rachel-frederisksonThe season finale of The Biggest Loser aired this week, and it was a perfect opportunity for people with nothing going on in their lives to express outrage over something on television. Apparently getting worked up over an advertisement didn’t fill their quota for the week.

rachel-frederiskson3

Don’t try adjusting your fake glasses, that won’t help

Rachel Frederickson lost so much weight, she even managed to get the fake shocked look by Bob and Jillian… I know guys, how could a contestant on a show that promotes rapid weight loss go to such extremes and lose too much weight?  Absolutely mind blowing!

Look, I’m not saying that 105lbs is a good weight to drop down to, in fact I like a little meat on women, but people can’t act surprised when people to extremes when it comes to reality competitions.  It’s like Jeff Probst feigning a surprise when Brandon Hantz pulls a nutty on Survivor, despite them knowing he is more than capable of doing such a thing.

The biggest surprise about this is that The Biggest Loser has been on the air for 15 seasons and there aren’t more issues like this.  You’d think once a year there would be a few people who end up in the hospital for pushing themselves too hard for that 1 extra pound or two per week.

Anyway, what I also want to comment on is how the hell did Holly Mangold end up on the show and I wasn’t aware of it? I remember when she was on MTV’s True Life “I’m The Big Girl” episode and was ready to head to the Olympics.  Is she still working out?

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The old Holly Mangold

She makes me want to sit down one weekend and catch up on the season!

 

Infolinks 2014

jeremy from the biggest loser

I don't read contracts, yo

Even if you count the season with Anna Kournikova, this has to be the worst season of The Biggest Loser to date, right?  The only good quality of the show is the professionalism displayed on a weekly basis by the trainer Dolvett Quince.  Typically on a season of The Biggest Loser, you have mildly to moderately annoying trainers, a Jeff Probst-wannabee host in Allison, and more advertisements IN the show than during commercial breaks… let’s not forget hour-long episodes that are stretched into 2 hours for some strange reason.  However, what sets it apart is the cast is generally likeable and pull for one another because losing weight is really the main goal for a large portion of those who appear on the show.

That changed this season in what was probably the worst cast I’ve seen to date. The entire season was full of poor sports, bullies, and immature acts that wouldn’t even make the cut on Survivor.  Even a guy who was bullied for pretty much no reason (Adrian) had to show up to the final competition wearing his trademark ascot with a t-shirt.  Come on, bro.

The girl bullying him, Conda, was treated with a sweet trip straight to the finals because she was fortunate enough to form the baby alliance with Buddy, Mark and her brother Jeremy.  Of course it wasn’t that simple, we had the pleasure of listening to her whining about anything and everything on a weekly basis along the way.

Last week, the baby crew (with Kim included), protested a game feature that was going to allow former members to compete in the final 3.  That didn’t sit right with that crew, as they manipulated votes as best they could along the way to make it the (soon to be) final 4, and didn’t want anyone else have a chance at the money.  Math, or even baby toys aren’t a strong field or them as they never realized you can’t fit 4 pegs into 3 slots.  One of their members was going to get the boot even if they had their way, and if they actually read the contract, would have seen they needed to fit 4 pegs into 2 slots.  However, the contract also gave those 2 booted members a 25% chance for one of them to return to the game, but they still felt it was unfair.

The diet frosting on the low fat cake was when Jeremy was still pouting that he was eliminated and had to compete his way back in.  A couple of things…

  1. Jeremy, you and your buddies gamed the system the entire way, and voted out whoever you wanted regardless of weight lost that week.
  2. In playing the game, you were beaten fair and square.  Only twice did you lose the most % of body weight, and even lost fewer pounds than the guy who went home in week 1.  In hindsight, you’re lucky to have made it to week 2, let alone near the finals.
  3. A guy nearly twice your age went home in week 2, yet still lost nearly as much weight as you… without the pro trainers, diet, gym, etc.  Again, you were lucky to make it as far as you did.
  4. The very thing you protested was giving you a second chance to return to the game, and the fact that you had all the incredible amenities, you cruised into the ‘top 8’ with ease.  Would you have done the same had you gone home in week 2?

Naturally, Jeremy ended up beating Mike and Lauren at an endurance competition, so all that whining and threatening to go home was for nothing.  He is in the final 3 and still very well could win the grand prize.  Or his whining sister, or a girl who bullied Adrian with that whining sister early in the season.  I’m probably going to only tune into the finale to see the former contestants, then probably puke in my mouth when one of the three is crowned a winner this season.  Not sure I’ll be watching next season, that’s for sure.

mark and buddy quit the biggest loserThe Biggest Loser has been growing more and more annoying to watch from the blatant product placement multiple times an episode every single week, to Allison Sweeney trying real hard to sound like Jeff Probst, to contestants who pretend the show is more than just a game show.

This week on “The Biggest Product Placement”, Buddy and Mark tried real hard to steal the show away from the real star, the Ford Escape. I mean we watch the show on a weekly basis to see what new product Allison or Bob can push on us, but the cast tried to make it all about them this week.  How selfish!  Fear not, once they got the pesky cast situation squared away, Bob was able to give us his best car salesman pitch to show us all the great features the Escape has.  Did you know that SUV has this crazy thing called a GPS?  It literally tracks where you are and tells you the closest gym (or mcdonalds) and shows you how to get there.  Unbelievable. What are they going to tell me next, that phones will be pocket sized and you can use them anywhere?  Technology is moving too fast for me.

Sarcasm aside, back to the contestants. It was their baby week as they did their best to show they have no comprehension of how reality shows work, or what the words said on the piece of paper they signed before joining the show.  All the cast members threw a major fit because they got wind that the show was going to do what it generally always does, allow one of the kicked out members to compete for the final spot. After a verbal bitch slapping by both Allison and the shows lawyer, three of the five remaining cast members decided they were willing to ‘stick it out’.  The other two, Buddy and Mark, decided they’ve had enough trickery and can’t stomach the idea of someone coming in to possibly snatch the money from their hands.  So they did what any rational personal would do, quit the show and give themselves a 0% chance of winning.

Look, The Biggest Loser is barely a watchable show to begin with, and the producers know that.  The only remotely redeeming quality is how inspiring it is to see how much weight a person can lose when they’re given weeks away from real life stress, professional trainers, the best equipment, and healthiest food while dangling a quarter of a million dollars in front of their face.  In the process, we get to watch them act like losing the weight was their only goal, all while doing things like voting out the strongest competition in order to achieve their real goal.. the prize money.

With that said, even the dopiest of dopes should comprehend that when you join a reality show, they’re going to change it up on a week to week basis in order to keep ratings going. This isn’t 2002 when reality shows were starting to make their splash.  This is the 13th season of this particular show, and there is 0 excuse to act shocked a twist is going to happen at the end of the season.  I have no sympathy for either Buddy or Mark, and barely any for the other babies who put up a stink before graciously returning for a 33% chance at winning life changing money.

And in an ironic twist, one of the babies who nearly walked out because of the “twist” (Jeremy) still has a chance to come back and win.  If he not only competes in, but benefits from the twist he cried about, he should donate any winnings he gets to some charity that feeds starving kids around the world.  I know he won’t, so my only hope is that Allison has the guts to call him out on that, but she won’t either.

Jillian Michaels on the biggest loserLast night on The Biggest Loser, they managed to stretch about 45 minutes of show into a 2 hour long episode, and it showed.   First, teams were given a test from each trainer on various aspects of what they’ve learned so far.  After being graded up to  100 from each trainer, the highest combined point getter would receive a nice check for $10k, which may be chump change to what we see handed out weekly on The Amazing Race, but it’s still a nice reward.

Bob tested them on their ability to teach a spinning class when they leave the show, Cara tested them on seeing how close they can get their faces without actually making  out with her, and Jillian did some sort of motivation test, but to be honest I fast forwarded her part because she annoys me.   Brett seemed to be the only trainer with an actual grading system in place (which makes since considering his father is a professor), as the rest just randomly handed out 100’s, 95’s and so on based on how they felt during the test.

When that part was done, it was time for their final product placement challenge, to play The Biggest Loser on Xbox Kinect with the ever annoying Alison Sweeney narrating it the entire way through – fun.   The winner of the product placement challenge will get 100 points added to their total, second place will earn 90, third 80 and so on down to 60 points to the loser.  This apparently confused Alison as she told everyone they were still in the race despite Irene (I believe) being roughly 80 points lower than the top score which completely eliminated her from any chance of winning the money.

Olivia ended up winning the overall prize, with her sister, Hannah, finishing a very close second despite winning the Kinect challenge further proving it would have taken a near meltdown by Olivia to lose the money, making the Xbox challenge pretty much a waste of about 15 minutes of airtime.

Next up was some chatting about stuff which I found myself hitting the ‘ahead 30 second’ button on my DVR more than I’d like to admit as a reality show blogger until the second challenge which looked like something out of the Survivor playbook. Teams had to stack sandbags to a certain level before they can climb these huge stairs until they got to the top and raised their flag.   And of course, like Survivor, Alison had to continue her Jeff Probst narration the entire way through which again quickly forced me to look for the fast forward button until I saw the winner – Austin – earn an extra pound at the weigh-in.   Not a bad prize this late in the game, that’s for sure.

Up next were the last chance workouts which featured every trainer giving motivational screams with “LAST CHANCE WORKOUT” mixed in randomly like they were robots programmed to say that every 15 words regardless LAST CHANCE WORKOUT if it formed an  actual sentence.

The weigh-in was of course drawn out to take about 40 minutes to do something that should be knocked out in 5 minutes, but that wasn’t the shocking part of the show.   Alison gave both Olivia (winner of $10k) and Austin (winner of 1 pound) a chance to swap out their rewards for the opposite.  Austin kept his pound, which pleased the trainers, but when Olivia decided to also keep her prize instead of earning an extra pound on the scale, it raised the thick eyebrows of one trainer, Jillian Michaels.   She didn’t exactly approve of the decision, which is fine, she works hard to train these people, but when Olivia lost 5 pounds, Jillian gave her a lecture how she’s not happy about it at all because the 6th pound could have kept her safe.

I’d like to take a moment and say I’m thrilled this will be Jillian’s last season on the show because that self-righteous bullshit is why I can’t stand her in the first place.   Olivia was thrilled with not only losing 5 additional pounds giving her a total of 108 pounds lost this season, she got to take home the $10k which would greatly help her family.  That wasn’t good enough for the multi-millionaire trainer Jillian Michaels.   She had to quickly rain on Olivia’s parade by making her feel like shit that she put herself and her sister at risk by choosing the money over the extra pound.

While the $250k final reward is certainly a fantastic prize, this isn’t like other game shows where players spend all season just focused on the end reward.  Each one of those remaining five players have already completely changed their health and their future by adding years to their life, and may actually be happy with those results regardless of the final outcome.   Olivia weighs 153 pounds now and looks great along with every other member.. maybe, just maybe, she’s happy with that even if she ended up going home.   Sure, $10k is nothing if you’re spitting out dvd’s, books, weight setsvideo games, protein mix, fat burner, workout pants, bras, sleeves, sweatshirts, and of course calenders, but for the regular people out there, that’s a lot of money and combined with her new healthy lifestyle, maybe it was worth it to her.

I think the show can only improve once she’s gone, and hopefully she can take Alison Sweeney with her.

Ever since a young age, I found myself sitting around watching home renovation shows with my father.  “This Old House” was a show I loved to hate because it always sucked me in when I wanted to be outside enjoying my weekends.    I found myself watching these shows not because I really cared about building something – I was about 10 – I just so badly wanted to see the end result.    That carried over as I grew up, but really got hooked on the “end result” within the past 10 years or so.

I will watch and get sucked in to any show that involves renovation, especially if I can see the end result before the show is over.   Don’t give me a set of “before and after” photos because that will just waste a few hours of my day.   I then stumbled upon a show called “The Swan” which aired back around 2004 on of course Fox (the kings of exploiting people for money).   Despite the horrible nature of the show, I was completely fascinated watching something other than a house or a car get renovated, this time it was a person!

Never before did I think watching a person completely transform into a living plastic barbie doll in a matter of one hour would become so amazing to me.  Of course we got to skip the pain and misery they went through during months of recovery, but that’s the beauty of TV, we didn’t need to see the un-fun stuff, just bring me some horrible teeth and show me a brand new set in an hour and I’m watching that show until I can’t stand myself any longer.

After The Swan, I’d watch anything that gave people visual makeovers such as “10 Years Younger” or “What Not To Wear” to lifestyle makeovers such as “Hoarders” or “Intervention”  just to see the last 5 minutes of the show.      The sad part is, most of the girls on shows like What Not To Wear looked more attractive to me before they got their makeovers.   As far as lifestyle shows, I end up getting more bummed than relieved when like 75% of them seem to have setbacks at the end.   I want to see some guy on heroin get better and stay better, go on 10 years younger and get a makeover, then get a promotion because they were lucky enough to run into their boss in “Undercover Boss“.  I’m sure the reason I like these type of shows is something I need to save for my therapist, so I’ll continue…

The new fad, and my newest addition appears to currently be weight loss shows.   Flip a channel whether it’s MTV, A&E or NBC and you’re going to find a weight loss show running.   Shows like “Heavy” and “I Used To Be Fat” are still as exploitative as “The Biggest Loser“, but the latter is just a lousy premise for a show.

To me it’s no different than a show like Intervention lining up a bunch of crack heads, making them run challenges to see who can basically go cold turkey the longest, and the one who breaks first – who likely needs the most help – is cut loose to go back in the world.   These people really need help, it’s not like a game show where (usually) very stable mental people (*cough* Phillip) compete for a prize.  These are people seeking help for their problems and one show just exploits it majorly.

Aside from the major reason to hate the show, here are some other annoying parts:

  • Alison Sweeney is easily the worst host out of any show on TV today, moving Julie Chen out of that spot.  It is almost comical how she tries to bring drama whenever she’s on air, even if she’s announcing something like them going home for 2 weeks.    I cracked up in the most recent episode when she was narrating the mud challenge channeling her inner Jeff Probst.
  • Speaking of being over-dramatic, hello Jillian Michaels!  She is just dying for some type of award, isn’t she?  Or does she act like that to sell more nutritional supplements, video games, dvd’s, etc?  We get it, your shtick is to be a “tough trainer” but yelling every second she’s on air gets a bit old and annoying.
  • The weigh-in is so annoying.  It literally took about 35 minutes to weigh like 10 people.  I mean seriously, does this super high tech scale have to bounce around numbers for 30 seconds before spitting out the right answer?  I can get a $10 scale at Target that will give me results in 5 seconds and I can spend the next 25 eating a sandwich.
  • This has to be the only situation where someone is made to look like an ass for “only” losing 5 pounds in a week.   Sure,  other people who train hard do get disappointed with themselves if they lose lower than expected weight after a hard week, but they’re only letting themselves down, not a team full of people.  Talk about pressure.

I am usually not one to get offended by pretty much anything, but I just can’t stand this show, yet being able to see the damn before and after shots at weigh in always end up sucking me in, and it’s like the producers know it!    Every year I try not to watch this show for the reasons listed above (I also refuse to schedule a DVR recording), but every time I see it on I end up watching it until the end and hating myself when it’s over.   Why must they do this to me?

How do you guys feel about this show?  Do you have any other guilty pleasure shows like this?  Let me know so I don’t feel ashamed in myself lol