Web Exclusive: Biggest Loser Recap

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011 at 11:09 AM
Web Exclusive: Biggest Loser Recap by Kristen Rajczak

With only one episode left, “The Biggest Loser” competition is nearly over, but last night’s weigh-in showed that the contestant’s weight loss isn’t. Four out of five contestants pulled impressive numbers, especially considering how small the girls have gotten here at the end. The Final Four was easy to guess once the final losses lit up the scale.

Last night’s episode started by reviewing each contestant’s storyline—and this season really had some good ones. Irene, who is the biggest loser thus far, had her mom voted out in week 1. That means she’s gotten this far on her own, a remarkable feat for a couples season. Austin is the last member of the Ridge team who remains. Jay got a second chance—and a third chance last week. And, of course, Olivia and Hannah are not only the last complete team competing, but also, if they make it to the Final Four, will be the first all-women team to do so.

Allison declared the week “Final Exams Week,” explaining that each contestant would be graded on four different tasks, one with each trainer. The person with the highest score at the end would win $10,000. While the money was a worthy prize, the best part of these exams was seeing how much the contestants actually learned while being on the show. It was obvious that these five will be able to survive at home if they use their knowledge.

First, each contestant had to teach Bob how to spin. As he mentioned, Bob Harper practically invented the spin bike, so impressing him wouldn’t be easy. Nonetheless, Olivia, Hannah and Austin really took their time showing him how to work the bike and do the exercise properly.

Next, Brett gave the contestants a little science test. Jay did the best on this with 88 points out of a 100 and Olivia close behind with 83 points. The most interesting part of this challenge was learning that Brett’s father teaches neuroscience at Princeton. Props Mr. Brett’s dad.

Cara, of course, led each contestant in a fight. While Jay, Austin and Hannah all did well in expressing their fighting spirit and grit, Olivia was the only one to get a perfect 100 points. She was so fierce!

Jillian was the last trainer to test the contestants. Her exercise was really cool, a test of motivational ability. Jillian made them role-play: she played the contestant, they played the trainer. Each person was confronted with excuses and issues similar to those he or she came in with. Hannah and Jay were the most successful, offering strategies of improvement as well as emotional encouragement.

The last exam was a surprise. The contestants had to play “The Biggest Loser” game on Xbox Kinect, and Hannah won. But that wasn’t as exciting as the final tally. Turns out, Hannah and Olivia were in the top two—and Olivia only won the $10,000 by three points! Those two, my favorites from the beginning, have really shown up to play. During the rest of the episode, they didn’t give up.

The challenge this week had a big prize: a one-pound advantage. The girls really need every pound they can get since they are so small. However, the challenge involved throwing sandbags up huge stairs, and Austin had the physical advantage. He won, later admitting he was glad to have the pound but felt comfortable because he still had some weight to lose. Olivia, the star contestant this week, was pretty close behind him on the big stairs.

The weigh-in determined the Final Four competing for the $1 million prize, perhaps the most important one of the season. But first, Allison asked if Olivia would trade her money for a pound advantage—but she kept the money. And Austin is asked if he would trade his pound for $10,000—but he kept the pound. Turns out, they both made the right choice. Olivia lost a big five pounds. Austin, however, only lost one. The extra pound advantage only got him to minus two pounds, putting him under the yellow line with Hannah.

Now, at this point it was obvious that Austin was going home. No way would Irene, Olivia and Jay (who lost nine pounds—whoa!) vote Hannah out. Still, it was sad to see Austin cry. Twice.

The Final Four really make sense when you look at it from the beginning of the season. Irene is the biggest loser and has been for weeks now. Olivia and Hannah have been a voting bloc since singles started. And Jay, though he did get lucky last week, was a huge threat earlier in the season. The girls have done really well, but Jay is still more than 200 pounds—I’m guessing he’s the one to watch for next week’s finale.

The question is—who will win the at-home prize of $100,000? There’s Rulon, Justin, and Arthur who were still big guys when they left. And Austin has a lot of determination left, as well as at least 50 pounds to lose. I can’t wait to see the final transformations!

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