Wednesday, November 4, 2009


The Biggest Loser, just like the Tea Partyers, made the trek to Washington, D.C. -- this group spreading their healthy-eating and healthy-lifestyle message at nation's landmarks including the Jefferson Memorial and the White House garden.

At Washington Monument, each contestant lured tourists and locals to a mass workout -- with Liz gathered the most people and won the challenge.

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Pennsylvania Sen. Robert Casey spoke with the contestants who completed a balance challenge.

Teams ran a mile around Constitution Garden. The top six finishers took pennies from the Watergate steps and placed them into a bank -- with the first three who gathered enough pennies to reach a designated line on the bank moving on in the round.

Remaining contestants ran up 206 steps in front of the White House -- the number of steps representing the number of contestants who have appeared on The Biggest Loser. Rebecca won immunity.

And as a real treat, the contestants were able to prepare a salad in the White House kitchen with assistance from the Obama's personal chefs.

Anyway, the final weigh-in was in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Tracey and Liz fell below the yellow line -- so in danger of being voted to leave the show.

And in the end, it is Tracey, who previously stuffed on cupcakes and admits that she has tried hard to play the game to win, who was voted to be sent home.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


What a horrible situation -- hunger and a chain-secured kitchen to prevent access to eating! For this week, host Alison Sweeney told the contestants on The Biggest Loser that they had no access to the kitchen facilities because they were to "eat out" for all of their meals.

While once upon a time, eating out would likely have suited The Biggest Loser contestants just fine -- now that they are on a weight-losing journey, they felt concerned that "eating out" meant that they might not have total control over how their meals were prepared. When ordering meals, they tended to ask for extras "on the side" to maintain as much control as possible.

Then coaches Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels, in preparing the group for life in the real world, took everyone to a Mexican restaurant where the entire group did quite well in assessing calories for meals on the menu -- and ordering foods in the healthiest fashion.

It seems that no one has forgotten Tracey's misjudgements of last week -- when she, contrary to advice from the coaches, opted for offers of pounds off at the weigh-in and scrumptious cupcakes. In the end, Tracey had the chance to choose which contestant from each pair would be counted at the weigh-in -- and Tracey chose Shay. So this week Shay felt that Tracey was not to be trusted.

And, as it turned out, Tracey was revealed to have a major major muscle injury and an extremelyh high enzyme level. The show's doctor advised that Tracey avoid all physical activity, even walking, so that she would not risk damaging her kidneys and liver. Once again, the responsibility for this duo fell to teammate Mo.

Tracey, not shockingly, was the only contestant to gain weight, gaining two pounds. The remainder of the contestants lost weight -- with Rudy's 11 pound loss being the best of the week.

Daniel, who was able to hang on longest when on a tilted platform above water, had won immunity for himself and teammate Shay.

Julio, who admitted that he wanted to remain at the ranch, still kindly said that he did not have to remain there to lose weight. So, in the end, Liz and Danny remained -- and Julio was voted to head home. And when The Biggest Loser show visited Julio at home, he had reduced his weight to just under 300 pounds and said that he was determined to be at 200 pounds by the season finale!

This week's results:

Abby: 213 pounds (-3)
Allen: 285 pounds (-7)
Amanda: 230 pounds (-5)
Daniel: 287 pounds (identical to last week)
Danny: 382 pounds (-8)
Dina: 229 pounds (-5)
Julio: 364 pounds (-4)
Liz: 240 pounds (-3)
Mo: 318 pounds (-8)
Rebecca: 244 pounds (-4)
Rudy: 377 pounds (-11)
Shay: 432 pounds (-5)
Tracey: 219 pounds (+2)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


This week's Biggest Loser show was hard to believe. It is easy to understand making a mistake once, but it is hard to understand how someone could go right back and make the same kind of mistake all over again.

Host Alison Sweeney described the game -- "Would you rather?" By stepping over a line, a contestant could acquire a two-pound advantage, but the cost would be a week without the benefit of coaching from Bob and Jillian. The contestants all seemed to think that the choice was easy -- they needed their coaches, and with Bob and Jillian's help they felt that they could easily lose more than two pounds.

But, shock, without even consulting partner Mo, Tracey stepped over the line for the mere two pound advantage! Mo felt dismayed -- and everyone was in shock, especially Bob and Jillian. Jillian was especially angry and hurt -- that Tracey had the unique opportunity of being at the ranch with two of the top weight-loss coaches in the world, and she handed it off for a two-pound advantage. "That's like a slap in the face," she lamented.

Then came a second challenge -- Control Your Diet or Control This Game! The contestant who scoffed down the most 100-calorie cupcakes could decide which person would represent each teach at the weekly weigh-in.

Basically, could any viewers of the show anticipate that after one tragic mistake, Tracey would even consider a second misstep? Then could any fans root for Tracey as she stuffed four luscious cupcakes into her mouth? There was the question -- did she even appreciate the opportunity that she had in being at the weight-loss ranch? And a second question was whether she actually wanted the advantage of picking which team members would count at the weigh-in -- or was she simply lacking concern about her weight to the extent that gobbling four sweet cupcakes meant more to her?

The other contestants decided that Tracey is crazy -- a loose cannon.

At the weigh-in Jillian expressed a lack of sympathy for Mo -- telling him that he needed to start looking out for himself. And when Mo stepped onto the scales, he appeared to feel distraught when he learned that he had only lost one pound.

And when Tracey stepped onto the scale and revealed that she had actually lost 11 pounds, the other contestants signaled their feelings of contempt by failing to applaud her.

Tracey's maneuvers left partners Sean and Antoine and Daniel and Shay below the yellow line -- and one would, according to the rules, be sent home. Both Sean and Antoine volunteered to leave so that Shay could remain at the ranch. They did not feel that Shay, the heaviest contestant ever, could as effectively continue her weight-loss at home.

During the glimpse offered of Sean today, we learned that he and his wife plan to name their expected baby Jillian. And we learned that Antoine, once he arrived home, quickly contacted Alexandra -- who had become his love interest even though her time at the ranch had been brief since she was the first contestant to leave the ranch.

So while Biggest Loser fans are no doubt rooting for the remaining contestants and hoping that the contestants at home will continue to lose weight, Tracey likely still has fans who want her to lose weight -- but it is doubtful that there are any who want her to win the big prize. She simply has not endeared herself to anyone!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Every fan of The Biggest Loser has at least one contestant who he or she roots for and hopes will emerge thin and trim enough to win the show's weight loss challenge. This week was every fan's dream -- because every fan could give a sigh of relief as that favorite moves on for another week at the ranch. Yes -- it was a week when no one was sent home, and everyone benefits from at least one seven more days of diet and exercise at The Biggest Loser ranch!

The big twist was the surprise announcement that should the group together lose a whopping 150 pounds, no one would be sent home. But should they fail to lose that amount of weight, instead two contestants would be catching a ride home.

Contestants grunted and cried through hard work at the gym, along with considerable tough love from coach Jillian Michaels who barked orders to keep everyone focused on maximum weight loss. In a style not quite as hard-nosed as Michaels', Shay came down hard on Julio -- who she felt should be working harder.

Besides the gym work, coaches Jillian and Bob turned contestants' attention to proper diet. Chef Curtis Stone instructed on proper portion size and how to a Biggest Loser scale. Then there was an additional surprise -- a quiz on Stone's advice and information. By answering five out of eight questions, the team passed the quiz and the weight-loss goal was lowered to 135 pounds.

The weekly challenge was an obstacle course -- with a prize of an additional 20 pounds deleted from the required pounds to be lost to keep everyone at the ranch for another week, along with very coveted phone calls home. The result -- a win!

The last chance workout is traditionally tough -- and this week was no exception. But the rewards came at the weigh-in.

Allen and Abby lost 22 pounds; Amanda and Rebecca lost 10 pounds; Antoine and Sean lost 19 pounds; Daniel and Shay lost 23 pounds and Danny and Liz lost 22 pounds. Also, Dina and Rudy lost 22 pounds, Julio lost 19 pounds and Mo and Tracey lost 19 pounds.

The team beat the highest number 150 goal -- and no one was sent home!

Since everyone has their favorite competitors, it seemed a fun exercise to learn which contestants might emerge as fan favorites.

At the LA Times, a personal assessment was made of the contestants. "Abby has already won everyone's heart," Rene Lynch opined. "And Coach Mo isn't far behind as he steps up to be this season's spiritual and emotional guidepost. Sean and Danny are just sweethearts putting family first. Tracey is shaping up to have the determination that you'd expect from a Marine's wife. You can't help but think that Allen, Dina and Shay have hit rock bottom, with no place else to turn, and have been working that behind off, literally. Liz is just a sweetie.

"Daniel earned this second chance -- can't vote him off," Lynch continued with her assessment. "Antoine is deserving too. Julio shut everyone up this week with his monster weight loss. And then there's Rudy, who is supporting teammate Dina in every way possible, making him a candidate for the bestest "Biggest Loser" teammate ever. "

And finally Lynch added, "That leaves Rebecca and Amanda, who might have ended up on the chopping block this week had it been a normal weigh-in. This marks Amanda's second week in a row with less-than-stellar weight loss. Arguably, she has the most to prove: America chose her as its wild-card candidate going into this season. If she doesn't pull a big number soon and prove that America chose the right player, she may be gone."

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Twenty-year-old college student Alexandra White, the first contestant eliminated on The Biggest Loser, lost -- and gained. In only one week at the campus, she lost 13 pounds. And, actually, since the beginning of her Biggest Loser weight-loss journey, she has lost a total of a huge 70 pounds. But at The Biggest Loser campus, she also gained.

What Alexandra gained was a love interest, fellow contestant Antoine -- a 23-year-old health insurance agent from Dudley, NC.

Alexandra revealed that she and Antoine "recently started dating, and things are going great." One advantage that they have is that they understand each other --"wonderful because we are both conscious of the healthy choices we need to make ... He understands what four to six-hour workouts are, and he understands that when we go out, we need to know how many calories are in each dish."

And even though Alexandra only had the benefit of a week on the show, she feels that it was a valuable week.

I did so many things this week that I never thought I could do," Alexandra explained. "I didn't really appreciate all the hard work I did until I really started to push beyond my comfort level and I learned that you know, you really can go beyond that point of pain -- you really can push above and beyond and once you do that greater things can happen.

"I started realizing that it was time for me to really change my life because my life is just starting. I'm in college now -- these are supposed to be the best years. I have so much ahead of me," she said.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


The Biggest Loser wasted no time in starting to shape up a new group of contestants in the first episode of Season 8 on Tuesday night.

Contestants expected the Biggest Loser bus to deliver them to the show’s ranch, but instead the bus pulled to a halt at a beach location where everyone was greeted by The Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney. One by one they emerged from the bus, whopping and dancing – clearly excited to begin their challenging weight-loss journey.

As the contestants all gathered together, Sweeney revealed that this was the same location where last season's contestants actually completed a marathon. And she told these contestants that their first challenge was to trek what previously represented the final mile.

But as the group tried to meet this challenge, 37-year old homemaker Tracey became exhausted and fell to the ground – only managing the final yards at the urging of her new friends. But she was clearly in distress and in need of medical attention. Soon medical help arrived and a helicopter transported her to a nearby medical facility.

Rudy, a 31-year-old engineer, was frightened and lamented, "It is serious to see how unhealthy we all are.”

The contestants divided into pairs – Daniel and Shay; Allen and Abby, Rebecca and Amanda and Antoine and Sean. Others were Rudy and Dina, Liz and Danny, Alexandra and Julio and Mo and Tracey.

When the group arrived for their first weigh-in, Shay quickly confided, “Oh, my gosh. Everyone is going to see every bad choice that I have ever made.” And, as it turned out, she weighed in at 476 pounds – the heaviest contestant to ever appear on the show. And as contestants and judges watched the scale signal her weight, coach Bob Harper exclaimed, “Oh, my God!”

After the weigh-in, the contestants waited to be divided into teams to work with either coach Bob Harper or Jillian Michaels. But Michaels announced, “You will all be training with the both of us.”

Exercising in the gym found nearly everyone struggling – but it was especially difficult for Shay who actually at one point quit. However, after some soul-searching with head in hands, she realized, “If I stop now, nothing is going to change.” Despite Shay’s difficulty with exercising, Michaels showed her tough love, saying, "Are you ready to work? This is nothing to be ashamed of. But I will not accept anything less than one-hundred percent.”

The contestants went through a series of physical examinations and medical tests. Danny, who was the only contestant returning from last season, remarked, “I have never met with so many doctors in my life.”

And 29-year-old Shay, who was told that her inner age was 45, in tears said, “I can’t go backward. I can only go forward.”

The teams had their first weigh-in that would result in one contestant leaving the show. Amanda and Rebecca, the second team to be weighed, kept sliding down the leaderboard as more and more contestants were weighed, and they worried that they would have lost the least weight of all.

But after all couples were weighed, 20-year-old college student, Alexandra and 40-year-old mortgage loan officer Julio – who each lost 13 pounds – were at the bottom of the board. Julio made his case to the group, saying, “I beg you to allow me to stay for my children and my family.” And Alexandra told the group, “I worked hard every day. I did a good job.” But the group had to decide to send one of the pair home.

The voting was even for Alexandra and Julio until it came to the final vote. And Alexandra was reluctantly voted off. It seemed that the group sympathized with Julio's explanation for wanting to stay -- to get healthy for his children. And several of the group said that they thought that Alexandra would continue to lose weight even if she went home.

Alexandra clearly was disappointed and did not want to end her weight-loss journey in the very first week, but she very sweetly remarked that her time there had been valuable – that she believed “success is the determination that you have in your heart.”

And when the show flipped ahead in time, Alexandra, from Harrisburg, PA, was shown back at home – having continued with the weight-loss routine and lost 60 pounds! She said that she was excited to return for the final weigh-in when she will be even slimmer – and revealed a secret, that she has a crush on one of the guys in the group! She didn’t say who, but hopefully before the season is over, we will find out!

Friday, September 4, 2009


The Biggest Loser fans are doing the countdown – now that the first episode of the new season is only days away. The show’s September 15th two-hour premiere will assemble the familiar cast of host Alison Sweeney and trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels, along with 16 contestants who are looking for a “second chance.”

“We heal these old injuries not just physically, but emotionally,” explained Michaels to examiner. “”We have contestants who have been to hell and back, to be quite frank. How do we heal these old injuries and rehabilitate these contestants? … We talk about diet and exercise, but the philosophy of the show has always been about life. … It sends a message to America that we can overcome any tragedy and turn it into triumph with the right skill set and mind frame.”

Daniel Wright, who began last season as the heaviest contestant ever on the show, is back again to continue his weight-loss journey.

“We were really happy that the show was taking responsibility and seeing his journey through,” said Michaels. “Here is a kid that came in last every challenge, and the very first challenge he comes in first.”

But also competing this season is a female social worker who is replacing Wright as the heaviest contestant ever. The stories range from a young woman who lost her husband and children in an automobile accident -- to a firefighter whose job is at risk because of his weight – to a military wife who has always placed her family ahead of herself.

In the season premiere, one contestant experiences a health scare during the initial challenge, the contestants meet with Dr. Huizenga to learn their medical conditions and the first contestant is sent home.

Trainer Harper said, “It’s gonna be easy to lose weight at the house, but what they’ve got to learn is to stand on their own two feet and live in the everyday world. It’s a conscious decision they make on a daily basis.”