Monday, February 11, 2013

Biggest Loser 14 - Temptation in the Dark Leads to Drama at Elimination

The teaser at the end of last week's episode let us know that the Biggest Loser contestants were going to singles - breaking up the teams with every man or woman for themselves.  It always gets more interesting when people aren't bound to a team anymore.

And this time, it got VERY interesting.

Alison gave each player a shirt, each having an individual color.  You could see in their eyes the realization that they could only rely on themselves, which I believe brings out their strengths.  Teams are wonderful at the beginning for the players to encourage each other while they're still new to the process, but when it's time for singles each person gets to show what he or she is made of.  Gina started really believing that she was a threat (although she did backslide into a little meltdown later on with Dolvett) and most of the others decided they needed to step up their game in order to keep above the yellow line.  Of course, Danni has already been in singles for a while now!

Yes...for the first time this season, there is a yellow line.  And of the remaining eight contestants, two would fall below and the others would vote who to send home.

And another thing - temptations are BACK!  The first temptation of Season 14 was a doozy.  All kinds of Valentine's Day candies, cupcakes, and other assorted sweets were placed on tables in front of each player.  Whoever ate the most calories would get a two pound advantage, plus they would get to give a two pound advantage to another player of their choice.  The kicker was that this would take place in the dark, so nobody could see what the others were or weren't eating.  Ali had night vision goggles so she could observe what all of them were doing.

A variety of things happened in the darkness.  Three people ate something, while the other five did not.  Everyone kept calling out Gina, assuming that she was eating a lot to win the advantage because she would be too unsure of herself to rely on her own abilities.  One thing I've learned so far this season:  DON'T UNDERESTIMATE GINA.  She ate nothing, also noting that with her being diabetic she could make herself extremely sick if she ate all of that sugar.  As she listened to them talk smack about her, she played along, acting as if she was eating and making noises to lead them to believe it.  The other really smart person here was Danni...not only did she skip the sweets, she got on the floor and exercised to burn calories and keep herself busy during the temptation!

In the end, Jeff only ate a little over 200 calories, so it came down to Alex and Francelina...who both ate more than 1100 calories.  Francelina won by a small margin - it came down to the fact that Alex could only choke down half of her last brownie.  If she'd eaten the whole thing she would have won.  But in the end it didn't matter, because Francelina gave the second advantage to Alex.  It seemed like a strange strategy to me...wouldn't you give it to someone else, hoping the person who ate just about as much as you did would have a bad week on the scale?

Anyway, all of the trainers are now training everyone, so they each took turns with groups.  Jillian took the three sweet eaters first, really pushing the girls to their limits in order to work off that sugar.  She also worked Jeff hard, which really bothered him.  He felt she was putting way too much pressure on him.  Afterward they talked, where Jill learned that Jeff's dad passed away when Jeff was 17...and right before he died he told Jeff that it was his responsibility to take care of everyone now.  Jeff was carrying that load around with him for eight years, which is why he felt pressured even more by Jillian.  She told him it was OK to realize that his dad should never have put him in that position, and that it was also OK for him to take care of himself.

When we checked in with our teen ambassadors, their trainers challenged them to take things to a new level.  Biingo finally got the boot off of his foot, so now he can train for baseball tryouts.  Lindsay started practicing with a cheereading squad, including the two girls who helped her earlier in the season.  I'm so proud of those girls for encouraging her and taking a stand against bullying.  And Sunny started a Bollywood dance class.  She was frustrated at first, but once she realized that the others in the class were once beginners like her she started to blossom and enjoy herself.  (Sunny, can I join you in class?  I've been wanting to try Bollywood for years!) 

Back at the ranch, the adults took part in a challenge.  They all had to run toward the spotlight in an indoor arena, with the last one to reach the spotlight in each round eliminated.  The final round was down to Francelina, Joe, and Danni.  Danni won, receiving a 24 hour visit from a loved one for Valentine's Day, along with another visit she could give to another person.  She gave her second prize to Gina so she could see her husband.  Then she gave up her own prize to Mike so his wife could visit.  Danni shows good sportsmanship and compassion...she is not just a hero in the competition, she's a hero all around.

Gina had a picnic with her husband, where they talked about the changes in their life together and how everything was going to be better now.  Mike spent time with his wife and adorable little son, and Dolvett joined them on a walk to get to know them better and encourage the whole family on this journey. 

The last chance workout was brutal as usual, with Gina beginning to fall apart on Dolvett and Alex disrespecting Bob and not taking her workout seriously.  Gina and Dolvett talked and worked it all out, but Alex told Bob to leave her alone.  Bob was seriously teed off - and rightly so - at the way Alex acted.

At the weigh-in, the two ladies with the two pound advantage got on the scale first.  Alex lost more than Francelina, and with each of them having the advantage, you know Francie was second guessing her decision to give that advantage to Alex...who didn't work out nearly as much as she did!  Danni's weight loss wasn't that great either, even though she worked out harder than ever.  She was in danger of falling below the yellow line with Francelina...until Mike fell one pound short of being safe.

The elimination was tense, as it was difficult for the others to decide between Mike and Francie.  Mike had two votes and Francie had one - one more vote would send Mike home.  It came to Jeff, who made a promise with Mike the very first week that they would never vote each other off.  The problem was, Jeff and Francelina had also become close over the last few weeks, and Mike was a bigger threat.  Mike was hurt when Jeff voted for him, which I completely understand.  But I also understand Jeff's dilemma, and now that he's finally learning to take care of himself he made the right decision.  This is why contestants should NEVER make those promises the first week on the ranch.  Things change over time, and situations change.  Even the players themselves change.  You don't know where your journey is taking you on Day 1, or who will be your best friend or a bigger threat than you anticipated.  So those pacts shouldn't be made...and if they are, don't hold each other to it if the situation changes and they can't keep that promise.

Mike's doing all right at home though...he's lost over 140 pounds so far, and gotten his whole family involved in being healthier - including his mom!  I can't wait to see him at the finale, and I agree with him that he's a top contender for the at-home prize.

Next week promises more drama and surprises, with the group needing to reach a joint goal to keep everyone safe.  I can't wait to find out what's in store!


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