The Biggest Loser: Families
sees a couple of those families torn asunder when the teams break down into Black vs. Blue. What’s worse, both Amys end up on the same team, so I can’t distinguish them by color anymore. Come on, folks — what about my needs?

This spoiler would have totally gone for the donuts.

It’s time to abandon the family conceit and break remaining Losers into two teams.  Everyone is ushered into a room full of high-fat, high-cal, high-taste, high-yum baked goods — brownies, donuts, bagels, peanut butter cups (which, upon reflection, aren’t "baked." Flag on the play!) Whoever consumes the most calories picks their trainer, and pick who goes on which team. Oh, and to add drama (and justify the expense of night-vision goggles), it’s all going to happen in the dark.

When the lights go out, Heba speaks up — I just lost my hubby, and I will surely perish if I lose my trainer, too. Therefore, I will valiantly slay yon donut monster for the good of my team. You’re welcome. Phil takes offense — Heba is trying to manipulate things! To me, manipulation involves a certain amount of stealth or behind-the-scenes skullduggery. By that definition, you can’t really call Heba manipulative. Bossy, yes. Manipulative, no. She’s completely open about her course of action, her motives, what she had for lunch, her favorite color and any other thought that passes through her head.

Phil decides to be underhanded and sneak some snacks. Unfortunately, he picks the peanut butter cup table, and therefore makes crinkly noises as he unwraps them. Dork. Then, when Heba confronts him about why he’s messing up her plan, he can’t answer, because he’s got peanut-butter mouth.

Purple Amy gets verklempt — it’s not fair! Why should we do what you say, Heba? Well, sweetie, you shouldn’t — you should make up your own damn mind, but don’t sit there crying about it. She goes for a brownie at the last minute.

Heba, Phil and Purple Amy are the only ones to eat, and Heba, with her two donuts, consumed the most calories. She decides that Phil has messed with her on the wrong day — doesn’t he realize she just lost her husband? Did she not mention that? Or was he not listneing? Come on!

Not content to just piss Phil off, she decides to piss me off, too, but picking both Amys (along with Vicky and Brady) for her team. They’ll train with Bob as Team Blue. That means Phil, Renee, Michelle, Coleen and Shellay are on Jillian’s Team Black.

The Angst
Bob consults with The Amy Formerly Known As Red, who is Pissed. Off. I expect her to go the proper Southern route (I remember when I figured out that "Bless her heart" was actually a really bad thing…), but instead she tells Bob "Excuse my language, but that bitch is not going to take me down." Bob is equally pissed — Heba should have kept both men, so they could pick off Team Black. Oh well.

Jillian, on the other hand, is thrilled to have a guy on her team again, even if he is a smarmy little toad like Phil. (Sorry, he bugs). But she can’t take time to celebrate — there’s a mental meltdown to foster and/or avert! Michelle is having a seriously tough time, thinking about leaving because she fears that staying here wit her mom (who, you might not know, took her two other daughters but left Michelle when she got divorced) somehow betrays her dad. Jillian hashes it out with her a couple of times, finally getting Michelle on the phone with her dad, who tells her that he’ll love her whatever happens and she’s allowed to love her mom, too. When Alison gives Michelle a chance to leave at weigh-in, Michelle declines. Good. I like her.

The Challenge
This challenge was brutal, and also involved math, which just adds to the trauma. Both teams have form sunrise to sunset — 14 hours — to climb the nearby mountain as many times as possible. Every time they reach top of bottom, they take a picture. Every person in the picture gets a point. If the team as a whole is in the picture, they get an extra point.

Team Black decides to stick together — they’ll go up as a group and work on stocking up the extra points. Team Blue decides they can’t go that route — Vicky is slow at climbing because of her knees, so they split up, sending Brady running up and down the hill by himself, hoping he’s strong enough to amass buckets of points by himself.

It’s a brutally hot day — 111 degrees, at one point — and the teams negotiate a hiking cease-fire for the hottest part of the day. When everyone goes upstairs to nap, Shellay worries that Team Blue will cheat, so she lies to her daughter, sneaks into Coleen’s room, and discusses cheating herself. In the end, she and Coleen decide to honor the agreement, but it’s a close thing.

The two teams cover almost exactly he same amount of ground, but Team Black’s extra-point strategy pays off. They win the challenge — and a two-pound pass.

The Weigh In

Team Black
  216 pounds to 209 pounds, down 7 pounds
Renee: 237 pounds to 232 pound, down 5 pounds
Phil:  287 pounds to 279 pounds, down 8 pounds.
Coleen: 192 pounds to 187 pounds, down 5 pounds.
Shellay: 194 pounds to 189 pounds, down 5 pounds.
With the 2-pound pass won from the challenge, Team Black loses 32 pounds, for a total weight loss of 2.84%’

Team Blue
Amy Formerly Known As Purple
:  208 pounds to 199 pounds, down 9 pounds. She’s thrilled.
Vicky: 217 pounds to 211 pounds, down 6 pounds.
Brady: 292 pounds to 286 pounds, down 6 pounds. He’s disappointed. Buck up, Brady!
Amy Formerly Known As Red: 199 pounds to 193 pounds, down 6 pounds
Heba: 266 pounds to 258 pounds, down 8 pounds (for the second week in a row! Impressive!)
Team Blue loses 35 pounds, for a total of 2.96%.

The Elimination
Cue the waterworks! Amy FKAR fears Phil will get booted, which is just silly. No way are they going to kick off their only man this early in the game. Jillian would kill them! Michelle was the biggest loser on Team Black, so she’s safe. The votes come down to Shellay and Renee, with Shellay getting the boot. She looks fantastic after her time at home (although she gives her dress size, not her poundage, in the interview. Curious.) Go, Shellay!

Highlights, thoughts and odds and ends

  • OK, where do you fall in the Heba/Phil fracas? I think Heba may have been controlling, but she was hardly underhanded. She laid her cards on the table. Phil could have spoken up and disagreed, but instead he tried to be sneaky, and he sucked at it. I give the point to Heba.
  • That’s not to say Heba didn’t bug the crap out of me at times. Yes, we know, Ed went home, It sucks. But I don’t recall Coleen being quite so "Woe is me!" about her dad going home. She was sad, but she just used it to motivate herself, not to try to get points from the others.
  • Amy FKAR says she sees a look of vindication on Heba when she wins the challenge. I think she means vindictive. It’s different.
  • When Jillian is trying to talk Michelle down from the ledge, she says she knows what it’s like not having your mom available, and she’s dealt with those issues. Oh reeeeeeeeally! She wasn’t talking like that when she brought Dr. Mom to head-shrink her team that one time.
  • I’m amazed that people try to keep posing and smiling for the photographs at the top and bottom of the hill. I’d be flipping that camera off after two trips.
  • If Shellay and Coleen were so worried about someone cheating while they were inside, why didn’t they just take their siesta outside, or in the gym? Trust but verify, my friends.
Posted by:Sarah Jersild