'The Biggest Loser: Couples' adds two more contestants, cuts no one
By Christopher Rocchio, 03/12/2008
Two of The Biggest Loser: Couples' previously eliminated contestants were brought back into the competition and no one was eliminated during last night's fifth-season broadcast of the NBC reality weight-loss series.
The Biggest Loser: Couples eleventh episode began with the 14 previously eliminated contestants reconvening on campus, with host Alison Sweeney informing them that each would step on the scale. The previously eliminated male and female contestant who post the highest percentage of weight loss since the first week of the competition would be brought back into the competition.
Jenni Westphal started the competition at 267 and lost 38 pounds for a 14.23% weight-loss percentage; Mallory Bray began at 217 and dropped 42 pounds for a 19.35% weight-loss percentage; Amanda Harmer started at 204 and shed 46 pounds for a 22.55% weight-loss percentage; Alison Vincent began at 234 and lost 67 pounds for a 28.63% weight-loss percentage; Bette Sue Burkland started at 261 and dropped 49 pounds for a 18.77% weight-loss percentage; Jennifer Widder began at 254 and shed 48 pounds for a 18.90% weight-loss percentage; and Jackie Evans started at 246 and lost 64 pounds for a 26.02% weight-loss percentage.
Ali posted the highest weight-loss percentage of the previously eliminated females and was reintroduced into the competition after initially being booted in Week 4.
"It felt amazing to know I was back in the game," said Ali. "I'm ready for it now. I wanted my second chance and I got it."
Lynn Westphal started the competition at 409 and lost 64 pounds for a 15.65% weight-loss percentage; Curtis Bray began at 381 and dropped 100 pounds for a 22.25% weight-loss percentage; Neil Harmer started at 317 and shed 55 pounds for a 17.35% weight-loss percentage; Trent Patterson began at 436 and dropped 105 pounds for a 24.08% weight-loss percentage; Paul Marks started at 303 and lost 70 pounds for a 23.10% weight-loss percentage; Mark Kruger began at 285 and shed 90 pounds for a 31.58% weight-loss percentage; and Bernardo Salazar -- who was eliminated the previous night -- started at 283 and lost 88 pounds for a 31.10% weight-loss percentage.
Mark posted the highest weight-loss percentage of the previously eliminated males and was reintroduced into the competition after initially being booted two weeks ago.
"I wanted to get back on this show more than I wanted to get on it originally," said Mark. "I'm back and I'm ready to finish what I started... This is my second chance. I'm not going to spoil it."
Ali and Mark joined the six remaining contestants and the other 12 previously eliminated contestants departed. Since Mark had the highest weight-loss percentage among him and Ali, he got to choose his trainer and -- not surprisingly -- picked Bob Harper. Ali would train with Jillian Michaels.
Both Bob and Jillian were happy to see Mark and Ali return, however the remaining former Black Team members -- Brittany Aberle, Kelly Fields and Maggie King -- were all still bummed about losing Bernie. In addition, they were worried about the strength of the remaining former Blue Team members -- Dan Evans, Jay Kruger and Roger Schultz -- since now they also got Mark back.
"We feel like we're just gonna get picked off," said Kelly.
Another problem arose when it became clear Ali was personally closer with Dan, Jay, Mark and Roger instead of the remaining former Black Team members she'd be training with. Jillian saw it was causing a problem and interrupted Ali as she ate with the boys, instructing her it was time to hit the gym.
Jillian knew she needed to make Ali feel like a Black Team member and focused all of her attention at the workout on her, basically ignoring Brittany, Maggie and Kelly, which didn't sit too well with them. Maggie was so stressed out she found herself eating too much and expressed anger that Ali was back while Brittany emotionally broke down and started crying.
"When we were six, there was a chance. There was a light at the end of the tunnel," said Brittany through tears. "Then they brought back the two other people. Bob has his complete team again and Ali drops huge numbers and she always has and always will."
Jillian reminded the former Black Team members that "you don't need to be a finalist to be successful" on The Biggest Loser, little consolation this late in the game.
The eight remaining contestants than gathered for a Reward Challenge, and Allison explained the rules. Each contestant would serve as a human generator as they peddled on a stationary bike. For every 10 calories they burned, a light would go on. Each contestant needed to burn 100 calories a round to remain in the four-round challenge, with two people cut at the end of each round. The winner would receive an extra vote at the upcoming elimination.
Mark and Dan dominated the first three rounds of the challenge and eventually faced off against one another in the final round. Despite finishing second to Mark during the first three rounds, Dan started strong in the final round and was able to claim reward. Maggie realized it didn't matter if Mark or Dan won -- either way it hurt the former Black Team.
"Between Mark and Dan, it was a toss up," she said. "Really, they're like this band of brothers who got these tattoos together. I mean come on! If you don't vote me off I'll tattoo my ass!"
"There's a really interesting kind of dynamic in voting because there's two ways to look at it," explained Dan. "One, you want to be loyal to your former teammates because those are the guys who have your back and you have their back. But on the other hand, sometimes those guys are some of your biggest competition. That's the hard thing to try to balance."
The eight remaining contestants then participated in their last-chance workouts before The Biggest Loser: Couples' eleventh weigh-in then commenced. The two contestants with the lowest weight-loss percentage would find themselves below the yellow line and thus be up for elimination.
"I'm not feeling good about tonight's weigh-in," said Maggie. "All day I've had this pit in my stomach and I just don't feel like I've lost a lot of weight this week. I'm really nervous."
Before the weigh-in started, Allison asked Brittany if she thought there was a "clear winner" amongst the eight remaining contestants.
"I wish it was anybody's game but I don't think it is," said Brittany. "There are four women standing here. Our metabolisms don't work like the men's, and they can say whatever they want to say but for us to be able to drop the amount of weight that they do, it's just very hard."
"Does that mean you give up?" asked Allison before Jillian interjected.
"I think we should leave her alone," said Jillian to Allison. "She's had a really bad week. I'm asking -- everybody -- just have some f**king heart for once and leave the f**king girl alone."
Allison looked stunned and pressed the issue.
"It seems as though the question is being posed as, 'Are you going to win?' -- which she knows is impossible for her to do -- and that's really unfair," said Jillian, referencing the fact that a female has never won The Biggest Loser's grand prize..
With all the ugliness behind them for the time being, it was time for the contestants to step on the scale.
Ali started the week at 167 and lost seven pounds for a 4.19% weight-loss percentage; Mark began at 195 and dropped seven pounds for a 3.59% weight-loss percentage; Dan started at 211 and shed four pounds for a 1.90% weight-loss percentage; Roger began at 259 and lost eight pounds for a 3.09% weight-loss percentage; Jay started at 214 and dropped five pounds for a 2.34% weight-loss percentage; Brittany began at 174 and shed two pounds for a 1.15% weight-loss percentage; Kelly started at 206 and lost four pounds for a 1.94% weight-loss percentage; and Maggie began at 184 pounds and lost no weight.
"It was like you want to be here so bad and you do everything you can," said Maggie. "To see a zero, it's like, 'What the hell was I doing?' I was working my f**king ass off! That's what I was doing! What the hell do I have to do?"
Brittany and Kelly were both below the yellow and would be up for elimination and -- since Dan was above the yellow line, he would be able to cast two votes at the upcoming elimination.
"It bears noting," said Allison, "that after the discussion we had tonight, the person who won tonight's weigh in was a woman. Congratulations Ali."
The six contestants above the yellow line were given one hour to decide who they wanted to eliminate.
"This could not be any worse," said Maggie. "Me and Brittany below the yellow line -- there's no choice -- a girl is going home."
The Biggest Loser: Couples' next episode -- which will include makeovers from Project Runway fashion guru Tim Gunn and the elimination of either Maggie or Brittany -- will air Tuesday, March 18 at 8PM ET/PT on NBC.
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