TBD8: Queen Bee —
Trigger warning: This post thoroughly discusses an episode The Biggest Loser, including the abusive bullshit as well as the weigh-ins.
As of Tuesday night, I had only seen the first 30 minutes of Biggest Loser and already I had concluded that it was hands-down the worst episode yet in terms of sheer dickweeditude.
At this stage in the show, it’s a long-shot that anyone can possibly catch up to Jillian Michaels, Queen of the Bullies.
I should have seen this sooner, myself. She’s always been a special kind of terrible. She’s like the Emperor Palpatine to Harper’s Darth Vader.
This week, she launched her irrational brand of dramatic outrage with such ferocity that it actually surprised me, and there isn’t much that Jillian Michaels can do or say that surprises me any more. It’s more like resignation that she loves saying cruel, hateful shit when she’s pissed. Then again, so do I, but I usually try to direct it at the deserving. In her case, the “deserving” means the people on that show. I haven’t read a lot of Jillian Michaels outside of Biggest Loser, so I don’t really know if this she throws tantrums at fatties in her real life.
But even if Jillian Michaels is nice to every fatty she meets, and she’s only a troll toward those who “hire” her to get them skinny, it’s still an absolutely ridiculous way to motivate people to exercise. Can anyone else think of a therapeutic or motivational benefit for clients to be screamed at and belittled until they cry in front of a gym full of people (and 5 million viewers)?
Often, these Jillian’s tantrums are sometimes directed at the same person show after show. She went after Jeff in two episodes because he didn’t put up with her shit, but she reserves her special hate sauce for Gina, as does Bob and the rest of the house. Bob repeatedly harassed her when she was on his team, and there were several instances people would mock Gina in a way that you don’t hear them mocking other contestants, like during the Temptation when everyone laughed at Mike’s joke about her eating the half the table full of sweets.
But as far as I remember, we don’t see Gina being mean to other contestants, although she does throw Jackson under the bus while talking to the camera, but she doesn’t seem rude to the others the way that they are to her. What’s irritating about Gina is that she speaks her mind and she didn’t put up with Bob’s shit. And whenever Bob antagonized her too long and she snapped back, he would say “You have to learn to deal with it.”
Sorry Bob, but if you were my trainer, I’d be “dealing with it” the way Gina did.
Because here’s the thing: Gina has consistently lost a lot of weight, which made her one of the most valuable players on the Blue team. In fact, in episode 4, Bob told her:
You’re not going home. You’re working your ass off, just like you’ve done every single week pulling those big-ass numbers, losing a pound a day. You just think, “I’m glad I’m at the point where I feel like I can’t go any longer.”
And in episode 6, Bob told her, “You are the biggest threat in this house. And let me tell you, I’m afraid of a lot of people on our team right now if I roll the dice and their face comes up, but not yours.” Meaning, Bob had come to expect consistent results from her, resulting from her hard work. And in that talk, he’s trying to convince Gina to stop thinking that she’s constantly belittling her efforts.
But in Biggest LoserLand, hard work = weight loss, and if anyone has “proven” this formula, it’s Gina. She’s the only person who has been Biggest Loser twice, and for most of the show she has lost eight or nine pounds, or more. Per their theory, whatever Gina’s doing is “right.” Everybody should be emulating Gina because she is getting the most consistent losses on the show, which is the whole point of the show.
And yet… Gina seems to be loathed by the viewing public, as I documented in this Storify called “We Hate Gina.”
Why does Gina deserve to be on the biggest loser?Always quits!!! @biggestloser
— Tiffany (@wilsont4408) February 21, 2013
Gina from biggest loser is just so obnoxious. If she stopped complaining for a second things would go better for her
— Amanda Rae (@amandarae3) February 20, 2013
And in the middle of a firestorm of hatred toward Gina, there’s this…
Gina on the biggest loser is so cute
— A$AP BILLY (@billyfeola) February 19, 2013
I thought I would get to the end of Twitter’s rageboner for Gina, but I finally gave up on finding the end of it. To a certain extent, it makes no sense. She’s accused of being a quitter and that things aren’t going well for her, but clearly she’s a hard worker and things are going very well for her.
How did this happen? Why does everyone hate Gina?
At least part of the blame this week can be placed squarely on the Dark Lord of Fitness, Jillian Michaels.
This weeks episode begins in the gym, where the seven remaining contestants are standing behind a podium.
Allison Sweeney explains the week’s challenge. If they all lose a total of 70 pounds, or 10 pounds each, all of the contestants will win immunity and nobody will have to leave the ranch for another week.
Jeff puts the challenge in perspective. “Last week, the people in the house combined only lost 61 pounds and those were relatively good numbers. To increase that by 9 pounds, like, that’s undoable.” Especially since they got to 61 pounds with eight people, or about 7.5 pounds per person.
“If you do not lost 70 pounds, there will be a red line and one person will be automatically eliminated,” Allison finished. After she explains the game, she brings the kids into the gym.
As they walked in, Sunny said to the camera, “It was cool to walk into this room and think about how many people actually changed their lives in here, and all of the blood, sweat, tears and the occasional vomiting that occured in here.” She says it as a joke, and were it not for my disgust with this show, I might laugh too. But what bothers me is how nonchalantly she says it, as though occasional vomiting were a routine part of working out, along with blood, sweat and tears.
If we were supposed to be inspired by all four of those excretions, then that ’70s band my wife hates band probably would have been called…
I know that people can vomit during exercise, but it shouldn’t be thought of as an unfortunate, but necessary part of exercise. It’s not.
Then Joe says to the camera to what everyone is supposed to be noticing, “We haven’t seen them in a long time, so when they popped out it was like, ‘Wow, they look amazing.'”
Then Allison asks Biingo, “Are you eating your vegetables?”
“Somewhat,” Biingo says sheepishly and everybody laughs.
But let’s not forget that in episode 4, Bob said, “Do I want Biingo to eat all of his vegetables? Of course I do. But if I can get Biingo running around a baseball field and having a really great time, I will take that over the food any day.”
When asked how she’s doing, Sunny answered, “It’s definitely not an easy process and it takes a lot of internal motivation. You do make mistakes and after you make a mistake you just have to pic yourself up and continue going.” Mistakes, you know, like eating M&Ms. What a horrible, terrible mistake. I mean, what kind of kid would enjoy eating M&Ms? It’s just inconceivable. (Oh, wait, it’s not).
“I can’t tell you how much we love having you as our kid ambassadors,” Allison gushes, “and it is obvious just by looking at you and hearing you talk how much you have learned. But, that’s not quite enough for me.” It never is.
We learn that the kids are going to do a pop challenge, which is typically a quiz, like they did in the third episode, when the team that lost the pop challenge was locked in the “junk room” for 4.5 hours a day for the week. In this pop challenge, the kids would be asked five nutrition questions, and for every question they got right the weekly weight loss goal would be reduced by five pounds. After that, the kids would perform five exercises from the Biggest Loser Fitness Test, and the weight loss goal would drop another pound for each of the tests where they improved their score s from the second episode. So, in total, they could remove 10 pounds for the contestants’ weight loss goal.
No pressure, kids.
So the kids take their place at the podium and each question compares two foods and asks a particular nutrition question. For instance, the first question was which of the following dishes has more fat: two large eggs scrambled with two slices of turkey bacon or one plain bagel with two tablespoons of cream cheese?
Sunny whispers, regarding the bagels and cream cheese, “It’s unhealthy, but it’s carbs and sugar.”
Lindsay says, “But it’s about fat and this one still has fat since it’s meat.”
They finally answer eggs. Why?
“Turkey bacon still has fat,” Lindsay says.
“And the bagel’s a carb,” Sunny says.
And bacon and eggs are the answer.
Q: How many chicken nuggets would you have to eat to reach 18 grams of fat?
The question is obviously 6, and the kids get it right.
Next question: Which of the following plates has more carbohydrates? Spaghetti with meat sauce and bread or a bean burrito with chips and salsa.
The interesting thing about this question is the statement above, that the recommended daily allowance of carbs is 130 grams. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends 300 mg and The Mayo Clinic says 225 to 325 grams, while the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of 130 mg (PDF). So, it depends upon who you ask, as well as how they calculate calories. the FDA and Mayo estimate a diet of 2,000 calorie per day, while the IOM ranges from 1,800 calories for a sedentary female to 3,000 calories for an active male.
In other words, it’s complicated.
“Salsa’s good for you,” Lindsay says.
Sunny nods, “There’s no question.”
“It’s natural salsa,” Lindsay agrees.
But they’re wrong because of the beans in in the bean burrito.
Which has more calories, double cheeserburger or a large order of french fries?\
Biingo says, “I’m thinking about the cheese because the cheese has some calories.”
But they guess fries and are correct.
Which of the following movie theater foods have over 1,000 calories? Personal pepperoni pizza or a large bucket of buttered popcorn.
Okay, this doesn’t mean that they consume 17.3 billion quarts of theater popcorn a year. I know some people eat lightly buttered, lightly salted popcorn as filler while they’re dieting. Portraying this context-free fact makes it seem like all the fatties are eating billions of quarts of theater popcorn each year. Context, people.
The kids guess popcorn and are correct.
So, in total, they get four pounds off their 70 pound goal and they move on to the Biggest Loser Fitness Test. We see Sunny say to the camera, “This rests on our shoulders alone.” Lindsay says, “This is a lot of pressure right now.”
But all three have been significantly more active than at the start of the show, so it seemed pretty reasonable that they could meet or exceed their previous efforts.
Then Danni says to the camera, “You see the numbers they had before and they should be a lot higher, but I think that’s what we’re trying to prove, is kids across America are struggling with a basic fitness test.”
I wasn’t a fat kid and I struggled with the Presidential fitness test. I sucked at it. I couldn’t do a pullup to save my life. But I was a skinny kid. Weight has nothing to do with fitness in children. Making fitness about the fat kids is missing the forest for the trees. Encouraging kids to be active is always good. Giving them safe places to run and play and explore and be free is awesome and I support that 1,000%. But making activity the magic childhood obesity panacea is not realistic. It will make kids healthier, but thinner is questionable.
Putting kids on a diet that don’t require calorie counting is still a diet. The trouble with kids dieting isn’t that they shouldn’t know what calories are. It’s that caloric restriction, whether you call it that or not, triggers a hormonal response that resists weight loss and makes long-term maintenance difficult, if not damn near impossible. Rather than teach caloric restriction, teach kids to enjoy and appreciate healthier foods and to approach treats and junk food as something to enjoy in moderation.
The kids move onto the Biggest Loser Fitness Test, where Biingo increases the number of situps he can do from 18 to 35. And Lindsay agrees to represent at the pullup bar.
Lindsay goes from 37 to 79, but what I find intriguing about this is the fact that she’s doing it from a bent-arm starting point, while the Presidential Physical Fitness Test says, “The student hangs from a horizontal bar at a height the student can hang from with arms fully extended and feet free from floor.” Kids who can’t do any pullups does a chinup instead. So, I’m curious why the Biggest Loser Fitness Test doesn’t follow the Presidential protocol.
But Danni’s impressed, when she says, “This girl looks like a little jumping bean right now.”
The other thing I noticed is that the height from which the kids start their pullups has changed a bit from when they first did the fitness test in episode 2.
Even though she’s slightly hunched, Lindsay seems to have an advantage in the more recent pullups.
Then another odd thing I noticed is that the Presidential Physical Fitness Test says to either do pullups or pushups to test upper body strength and endurance, but Biggest Loser does both for some reason. Biingo does the pushups and goes from 23 to 32. Then Lindsay does the shuttle run and beats her previous time handily, while Sunny runs the one-mile with Danni.
“I’ve really been working on my running,” Sunny says to the camera. “It’s like something that relieves my stress after a long day, and before I started my journey with The Biggest Loser I would have never started running when I was stressed out. I started eating.” They show that favorite picture of Sunny eating M&Ms.
Then Danni says one of the most unintentionally hilarious things I’ve ever heard from this show:
This fitness test I think is going to show America that it’s not about being at the gym sweaty all the time, it’s just getting out and having fun. And I think it’s going to inspire all the kids out there, look I can do it too. [emphasis abso-fucking-lutely mine]
Sunny finishes the one mile just one second shy of her 10 minute goal, which is cool because she clearly has improved her endurance, and it’s a helluva better metric of how she’s improved her health than how she looks.
In the end, the kids helped reduce the contestants’ weekly goal from 70 pounds to 61 pounds.
The Big Payback
In the gym, Bob pulls Francelina aside for a Biggest Loser Moment (BLM), which are the times, typically after a contestant is injured or accused of quitting when the trainers pulls them aside to get to the “real” reason behind their inability to perform on command. You know it’s a BLM because they always end in a hug.
“I know when you were at home you lost, what, like 100 pounds on your own?” Bob asks.
“I did,” Francelina says.
“And what was your top weight?”
“I was almost 350,” Francelina says.
“What woke you up?”
“My father passed away.”
“When did he pass away?”
“Right before I went to college.”
As I described on Friday, Biggest Loser does an exhaustive background check on all of their contestants. Bob knows Francie’s background, but he needs her to share it with the audience, as well. This happened once before when Jillian talked with Francie about her father’s death in greater detail during episode 3.
Not only do BLMs give viewers an emotional connection with the trainers, but the contestants get to share the unique circumstances that made their lives interesting enough to include on the show. All of the contestants have either undergone tragedy or are on the verge of tragedy. There’s always something going on back home that Jillian can pretend she’s a psychiatrist probing into.
In reality, the protracted background check is to done to create a dossier on each contestant that can be used to trigger part of the week’s story arc, if necessary. So, each “week” they ask a different contestant to explain why they suck and the contestant dutifully agrees. In this instance, the exposition is given as a flashback to pre-Biggest Loser Francie who explains:
When I was 16, I lost my father to a brain tumor. And the doctor helped me understand that there was nothing that I could do. And ever since then I’ve been wanting to be a doctor and help somebody else.
At this point, Francie begins to sob, and they cut to a shot panning up from her legs up to her head in some of kind of shorts and bra/swimsuit top thing:
[Sidenote: The perfect example of BLP comes from the opening shots of episode 2, which I didn’t capture at the time, but have gone back to get to demonstrate what I mean by Biggest Loser Porn.
See what I mean?]
Francie continues. “I really think that my weight is holding me back because I don’t feel comfortable going into a medical school interview…” at this point, it cuts to a shot of her eating some kind of flatbread sandwich of some kind which is apparently a terrible thing to do.
“… and being like this.” All needing to eat and shit. “I promised myself that I would become a doctor and help other people and now I’m not doing that. I just want to make my father proud, you know.”
So, what happens if Francie gets slim and goes to medical school and, as many contestants do, regains the weight. Does she stop again? Does she go back into hiding because she’s “like this” again? I would assume she’s press ahead, as she has already invested the time and energy into her degree. She may attempt to lose the weight again, or whatever, but she would be capable of studying and learning and doing her residency as a fat person. Because regardless of her body size, she is capable of doing the work.
What seems to be holding her back is the fear that she will be hypocritical for attending to the health of others when she isn’t attending to her own. The assumption is that you can’t be a fat doctor and not be neglecting your own health in public display.
And that’s bullshit.
There are fat doctors who eat unhealthy foods and don’t exercise and there are fat doctors who eat healthy foods and do exercise. Same goes for thin doctors too, and you can’t tell by looking at them either. What held Francie back from going to medical school was not her weight, but the stigma attached to her weight which made her feel like a hypocrite for being fat. Clearly she has dieted repeatedly in an attempt to control her weight, which is what she’s been taught to do. But because each attempt eventually unravels, she blames herself for each failure, despite her experience being just one of a thoroughly-documented, across-the-board trend of abject failure in any and all weight loss schemes.
I hope that as Francie goes through medical school, she’ll read up on exactly why The Biggest Loser‘s methods are so toxic, particularly the long-term success rates of low calorie (800 to 1,500 calories per day) and very low calorie diets (800 or less). I wrote a post describing the evidence and an explanation of why all diets fail in this post.
In short, eating healthy and exercising won’t necessarily make you thin, but it will help make you healthier, and that’s the goal, right?
“You going through what you’re going through here,” Bob says with an earnest look on his face, “remembering what it is you want out of your life, so you never go back to the 350-pound girl.” Yeah, don’t go back to the 350-pound girl, Francie, she was mean, not letting you be a doctor and all. “I see such a positive light around you, Francelina. I only want to brighten that light even more. And I will do anything I can for you because I see who you are and I really like who I see.” And if she gets fat again, then light goes out and she’ll be bumpin’ into shit all the time.
So ends another BLM because, as I mentioned, they get up and HUG!
We then see Dolvett say quite gravely to the camera, “Week 8 is dangerous week. There’s so many emotions that go through this house. Some people get motivated,” cut to a shot of Jeff exercising, “some people want to quit,” shot of Alex exercising. “It always gets crazy week 8.”
Yeah, Dolvett, it’s not week 8, okay? It’s the whole fucking show, but carry on.
Dolvett’s charges are on their machines and he tells them, “I walked into this gym extremely calm today, but I could switch to anger very quickly. Do not piss me off. It’s a nice, light little jog, right Gina? How about you start?”
Gina says, “I have very slick tennis shoes on. They’re brand spanking new, I haven’t had the chance —”
“Do me a favor,” Dolvett cuts in. “Don’t run on your heel, run on your toes.”
“I can’t do that,” Gina says, and Dolvett gives her a dirty look. “I can’t.”
Then Dolvett says to the camera, “I don’t like quitters and I don’t like excuses. Gina gave me an excuse. I don’t condone that,” he said, preparing to join the Merchant Marines in the year 2055.
Then Dolvett says to the other people he’s training, “Okay, we’re going to stay on this incline until Gina and I get on the same page.” Everyone groans. “I need 30 seconds, Gina.” Then snarkily, “I love lawyers.”
Next, Joe says, and it’s closed captioned so you can’t miss it, “Heh! I hate ‘em.”
“DONE!” Gina says, jumping off the treadmill and heading for the door. “Didn’t take long today, Bob.”
Then Joe says to the camera, “You gotta be frickin’ kidding me. I was just kind of being a smart alec like I am sometimes. It just set her off. But the old adage, is it just takes one apple. I mean, this is a week where it’s all for one and we have a goal, and when you have that much tension it doesn’t make for a healthy environment.”
Dolvett goes after her and shouts, “Gina, don’t walk out on me!” She says it has nothing to do with him and leaves anyway.
Good for Gina.
First off: why does she have new sneakers? Do you know how uncomfortable it is to work in brand new sneakers? I can’t imagine suddenly putting on a brand new pair and doing a Biggest Loser workout. What happened to her old sneakers? Did they break or something? Why new sneakers? I know it seems like a strange detail to get hung up on, but it seems odd to me. She’s only been on the show for eight weeks, and switching to brand new shoes in the middle of the show could legitimately have an affect on her performance.
But the moment gives Dolvett an opportunity to punish the whole team, which makes them hostile toward Gina, once again. From what I’ve seen on the show, people give Gina a lot of shit, then tell her to deal with it. Well, she dealt with it.
We cut to a pre-commercial segment where Nathan, who was out in the first or second episode, has lost 90 pounds, and we watch the photographer take his picture and say “I’m proud of you, man” which is what he says instead of “You look gorgeous” as he does to the women.
We also find out that Nathan is now permitted to get married and he says that he’s inviting Jillian to his wedding. “I hope that she RSVPs real quick,” he says. Yeah, Nate, she’s gonna get right on that.
After commercial break, Dolvett says to the camera, “This has nothing to do with Joe in my opinion.” Of course not. “I think Gina looks for reasons to give up when she shouldn’t because in a lot of ways Gina is a winner.” Including the ways in which she won two episodes. Yes, this is about Joe and Mike and Bob and all the people who have given her shit throughout the show. You repeatedly pick at one person and expect them not to lash back in self-defense.
So, Gina tells Dolvett that doesn’t want to work in same gym as Joe, and Dolvett offers to let Gina work out away from Joe. Then we see Joe complaining about how jealous he is that she gets her own “personal trainer.”
Then Jillian says, “Bob, I need to see Alex for a minute.”
Then we see Jillian address the camera in this shirt. Remember this shirt?
I point this out because the timeline of the outfits worn in camera interviews are sometimes seen in two, three, four episodes, calling into question the timeline of these comments. Biggest Loser counts on people not noticing these things, but when you slow it down, it really raises a lot of intriguing questions about how they manipulate this reality.
“Everybody has to give it 110%,” Jillian says to the camera. “This is the first time we’ve had a chance for the entire group to be immune. I have to push them. I have to confront them. It’s do or die time for these guys.” Literally. If they don’t meet their 61 pound weight loss goal, the entire team will be executed.
Back in the gym, Jillian tells Alex on the treadmill, “We’re going to run 6 miles an hour for 5 minutes. Every single day here you should be bringing your A game.” Alex complies.
Jillian says to the camera, “When I look at Alex, I see a girl who’s beautiful, who’s smart, and who’s capable.”
Then Jillian has a voiceover as we flashback to a previous episode. “I have seen her phoning it in throughout the entire season and doing less than her best by a long shot.”
We also get to see Jillian in this flashback.
I’ve included all these screencaps because I noticed something in this segment. First off, the fact that Jillian claims that Alex has been “phoning it in throughout the entire season.” First of all, bullshit. In the fourth episode, after Alex has another disappointing weigh-in, Bob says “It’s not because of her effort. This girl is putting in week after week, and Jillian and I were just standing her going she deserves a good number this week.”
Then, in episode 5, when Alex is lamenting how she’s working so hard and not getting the weight loss results she wants, Jillian tells her, “Look, in 18 days you’ve lost 8 pounds. In any other world you’d be over the moon. You’re losing your perspective.”
Now, suddenly Alex is half-assing it and “doing less than her best by a long shot”? Bullshit.
But here’s bullshit number 2: I’m pretty sure these “flashback” sequences were filmed the same day that Jillian is flashing back from. In other words, Jillian complains on Day 60 day Alex has been half-assing it since day one, and they cut back to footage from Day 60 of Alex half-assing it.
The biggest clue is that in the flashback, Alex is wearing the green shirt that she only received in episode 7 when they changed from teams (and red, white and blue shirts) to individuals (and her green shirt). Second, Alex has the exact same hairband in both photos AND the same earrings. And if I’m not mistaken, the poster in the background is the same in both screencaps, suggesting that not only is this a flashback to the same day, but that it’s a flashback to the exact same machine that she’s working on when Jillian flashes back.
In other words, this is fucking insane.
What, they couldn’t get footage of Alex half-assing it from previous weeks? What the hell?
So Jillian is clearly building up to some kind of outrage, and Alex gives her the first outlet when she stops running on the treadmill after one minute.
“What is it?” Jillian asks.
“It’s killing me,” Alex says.
“That’s unacceptable dude,” Jillian snaps. “You’re so far beyond this.”
“I’m really trying hard, Jill.”
“Why can’t you do this?”
“It’s not that I can’t.”
“Then do it,” Jillian commands.
Then Jillian says to the camera, “I say to run for 5 minutes and yet Alex won’t do more than a minute. We’re eight weeks into this and it’s time that it stops.”
Stop right here. First of all, what we don’t know about this situation is what else Alex has been doing up to this point. If she’s been working her legs for two hours, and then she’s asked to run for five minutes at 6 mph, that could be a tall order. But we don’t know the context. We’re taught to assume that whatever Jillian asks for is reasonable and any disobedience is just evidence of the contestant’s half-assing it. Without context, we take Jillian at her word.
Alex stops again on the treadmill.
“Girl, you gotta really stop and think about what do you want,” Jillian says to Alex. “You don’t have anything that you’re fighting for here.”
“Jill, really, I’m trying my best,” Alex appeals.
“No, you’re not. Was a minute good enough for you?”
“I can give you two minutes, Jill,” Alex pleads.
“I don’t want two minutes, I want five,” Jillian says firmly.
Then Jillian says to the camera, “Alex works out for two hour segments, three times a day. There is absolutely no way this girl cannot jog at six miles an hour for five minutes on a one incline.”
Question: does that include Saturdays and Sundays? Because I’m really curious how long these people really work out. Right now, it’s between 30 and 42 hours per week, according to Jillian Michaels herself, which is just staggering.
We then see Jillian cross the gym and say, “Gina I want to see something. Can I borrow Gina for a minute?”
Then Jillian to the camera says, “I’m looking around the room and I’m just seeing one contestant after another who’s given up. I don’t know what’s going on with them. And I pull Gina, I think, I’m just going to see, Gina, are you going to quit?”
Again, I find this hard to believe. Approximately eight weeks into this competition and everybody is just giving up? Bullshit. This is when I start to smell a set up.
Jillian puts Gina on the treadmill for the same run that Alex couldn’t do.
“Don’t speak, just do it,” Jillian tells her.
Gina runs for a bit, then gets off and says, “I can’t.”
Gina starts to get off and says, “I can’t.”
“No no no no no,” Jillian moans. “I dropped it down. What is wrong with you people?”
And then something happens. I’m pretty sure Jillian’s brain was either hacked into or else it began malfunctioning.
Jillian crosses to the center of the room and calls out, “Can I see the trainers for a second? I have a question. We have contestants who can’t run for more than a minute…”
Bob whirls around making his stinkface and says, “What?”
“… at 5.5 or 6 at month three,” Jillian continues. Then she starts getting noticeably madder. “That’s okay?”
“No, I mean they should be able to do it by now,” Dolvett says. “Who’s saying they can’t do it?”
“One, two,” Gina says, gesturing to Alex and Gina.
“She can do it,” Dolvett says.
“No she can’t.”
“I’ve seen her do it,” he insists.
“She can’t do it.”
“Not today,” Gina butts in before gathering her stuff and heading for the door.
“She just told me how much she can’t do it,” Jillian whines.
“And once again, I’m out of her because I’m not going to stand here —” Gina says, before Jillian interrupts screaming, “Great Gina, leave. What a shock.”
“I will,” snaps back.
“What a shock,” Jillian snidely remarks.
Then Gina turns on her and comes charging back. “What a shock that I’ve lost 61 pounds. I’ve worked my ass off and you’re going to make an example of me?”
There’s a shot of Bob looking impotent as the two fight.
“Why did you get fat to begin with?” Jillian asks out of nowhere. Gina pushed her up against the fence and basically called Jillian’s bluff. Gina’s right. She has some of the most consistent and largest losses all season, and Jillian’s going to use her as an example someone slacking off? Good for Gina for correcting the record, but Jillian had nothing else to fall back on but to pick at the scab of her weight-based shame. It’s a pretty pathetic moment for Jillian in a career full of them. “It’s about digging in,” Jillian explains. “Doing something that feels uncomfortable. It’s not the BLEEP!” I have no idea what she said there.
“Are you happy?” Gina says, turning to go. “You haven’t gotten the chance to [garble] in front of everyone, but now you have.”
“Okay Gina, goodbye,” Jillian snarls. “Get out.”
With her easy target gone, Jillian turns on Dolvett and Bob, like they had something to do with it. She grills them incessantly. “Is this okay with you two? Is it? One minute and they quit. Is this okay? You don’t see it?”
Once again, Bob takes on the role of conduit between Jillian and reality. “Why don’t you just like take a breath for a second and let me answer the question, please, okay? Look at her track record. She’s been biggest loser in this house.” Exactly.
Then Jillian says softly, “It’s not about that and you know it.”
Wha- what? So in Jillian’s mind, doing the things that gets the results you’re supposed to get when you work hard isn’t the point. And since she can’t explain her position with a rational point, she has to reach for an irrational one.
“But I’m saying, it just gets at —” Bob begins.
“On the scale? Okay,” Jillian concedes. “But I’m looking beyond the scale.” WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT ACTUALLY MEAN? I mean, these contestants are already engaged in superhuman feats of endurance and willpower, going from 300, 400 pounds and sedentary to extremely active literally overnight. And the one person who has supposedly met their expectations on a consistent basis isn’t doing enough? There’s something “beyond the scale” that Gina has failed to accomplish? Something that has never been mentioned before as a goal for the contestants?
No, it’s only brought up now that the “ideal” contestant has fallen short of Jillian’s arbitrary expectations.
“I know you are,” Bob says, not knowing what she’s talking about. “Aren’t you always the one that tells me at the end of the day we all always have to worry about what the scale says or they’re going to go home?”
“This is beyond the scale,” Jillian says, reframing the entire show in a single sentence. “I’m asking them, can you put your identity of being weak and what’s not possible aside for five minutes. I made it easier and she quit at a minute.”
So, basically, Jillian Michaels has decided that contestants who are losing weight at a remarkably fast rate aren’t good enough. They also have to do whatever Jillian tells them to do without question and without fail, and if they don’t, then they have fallen short of this ethereal standard she has set for them.
“Listen, listen, listen, listen…” Dolvett tries to interject.
“I don’t see it. The other day —” Jillian begins.
“I took time with Gina, I took time with Gina.” Dolvett says.
“Please tell me because the minute you and I started, remember?” Jillian says.
“Here’s the thing about Gina,” Dolvett continues.
“Bitch, moan, bitch,” Jillian bitches, moans and bitches some more.
“Exactly,” Dolvett says, then launches into one of the weirdest one act plays I’ve ever see. “‘I’m going to complain, I can’t do it.’ ‘Gina do it.’ ‘No I can’t.’ ‘Gina do it.’ ‘I can’t.’ ‘GINA DO IT.’ And she does it…”
“She didn’t do it,” Jillian says.
“… every single time,” Dolvett finishes. “She would do it now.”
“Get her to do it,” Jillian tells him.
“I can get her to do it.”
“Baby, it’s all you.”
Then Dolvett gets a funny look on his face and says, “Where the hell did she go?”
“Five minutes,” Jillian adds.
“Where is Gina anyway?” Dolvett says, leaving to look for her. We then see a shot of Gina going into her room.
“When someone quits a minute, in it’s not as though I asked her to do anything can’t do,” Jillian continues.
“But I think that you’re having this conversation with me and you need to be having it with her,” Bob says.
Now, Jillian gets super-whingey, complaining, “You are their soft place to land. You’re their best day ever, right? That’s not life. Not everybody is you.” Can you say jealous?
“I know,” Bob says.
“So when they go home —” how are they going to defend themselves against the armies of shrill, bitter trainers who will demand her perpetual subservience?
“But not everybody is you either,” Bob shoots back, rather astutely.
“Sweetie, the point is this, you two need to take over because right now I need to calm down because it’s unacceptable to me.” Wait, you mean Jillian is quitting? I thought that wasn’t allowed.
“Why is it unacceptable to you?” Bob presses her.
Because it’s the opportunity of a lifetime, Bob. Because they need to rise to the occassion. Because they need to fight for themselves just as much as we are. That’s why. And if you’re going to quit, then I don’t need to deal with that. That’s my one prerequisite, you need to meet me halfway. That is what I require to do my job because I know that if you don’t it is a pointless endeavor. Unacceptable.
“That is unacceptable,” Bob finally agrees.
“Thank you!” Jillian says, giving the gesture I’ll post below. “That is what I’m asking from you, is to be like, ‘That is unacceptable.'”
While Bob looks on in horror.
But if you put the two pictures side-by-side, you see what’s really going on.
“That is unacceptable,” Bob repeats.
“Then that’s what I need from you guys is to be like, ‘Okay, you might not like Jillian, but you quit after a minute, that’s unacceptable.’ So, you admit that it’s unacceptable.” Jillian presses him.
“I’m turning it over to you,” Jillian says, and then leaves. Because it’s okay when she quits out of frustration.
This entire exchange is one of the most ridiculous spectacles I’ve seen on the show. Jillian is being so over-the-top irrational that both Bob and Dolvett treat her like an unhinged idiot. Both Bob and Dolvett have worked with Gina and know her well, and both resist Jillian’s claims that she’s a quitter, particularly since she has been the most successful.
But Jillian presses her point over and over and over and over and over and over until finally Bob relents, she wins, and she gets to go home. This is what makes Jillian the Queen of the Bullies.
Bob and Dolvett have both proven that they are capable of some seriously heinous bullshit toward the contestants, but in one explosive, irrational segment, Jillian Michaels runs circles around them until finally Bob says, “Fuck it, you’re right, whatever.” This is the second time she’s done this, the first being episode 4 when she accused Jeff of being a slacker too. You may recall that at the time, Bob said:
When I see Jillian yelling at Jeff because she feels like he’s not giving her all, I know Jeff. And I feel like it’s only four weeks and I believe that he can handle anything, it’s just, a little bit of moderation here.
Jillian has a history of accusing people of not giving it their all, even though Bob claims otherwise. Could it be that Jillian is so keyed into the drama that she picks fights with people she doesn’t like personally? Could it be that there is no method to Jillian’s madness and that if she wants to, she’s going to find a way to prove that you’re pathetic?
Whatever the case, it’s fucking ridiculous.
After the commercial break we’re in the house, where Jillian confront Alex.
“Why am I in the house right now?” Jillian asks as if anyone cares.
“To talk to me,” Alex guesses.
“I’m going to ask you this one more time, girl, please,” Jillian begs, while making this bizarre gesture with her hands.
Cut to Jillian telling the camera, “Alex and I are in a negative pattern, so I go back in the house to have it out with her.” Gee, wonder why she and Alex are in a negative pattern? Could it have anything to do with the fact that Jillian is constantly trying to “have it out with her”?
“Why do you do a minute and quit? Is it good enough for you?” Jillian presses her.
“I was really trying,” Alex says, starting to break up.
“No, Alex, you weren’t,” Jillian tells her flatly.
Then to the camera she says, “Alex is a beast. She’s a young girl, she’s physically strong, she’s physically capable and she’s injury free. You’re telling me Alex can’t jog at a 6 for 5 minutes? Of course she can.”
Back at the house, Jillian makes this other bizarre gesture with her fist to her head several times.
“This is going to make all of the difference, I guarantee you,” Jillian said. “You need to understand why you’re doing this. It’s the thing that’s brought you here.” Jillian knows all the things that brings the contestants to the show. She is all knowing and wise.
“It’s really just for Alex,” Alex says. “It’s just for me.”
“I’m trying to teach you that with any sort of goal you need to make it more specific,” Jillian explains. “When you’re thinking ‘I’m done at 40′ when you can do 75. ‘I’m doing it for Alex’ pushes you to go that extra distance because you’ve got something so specific.” At this point, I’m lost in Jillian’s rhetoric. I have no idea what she’s talking about.
To the camera, she says, “The thing is, if Alex cannot acknowledge that ‘I’m selling myself short, I’m phoning it in, I’m giving 20% when I could be giving 100,’ then I have nothing to work with. Until we can get to the bottom of why she’s doing this, we’re never going to be able to help her solve this problem.” WHAT PROBLEM? What is the problem that Alex has? That she didn’t run as fast or as long as Jillian wanted? Is that really justification for the epic tantrum she just threw?
Alex starts to cry. “When you go in there and think that you’re doing something positive and then someone comes in there and shows you all the negative that you’re doing, that drives me insane because it’s always been ‘Alex, your best is not good enough.'”
“Okay,” Jillian says cooly. “That’s it, then. All right. I think that’s the answer. You feel like it’s never good enough and it’s an impossible scenario to win.”
“So why even try?” Alex sobs.
Simple interpretation: Alex is frustrated that she thought she was doing awesome in the gym and got frustrated because Jillian said she wasn’t. She’s tired of hearing that her best isn’t good enough (which is something she’s repeated throughout the show). Jillians interpretation?
“Finally, I got the answer that I’ve been looking for,” Jillian says to the camera. “So here we are: Alex phones it in, the trainers get disappointed, and she says, ‘I don’t care what you think, it’s good enough for me,’ when the truth is it’s not good enough. She knows it’s not good enough. And it’s what’s brought her here. But until she can realize that this defense mechanism is now her responsibility and is now harmful things aren’t going to get better.”
I love how this isn’t Jillian’s fault for piling on her when she feels like she’s kicking ass. Nooooooo, it’s not Jillian’s fault, it’s Alex’s fault for daring to think that she knows what’s good enough for her. Silly woman, Jillian will tell you when you’re good enough!
Then Alex cries as she says, “Get an A? Why didn’t you get an A+? You’re pretty, but why aren’t you pretty enough? I’m so sick of my best not being good enough. I’m so sick of hearing, ‘Yeah, well, you did do this, but you could have done this.’ I’m so tired of hearing that. I’m sick of it.”
All of this very basic information gets completely tossed out so that Jillian can justify her asshole attitude. She’s the one who ran the White Team into the ground until Danni was the only one left, and now she’s working on pushing Alex and Gina too far too. But let’s not examine ourselves, right Jillian? Let’s look at how it’s the other person’s fault.
We go to a flashback of Alex before the show. She says, “I never thought my best was good enough because it always seems like there’s another step. Like, you’ve always been the pretty girl, you’re the pretty girl, but there’s always something else.”
We then see a video of what I’m assuming is Alex’s audition tape video that features her and her mother in a bathing suit.
“People may think that this is my sister,” Alex says, “but no, this is my mom.”
Then she says to the camera, “My mom is like a size 6 and my sister is like a size 2.”
“I’m the only one who has to shop in plus-sized sections,” Alex continues. “I can’t go to regular stores and people make comments all the time, like big girls have such beautiful faces. Its like you’re giving me a compliment while stabbing me in the heart at the same time.”
You may recall that Alex is the woman whose previous flashback centered around her fear that she would never fall in love because of her weight. Alex’s motivations seem to be primarily superficial, and this brief scene with her family clinches it.
What motivates her is not her health, but her looks, and we already knew this because Bob exploits that motivation in episode 5 when he said, “You stood on that scale day one saying that you were disgusting and that you don’t want to feel this way any more.” Because of the dossier, Bob knows why Alex is there.
Jillian tries another tactic:
If you’re really here for you, you’ll stop giving a minute to rebel and shutdown and you’ll start doing ten as you know you can. You do it for you because it would get you the best results. You do it to see all the great things that I can solve and do. I don’t want one minute to be good enough for you. And you need to stop rebelling because you’re hurting yourself in the process. And you’re going to go right back home, I don’t care if you love me, I don’t care if you love me, and you’re going to rebel yourself into mediocrity, and end up right back where you started. Can you see that a little bit?
Then to the camera, Alex says, “This moment in the house really made an impact with me and Jillian ‘s relationship. She finally understands where I’m coming from and I hope that just makes our relationship that much better.”
Am I the only one who’s pretty sure Jillian didn’t understand a damned thing Alex was saying? But I guess it’s easier to go along to get along, eh?
And what BLM would be complete without the obligatory HUG!
Meanwhile, Bob visits Gina.
Then Bob says to the camera, “In week 8 there are so many emotions going on right now, like ‘I wanna quit. I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m tired.'” Or what about, “Hey, I don’t want to get treated like a fucking prisoner of war any more. “Gina has been putting up good numbers every single week and I’m really worried that that pressure is what’s really bothering her right now.” Gee, ya think?
Going back to how I previously mentioned the outfits showing just how disjointed the chronology is, Bob appears in the same flannel shirt as two previous appearances.
So Gina tells Bob, regarding Joe, “I’m not going to be in a gym with somebody who’s causing me chest pains.”
“I feel like you being such a threat in this house,” Bob tries to reassure her, “people would love nothing more than to just throw you off of your game.”
“It is throwing me off of my game,” Gina says.
And so Bob launches into some psychobabble about Joe. “What does he represent? Who is he in your mind? Because it’s not him.”
“Right,” Gina says.
Then Bob tries to find a scapegoat. “It’s like, I think about the girl who has achieved so much, has been Biggest Loser. We’re nearing the end, is it some sort of, like, self-sabotage for you not to complete this?” Ah, self-sabotage: The Biggest Loser‘s favorite way to explain the failure to lose enough weight.
“Yeah, maybe that’s what it is. Yeah, I think that every week I’m more and more afraid of losing,” she says, buying Bob’s logic.
“So it’s almost better to leave now when you can go on your own terms.”
Bob continues to lecture her on the dangers of self-sabotage and I zone out because it’s the fifth time I’ve heard this lecture.
Dig Your Way Out
For the challenge that day, contestants meet on the beach for a chance to take another 10 pounds off their original 70 pound (now 61 pound) goal.
At each pair of sand hills the contestants have to dig until they find either a red X or a green arrow. The green arrow tells them which pair of sand hills they have to dig up next.
They all have 30 minutes to find all five green arrows and to raise a flag at the end of the pier.
So, as they’re digging, there’s one point where we see Danni go down. She explains that as she was shoveling toward herself, she hit her ankle with the shovel, causing a lot of pain.
Her teammates support her by saying, “Push through, baby.” Gina says, “You’re strong.” Yeah, that may be true, but she’s also injured. So, here’s Danni’s response:
At this point I have to stop thinking about my ankle and starting thinking about the end results, what we’ve got to do, so I’m hoping adrenaline’s going to kick in at this point and I can just fire through and just let that take away the pain and I’ll worry about the pain later.
Brilliant message! Why concern yourself with a potential injury. Adrenaline is nature’s convalescence!
Once they dig up all the mounds, it’s a mad dash for the pier. But on the way, Gina falls.
Then Jackson says to the camera, “Oh no, Gina fell down. She’s hurting. She doesn’t look like she’s about to get back up any time soon. This could all go downhill because Gina’s hurt.”
And Danni says, “The whole team is like ‘Oh my God, she can’t injure herself right now.'”
Yeah, how fucking selfish, Gina. How dare you injure yourself with so much at stake.
But then, a brilliant moment, as Joe wraps his arms around Gina, hoists her up and gives her push, saying, “Push through it, Gina.”
Then Gina says to the camera, “As I went down, my hamstring snapped and I went down to the ground. And ironically enough, Joe picked me up.” That’s not irony, Gina, that’s the act of a person who cares more about winning a fucking contest than whether you’re actually hurt. Push through it, Gina.
In the end, they win the challenge and have a new goal of 51 pounds. And although Gina seems to have recovered from her injury, Danni is definitely hobbled, as Joe and Jackson help her limp from the stage.
After this segment, we see all the contestants sitting on a porch or something, then Danni says, “All of the sudden out of nowhere, Jared from Subway pops in.”
Of course, it wouldn’t be Jared if he didn’t have those fucking pants.
“If Jared can keep this way off for 15 years, then so can we,” Alex says cheerfully. Yeah, maybe if you get a multi-million dollar contract, you can be as successful as Jared. We’ll see, won’t we?
Jared informs them that whoever wins the show will star in a commercial with Jared. Hooray!
The next segment would typically be the Last Chance Workout, but this week they have something special in store.
“This house has been a mess this week,” Bob explains. “I mean, there’s just been a lot of drama, a lot of chaos. I mean, Gina and Joe have just been going at each other. Jillian and Alex, they’ve been going at each other. It’s like everyone just calm down for a minute.”
To deal with the totally unprovoked drama that has nothing to do with Jillian’s mental instability, they’re going to put the contestants through a trust exercise on a ropes course.
Basically, they put two people up on two ropes that spread further and further apart.
The contestants have to lean their weight against each other to keep from falling, but of course they fall anyway.
We only learn two things from this segment. First, Bob’s afraid of heights. And second, Jeff and Francelina have been romantically entangled. Of course, this is the first we’ve heard of it, when they pair up the two of them and Dolvett says, “Francelina and Jeff have got a little love thing happening there.”
And Jillian says, Being vulnerable with somebody that your intimate with is the most terrifying thing because there are stakes.” And that’s why she screams.
Why do they wait until the last minute to tell us that Jeff and Francie are in love? You shall soon see.
Contradictions Be Damned
The odd thing about these weigh-ins is that although they’ve lost half of the contestants, the weigh-ins still take up essentially one-third of the show. Weigh-ins are the show’s denouement, when everything we’ve seen and learned for the last hour are resolved. In a sitcom, that denouement is wrapped up neatly and tidily. But never on Biggest Loser.
First, we see Jillian in a hideous jacket tell the camera, “Contestants needed to lose 51 pounds. Could it happen? Should it happen? Of course. It’s looking like people are trusting each other more and everybody’s working together, but honestly, I think it’s too little, too late.”
When asked her opinion, Gina expresses confidence in her team and says that they’re a great group to be. Of course, Jillian makes a face and Allison asks what she’s thinking.
“Do you — I don’t — I can’t even speak,” Jillian stammers. “I just can’t even speak. Bob?”
So Bob takes a crack at speaking for Jillian’s tantrum:
I think that there was a lot of frustration this week. And I feel like you get to this point now when everyone should be just so completely focused on the finish line. Back in the day, 51 pounds, that would be cake. [Ed. Note: Gee, could it be because contestants were much heavier and there was a greater percentage of body fat to draw from?] We would be banging that out, laughed and walked out of the room. I’m standing here going like this, “Oh my God, are we even going to hit 51 pounds? I mean, this week was so fragmented, not getting along, and it transferred into their workouts and Gina had a really tough week. And Gina, she’s up or she’s down with her moods and it’s like all this week Gina seemed like she’s on a down and it was just not working. And so now all of the sudden Gina’s back there going, “I’m going to look at the good” and Jillian’s head is about to blow off her shoulders because she’s like “Why haven’t you been doing that this whole week?”
“What he said,” Jillian agrees.
“Jillian can shake her head and say I’m defiant and say what she wants to say about me, but I have worked hard,” Gina says, defending herself. “It’s evident that I’ve worked hard.” Because hard work = weight loss. “I had a bad week, yeah, I sure as hell did have a bad week. People have bad weeks in life, but I’m going to come out of this bad week a better person. I learned a lot.”
“Gina, I’ve trained you,” Dolvett says. “All of us have trained you. Jillian’s just trying to bring the best out of you.” You know, by treating you like shit.
“You know what…” Gina begins.
“So for things to go the way they went was unnecessary,” Dolvett continues. And he’s right, it was totally unnecessary for Jillian to be such an asshole. “Walking out of the gym, letting the situation with Joe escalate to the point that it escalated.” Oh, yeah, I forgot it’s time to rally behind Jillian. “All three people here are here to help you. You just have to want to be helped.”
“Let’s just weigh them in before I just…” Jillian sneers. “Weigh them in.”
Danni’s first and she calculates that everybody needs to lose 3% of their starting weight. Danni thinks her number needs to be around 7 pounds.
Jackson says to the camera, “If you have one bad week, if you have one bad day, that red line can seal your fate in this game.” Yes, clearly, as this has been proved episode after episode (that’s sarcasm, BTW).
Danni says to the camera, “I’m getting really nervous. I don’t know if we did what we needed to do to get that 51 pounds.” Because effort = weight loss, right?
Danni loses 7 pounds.
“There you go, D,” Dolvett says. “There you go.”
“I think Danni’s amazing,” Jillian says. “I mean, this girl takes a beating, gets up, asks for more, and she is becoming the woman and the motivator that I always knew she would be.” Jillian’s dream contestant is someone who will take a beating and beg for more. Alex and Gina did not, so they invoked her wrath.
Joe says he needs to lose around 9 pounds, but he loses 6. “It’s six pounds,” Joe says. “It’s a low number, but we’ll just have to see. Play the cards now.”
As he heads up to the scale, Jackson says to the camera, “I have had horrible weeks and I was always safe because of my teammates. So if I can hit my 9 pounds or more, I will be repaying a huge debt to them.”
Jackson loses 5.
“It’s not ideal,” Jackson said, “but, you know, during the workout when everybody was fighting and there was chaos I kept working, which to me, proved that no matter what chaos is going on back home, I’m still going to be able to do my thing.” While Jackson talks about the chaos, Dolvett grins big.
And Bob seems happy too. “Jackson is easy breazy, you know what I mean?” Bob grins. “It’s like, whatever is in front of him, he’s going to do it, he’s going to do the best that he can and he’s never, ever going to complain about it and that’s why I love him.”
“I remember, we got done beating the crap out of them and I was exhausted and I was like ‘I’m going home’ and Jackson’s like ‘What’s next?’ You’ve worked so hard, we’re all real proud of you.” So, Jillian gets to quit and go home when she’s exhausted? Bullshit.
So far, they’ve lost 18 pounds out of the 51 and Alex is up next. She loses 3 pounds.
Alex says to the camera, “I’m disappointed that I didn’t reach thte 6 pound goal that I originally wanted, not just for myself but for the team as a whole and I kind of feel like I let the rest of the house down.”
Then she says to Allison, “It’s not what I wanted it, but it’s what I expected. I’ve been disappointed basically this entire process, so it doesn’t surprise me and it is what it is, and it’s just something that I have to deal with it.
“I mean, I feel frustration,” Bob says. “The fact that you start the week expecting a number like that, look, you’re going to get it.” Jillian nods her head eagerly. “Why not expect something great? Why not expect the unexpected?”
Well, Bob, maybe because despite all your advise and praise, she has lost around 3-4 pounds each week the entire show, you idiot. And despite your claim, she says she had a goal of 6 pounds that week, so there goes that theory.
“Bob, just with what’s happened my entire process, it doesn’t surprise me,” Alex responded.
“Look, your whole demeanor, your whole, the way you’re standing up there, it’s like you’re defeated. And Alex, you shouldn’t be a defeated woman.”
As Alex leaves the scale, Jillian whispers to her, “Girl, you need to think about what I said. I’ve said the same thing to you all week long.” Then she sighs heavily.
Jeff’s up next and Danni whispers, “If he gets a 13, he’ll get 299. That would be great. Then they only need to pull an 8 and 9. So it’s possible!”
“Anything’s possible,” Joe says.
“It’s possible… it’s possible,” Danni replies.
Then we see Gina say to the camera, “I’ve been criticized for being negative in the past, so I thought, ‘All right, I’ll be positive. Sure, we can get 51 pounds. There was no way we were going to pull 51 pounds. No way.'”
Jeff loses 4 pounds and Jillian whines, “Okay, it’s over. It’s over. It’s done.”
Then Jackson says to the camera for the 50th time this season, “I just don’t understand what’s going on. I don’t understand how this is happening. And at this point we know — WE KNOW — that someone’s going home.”
“It’s not what I expected,” Jeff says dejectedly. “And that probably means that I’m going to be the one who goes home, so it’s unfortunate.” Closeup on Francie looking sad. “I need to say, I’m not ready to go home yet.”
“I didn’t get any time to train Jeff this week,” Jillian interjected, “but it’s been my observation and, correct me if I’m wrong, that he has seemed in my opinion positive and present.”
“He’s been positive, he has worked hard, he’s been diligent with his diet,” Bob says, then gives an exasperated ugh.
With two contestants left, everyone has lost a total of 25 pounds, less than half of their goal. Now, it’s Gina’s turn.
She says to the camera, “You know, I just got bitched out big time by Jillian and Bob and Dolvett because they don’t think I worked hard enough this week, and I better pull a big number this week because I’m gonna prove their asses wrong.”
Gina says to Allison, “I’ve worked hard to have a good number. I thought I worked hard, anyway.”
Then Jillian has the temerity to say, “Gina, it’s not about whether you’re working hard. There’s no question whether you’re working hard, dude. It’s about what’s going to happen to you when you go home? What’s going to happen when it doesn’t go your way? Things get tough and you unravel and that’s the concern.”
Really? REALLY? FUCKING REALLY JILLIAN!?!?!?! This hasn’t been about how hard Gina works? There’s no question whether she’s working hard?
So now, Gina’s sobbing and she says, “I hope I can learn how to handle that better. I’m trying really hard and I will try to take what you say to heart.”
Then, in a shocking turn of events, Jillian says, “And I’m sorry for my part. I freak out when I feel helpless and I have felt very helpless at times.” Yeah, like your whole fucking life.
“And I’m sorry too. I didn’t mean to disrespect you.” Gina, she deserved it.
“Okay, let’s just take a breath girl, let’s see what happens, okay?” Jillian says.
Gina loses 4 pounds.
The trainers all make a big show of being disappointed, while Allison looks gobsmacked as she says, “I thought it was a good number, I… what am I missing?”
Remember a couple seconds ago when Jackson lost five pounds and everybody talked about how awesome he is? Now we get four pounds and it’s a fucking disaster. Allison shouldn’t have opened her fat mouth.
“A four?” Jillian scoffs.
“For Gina?” Bob asks. “Gina’s a six. Gina’s a seven.”
“She’s a seven,” Jillian chimes in. “She’s an eight.”
Dolvett adds, “She’s high, yeah.” Well, she needs to be high after this episode.
“She’s a nine,” Jillian continues. “That’s not a Gina number.”
“That’s not a Gina number,” Bob concurs.
Then Dolvett points repeatedly at Gina as he dresses her down.
And Gina, it goes to show, this week has been a black cloud for you. And you haven’t seen a clear road at all. So that’s why. That’s what happens when chaos, distractions, confusion get in your way. You’ll get a number that’s not a Gina number. So this week, that number, this whole process should be a lesson.
Yeah, Gina, this is what happens when Jillian treats you like shit and other contestants mock you and you react with all your fragile lady emotions! Get off the fucking stage, you loser!
After getting reamed for not producing “Gina numbers,” Gina is a sobbing wreck and she hoarsely whispers “Can I go now please?” as she hangs her head in shame.
Once Gina returns to the peanut gallery, Allison explains that Jeff is on the cusp of the red line.
“Great, this is amazing,” Jillian sighs.
The last contestant to weigh in is Francelina, who tells the camera, “I want a good number, but at the same time if I get a good number I’ll be sending Jeff home, and I’m hoping that I’m the one who falls below the red line.” Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaw…
But during this part, something weird happens on Hulu and I see the following:
I rewound this shot several times to make sure it wasn’t a glitch, but there it was: Francie and her huge birthmark covering her face.
Anyway, Francelina gets her wish as she loses just two pounds.
Everyone is shocked.
“Are you kidding me right now?” Dolvett sputters. “Are you joking right now?”
Then, unlike his speech on chaos and black clouds and confusion which explain why Gina lost just three pounds despite working her ass off (as per Jillian), Dolvett goes on to praise Francelina’s work ethic despite her losing less weight than Gina.
Francelina, you know how I feel about you. Since day one, I can always count on you working hard. I can always count on you giving me every ounce of sweat that you have in your body, every single time. And these guys can count on you to do the same. You’re not only good in this process, but you’re good for these people behind us. I haven’t met someone in such a short period of time who gets it, and you get it, so keep going. Don’t you stop.
Bob goes on to gush over her as well.
This is a girl that is never going to accept anything other than absolute greatness in her life from here on out. It’s just sad that you have to leave our house right now because we all love you so much. But we all have to go home at some point. And Francelina, I want you to have the biggest, best life that you could ever dream of because Francelina, you deserve the world.
“You’re right,” Francelina smiles.
“I normally am,” Bob says, because he’s an arrogant jackass.
Then Francelina says to the camera, “The more pounds that I shed, emotionally, physically, I realize that all this weight has been covering this amazing person.”
NO FUCKING NO!
That weight has not been covering up an amazing person, THE SHAME HAS. The amazing person has been there the whole fucking time, but the shame has prevented you from seeing her, Francelina, and I hope you remember that if you are one of the many, many former contestants who gains it back.
In any case, I want you to study this chart they use to show how the contestants rank and tell me if you notice anything:
That’s right: Gina took SECOND PLACE this week, and yet all of the scorn was heaped upon her. Joe, Jackson, Jeff and Francelina all lost less than her, and yet Gina was the lazy slacker who should be ashamed of her effort.
Do you see now why The Biggest Loser is completely irrational and utterly shameless? There’s no logic to who they pick as the villain, except maybe to go after the person who doesn’t yield to Jillian’s wrath.
According to their own standards, Gina has been the single best player since week one, yet she is the most frequently vilified for lacking the willingness to do the hard work necessary. And so by pulling a few strings, choosing a few selective edits, The Biggest Loser has been able to successfully demonize her as a terrible contestant.
After this episode, I’m rooting for Gina. I hope she stays in to the end and continues pissing off the trainers and viewers alike by not putting up with their bullshit.
After the main show, we see that Francelina has now lost 77 pounds. Now, she tells us, instead of eating when she’s stressed, she goes out dancing!
“I always knew how to dance,” Francie says. “The problem was I didn’t feel confident because I was plump… now dancing in front of people makes me feel great. Everybody’s looking at me, that’s cool because I’m cute.”
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH! Francie, you could have been dancing all these years, even if you were plump. Hell, it’s even exercise. Just fucking do it!
And she goes on:
Before the Biggest Loser my dream was always to be a doctor, but I felt sort of like a hypocrite. I wanted to help all these people, but I wasn’t even helping myself. I almost gave up on being a doctor because of my weight. Today, I’m 100% dedicated to getting into medical school, so I’m taking my prep course, I’m studying for my exam. Now I’m actually going to be able to accomplish my dream.
Francie, your dream was within your grasp all along. Abolish the stigma and the shame, not your dreams. But good luck to you anyway.
Finally, at the end of the show we see the following in memorium.
Gibbs and two other TV crew members recently died in a helicopter crash while filming another show. Does anybody know how dangerous being a helicopter pilot is? According to Slate, “The fatality rate in helicopter crashes is 1.3 deaths per 100,000 flight hours.” That’s a pretty risky lifestyle choice, don’t you think?
Finally, it comes as no surprise that Jillian Michaels is this week’s Biggest Dickweed because she’s terrible, irrational and the bully’s bully. Congratulations, Jillian, you’re way in the lead and I expect you’ll stay there for some time to come.