Roger_trent_biggestloser_s5_240
Are you kidding me? Are you freaking kidding me? There was so much that frustrated, appalled or otherwise enraged me on The Biggest Loser this week that I hardly even know where to start.

The spoilers have just become the biggest group of dumb jocks.

Everyone on Team Black was appalled that Jackie got ejected last week — Mark and Jay went back on their word! The fiends! Yes, they should have just been up-front about what they were planning. But the amount of self-righteous anger oozing off Team Black was over the top. Brittany, I love you, and it pains me to say this, but shut it!

Then there’s Dan. Dan is all alone. Dan is adrift. Dan feels betrayed. Dan can’t trust anyone. Dan is on an island. Dan is… Dan is talking too damn much, that’s what Dan is doing. I get that you’re upset. I get that this is a big deal. But seriously, dude: Stop. Talking. It’s a game. That’s it.

Dan finally decides to tell the rest of Team Blue that he understands what happened, and that he’s ok with it. The rest of Team Blue falls all over themselves to say he’s awesome, and they wronged him, and he’s such a prince for letting it go. That’s because they’re idiots. Dan isn’t letting anything go. He’s just letting people think he is so he won’t be so isolated anymore. It’s a good move on his part, but I can’t believe Mark and Jay fell for it.

The challenge
Bernie, who is officially my favorite now that Brittany is getting so damn snippy, chooses the Gameplay reward for being last week’s biggest loser. His reward is "50 percent off at the next challenge." What?

That actually turns out to be a good thing: Pairs of team members stand on a balance beam over a lake, working together to hold up the amount of weight they’d lost so far. It’s about balance! And teamwork! And trust! OK, we get it — Team Blue is lousy on those aspects right now. So Team Black’s superior spirit of teamwork, plus the fact that Bernie and Brittany are actually holding up less weight than everyone else, gives them the victory.

The prize: Team Black gets to grant immunity to one member of their team — and one member of the opposing team. I immediately think it’s going to be Dan, since they’re all gung-ho about how betrayed Dan was. Hah! They grant immunity to Jay, who is offended they see him as the least threatening Team Blue member. Team Black — or rather, Jillian — decides to pick a name out of a hat (or actually, pick every name out of the hat except one, thus ratcheting up the televised suspense.) Maggie is the lucky winner.

The psychotherapy
Here’s the part that had me foaming at the mouth. Jillian realizes that her team is suffering from a variety of psychological issues, which contribute to their weight problems. I’m fine with that. She decides to bring in an expert to help. Um, ok. That expert is her mother. Who she addresses as "Mommy." Who she describes as being "to psychotherapy what I am to fitness training." You mean, a grandstanding cult leader? Great!

Jillian sends each member of her team in to hash out their life-long issues with Dr. Mom — on camera. We’re talking abandonment, physical abuse, intense guilt… and all these pent up secrets are spilled for anyone to see. No WAY is that in the best interest of the competitors.

Which is not to say I’m against psychotherapy — far from it. It’s incredibly helpful, when used well. Which is why Bob and his team’s reaction made me equally furious: We don’t need no stinking therapy! We’d rather walk than talk! Why, this hike to the top of a mountain is better than any intervention by a trained professional. That’s perilously close to saying hey, who needs psychotropic drugs or therapeutic interventions-depressed people should just exercise their way out of the blues! And that? Complete crap. Exercise can help, but it’s not the only answer.

The weigh-in
This weigh-in was so impossibly overdramatic that I almost wonder if there’s a man behind the curtain fiddling with the scale. Black put up great numbers at first — Kelly lost 8 pounds, Bernie lost 7 and Paul lost 10 — but the final two results are disappointing in the context of the game (but not, I hasten to add, in the context of real life): Maggie lost 2 pounds, and Brittany was down 1 pound. They’re devastated, and yes, Kelly cries.

Team Blue gets confident — dude, we’ll totally kick ass! It looks like they will indeed: Roger loses 9 pounds, Trent loses 8, Dan loses 7 pounds, and Mark loses 6. That means Jay has to lose only 5 pounds to push his team to victory. Team Black is quietly (or not-so-quietly, in some cases) weeping and gnashing its teeth, convinced it’s doomed, when Jay gets up on the scale — and loses just 4 pounds. Team Black avoids elimination by 1 pound. Bob is so frustrated or disappointed or pissy that he stalks out of the room. Way to support your team there, Bob!

The elimination
In Team Blue Central, Trent falls on his sword: My knee is injured, I’m dragging you down, it is a far, far better thing that I do, etc. And yes, Trent is being incredibly awesome, and I adore him, but the amount of drama and schmaltz they pump into this is sickening. Plus, there’s Dan’s reaction — oh, so NOW we’re all going to vote for Trent, unlike last week, when we said we were and then you offed mom. Great. Thanks.

Trent gets paeans to his virtue and nobility and is sent packing. His homecoming is actually quite sweet — his whole family is there to greet him, and the high school he works at threw a pep rally welcoming him home — and he looks great in the look-at-me-now interview, having lost 112 pounds. Go, Trent!

Highlights, thoughts and odds and ends

  • Another reason Bernie is my favorite person on the show right now: His was the only therapy session not broadcast. Did he refuse to be bullied into therapy? Did he refuse to allow it to be broadcast? Did he make Dr. Mom look like an idiot? Whatever the reason, I respect him for it.
  • Bernie tweaks all the long, flowery elimination-room speeches when he announces who Team Black chose for immunity. "The person we picked is remarkable in every way, a great teammate, and she also got extremely lucky and we pulled her name out of a hat." Hah!
  • Mark is working on alienating not just his team and the opposing team, but also the host. When Alison was doing some (admittedly somewhat annoying) color commentary during the challenge, Mark snaps at her: "Stop being so overdramatic! This isn’t a soap opera!" Oh, nice.
  • It was obvious early on that Trent would be going home, because they used the classic reality TV trope of talking about what a great guy he was, how he wasn’t in it for the money, how he didn’t want to play the game… oh, Trent. So doomed.
  • The big twist: Next week, the competitors go home, and the resulting weigh-in is "tragic." We’ll see how it goes.

What did you think? Am I off-base in my rant about the therapy aspect, or do you agree? Who was the most annoying person on this week’s show? How will everyone fare when they get home? And do you know any grown women who refer to their mother as "Mommy"?

Posted by:Sarah Jersild