Biggest Loser
Episode 1

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The Magical Blistery Tour
e's on the same path. He's determined to put himself and his health first, and knows that he won't lose the weight until he truly focuses on it. His starting weight is 402. He tells the crowd that he's ready to change, be happy, and be confident. Obesity took his mom, but he's not going to let it take him.

Next we meet Ada, a 27-year old consultant from Gilbert, California. Ada's parents are immigrants from China, and she's first-generation American. When she was two or three years old, her brother drowned in a kiddie pool and she was the only one there. Her parents had another son, who died of SIDS. Her parents had a third son, Sam, and when Ada was 16 and had just gotten her drivers license, she totaled her car while driving with Sam. When her dad saw her afterwards, he walked in the room, slapped her, and said, "What are you trying to do, kill another one?" Just hearing that story makes me want to eat for comfort! And/or become an alcoholic. Ada is still trying to make her parents proud and says that she knows for a fact that if she were thinner they'd be closer, and be prouder. Wow, Jillian is going to have a field day with this one. Ada's starting weight is 258 pounds.

Finally there's Montina, a 35 year old professional singer. She's a background singer for Beyonce -- whoa! -- and has been for seven years. Montina has been singing since she was a toddler, and spent her life chasing a dream. However, the music business is rough when it comes to image, and being overweight was a problem. It was painful for Montina to hear that she wasn't marketable. She's sick of being in the background, and would like her body to be not quite so bootylicious. Montina's starting weight is 287 pounds. She tells the audience that it's time for her to make a change.

Montina, Adam and Ava compete in their first challenge, which is the same 500 steps as in Detroit. The audience also participates as the challenge begins. Adam talks to his dead mother for strength and stepping ability. Montina stops at around 300 steps, citing knee pain, and her husband screams at her to keep going. Montina screams back, and their son looks really uncomfortable. Montina says that she wanted to push harder, but her knee wouldn't allow it. Meanwhile, Ada reaches 500 steps and gains entrance to the show. Adam is next to make it to 500, and feels great. The whole crowd cheers on Montina to finish, and her husband and son join in. She does finish, but that's cold comfort. She's going to try to use this experience as a motivator. Pro quarterback Matt Leinart is there -- he's apparently Adam's BFF.

Next, we head to Portland, Oregon. Cute Mike from season seven is there, looking fantastic and hunky. I guess Sami couldn't make it and he's fill-in hosting, along with Bob. Bob introduces the three potential contestants -- Corey, Burgandy, and Tina. Burgandy is first to be weighed-in and montaged. The first thing you need to know is that her name is Burgandy. The hell? She's also 35 and a homemaker from Eagle Mountain, Utah. She has five kids and has been married for 16 years, and says she struggles with the typical woman thing of being a caretaker for others but not yourself. She tells us that she can never have the type of relationship that she wants with her husband, because she's so insecure. He tells her that she's beautiful, but she doesn't believe it. That's very sad, and clearly very painful for her. Burgandy weighs 231 pounds. She tells the audience that she's a mom of five, a military spouse, a foster parent, and the parent of a daughter with autism. She put everyone else first, and has nothing left for herself, and that's why she's there. Burgandy seems really close to cracking and tells us that she doesn't want to go home. I sure hope she can step fast.

Next we have hippie Corey, a 26-year old life coach from Fairbanks, Alaska. That may explain the crazy beard, but not the white guy dreads. His wife's name is Meghan, and he says his weight affects their relationship. He doesn't feel good about himself, ostensibly because he jokes about putting deodorant under his man boobs. He's angry at himself because he thinks that his wife doesn't have the strong husband she deserves. Corey's starting weight is 391 pounds. He kind of cries and breathes heavily at this news.

Finally there's Tina, a 58-year old grandmother from what sounds like Boring, Oregon. How unfortunate. Tina has two daughters and three grandchildren. She was super hot when she was young, and in fact appears to have been a swimsuit model, but she's been overweight or obese for about 15 years. During her second marriage, her husband cheated on her, and she turned to emotional eating. When they got divorced, she began neglecting herself. Tina's starting weight is 263. As if that weren't bad enough, we get multiple shots of her droopy belly. Poor thing.

The challenge in Oregon is a bit different. The potential contestants will have to participate in a one-mile race, with the first two who cross the finish line going to the ranch. Corey tells us his intent to run until he drops on the ground, if he has to. Prescient! Did this show learn nothing from Crazy Tracey? The race begins, and Bob spouts off that this is only a MILE and we all should be able to run a MILE, right? Well, yes, theoretically. But I am a pretty slender person, and fairly healthy, and until several months ago when I started interval training very slowly, I totally could not run a mile. I could barely even run for a minute. So suck it, Harper. Running is really hard when you're not used to it, not to mention when you weigh 400 pounds. Corey starts pushing, but is still passed by Burgandy. He tries to keep pace with her, and feels that, since he's 30 years younger than Tina, he should be able to beat her in a footrace. But then Tina totally gets a little spunk and puts a little speed in her pace. Burgandy finishes first, without even seeming like it was a big deal. She REALLY wants to be on the show, and also has borne five children. Pain is nothing to her.

Meanwhile, in the battle for second, Corey is ahead of Tina and she knows she needs to push it. With Tina on his heels, Corey also knows that HE has to push it, but instead falls down. Collapses might be a better word. Tina's entourage sees this and tells her to start running. Corey's posse, and particularly his wife, run up to him and scream that he can do it, so he starts running again. And then he collapses again. And Tina takes this opportunity to pass him. That must feel really shitty. But if she wants to be on a reality show, she needs to make friends with shitty feelings. Tina crosses the finish line and says that winning was pretty bittersweet, given that Corey might be in cardiac arrest. Meanwhile, Corey is actually conscious, which is a positive sign. He says that hitting the ground was the worst moment of his life. I can see that. He gets oxygen as Tina tries to comfort him. If there are medical professionals out there reading this, I would love for you to email me at potesypotes@gmail.com and give me your opinion as to whether the methods used on The Biggest Loser are good, abhorrent, or a mixture of both. Sometimes this show is completely inspirational, but sometimes I watch and just think, "...that can't be good." Burgandy and Tina, now the Purple Team, head into their limo and to the ranch.

Our next stop on the tour is Atlanta, where people are also very fat. Sami and Jillian are there, and Sami tells them that a third of the deaths in Georgia last year were from obesity-related heart disease. Well, that makes me want a cookie. Sami introduces our three hopefuls -- Patrick, Anna, and Rick. Jillian sizes them up as Sami tells them that they're in for a tough day, what with the weigh-in and challenge and all. Anna is a 39-year old administrative assistant from Atlanta. We get shots of her stomach, which again seems mean. Anna tells us that she lost her three year old son to cancer. She cries a lot, and then I cry, and then I pour myself some more wine and eat another cookie for comfort. Man. Anna says that she's allow

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