Last week: It was thanksgiving, and the contestants had to eat a bunch of stuff for big time prizes. John won a one-pound advantage, and had to dole out a one-pound disadvantage to someone in turn. He chose easy target Sunny, and then cast a vote for her when she landed in the bottom two. Antone said that it was a punk move, and wasn’t entirely wrong. In the end, though, it was Ramon who went home, thus freeing us from the tyranny of his French braids.
This week we’re down to the final five, and we jump right into a challenge. It’s the one they do every season, where the contestants put their weight back on and then ritually shed it in a race of some sort. Sami goes through how much weight everyone has lost, and it is impressive. John has lost 140 pounds; Antone has lost 116 pounds; Vinny has lost 102 pounds; Sunny has lost 75 pounds; and Becky has lost 61 pounds. This year, the contestants will race up a hill and drop their excess poundage in a bucket at a series of checkpoints aligned with their weight losses during each week of the competition. The first player to shed all of his or her weight and cross the finish line gets a one-pound advantage. Sunny of course wants the prize, but mostly would like to see anybody but John get it. Antone concurs, not only because John is a meanie, but because he’s a serious competitor. Everyone is of course very emotional at putting the weight back on, because it’s so crazy to think that it was once not removable via Velcro straps.
The challenge begins! Becky notes that it’s pretty much excruciating to move or even breathe. Everyone reminisces about how out of shape they were upon first coming to the ranch, and how they kick all sorts of butt and stuff now. We flash back to those initial interviews where everyone was super-sad, contrasted with the present time, when they have renewed interest in life. Watching all of this makes me wonder — AGAIN! — why this show is two hours long. How many times can we see these clips? John, of course, is being kind of a weirdo throughout. I mean, he’s just so intense. I know we’re overmedicated as a society and blah blah, but I feel like some happy pills wouldn’t be out of order for that guy.
So, John has passed Sunny and now focuses his attention on passing Antone, who is in the lead. John powers up a hill, scurrying crab-like past a panting Antone. Antone picks up the pace so he is just behind John. They get to checkpoint nine, and are neck and neck. They are climbing up a pretty steep incline, so no one is exactly sprinting to checkpoint ten. Antone gives it a shot, but he’s got nothing left. John then says, “I am digging as deep as I can,” in the exact same cadence as Kevin from The Office. He adds, “I am a beast, and this is how I get it done,” and the same thing happens. John would be so much more likeable if he actually were Kevin from The Office. He wins the one-pound advantage, and then goes to shake Antone’s hand. Antone totally leaves him hanging! Though Antone didn’t win the challenge, he’s still proud and stuff. Everyone else finishes to inspirational music.
And then the contestants learn the real prize — they’ve entered makeover week! Progresso Soup has sponsored these makeovers, which I guess means everyone will have hair weaves made of noodles, and get clam chowder facials. Progresso is giving everyone a year’s worth of soup and $5,000. You know, I have to say that I used to eat Progresso soup all the time, but I feel like it has gotten notably less delicious. And I will eat most anything in soup form! In other bad news, there is no Tim Gunn this year. Instead we get former Jessica Simpson BFF Ken Paves, and stylist to the stars Jeannie Mai.