So The Biggest Loser is back for a 10th season, and it’s got everyone I know in an uproar. It seems to be one of the most popular shows, and with good reason; with all the negativity and bad news out there in the world, it’s good to see inspiring stories and even better to see the average Joe succeed in ways a lot of wish we could (which is a good motivator!).
This is one of my very favorite shows, so I’m hoping to break down each episode to you weekly and interject my little pieces of opinion. Please don’t take anything to heart because hey, we all have our own opinions. And let’s have fun breaking down each week as it happens!
Week 1 – Just the beginning
So we begin with the news that The Biggest Loser is traveling to 7 different cities to find it’s Season 10 contestants. They’ll pull 3 people from each city, have them compete in a challenge, and only 2 will move on to compete at the infamous Biggest Loser Ranch. There’s not much to tell yet personality-wise, but here’s a breakdown of each city, it’s contestants, and who’s going on to the ranch.
The first city featured is Detroit, where Bob and Alison are hosting. And the first 3 contestants are:
Jesse, 27 years old, 369 lbs
Jesse tells us that his mom has always been overweight from what he can remember, which may have helped him to become obese himself. He’s been battling depression to the point where he even avoids going out and avoids contact from his friends.
Sophia, 28 years old, 272 lbs
Sophia’s main vice in life is having lost her brother Edwin in an accident that involved black ice and a truck hitting him. She attributes this life-shattering event to her depression and overeating.
Aaron, 29 years old, 468 lbs
Aaron has led a life that involved an alcoholic father. He truly believes that he may have inherited the same addictive qualities as his father, just choosing food instead of alcohol as his drug of choice.
The challenge in Detroit was simple: the first 2 contestants to take 500 steps on a step platform would go to the ranch. The first to make it in this challenge was Sophia, and then Jesse followed up with second place. Aaron, unfortunately, did not make it, but did finish with his wife and son cheering him on.
The second city is LA, with Alison and Jillian hosting. Our 3 contestants here are:
Adam, 26 years old, 402 lbs
Adam’s story tells us that he’s always been struggling with weight most of his life. The biggest event for him so far, however, has been his mother passing in June 2009. Apparently, Adam found her in her room, and she had died of a heart attack due to complications of her diabetes and obesity. He wants to make her proud, and make sure he doesn’t head down the same path.
Ada, 27 years old, 258 lbs
Ada’s story hit pretty hard for me. Her parents are immigrants from China, and she’s in the first generation of her family to be born in the US. She’s had 3 brothers in her lifetime: the first died when she was 2 or 3 (she can’t remember exactly) by drowning in a kiddie pool that she was also playing in, the second, born a few years later, died of SIDS. The third, named Sam, was almost killed in a car accident when she was 16 years old and driving him around. She tells us the day of the accident, her father slapped her and said, ‘What are you trying to do, kill another one?’ She of course has felt responsible for her brothers’ deaths, and feels if she becomes skinny, that maybe her parents will finally accept her and love her.
Montina, 35 years old, 287 lbs
Montina is a singer who has been a background vocalist for Beyonce for 7 years. She’d like to break through in the music industry, but has been told she’s not ‘marketable’, which hit her really hard. We only got to see her singing for a few moments, but I thought her voice was good! And can I just mention, those were the biggest hoop earrings I think I’ve ever seen!
LA also had the 500 step challenge, and this time around, Ada finished first, and was closely followed by Adam. Montina did in fact finish eventually, with help from both Adam and her husband. Unfortunately, her knee seemed to be bothering her, which was what held her back to third place.
Portland was hosted by Mike Morelli, Season 7’s winner, and Bob. The contestants are:
Burgundy, 35 years old, 231 lbs
Burgundy has been married for 16 years and is a mother of 5 kids. She’s been putting family first, like many mothers, and putting herself on the back burner. She’s desperately hoping to get fit and have a better relationship with her husband.
Corey, 26 years old, 391 lbs
Corey’s story is pretty simple: he’s married to a woman he views as absolutely beautiful, and he wants to get in shape to be a better man for his wife.
Tina, 58 years old, 263 lbs
Tina’s was an interesting story to see. She has 2 children, 2 granddaughters and 1 grandson. They showed a picture of her when she was younger, and she was hot! She’s been married a couple of times, but her second husband cheated on her, and she went on a downward spiral from there. She’s looking to reclaim her life back.
This challenge was a bit different from the others so far, and the contestants had to run a 1 mile race. Burgundy seemed to pretty much blow everyone away and won it first. Tina finished second, which also sends her to the ranch. Tina had quite the advantage, for lack of better words: she had been running on Corey’s heels for awhile, until he collapsed and fell twice in a row due to exhaustion. Unfortunately, Corey wasn’t able to finish the race because he was taken away by ambulance.
Atlanta was hosted by Alison and Jillian. Alison gave an interesting but scary fact here: nearly 1/3 of the deaths in Georgia in 2009 were linked to obesity related heart disease. The 3 contestants are:
Anna, 39 years old, 330 lbs
Being a young mother, I cried like crazy at Anna’s story. She lost a 3 year old son to cancer. Apparently he fought if for awhile in a hospital, but eventually he died in her arms while they slept in the night. She’s been in a tailspin since, but is hoping to regain control of her life, because as she put it, she still has a lot of life left to live.
Rick, 54 years old, 350 lbs
Rick has been married for 32 years, has 5 kids, and 9 grandchildren. He wants to become a good role model for his grandkids and get healthy so he can be around for them for a long time to come.
Patrick, 27 years old, 350 lbs
Patrick has a wife and 2 young sons, and wants to set a good example for his kids while they’re still young and impressionable.
The 1 mile race was the challenge in this city, and Rick surprised everyone and pushed right through it. Patrick was right behind him, but Anna’s the one who had a tough time. Jillian pushed and pulled and tried to motivate her in any way she could, but wasn’t very successful. Anna finally did finish the race, and the nicest part of it was that Rick and Patrick had backtracked and helped carry her through the finish line.
Hosted by Alison and Bob, Phoenix also had an interesting fact given to the audience: Obesity has cost the state of Arizona $1.5 billion last year. Yikes! Here are the 3 contestants:
Jessica, 26 years old, 282 lbs
Jessica has always been a bigger girl, but it especially came to the limelight when she entered her teen years and her mother became very vocal about it, stating that no one would ever love her if she was fat. Her mother also physically abused her a bit, and for revenge, Jessica would just each more, but it only solidified for her what her mother was telling her. Jessica’s looking to leave it all behind and become a new person.
Mark, 30 years old, 421 lbs
Mark’s fight with obesity started in college, when he no longer worked out and started gaining weight quickly. His mother is overweight and starting to experience weight-related health issues, so he wants to deter himself from that path and hopefully inspire his mother to get healthy as well.
Shanna, 38 years old, 242 lbs
Shanna has a husband and 4 sons, and was diagnosed in June 2009 with stage 3 breast cancer. She’s beaten the cancer, and now wants to beat obesity, especially considering that her doctor has told her the extra weight increases her chance to get cancer again in the future. After her weigh-in, she gave a great speech where she said that basically cancer is not a choice, but being at a healthy weight is.
The challenge in Phoenix was the 1 mile race, and in this one, Jessica finished first, with Mark second. Shanna did finish, with many on-lookers cheering her on. Bob gave her a great pep talk afterwards.
Our hosts in Oklahoma City were Danny Cahill, the Season 8 winner, and Bob. The contestants are:
Allie, 22 years old, 322 lbs
Allie has been fighting her weight since childhood, and at 14, underwent VGB (vertical gastric band) surgery, but she learned that it didn’t change her thought process, and so her lifestyle went back to the way it was before and she gained weight right along.
Lisa, 31 years old, 288 lbs
Lisa’s story was absolutely heart-wrenching. She tells us that she came home one day to find her daughter on the couch with lost vision, and when she brought her to the emergency room, she found out that her daughter had been starving herself. Why? Because she didn’t want to be overweight like her mother. Lisa’s hoping to set an example for her daughter and son.
Sandy, (no age given), 259 lbs
Sandy’s main motivation is her deceased brother. Apparently, her brother tried out for The Biggest Loser before, but didn’t quite make it. Five days after trying out for the show, he died in his sleep for no apparent reason.
The challenge for Oklahoma City was the 500 steps. On this one, Allie finished first, and Lisa was second. Sandy didn’t make it to the ranch, but did finish the challenge.
Mark Kruger, a Season 5 finalist, and Jillian hosted Bean Town. The 3 contestants are:
Brendan, 32 years old, 362 lbs
Brendan has struggled with his weight all his life, and went on his first diet at 13 years old. He’s been engaged to who he describes as ‘the love of his life’, but broke it off because he felt that if he couldn’t even love himself, how could he love anyone else? He teaches a wellness program to special needs kids, but feels like he should practice what he preaches.
Elizabeth, 30 years old, 244 lbs
Elizabeth’s heart-breaking story involves a husband who was verbally and physically abusive to her and made her feel ugly. She’s now divorced (thank goodness!), and just wants to live life to the fullest.
Frado, 43 years old, 367 lbs
Frado has been married for 23 years and has 3 kids. He has type 2 diabetes and has to take insulin and 8 pills a day in order to live through it. His doctor has told him that he needs to lose weight or face death in 5 years or less. He wants to save his own life and be there for his family.
The challenge in Boston was the 500 steps, and for this one, Frado finished first, with Brendan finishing second. Elizabeth, the poor thing, had quite a hard time. Jillian gave her an inhaler at one point, but then Elizabeth began to complain of chest pains, and eventually passed out. Luckily, she came to, and seemed ok, but was still brought to a hospital for precaution. Frado tried to comfort her as best as he could, which was nice to see.
So there you have it, we have all our ranch contestants lined up and ready to go. Previews for the following season had me sitting on edge, including a yellow line that looked like it would take out half the players, some ‘cat fights’ amongst a couple of girls, some walk-outs in the gym, and contestants that lost but have the chance to get back in the game. And my favorite line from the preview, coming from Bob: “I’m going to break your legs and beat you with them!” Oh, I can’t wait!
Until next week…