As we open, we see panoramic, snow-capped mountains. Music swells and we hear angelic voices begin to sing, “Climb every mountain...”
Wait a minute! Wrong tape! I want The Biggest Loser, not The Sound of Music! Excuse me for just a moment.
*Hurriedly removes “Sound of Music” from VCR and replaces it with Biggest Loser*
Aaahh! Much better! Lets start again.
We begin with a recap of last week. (I realize this is unexpected, but work with me now) It’s strangely de ja vu - the ladies win the challenge and the men win the weigh-in. (by the narrowest margin yet) The ladies sent Suzanne home. Combined, the teams have lost a total of 576 pounds so far.
We get a little update from Gary, of season one. He’s gone from 227 at the start to a current weight of 170. He tells us he’s added muscle. He’s looking good.
The women are sitting on some rock steps in a hillside when Bob joins them. He asks them how they’re feeling. Andrea says she feels pressured to prove she is an asset to the team. (Since the editing crew never foreshadows anything, do you think Andrea will get her chance?) Bob tells us that they have to be completely on their game every hour of the day.
We find the men working out. Mark is hitting it hard and has already worked out for 5 hours before Jillian joins them. Mark is very proud of this and brags to Jillian about it off to the side. She’s glad for him but really wishes he would lighten up a bit. She reminds him that if he’s working out more he has to eat more. His eating must match his workouts or his metabolism will go into survival mode and it will slow down.
Our Losers face their temptation for this week. They enter the room to see a table with 3 large boxes on it. Next to it is a smaller table with a scrumptious looking chocolate cake on it and a plate with a huge slice of that cake. A sign reads:
Ignore your diet just for today You have a one in three chance to play There’s a $2,300 prize for you at stake All you have to do is eat this slice of cake
The all contemplate the cake and try to figure out how many calories it has. But no one eats it. Then a note is slipped under the door. It reads:
Because none of you have given in We’re going to give you one more chance to win Removing the middle box is all you have to do To increase your chances to one in two
They remove the middle box. Under it is a glass of milk and a sign that says:
You didn’t win But you’re still on your way to being thin The piece of cake you ate had only 4 1/2 grams of fat
We go to a commercial with Mark sticking his pinky in the frosting, leading us to believe he will eat the cake. When we get back we discover it was only the editors having a little fun with us.
No one eats the cake, although Mark informs us that the guys were just acting like they wanted to eat it so that the girls would choose to eat it. Seth tells us that low fat things are usually full of sugar and that’s where the calories come from.
They leave the room to find Bob and Jillian with the prize they could have won. It is an exercise bike hooked up to a computer and a screen. As you ride it’s like you’re playing a video game, riding in a bike race. Kewl!
We come to Mark and Jen working out and talking. Mark says, “I’ve lacked motivation, this is only my 3rd hour.” Jen comes back with, “What are you doing, taking a day off?” They talk about how Jen “isn’t allowed” to associate with the red team. They both think it’s stupid.
Next we see Jillian helping Jeff work out. She says he’s obsessed with an old ankle injury. She says it’s been years since his reconstruction surgery and that it’s fine. He says he has no strength in his ankle.
Bob informs the ladies that their challenge will be a physical, uphill, strenuous challenge. He informs them they’ll need their nasty shoes for their workout. Shannon says they’re going to win this week. Their workout is running up a nasty hill. Suzy is determined; she wants to do everything she can to prove the guys wrong.
Jillian also informs her team about the nature of the upcoming challenge. She picked an even nastier hill than Bob did for the ladies. Jeff tells Jillian, “Just get me down with most of my skin still intact.”
They head straight up. Seth tells us that when you go straight up there is no trail. Just brush and sticks that jump out and scratch your legs. (I can just see those sticks sitting there watching as the men approach - “Okay, on three jump out and scratch them! Ready - one, two, three!)
The whole way up Jillian is behind Jeff literally pushing him up the hill and encouraging him. They reach the base of a huge rock at the top of the hill where the rest of the guys are waiting. He says he can’t do it, there’s no strength in his ankle. Everyone helps him and he makes it. Jillian is proud of him. She says his ankle problem is phsycalogical and this helped him with it. He is proud of himself for making it up the mountain. He calls out, “This is Big Jeff Hill!”
Matt tells us that once they go home it will be a constant uphill battle to continue to lose weight and be healthy. There will always be a mountain to climb in life.
Okay, I must interrupt at this point. Is this a hill or a mountain? At what point does a hill become a mountain? I must have missed that in school! And is this a metaphorical mountain or a real one? While I wonder about these things I must admit that they don’t keep me awake at night.
It is dark. We have dramatic lighting at Universal Studios Hollywood. We’re in the best part of the park - you know, where the huge escalators are. Our teams glide dramatically down the escalators, ready for their challenge. Suzy is nervous - there are lots of stairs and escalators.
Caroline informs them that this challenge will be a little different. One person from each team will compete. They will go down the stairs and back up ten times. The stairwell has 2,280 steps. (For the number geeks, that will be 22,800 stairs total) The winner will receive $5000 to share with their team and their team will choose which member of the red team will sit out for the weigh-in.
The teams will choose who will compete for the opposite team. Matt is upset about this. He really wants to do it and is sure the ladies won’t pick him. He is right. They pick Mark. The men pick Andrea. She tells us that the men don’t think she can do it. (Duh! Why else would they pick her?) She wants to win and gain respect from the men’s team.
They begin. On the first trip down they stay together. At the bottom Andrea breaks a cardinal rule of stair etiquette and starts back up on the left side instead of the right, pushing Mark out of the way. (I did notice that she stayed to the right for the rest of the challenge, though) From that point on Andrea led and won the challenge while Mark still had 2 turns left.