The Biggest Loser: Families' penultimate episode was all about looking back. Besides the standard workouts and challenge, this week really focused on the trainers saying goodbye to their teams, and making sure they sent them off with the knowledge and confidence to continue in their progress at home.
Michelle was feeling pretty alone after her mom's elimination. She's now the sole Black team member with the odds of making it to the finale not in her favor (that is, if she falls below the yellow line). Jillian gave quite the pep talk to assure her that she's not alone but that her mom is with her in spirit. Every season it seems that Jillian has a special and extremely close bond with one of her trainees. Last year it was Brittany and this year it's certainly Michelle. "She's going to have to look inside of herself, find the strength, find the comfort to get through this and when she does...I will know that she can come through anything." I'm happy to see Jillian is behind the girl I'm routing for.
Over on Team Blue, Bob knows that they've been playing the game but feels that he has one week left and now they're going to play his game. He tells a tale about the season 1 winner, Ryan, who he called a puppet master. And "today that man weighs as much as he did when he walked into the house because he didn't learn anything." Bob also told them about this because he's worried about Vicky. He's worried she's played the game but hasn't learned enough to keep her going at home. Even Vicky is still not quite sure what caused her to keep eating and eating all those years.
A funny moment was when Ed talked about how he's changed. "On day 1 of The Biggest Loser I was a very overweight, pre-diabetic, fatty liver, havin' fat boy...and now I am a locked and stocked, organic eating, exercise machine." You could definitely see a difference in his flashbacks as well. Michelle, on the other hand, took her transformation a little more to heart. Jillian took her to the place where they ended their very first challenge on the ranch and asked, "So tell me what's going to happen now?" "Now I live, I live for me," she responds. Michelle is ready to continue on her journey at home.
Another reason why Vicky may not fare so well at home? Neither she nor her children eat (or can distinguish) vegetables. Not even potatoes her kids will eat! Bob showed her and the team how he eats on a daily basis and tells Vicky that she's going to need to get excited about veggies in order for her kids to start eating them.
Special delivery! Alison dropped off a box and when the contestants anxiously opened it, they found their "fat" clothes. They immediately tried them on and were in shock that they used to fill them out. Heba came up with the idea to burn them because she wanted no back-up — she's never going to wear these clothes again. Vicky was ashamed of her clothes but was also proud that she's taken the right step. It's "nice to know where you came from because you never want to go back there."
The final challenge was at the Speedway and it was all about proving just how far they've come. As Alison said, "Every pound that you fought to lose, you're going to have to shed for one last time." The object was to race around the track, the fastest wins, but carrying the amount of pounds they've lost to date. As they reached each consecutive pit stop, each contestant could then remove the amount of weight they lost in that respective week. The prize for this one was probably the greatest yet, only because of the advantage it would give the winner. The person to race the fastest would receive the Biggest Loser meal plan delivered everyday up until the finale and that's not all, but $10,000 as well. Ed quickly shot out in front and even though Michelle trailed relatively closely the whole time, she never caught up. Ed won, giving him and Heba a pretty good benefit for their return home.
Right before the weigh-in, the trainers sat down with each of their trainees to show them a video documenting their progress from their first interview to the present. It was insane how different Michelle and her mom looked back then. At the end of Michelle's viewing, she and Jillian were filled with tears. Vicky saw a huge difference in herself and told Bob that she never lost sight of the fact that she was there to lose weight. She finally gets it. When watching their video, Ed's face was in complete shock while Heba was just crying. These videos were a great reminder to each contestant how not only have they changed their physical appearance, but their mental state as well.
After the last "last chance workout," it was time for the final weigh-in to decide who goes to the finale. Up first was Vicky. She lost 6 pounds, 3.41%, to get down to 170. She was worried in this last week it wasn't enough. Heba was next. She lost 7 pounds, 3.23%, to reach 210. And then came Ed. He shockingly gained 2 pounds, -.80%, to go back up to 252. Bob thought it was a strategy to get his wife to be a finalist and I have to say I did not see that coming. Maybe I'm just naive but whenever a contestant gains weight I never imagine that they did it on purpose for game play. Last up was Michelle. I was ecstatic when she lost 9 pounds, 5.26%, to get to 162. That means she and Vicky are safe. So of course we get one last twist. Alison announced that America would make the final decision, and that Ed and Heba would plead their case to get votes. Well Bob must've been onto something because what was with Ed stepping aside for Heba? He totally asked America to keep her in the game. Honestly, I'm torn. I want Heba in the finale so that Michelle has a better chance of winning (because Ed still could lose a lot) but I want Ed to win the votes just so that their plan is averted. How do you feel?
As in previous seasons, each contestant said their emotional goodbyes to their trainer and were treated to a life-size picture of their former self. Bob saw hope in Heba's face and she told him that she always knew she could do it but he was that piece that made it happen." Ed said that he'd never forget where he came from but will never go back there ever again. Michelle told Jillian, "I'm so different than that person, that 1st week girl." Jillian responded, "I want to thank you for staying, for trusting me, and I love you to death." I love when tough as nails Jillian gets all heart-felt. Vicky told Bob, "When I look in those eyes, I see sadness...and it's gone." That made Bob believe that she's going to be fine upon her return home.
We got a sneak peak into everyone's homecoming. Vicky surprised her son at school, Ed and Heba had a huge group of people waiting and Michelle came back to her dad and a ton of pink shirt supporters. So now it's up to us! America will decide if Ed or Heba will join Michelle and Vicky in the final weigh-in to win The Biggest Loser: Families title. You can log-on to NBC.com to vote. Anyone want to cast their predictions below? On another note, this is my last recap of the season as I'm out of town for the finale (tear) but my colleague Zac will be filling in so not to worry. Thanks for readin' and I'll see you back on January 6th for The Biggest Loser: Couples premiere!
The Biggest Loser: Families
' penultimate episode was all about looking back. Besides the standard workouts and challenge, this week really focused on the trainers saying goodbye to their teams, and making sure they sent them off with the knowledge and confidence to continue in their progress at home.