Prelude: We are all fat. Fatter than ever, in fact. Even Michelle Obama thinks so. Also, Bill Clinton, who himself is no stranger to a Krispy Kreme. Also Bob and Jillian, of course. This season is all about paying it forward, Jillian tells us. God, I hate that phrase. It just makes me think of little Haley Joel Osment being all toothy and twee, and how Kevin Spacey won't come out. Things are starting off a little differently this year, with Bob, Jillian and Ali (aka Sami, the name of her longtime character on Days of Our Lives) heading to seven cities throughout the country to motivate us -- us! -- and find their next group of contestants. God, am I glad I didn't run into them at Taco Bell. You'd be all ready to order your chalupa and some of those crispy cinnamon twists for dessert, and then forced to slink out with shame. Or even worse, do some jumping jacks or something. Anyway, three people in each city will have a chance to make the show, but only two will actually come back to the ranch to compete. That's totally mean, but I must confess that I'm glad this isn't going to be a 22-episode season.
The first stop on the Magical Blistery Tour is Detroit, Michigan. Sami tells the crowd, who frankly are probably already depressed enough, what with the living in Detroit and all, that obesity has surpassed smoking as the number one cause of preventable death in the U.S. In ten years, obesity could cost the state of Michigan over $12 billion. Ford apparently invited the show to come to Detroit, and see how their five remaining employees are running a race to fight breast cancer. A very large man named Luke, from Waipahu, Michigan, tells us that he's always struggled with weight. He looks to The Biggest Loser for direction and to know that he's not alone in his struggle. Sami's going to announce who the three possible contestants are, but first Bob leads a workout for the entire crowd. Mike, from Alma, Michigan, says that he's seen no other diet programs where people keep off the weight like they do on The Biggest Loser. Does he watch the reunion shows? That one guy gained back a person and a half! Also, while people on this show have accomplished amazing things, I'm not sure that the diet plan of "working out like hell and losing half your body weight in three months under extreme pressure" is really ideal for everyone.
Finally, Sami brings up the three potential contestants -- Jesse, Sophia, and Aaron. Sadly, none of these is the lady in the wheelchair who was so enthusiastically rocking out to "Dog Days Are Over." Bob is sad that only three people get an opportunity to be on the show, and only two will actually make it to the show, since the entire audience could use some quality treadmill time. Jesse is first to weigh in, in front of the entire crowd. We then learn that Jesse is 27, and a law clerk from St. Paul, Minnesota. Which is twelve hours away from Detroit. What the heck? Jesse tells us, in his montage, that he grew up as the son of an overweight mom. He also sounds quite depressed. Jesse says that his weight is ruining his life. And how much weight, you may wonder? 369 pounds. Once Jesse sees the number he looks like he's about to cry. It must really be something to stand up in front of a whole crowd of people without your shirt on and be weighed on a giant scale, and also to think that you might die or get diabetes at any moment.