaviest that he has ever been (310) and Lisa (242) was completely embarrassed. Ryan and his manboobs come in at 310, while Andrea, who doesn't want to see her weight, is at 215. Aaron is at 265, who rationalizes it this way. "I know why I'm so fat - I haven't exercised and I've eaten like a pig." Well put, Aaron. Kelly/comedian is at 223 - but she feels like she's at 300. She never wants to see that number again. Maurice says that he is the big man on the ranch - and at 436, he sure is.

After that lovely experience, Caroline shows them the room that could get their numbers even bigger - the temptation room. Each person has a fridge, and in each refrigerator is the person's favorite food. Each person is on one of two teams. In order to stay in the game, they have to make sure that the team on weigh-in loses the most amount of weight - because that determines which team has to vote someone off. She reminds everyone that $250,000 is at stake. Andrea wants to take a trip and strut in her 2 piece bikini, and everyone doesn't care as much about the food as they do about the money.

By the way, those teams are -

Blue Team - Aaron, Dana, Maurice, Andrea, Gary, Kelly #1
Red Team - Matt, Lizzeth, David, Kelly #2, Lisa, Ryan

Both teams get into their rooms to find a bag of sweets waiting for them. Matt immediately takes their bag and sticks it in the women's room. Heh. The teams are already making vote-off procedures, as Matt says that whoever touches their fridge is gone. Lisa, on the other hand, is offended, saying that if someone tells her what to do it will push her to food. That's not a good attitude to have...

Maurice says that some of the people don't have a chance - because he loses the most amount of weight. Well, that makes you a threat, Maurice, and maybe an ideal candidate to go home after the team competition has ended. Matt says that the first week, people won't be losing a lot of weight - Maurice included.

David uses to be a physical trainer (wha?) and he says he's here because he ate too many late night meals. Andy has said that they have all lost weight off of diet plans, while David thinks that Ryan will quickly run to the fridge. Everyone then says that they are all determined and how they will all be... The Biggest Loser!

Helping out the loser-wannabe's will be two different trainers. Jillian Michaels, a female fitness trainer who likes to push people hard a la the army, is the sergeant of the red team. Bob Harper, from Nashville, will be the blue trainer. He focuses on making it fun - but to get results.

Jillian says that the first time can be rough, which usually results in people throwing up. They don't do that, but David calls her a 'tough b...chick' as they all collapse. Conversely, Bob sits them all down and wants them to all know each other. We get a flash sequence between Jillian pushing her group through torture and Bob talking to his group.

Jillian tortures them all with another run, and Jillian tells them all that she is pushing them because this is as bad as it's going to get - but it will get better. On the other side, Bob has them do light circuit training which keeps people their heart rate - except for Dana, which he goes after because he doesn't think that Dana is trying her hardest.

Jillian continues to go after changing habits - starting with Matt. When she finds out that he has cigarettes, she has Ryan hold Matt as she takes them and destroys them, much to the shock of Matt. He thinks that all he has to do is go get another pack in his room - until Jillian tells him that if she finds out he's been smoking, everyone else will run a mile. He doesn't like cold turkey, but he realizes that if he does, he's leaving. He goes after Dave and says that he also smokes, which has Jillian telling Dave that he's quitting. She tells him that it's not about using the cigarettes instead of eating to win a competition - it's about changing your habits, and David reluctantly agrees to do it.

We have our first upchucking victim - and it's Aaron, who does it in the bushes. The rest of the group rally around him, and they end their session with a team huddle and a 'Go Blue Crew' chant.

Jillian introduces us to the red team's 'Eat Less' diet, which is to burn more calories than you take in, go high on protein and fiber and low on carbs, and to control the portion. It's not about not eating carbs - it's about eating the right carbs, as they will be eating more vegetables. Jillian says that if they cheat, to not lie to her about it - and she looks like she means it, too. Bob counters that with an 'eat more' diet, which is to eat 4-6 planned meals a day, regardless if you are hungry or not, with a high volume, low calorie and low carb. In addition, he will be eating the same thing that everyone else will be doing. Andrea loves the new diet, because there's portions and Aaron likes it, but Maurice, who is wondering where the meat is, calls it the 'eat not enough' diet.

The next morning, everyone wakes up and complains about their muscles, which took a pounding from the night before. They also come down and see breakfast, which is bacon, French toast, sausages, pancakes and lots of stuff that you shouldn't be eating. 'Probably the only thing here we can eat is the plant (on the table)' jokes Kelly, but Maurice decides to munch on the bacon. The team allows it, but prohibits him from going anywhere near the sausage.

The contestants now have fuel in their bodies, but two race cars next to Carolyn have no fuel in them. The teams have to carry the cars across the finish line by rotating people between dragging the car and in the driver's seat. The winning team gets 5 pounds of lard. What's so important about the lard? They can add it to the other team's weight at the weigh-in. The Red team's Ryan complains of fatigue and stopped dragging the car - and that's the difference as the Blue team wins. Aaron, true to his nature, vomits right after the challenge, while Maurice claims victory, saying that they have not only win, but they have beaten the red team's spirit.

Maurice may be right, as Lisa complains to Matt that since no one is writing stuff down, she doesn't know what to do in terms of eating as Matt, who shrugs, says that Jillian is going to make their lives miserable when she finds out. Matt's right, as she makes them do cardio in 2 hour sessions. Matt wants to quit, but Jillian won't let him as he gets through the session, which lasts for a total of 5 hours. on the other side, it is Dana who is complaining, but Bob gets Dana through it. We see both teams working hard as we see a 5 minute filler on how hard everyone is working.

Next up - the weigh-in. Lizzeth is torn between not trying hard and missing her family, while David says he needs to make the change and Lisa is wondering if her body will hold up. Ryan's frustrated because even if he loses a lot of weight, if his team loses, then he can be out.

Starting weight - Blue - 1,537 pounds
Red - 1,535 pounds

Blue Team -
Gary - from 227-215 = -12 pounds
Maurice - from 436-423 = -13 pounds
Kelly Mac - from 223-210 = -13 pounds
Dana - from 175-170 = -5 pounds
Aaron - from 261-241 = -20 pounds
Andrea - from 215-209 = -6 pounds
Total = 69 pounds

Red Team -
Lisa - from 235-225 = -10 pounds
Lizzeth - from 167-164 = -3 pounds
Matt - from 310-288 = -22 pounds
Dave - from 250-240 = -10 pounds
Kelly - from 242-227 = -15 pounds
Ryan - from 330-311 = -19 pounds
Total = 79 pounds + 5 pound penalty = 74 pounds

The red team wins! Jillian 1, Bob 0

Matt and Lisa spoke to Gary about who he is going to eliminate, and he snaps at both of them, reminding them that he didn't make fun of them when it came to them losing the challenge. He speaks to Andrea that Dana only lost 5 pounds and Maurice didn't lose as much as he should have. Dana puts a bigger bulls-eye on herself, saying that she at 170, isn't going to lose much more weight than 5 pounds at a time. Kelly is upset at herself for only losing 13 pounds while Maurice says that he wants to be there. Dana says that her journey isn't complete until she loses 30 pounds and Andrea says that she has started her life change, regardless of what happens.

The blue team comes in with dinner trays and a cover. In each tray is the name of someone that they have wanted to vote off. Caroline does her Jeff Probst interpretation, but not getting much out of it. Maurice votes for Gary, but Aaron, Gary and Andrea vote for Dana. Dana votes for Andrea, but with Dana up by 2 votes, Kelly's vote is inconsequential and Dana is eliminated. Caroline says that Dana will not be the biggest loser. True - but she is the first one.

Caroline reminds everyone to stay strong and keep up the team spirit. Meanwhile, Dana, as leaving, loves what Bob did and wants to continue what she's doing. Apparently, she did - we see that after the show, she lost 15 more pounds with a new job and boyfriend. Well, the show seems to have helped her...

...but as for my take, the jury is still out. This could be a good show that shows people how to do this dieting trend at home with more advice and input - or it could turn into a Survivor clone and be just as uncreative in the future, voting and all, down to the final jury of their peers. We'll see which one this evolves into as time goes by...

...and when the time hits next week, someone on the Red Team goes the extra mile, while someone else does their best - to wreck the team. Tune in to see who pounds what to whom.

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