Come join us ’round the campfire as the Biggest Loser: Families tells you a spine-tingling tale of terror. It’s got setbacks, lousy percentages, toil and trouble, and even (gasp!) weight gain! That’s right — it’s Week Two! Aieeeeeeee!

It’s a lose-lose situation. Welcome to the Biggest Spoiler.

Alison and the trainers put the flashlights under their chins and described the horrors of Week Two, which is when contestants’ bodies tend to put up a fight and hold onto pounds. Then, Alison basically double-dog-dares the competitors to spend the night in the weight-loss equivalent of Old Man Henderson’s creepy abandoned farmhouse on Friday the 13th when the moon is full and everyone is having sex. (It’s a horror movie thing. Go with it.) She offers the teams the opportunity to bet on the percentage of weight they think they’ll lose. The one team that bets on the highest number has a chance to win $10,000 — but that’s only if they hit their chosen percentage. If they don’t, they’re automatically below the yellow line.

There’s a little bit of auction action, and Phil starts things off in the hopes of goading one of the other teams into taking a chance. Sadly, people are stupid enough to go for it. In the end, Coleen and Jerry bet they’ll lose 2.4 percent of their body weight — more than 13 pounds. Jillian is horrified when she hears this, and vows to beat them about the head and shoulders until they repent.

That’s when she’s not playing Dr. Jillian, Psychotherapy Woman. She gets the opportunity early on when Michelle gets weepy for no apparent reason. Turns out that spending every waking hour in a high-stress situation with the mother you haven’t really spoken to for more than five years after she more-or-less abandoned you can be a wee bit psychologically taxing. Who knew? (Me, and everyone else watching.) Jillian rubs a little happy-talk on Michelle’s psychic wounds and she’s good to go.

Jillian also gets to therapize when Coleen looks like she’s flagging at the last-chance workout. You set yourself up to fail! Jillian cries. Why did you do it! Coleen admits that she never lets herself get close because she’s afraid of failing. I wouldn’t be surprised if that were true, but I can’t help but wonder if people just start spouting psycho-babble back at Jillian just to get her off their backs. I sure would.

The Challenge
This week’s challenge looks like a blast — the competitors get to slide down a huge hill on these sweet Slip ‘N Slide-type makeshift water-slides, which made me jealous. I was somewhat less jealous when I realized they then had to run up the hill and tag in to avoid elimination. Where’s  the chair lift? What kind of water park is this? What’s worse, the team members will take turns sliding and running — except, of course, LT and Coleen, who have to go every round because Tom and Jerry (Hey! I just noticed that!) are medically barred from competing. That seems ridiculously unfair to LT and Coleen — it’s an endurance challenge, so they’re at a hell of a disadvantage.

That does not, however, mean they’re the first ones out. That honor goes to Team Brown. Brady is quick going down, but he starts limping on the way up. Vicky talks this up as strategy on their part — we wanted to throw the challenge because we don’t want to look like a threat. This reminds me of my nephew telling me that dive was SUPPOSED to be a belly flop. Really!

After a gazillion rounds, it comes down to Team Orange and Team Purple. Shellay runs out of gas, but everyone applauds her for hanging in there so long — and Ed tells her she’d kick his mom’s butt. Ed, your mom may want to speak to you about that…

Ed and Heba win a call home,and they have the opportunity to give a call home to someone else. They give Team Red the call — Phil and Amy really needed to talk to their kids, especially their autistic son. That was a good call.

The Cooking
Chef Rocco DiSpirito shows up again to show the competitors that you can cook healthy food on a budget. Then he figures out which team members are least comfortable in the kitchen, and pick those folks to do the cooking. Coleen is gleeful.

After predictable bungling (Brady announces he hates mussels — and all the other vegetables) and some painfully obvious product placement bits (Oh look! There are so many choices with [sponsor’s] food!), the dishes are judged by the non-cooking team members. Vicky channels a three-year-old by refusing to eat anything with cauliflower in it. Get over yourself, Vicky — this show is about trying new things, right? I mean, I can see turning down the mussels if you have a seafood allergy, but turning your nose up at cauliflower because you think it might be icky? Grow up.

Amy from Team Purple wins the cooking challenge with her itty-bitty turkey meatball soup. She also wins free groceries for a year. Wow.

The weigh-in
History shows that this tends to be a heartbreaking weigh-in. Will this group follow suit? Let’s see!

Team Red
Amy: 213 to 209, -4 pounds
Phil: 308 to 300, -8 pounds
The 12-pound team loss adds up to 2.3 percent

Team Brown
Vicky: 227 to 223, -4 pounds
Brady: 313 to 306, -7 pounds
The 11-pound team loss adds up to 2.04 percent

Team Yellow
Jerry: 363  to 358, -5 pounds
Coleen: 208 to 202, -6 pounds
The 11 pound team loss adds up to 1.93 percent. That would be enough to put them in third place, but since they bet they’d lose 2.4 percent. they’re below the yellow line. Oof.

Team Orange
Ed: 318 to 309, -9 pounds
Heba: 282 to 280, -2 pounds
the 11-pound team loss adds up to 1.83 percent

Team Pink
Michelle: 225 to 223, -2 pounds
Renee: 253 to 248, -5 pounds
The 7-pounds team loss adds up to 1.46 percent

Team Purple
Shellay: 204 to 201, -3 pounds
Amy: 222 to 219, -3 pounds
The 6-pound team loss adds up to 1.41 percent

Team Gray
Tom: 290 to 287, -3 pounds
LT: 339 to 342, +3 pounds. Oof.
That’s a 0 percent loss, for those of you who are utterly deficient at math.

The elimination
We knew this was coming: LT talks about how he saved Team Orange last week, and he hopes they’ll return the favor this week. Ed talks a good game, but for some reason, when they hit the voting room, Heba babbles something about realizing their vote won’t make a difference, and therefore votes for Team Gray. That makes very little sense to me — surely the best plan would have been to vote for Team Yellow, saying it was because they owed Team Gray. Gray would be out anyway, but Orange would look like good people. Instead, they come off as folks who are willing to push their friends under the bus. Weird.

LT and Tom look like they’re doing great at home — Tom is down 65 pounds, and LT has dropped 81 pounds. Keep it up, guys!

Highlights, thoughts and odds and ends

  • Was anyone else ready to strangle Alison? I know, I know, she’s probably told to stick her metaphorical fingers into the open sores of lousy numbers, but seriously — asking Coleen if she’s disappointed in her dad? What did she expect Coleen to say?
  • I’m starting to love Michelle — she seems really grounded and together (despite the dubious decision-making that went into choosing to come on a high-pressure reality show to rekindle her relationship with her estranged mom.) When Alison asks her if she’s disappointed by losing "only" 2 pounds, Michelle replies: "It’s difficult, but I earned it. I earned those 2 pounds off my body. I respect those 2 pounds. Yeah, the number is low, but my spirits are high." Perfect response.
  • I think I’ve decided who bugs me the most: Team Brown. What was with Brady’s out-of-nowhere belligerence when they were discussing who to eliminate? And Vicky, refusing to eat cauliflower? Grow up! Possibly the creepiest was when Red Amy was trying to make it to the top of the hill, and everyone was cheering her on. "Clap!" Brady ordered Vicky. "Oh, yeah," Vicky replied. They’re obviously being set up as the villains of the season.
  • I was screaming at the TV when Coleen did that last bid. What was she thinking?
  • I’m seriously wondering what went on that we didn’t see between Ed’s protestations that he’d stick with the Grays and Heba voting them off. I still don’t get that. Sure, I can see them not wanting to piss off the Yellows, but I still think they’d look better if they stuck to their word.
  • Jerry admits that the only time he goes to the produce section is to pick up a head of lettuce and find out where the croutons are. Hee.
  • When Ed and Heba win the challenge — and the phone call home — Ed says to Heba "You get to call your dad. I get to call the dog." Alas, the puppy went uncalled — Ed donated his 10 minutes to Heba so she could have an extra-long, exceedingly strangled conversation with her dad.
  • I like Phil and Amy’s kids. One kid asked "Are you feeling better than before? Or are you feeling like crap from all that exercise?" It’s the latter, kid.
  • Bob is a rebel — he tears out the yellow line that separates his side of the gym from Jillian’s. Jillian: "I think it’s awesome. He can come on my side of the gym… if he dares!"

So NOW who’s your favorite? Least favorite? Are you most frustrated with Alison or the trainers?

Posted by:Sarah Jersild