'The Biggest Loser' recap: Larialmy, We Hardly Knew Ye
We begin by checking in with The Unknowns at their top secret training center, which is also known as "The Biggest Loser's" most ambitious ploy yet to take your money: Fitness Ridge. From what they've shown us here, it's apparently a weight loss center with wood paneling, a bad cafeteria and no exercise equipment. Book your trip now! It is just over two days until The Unknowns rejoin the other contestants at the ranch. Trainer Brett pumps himself up by talking about what a battle it's going to be, and then makes his people punch things and wriggle across the lawn. The bad news about The Unknowns rejoining the ranch is that we're going to be seeing a lot more of Justin and Rulon.
Cara has The Unknowns throw heavy balls and sprint, and then they box each other. Girlfight! Q eschews the boxing training in favor of sulking by himself and punching the air. Cara is not having it. She approaches Q about what she sees as a major act of disrespect, and Rulon follows so he can yell at Q too. Giving Q the what-for is clearly Rulon's favorite activity. Q says that he's focusing on his burn, which he was not getting at the ring. Rulon continues to yell at him, and Q yells back, and it becomes a whole thing. Ken doesn't get involved, but in an interview basically tells us that Q is full of shit. Cara tells us that Q thinks he knows more than her, Brett, or the rest of The Unknowns. This, she assures us, is not the case. Cara and Q yell at each other, with Cara stressing the importance of being part of a team, and Q going on some more about his burn.
The ranch seems positively peaceful in comparison! The Knowns have an elimination coming up, so Bob puts some of the contestants through one of his self-proclaimed famous circuits for the last chance workout. Jillian works with Hannah, and tells us that her goal is to prove to Hannah that her body is strong and has healed from a litany of back issues and other massive injuries. Hannah was a high school athlete, but a fall down the stairs led to three slipped discs and emergency surgery. She had so much nerve damage that all of her discs broke into pieces. Her sports career was over, and her weight gain started. Hannah trusts Jillian, and believes her when she says there's nothing she can't do, including a backbend. Jillian assists as Hannah fully arches her back, which she hasn't been able to do in twelve years. She tells us that this is a huge turning point for her. Olivia is thrilled to see Hannah get her groove back. A formerly impossible backbend -- it's even better than monkey bread!
With that, it's time for the first weigh-in of the episode. The Knowns line up, and then are joined by Jen and Jay, who of course trained with The Unknowns for a week. Jay explains that the training, food, and responsibilities were very different. They say that after a week away, they're even more certain that they made the right choice by training with Bob and Jillian. Bob and Jillian look kind of surly about this, and I'm not sure why. Step down from the 'roid rage and learn how to take a compliment!
Jay and Jen are first on the scale. Jen goes from 242 to 236, for a loss of 6 pounds, while Jay goes from 350 to 341 for a loss of 9 pounds. Not bad! That's 15 pounds total or 2.53%. Jay says that the last week was out of their comfort zone, but their numbers prove that their foundational learning from the first few weeks has been put to work. The Blue Team faces the scale next. Jesse tells us that they can't seem to get it together, and he's concerned. It seems that his concern is right on as we learn that Arthur has gone from 459 to 450, for a loss of 9 pounds, and Jesse has gone from 269 to 266 for a loss of 3. Arthur seems pretty happy with his number, and in fact isn't even all that torn up about Jesse's. They've lost 12 pounds total or 1.65%.
Marci and Courtney are up next, and as always Courtney is in constant inspirational speaker mode. She should just carry a megaphone around. To stay safe, they need to have lost more than 8 pounds. Marci goes from 211 to 208, for a loss of 3 pounds, while Courtney goes from 292 to 282 for a loss of 10! Well done. Courtney can't remember the last time she was in the 280s, and is extra motivated. The Aqua Team has lost 13 pounds or 2.58%. They're safe. The Purple Team is next on the scale and needs to have lost more than 7 pounds to remain on campus for another week. Olivia goes from 233 to 228, for a loss of 5 pounds, while Hanna goes from 220 pounds to 217, for a loss of 3 pounds or 1.77%. With a total of 8 pounds lost, they've squeaked on to safety. Hannah talks about her great backbend victory, and how it changed her life. She realized that she can help herself, and turned a huge corner. Jillian, as always, likes nothing more than changing someone's life for the better. She may have laryngitis, or else is raspy with emotion as she croaks out that she's really touched and that Hannah and Olivia are really great girls.
The default team of Don and Irene are last to weigh in. Jay tells us that part of him thinks that Arthur and Jesse deserve to fall below the yellow line. Jesse works really hard, but Arthur is all talk and little work, and it's bound to catch up with him. Together, Irene and Don need to have lost more than 8 pounds to stay safe. And then, holy hell. Irene goes from 224 to 230, for a GAIN of 6 pounds, while Don goes from 280 to 286, also for a gain of 6 pounds. What. The. French. How did Irene allow herself to be sucked into these shenanigans? She says that she did this for her team. Don is ready to go home, and to ensure that their teammates stay safe, they both waterloaded or cheesecake loaded or whatever it is that you do to gain six pounds in a week. Eat 17 million packs of Extra Sugar-Free Gum. Don says that he's not necessarily playing the game, but it's a good strategic move. Jillian gives a severe eye roll of repressed rage slash ambivalence.
Bob says that Don is heaving a mental sigh of relief. This place isn't for everyone, and Bob hopes that when he sees Don at the finale he will have gotten something out of his time on the ranch. Bob in fact thinks that being on the ranch would have an adverse effect on Don the longer that he's there. He wants Don to step off the scale, put on his shirt, and let the rest of these folks get back on the treadmill. Sami cuts the formalities and doesn't make everyone bother going into the elimination room and reveal their dinner plate votes. She asks for a show of hands, and it's a unanimous decision to eliminate Don. Don tells us that this isn't how he hoped it would turn out, but it would be almost criminal for him to stay on the ranch in his current frame of mind and send Jesse or Arthur home. It was a wise man who once said you've got to know when to fold 'em.
With Don out of the way, it's time for The Unknowns to finally return. Rulon and Justin are first to emerge, and have lost 63 and 57 pounds, respectively. The Brown Team is next, and we learn that Ken has lost 42 pounds and Austin has lost 54. For the Pink Team, Deni has lost 35 pounds and Sarah has lost 30. The polarizing Q has lost 39 pounds, while his Red Team partner and I think wife, Larialmy, has lost 31. Next we see the Gray Team, and there's a lot of talk about how much smaller Moses looks. His numbers back it up too. He's lost 75 pounds, while Kaylee has lost 29.
Sami tells The Unknowns that their heady days of immunity have come to an end. Additionally, there are two separate competitions this week. Sami announces that The Knowns lost a total of 48 pounds as a group last week. This week, if they can beat that number, they'll get immunity for everyone. If they don't, they'll have to send someone home. In this situation, that 12-pound gain of Don and Irene has to be a giant boon. Meanwhile, one of The Unknown teams will fall below the yellow line and they'll have to vote somebody off, in the usual way.
The Unknowns get sent to the gym, and Cara and Brett head there to meet them. Cara looks kind of nervous, and Brett admits that it's intimidating to be in the house that Bob and Jill built. Cara reintroduces herself to us -- I think it's the same package that we saw a few weeks ago. Ditto Brett. With everyone in the gym, Cara and Brett's beatings begin. The Knowns are in the gym too, but without Bob and Jillian's tutelage. Justin, who looks like he's about to have some sort of medical emergency, says it's all very exciting. Austin is happy to have access to equipment that they've been lacking so far. Rulon senses that The Knowns are giving some hairy and/or suspicious eyeballs. Arthur notes that Rulon is a mountain of a man, but he moves like a gazelle. He is oddly light on his feet. It may have something to do with his Humpty Dumpty figure. Such little legs he has! Rulon breaks two treadmills, and I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing.
Austin explains to us that The Unknowns have been working with Brett on metabolic resistance training. The point of it all is to do something at the beginning of the workout that spikes your heart rate and just keep going. Sounds exhausting. There is also lots of boxing with Cara, of course. The Unknowns look pretty serious, I have to say. Moses tells us that when he's working out, his biggest motivation is his family. As he works out, he always says their names. But he's realizing that this is the time for him to change. And so he starts saying his own name over and over again as he boxes Cara. She likes it. I'm tempted to make a bedroom joke, but in the context of Moses that makes me feel icky and weird. Meanwhile, Q is feeling the pressure since there's an impending elimination. Sarah thinks that this week it will come down to the Pink Team versus the Red Team. The Pink ladies are smaller and can't pull big numbers, and Deni notes that Q has a lot of weight to lose.
With that, it's time for a gym-based challenge. Sami announces that it's a challenge for The Unknowns only, and the winning team will get immunity. Each team will have a scale, and the teams will have to load weights on the scales of their competitors. Only one person from each team can carry weights, so they'll have to take turns. Once a team has 500 pounds on their scale they're out, and the last remaining team will win. Moses is determined to make sure that Q and Larialmy do not get immunity, since they're a weaker team and a natural choice to get the boot.
The challenge begins, and everyone immediately gangs up on the Red Team. Sami asks what's up with that, and Q is also curious about what the hell is going on. Sarah tells us in plain terms that this is all about Q's lack of effort. Justin rambles on about going to war with your heavyweights. Sarah joyfully takes out the Red Team, and Larialmy is clearly upset. Q notes that all the family, family, family talk is bullcrap. Next, everyone targets the Brown Team. They get several weights on the Pink scale before they're eliminated. The Gray and Yellow Teams work together to eliminate Pink, and then battle each other for the prize. The Gray Team saved all their big weights, which turned out to be a pretty good strategy. Moses and Kaylee have only five pound weights, and are scurrying to try to pile them up fast. In the end, the Yellow Team wins and are characteristically annoying about it, even while Rulon professes his guilt. They all put in their hands and do a cheer of, "Family!" which I guess is this season's "Pride on three!" Lord help us.
The Knowns, meanwhile, meet up with Bob and Jillian in the gym. Jillian says that they have the tools and knowledge to lose a collective 49 pounds and win immunity for all. And then it's totally the last chance workout! Bob puts his people through medicine ball hell. Jillian tells us that the goal for today is to keep the contestants focused and centered. They're smart and know how to do this, she says, and they'll be okay. She's totally not even motivated to give them beatings. I think it's right that this is her last season. Arthur then gets 10 minutes on the Stairmaster, which is a challenge. But he triumphs and feels great. Jen is then forced to carry Jillian across the gym, which is a very odd visual. Jillian gets a little fire in her and yells at Jen, though I'm not sure why. Sometimes screaming at someone else is its own motivation and reward.
And then we are treated to 40 minutes of weigh-in. Just when you thought this show couldn't feel longer! The Knowns are up first, seeing if they can reach their 49 pound goal. Irene steps onto the scale, and because she gained 6 pounds last time, they're using her weight from the week before that. So the weight gain is not a particular advantage. Irene goes from 224 to 216, for a loss of 8 pounds. I love how she's just quietly kicking ass. I also suspect that of all the Biggest Loser contestants, Irene would be the best one to hang out with. She's just so chill! The Green Team is next. Jen goes from 236 to 232 for a loss of 4 pounds, while Jay goes from 341 to 331 for a loss of 10. Jen's a little disappointed in her own number, but proud of her dad. The Knowns have lost 22 pounds so far.
The Purple Team is up next. Olivia goes from 228 to 224, for a loss of 4 pounds, while Hannah goes from 217 to 210, or a loss of 7. The group is now up to 33 pounds. The Aqua team is next to step on the scale. Courtney goes from 282 to 275, for a loss of 7 pounds, while Marci goes from 208 to 200, for a loss of 8. Ladies are kicking butt! Marci says that next week she'll be in "wonderland," which is code for the 100s. Also, Sami is in love with Courtney and her fantastic confidence. Courtney is in love with herself, but not in an annoying way, and says that she's lost 160 pounds on her weight loss journey. Good for her.
The Knowns have so far lost 48 pounds, with the Blue Team left to weigh in. Seems like a sure thing, but with Arthur you never know. But hooray! Arthur goes from 450 to 444, for a loss of 6 pounds, while Jesse goes from 266 to 257, for a loss of 9. That's 15 pounds total, and The Knowns have immunity with a combined 63 pounds.
While The Knowns are ecstatic about their immunity, The Unknowns look quite dour. It's time for their weigh-in. Challenge winners and immunity holders Justin and Rulon are up first. Justin goes from 308 to 292 for a loss of 16 pounds, while Rulon goes from 411 to 394 for a loss of 17. Holy shit. I guess it's amazing what people can accomplish when they have access to an elliptical machine. The Red Team is up next, and Q feels like he has something to prove. He goes from 398 to 385 for a loss of 13 pounds, while Larialmy goes from 270 to 259 for a loss of 11. Something: proven. I guess there was something to that burn theory of his. The Red Team has lost 24 pounds, or 3.59%. The Pink Team assumes that they are screwed.
Next up is the Brown Team. They need to have lost more than 24 pounds to be guaranteed safety. Austin goes from 342 to 326 for a loss of 16 pounds, while Ken goes from 335 to 321, for a loss of 14. These guys are putting up gigantic numbers. Maybe it's the strict Jennie-O and Extra Sugar Free Gum diet. The Brown Team has lost 30 pounds, or 4.43%. They're safe. The Gray Team is up next and needs to have lost more than 20 pounds to be guaranteed safety. They realize that this might be a tall order. Moses goes from 365 to 351, for a loss of 14 pounds, while Kaylee goes from 204 to 195 for a loss of 9 pounds. This is insane! They're, like, melting. Kaylee hasn't weighed in the hundreds for a long time, and is clearly very emotional to have reached that milestone. The Brown Team has lost 23 pounds, or 4.04%.
There is only the Pink Team to weigh in, and either they or the Red Team will fall below the yellow line. They will need to have lost more than 16 pounds to stay safe. Sarah goes from 231 to 222, for a loss of 9 pounds, while Deni goes from 221 to 210 for a loss of 11. What are they feeding (or not feeding) these people? With those fantastic numbers, the Pink Team is safe. They've lost 20 pounds, or 4.42%. This means that one of the Red Team members will be eliminated.
Q and Larialmy plead their joint case, which is that Larialmy should go home. Q says that he knows for a fact that he won't be able to do at home the things he's done on campus. But he knows so much about calorie burn methods! Justin wants Q to give his word to Larialmy that he won't cheat her out of this. He wants Q to have something to hold him accountable every day, or end up going home and telling Larialmy what a loser he is. And not a loser of weight. Q tells Larialmy that if he stays he won't come home the same person, either mentally or physically. Sarah admits that this is a hard decision for her since Larialmy has more to learn, even though she has a support system at home. She'd have more success on the ranch, and Q could give her the gift of letting her stay while he goes home and figures out how to man up and make it work. Q clearly does not want to do this. He says that, though it's hard to admit, he hasn't reached the point where he can do it on his own. Sarah asks what will happen if they choose differently. Larialmy says that they've grown to be a family, and if they love and respect her they won't hurt her like that. Rulon says that they won't have a weak team, and are in fact tired of dragging Q's ass. They want him to give 100%.
In the elimination room, Q and Larialmy are hoping that the rest of The Unknowns honor their wishes. The Pink Team at least is torn up about it -- they were looking forward to dumping Q and keeping the hard-working Larialmy, but it seems like kind of a punk move to do so. They vote to oust Larialmy. The Gray and Yellow Teams also vote for Larialmy, and the deal is done. Q cries a bunch and thanks everyone for ignoring their own judgment to keep him there. He asks them not to give up on him, and even Justin sheds a tear. Everyone does their, "Family!" salute and Larialmy takes her leave. She tells us that this is the most difficult thing she's endured, and though it's been a wonderful journey it's been a hard one. Being on the show has helped her to form a new person and fall in love with herself again. Other than the weight loss, she's most proud of the confidence she's gained. The next time we see Larialmy, she'll be half the woman that she was when she first arrived on the show.
Larialmy started at 301 pounds, and now she weighs 227 - that's a total of 74 pounds lost. She looks so much happier, too - maybe it's because she left Q back at the ranch? Since being home, Larialmy feels amazing. She's been jogging, and is determined to become a runner. She's also been working out with her sisters a lot, and is enjoying sharing her learning with her family. Larialmy says that this is a lifestyle change, and she sees a healthier self ahead. Larialmy hopes to one day open a wellness center so she can help others achieve their fitness goals.
Oh! And there's Don too! He tells us that he never again wants to be put in a position where he's this unhappy. He's optimistic about going home. Don started at 309 pounds, and now weighs 222 - that's 87 pounds lost. Since Don has gotten home, he's become committed to following through with this. He had Dan go to the gym together several times a week. And there's a family dinner! Don's son Paul disowned him because he was fat, and though this seems cruel, Don credits this "tough love" for motivating him to lengthen his time on this earth. Paul is happy, in a monotone, understated, almost imperceptible way. Don's daughter Courtney says that he is her hero, and she's excited to see these things happening because it means that their lives are going to be a lot better. Don says that he had fractured his family and was at a loss. Now it's so much better. His participation in The Biggest Loser has been a godsend, even if he couldn't wait to get the fuck off the ranch. Don has set a goal to lose fifty percent of his starting weight by the finale.
Next week: Black versus Red! There is some possible light team member swapping. And Jillian and Cara maybe bust out a claw or two.