Perhaps it’s because I just started writing about Paradise Hotel 2, but this week’s Biggest Loser seemed downright Shakespearean to me. We’ve got hubris, Achilles’ heels, tragic setbacks, heroic rallies, base treachery and rash oaths made upon children’s lives. Who knew the Bard wrote for reality TV?

To spoil or not to spoil: That is the question.

Team Black is disheartened after last week’s events, so Jillian rallies the troops with her version of the St. Crispin’s Day speech: We few, we happy few, have really got to eat more food. Seriously — it’s counterintuitive, but when you don’t consume enough calories, your body shuts down and holds on to every ounce of fat you have, because it thinks you’re entering a famine. So Kelly consuming only 1,000 calories a day, or Brittany eating as little as 500 a day? That way madness lies.

I’m taken aback, as Jillian is really making me like her at the moment. Then she snaps me back to reality, when she announces "Here’s Bob’s Achilles heel: Hubris." Bonus points for the classical references, but seriously: Hubris is Bob’s problem? The lady doth protest too much.

The Temptation
Witness: 100 chocolate-covered caramels set before each competitor. The person who eats the most chocolates may switch one member of his or her team with a member of the other team. Mark immediately digs in with Falstaffian gusto, determined to control this choice. Brittany wavers for a bit, then decides to go for it. Once more unto the breach, dear Brittany.

In the end, Brittany’s efforts are for naught — she consumed 15 chocolates, while Mark eats 43. Mark decides to use his power by not using it — he keep the teams as is.

Mark may have won that battle, but his war is in danger. My kingdom for a working leg! he cries. He’s got a stress fracture in his shin, and the doc decrees no running, no treadmill, not elliptical, no lunges, etc. Alas!

The Challenge
Welcome to The Biggest Chef… I mean, Iron Loser… I mean… oh, you get the idea. The teams have to prepare a three-course meal for visiting celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito. Team Black wails and gnashes its teeth, while Team Blue is quietly confident. Can you guess what’s coming next? That’s right — Black takes it. They win a dinner prepared by Rocco (sort of — he actually teaches them to prepare their own dishes, which is good, but not as advertised) and videos from home. The team gathers round to watch everyone’s video, which is great — until Paul sees Kelly’s boyfriend talking about how much he misses her, and how he wants to kiss her again… Paul kind of loses it — he’s talking about my wife! — until Kelly reminds him that nope, he’s not. Cue the emotions and waterworks. I can’t help but think the producers engineered this — they knew something like this would happen, and must have been thrilled when Team Back won this particular reward.

The Weigh-In
Blue puts up good numbers, losing 40 pounds overall. Most notably, Jackie loses a "mere" 2 pounds (a fabulous result in the real world) and Jay is disappointed to only lose 5 pounds again (see above). Mark, who fears his injury will be his undoing, loses a whopping 9 pounds. Wow. Apparently swimming and biking works for him.

Team Black, however, is back with a vengeance. Most notable: Brittany loses 10 pounds (!!), while Bernie is down 13 (!!!). Team Black wins!

The elimination
Double, double, toil and trouble — it’s time for the scheming and machinations to begin. Jackie boldly walks into Roger and Trent’s room and asks if Trent would feel unloved if they voted him off. Neither Roger nor Trent is happy with that question. Jackie then goes into Mark and Jay’s room and tries to make a deal — we all vote off Trent, and you leave me and Dan alone. "Would you guys swear on your children’s lives that you would not vote for us without telling us?" Jackie asks. The brothers pledge their fealty to Jackie.

Then it comes to the vote. Jackie and Dan vote for Trent. Roger and Trent vote for Jackie. It’s up to the brothers — who promptly vote for Jackie. Et tu, Mark and Jay? says Jackie. You swore on your children’s lives! If this were on stage, we’d lay in the thunder and lightning effects right about now. As it is, we just have Dan and Jackie looking betrayed, and Mark and Jay looking abashed.

Jackie looks pretty damn awesome in her look-at-me-now interview — she’s down 70 pounds. Wow! Go Jackie!

Thoughts, highlights, and odds and ends

  • Are you guys familiar with Titus Andronicus? Let’s just say, between the cooking class and the swearing on children’s lives, Mark and Jay shouldn’t eat any pies Jackie bakes for them in the near future.
  • Look, the swearing on children’s lives thing was overblown and silly, but Mark and Jay shouldn’t have sworn — it was easy enough to avoid. It’s a game, Jackie, and we’re not swearing anything.
  • Dan’s prize for being the biggest loser last week is family — his brother Joe appears. Both he and Jackie are thrilled to see him. Dan even tries on a pair of Joe’s jeans, which he never would have fit into in the past. "The good news is, they fit," Dan says, coming out of the bathroom. "The bad news is, I make them look better than you." Hee!
  • Bernie is rapidly becoming my favorite person, just because he’s so pleasingly bizarre. Check out his reaction to the chocolate challenge: "My game plan was pretty much to get as close to the chocolate as possible without eating them," which he accomplishes by sticking them all over his face like acupuncture needles.
  • I love Bernie, part two: He’s great in the cooking challenge. There’s the power slide across the grocery store floor, the choice to use a tablespoon of blue cheese atop the filet, which adds lots of flavor for few calories, and his jaunty "berndana" tied around the chef’s hat.
  • Speaking of the cooking challenge — oh, Roger and Trent. We know you’re good Southern boys, and we know Paula Deen can’t cook without adding at least a pound of butter to everything she makes (I almost think I saw her butter salad greens once), but unsalted butter isn’t a particularly healthy choice. Lower sodium, but no fewer calories. (Tasty, though.)
  • I love Bernie, part three: Did you see that little watusi Bernie did when he saw his weight loss this week? Adorable! "I thought I was looking sexy before, Ali," he says. "I’m bringing sexy back."
  • Did you notice how Paul had to deduct last week’s gain from this week’s weight loss total? I can’t help but think that was a reaction to Neil’s skullduggery last season.
  • I love Alison’s dress at the weigh-in. So cute!
Posted by:Sarah Jersild