This week was somewhat back to "normal" on the ranch. Of course, I have no idea what normal is there anymore.
Alison informed the players that they would be facing off against one another on the scale. Whoever ate the most calories at the Chinese buffet temptation would have the control, getting to decide who went up against whom from each team, and who would use a 2 pound advantage, either one person or the opportunity to split it with 1 pound going to 2 different people.
Now this would be a difficult temptation for me. I love Chinese food...especially the buffet that's about 15 minutes from our house. (Good thing I limit myself to twice a year visits!) The other problem is that what they say really is true - you really are starving again a couple of hours after eating Chinese food. So not only do you eat too much, but then you eat again later because you're still hungry!
Nobody on the Red Team ate anything, for which I commend them. Kimmy was right about giving in to a temptation like that so soon, and then making yourself crave that stuff all over again. Better to stay away! The Black Team decided someone should eat a fortune cookie, so finally Cassandra did. In fact, she ate a second one just to be "safe". Good thing it was only a total of 60 calories! I also love that afterward she grabbed the slips of paper that contained the fortunes to read. My guess is that they said, "The power is within you" and "She who play with fortune cookies face off against irritating opponent".
Cassandra made her choices for the face-off, including putting her grandma Nancy against Joe and herself against Conda. Then something both surprising and interesting happened. Joe decided to leave the ranch and go home.
He said he missed his family and needed to be there. I also think he gave up too quickly after his brother went home. If I had the opportunity to be on Biggest Loser, I know I'd miss my family like crazy...but I also know they would be proud of me for taking advantage of the opportunity to get healthy. They wouldn't want me to give it up so easily. And I would never give up easily anyway. How often do you get the chance to focus on your own health - physical, mental, and spiritual - without daily stress or interruptions? Sure, at some point you have to integrate your real life with what you learn while you're away, but you have the time to work on everything, learn important skills, and pull yourself together, so when you get home you can be better at your life. Sometimes that change of pace/scenery can be the boost you need to take better care of yourself!
So Joe left, and he received a call from Bob once he was home. You could tell that Bob was really broken up about Joe leaving...he knew just how much Joe needed to be there and how much he still had to learn. Then at the challenge, the Black Team learned that the Red Team would automatically get one point in the face-off; since Joe was not there to compete against Nancy, she would automatically win her match. Bob and his team were not happy to be penalized because of Joe. One good thing came of the challenge - some of the winners gave their prize to others so they could talk to their families. It brought this season out of last week's negativity back to something pure and unselfish. Those are the moments that make the "drama" worthwhile!
Bob had some work to do with Cassandra. She always had a hard time believing in herself, whether it had to do with her weight, career, or anything else. I really relate to her, because she is a writer who dreams of getting published, but she always felt her weight would hold her back. Being a writer with the same dreams, I know the concern. I've had some successes in both writing and fitness, but still have a lot to work on. As much as I'm doing this for my health...I can't help but think ahead to that book jacket photo! (Of course, we are always all works in progress!) Seeing her breakthrough with Bob was actually a breakthrough for me as well. It makes me think about how much stronger I am both mentally and physically, and how I will keep moving upward from here. It also shows the Bob I know and love, and one of those moments that the show is all about.
Our dose of drama came with Cassandra's face-off against Conda. (I'm actually picturing John Travolta and Nicolas Cage right now, pulling their faces off in the gym and on the scale.) They had a one on one burpee challenge in the gym, with the loser having to buy the winner a Subway lunch. Cassandra won, but Conda decided to whine some nonsense about her cheating. Thankfully Dolvett put a stop to that childish outburst in the gym, but Conda continued to whine at other times. Finally Dolvett had them do another mini-challenge, which Cassandra also won. (without cheating at either, I might add) Conda vowed to beat her on the scale, still complaining. I'm sure Conda has her own issues to deal with, and it looks like next week we'll find out more about that...I'm sure there's also more to her than we get to see on TV. But the whole thing was pretty irritating!
Once we got to the scale, point after point was awarded for each face-off. It all came down to (SURPRISE!) Cassandra vs. Conda for the win. Conda only lost 3 pounds - Cassandra crushed her. Black won the weigh-in, and Red had to send someone home.
Every season has one or two eliminations that seem to come out of nowhere, and that was sure the case this week. It basically came down to Nancy and Lauren. Nancy only lost two pounds and probably would have lost to Joe had he stayed on the ranch. But Lauren was always a team player and did her best. She didn't have any problems with any of her teammates.
Lauren wound up going home, and she was as surprised as we all were. She's doing well at home, and is even finding the athlete within her again by running a half-marathon. I know she's going to blow everybody away at the finale. Look for a strong, stunning Lauren smiling back at us in May!
Next week promises to show us more of Conda and what makes her tick. And what makes her tick Dolvett off as well. Never a dull moment!