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Friday January 6, 2012 3:06 am

The Biggest Loser Recap: The Season of No Excuses Begins

Biggest Loser no excuses

No excuses!!  How many times did that need to be said last night? 

The first episode of the 'season of no excuses' started with the usual introductions, including all of the participant names, ages, and relationship between the teammates.  Alison stood in front of the gates of the ranch and let everyone know they were just about to enter the place where dreams come true (isn’t that Disney’s line?), that the tools they need to get healthy are behind these gates, and - most importantly - it is where they can get their lives back.

A few of the contestants gave what their excuses are for being so overweight, and as you might imagine, they were all fairly typical - thing like having no time to work out, being an emotional eater, putting things off until a tomorrow that never comes, laziness, and coming from a heavy family.  One woman has 13 children and 54 grandkids. There is usually a pretty emotional story for at least one contestant that keeps them in my mind throughout the season.  In previous years these included Bonnie (although not my favorite,) who lost her home in Hurricane Katrina, and then lost her husband shortly thereafter.  The one that sticks in my head the most is Abby. She lost her husband, daughter, and infant son in a car accident just miles from their home. 

This season Buddy, 41, has 3 small children and his wife is his best friend (ok, cute.) He lost a daughter 5 years ago, and thus far he has the biggest tragedy that's been revealed. Ok Buddy, you are definitely going to be on my radar.  Ahh, I’m already feeling emotionally drained.  Let’s get those gates opened and get started with the process.

But not yet, there is already time for the first BL challenge.  When it is over, the team that comes in last won’t make it through the gates.  Mouths dropped.  Buddy “How horrible would it be to think you made it. You left your wife. You finally got out here and then you’re back home in a day”.  No Buddy – I do not want to see you go so soon!  The first part of the challenge is to run a 40 yard dash. Each team picks a participant and top 4 finishers are in to the ranch and the other 6 compete in the next.

  1. Blue: Joe and Mike (Brothers)
  2. Orange: Cassandra and Nancy (Grandmother and granddaughter)
  3. Brown: Ben and Buddy (Brothers)
  4. Yellow: Gail and Lauren (Mother/Daughter)

Son of a biscuit eater says Adrian (from the Aqua team) He.was.this.close.

During this dash Mark took a tumble and self diagnosed that he pulled a hamstring.

The next 6 teams to compete also did a 40-yard dash, but this time there is a puzzle in the center of the course. They start the competition by bringing the puzzle pieces one-by-one to the center, assemble the puzzle, and when they feel they have it correct they run back to the starting point and hit their respective buzzers. If the puzzle is correct then it will light up and they can run to the finish.

The Gray team is the first to finish the puzzle. Chism. I won’t be able to go all season without making fun of this name. I hope he sticks around.

Next team to finish is Chris from the Red team (Santa’s wife.) Third place is Kim and Megan of the Purple team, leaving one spot left for either Pink, Green, or Aqua.

Conda, the sister from the Green team is very emotional in her interview – they are the brother sister team that came from a heavy family.  She NEEDS this (I’m pretty sure they all do but this is a statement you'll hear often on The Biggest Loser.)  It appears to be a close race with her brother Jeremy screaming "RUN RUN RUN RUN" like it was straight out of a slasher movie.  Conda makes it to the finish first, and we are now down to the final two teams and just one spot.

Biggest Loser 13 cast

The Aqua and Pink teams are left.  It all comes down to this – you win, you stay.  If you lose, you never get to walk onto the ranch.  Ugh!  Daphne from the Aqua team says she wants in those gates of heaven so bad, she has never wanted anything like this.  The Pink team is the only duo that were strangers before this, so I was drawn to them from the beginning because they seemed to possibly have a disadvantage because of this. They are both former athletes, however at this point we don’t know how long ago “former” really is.  I still find myself cheering for the Pink team.  It's my favorite color and love that the first female winner was pink (go Ali!).

So the teams step up on a barrel that has been fitted with a place for their feet – leaving their heels hanging off of the edge. Teams can find any way to hang on to each other, however they must keep their feet in place.  All of their weight is on the balls of their feet. Legs are shaking even after a minute.  The Aqua team is chanting the names of each others kids.  They need to do this for their family.  We see a clip from a previous interview in which each player says why they desperately need this help.  With every clip I switch my loyalty – okay, I want Aqua, no Pink, no Aqua!  Just hang in there!

The women from the Pink team seem to be getting emotional and just when I think they are done, you see Aqua’s shoe move and they are out.  Pink wins the challenge and makes it on the ranch.  Cue the sad music.  Hugs all the way around, the Aqua team is saying goodbye.  The gates open and everyone else is allowed to walk in.  My heart is already hurting for this woman.  Alison is sorry to tell them they will not be on campus.  However, in a twist, it's revealed that one month from today they will have a chance for a spot on campus.  Going home tonight will not be an excuse!  If they lose 50 pounds as a team they will have another chance.  It is up to them.  There is hope! I can just tell in the exit interview when the brother says no one wants to go home as a failure that THEY WILL RETURN!!

The next day everyone gets to meet their trainers.  As usual, it is all cheers and excitement as we see Dolvett arriving hanging off the side of a helicopter while Bob pulls up on a motorcycle.  To see Bob ride up on his bike dressed in black instead of blue seemed like a nod to Jillian (I was not a fan of hers.)  Dolvett says "I'm baaaaack."  I'm already a big Dolvett fan!  They slow down the footage of him walkng up and focus on his muscles, and then cut to some of the girls giggling and another saying he was "a fox and a half."  Wow, we really love our fresh meat!  Everyone heads into the gym where it all happens.  Everything is brand new and apparently the love affair with 24 Hour Fitness is over and now there will be Biggest Loser-style subtle ads for Planet Fitness.  Everyone receives a free membership and they have over 500 locations and free training.  I wonder if this free membership will be a benefit Adrian and Daphne will receive (please don't tell me you forgot about them already.) 

The first workout goes pretty quick, with Bob shouting plenty of times how much he loves day one and how there are, you guessed it, NO EXCUSES!  Megan (Purple team daughter) is fake-puking, but you see several others from Yellow (Gail), Green (Conda) , and Brown (Buddy) teams throwing up.  We love this stuff!! This is what I think about when I'm at the gym.

It appears that a few connections are already made.  Mark, the father from the grey team that fell during the 40-yard dash shows an awful bruise and receives a motivating chat from Dolvett.  Let's not forget last seasons at home winner, Jennifer Rumple, did some time on that same upper body bike...wait, not the same one - this one is now sponsored by our friends at Planet Fitness. Bob makes a connection with Pink team member Emily, a former olympic weight lifter.  Emily is 29 and one of those contestants that has "such a pretty face" you just know she is going to be HOT at the finale.  I hope she makes it!  She's a fighter and an athlete.  Watching this girl is going to be motivating!  If someone like Bob can believe in her, she says, then I can believe in myself.  Oooooh there's a moment I feel like I can relate too!  Emily fan!

Santa takes a fall and gets medical attention.  He feels dizzy.  Ben is also on the ground receiving medical attention.  He cannot correctly answer where he is or who Bob is.  He's going to stay seated for awhile.  During his break we get more of his story.  He absolutely loves his life in every area except his weight.  He loves his wife and loves his life.  He has four kids, she has four kids and they have one together and are expecting their second together.  He seems like such a happy guy, but as an experienced fan I already know that means his trainer is going to find whatever is really hidden inside and brought this weight on.  So after the first hour trying out trainers Alison returns to tell the contestants there will no longer be partners and you need to rely on yourselves. 

So the new teams are:

Bob's Black team: Jeremy (Green), Emily (Pink), Joe (Blue), Chris (Red), Cassandra (Orange), Buddy (Brown), Megan (Purple), Chism (Gray), and Gail (Yellow)

Dolvett's Red team: Conda (Green), Kim (Pink), Mike (Blue), Roy "Santa" (Red), Nancy (Orange) LOVE HER, Ben (Brown), Kim (Purple), Mark (Gray), and Lauren (Yellow) 

We get an update from the doctor and, no surprise, there are some serious medical conditions in the group.  The medical update is always my least favorite part of the show.  Dr. H never seems to bring any excitement, let alone good news, and the contestants always seem so shocked to learn of the various diseases that they have despite knowing that some of them are as much as 400 pounds. 

We see clips of the grueling first workouts and hear Kim (former Pink member) explaining to Dolvett that had been a professional wrestler in TNA who that lost her career due to a back breaking injury that also broke her tailbone.  She got up and finished her match - showing clips of it to prove it.  Okay Kim, I've got my eye on you and I'm in your corner!  She's a tough one and Dolvett tells her he is going to love training with her and getting her back in shape.  She tells him she is going to love it also.  Hmmmm okay Kim, get off - Dolvett is hot property right now AND I don't want to see another fan obsession like Jennifer had with Bob last season.  I'm thrilled she won at home, however there were times it just felt uncomfortable how much she obsessed over her trainer. 

I worry about Dolvett's team, and even he says he thinks he has the Bad News Bears.  He has a grandma (who finds him to be a fox and a half - Dolvett....use that to your advantage), Santa Clause, and Mark with the hurt leg (if that hamstring was officially diagnosed I missed it.)  Dolvett tells his team to HAVE A SENSE OF URGENCY because someone is going home this week and that seems to do the trick.  We saw some fire and heard lots of good motivational music.

dolvett and ben

With only 30 minutes left in the show we get to weigh-in. We get a recap of how last season Dolvett lost weigh-in and weigh-in to Bob.  The Black team goes first.

Gail started at 322 and is down 9 to 313. Chism started at 361 and is down 12 to 349.  Megan started at 259 and is down 7 to 252.  Chris started at 240 and is down 8 to 232.  Jeremy started at 389 and is down 13 to 376.  Joe started at 357 and is down 15 to 342. Ben started at 396 and is down 15 to 381.  Emily started at 264 and is  down 10 to 254 (go Em!), and Cassandra started at 239 and is down 14 to 225.  Total weight lost for the black team is 103 which is 3.64%.

For the red team - Roy/Santa started at 306 and is down 14 to 292. Conda started at 294 and is down 9 to 285.  Mike started at 358 and is down 13 to 345. Kimmy started at 219 and is down 9 to 210. Lauren started at 246 and is down 9 to 237.  Mark started at 291 and is down 9 to 282 (not bad for a hamstring patient Dolvett says...okay, there is the confirmation).  Nancy started at 217 and is down 5 to 212.  Nancy didn't seem to give it her all during the workout clips and Dolvett tells her he hopes this motivates her.  Former wrestler Kim started at 252 and is down 13 to 239.  Those former athletes always seem to really kick butt!  Final contest on the scale is Buddy, who started at 403 pounds (come on...403 you just KNOW this dude is going to have crazy results) Buddy lost 22 to and is now 381.  Total weight lost for the red team is also 103 which is 3.98%.  DOLVETT WINS THE WEIGH-IN and is in "celebration mode!"

The person on the Black team with the highest percentage is Cassandra, who looks a lot like Hallee Hirsh to me - wait until her weight comes off! So Cassandra is safe and we see them back at the house debating who should go.  The first one to leave is always hard, but I really hate it when someone volunteers; it just feels weak to me.  Ben decides he has learned everything that he needs to learn in this first week and he is ready to go.  I cannot believe this team is foolish enough to agree.  I feel that sending home a 381 pound man is just foolish and if you've watched long enough you know Bob is going to be PISSED!  Come on Black team, if you don't win these team weigh-ins you are going to be eliminated!! It seems like no one seems to fully understand this point, but when they meet up with Alison they honor his wishes and unanimously vote out Ben.  Lame!  I can't help but wonder what it was that caused the weight gain because it seems to be strong enough that he doesn't want to deal with it. 

The lights go out on Ben's refrigerator filled with his favorite comfort foods, although it has been so many seasons since they have even explained what those are that I wonder why they bother to include it.  Are those still filled with each contestants favorite foods (mine would be burgers, fries, pizza, cheese, and sugary Starbucks drinks) or are they the same props used season after season?  As of the update Ben is down 50 pounds to 346.  His goal is to lose 150 pounds by the finale, even though he was the first contest to go home (I don't think this has even been done.)

I'm excited for this season.  Right now my favorites right now are Emily and Kim N. and of course Dolvett...I mean, the guy IS a fox and a half!

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