Next we have Rick. He's a 54 year old physical therapist from Conway, Arkansas. Rick's been married to his wife, Laurie, for 32 years. They have five kids and nine grandchildren whom Rick would like to be around for. He would also like to be a good example for them, which he's not right now. Rick's starting weight is 350 pounds. His montage went pretty quickly, I guess because his only tragedy is being very fat.
Finally we have Patrick, a 27-year old sales representative from Vicksburg, Mississippi. He has a wife and two young sons who mean the world to him, and he also worries about being a poor example for them. This is his chance to start doing things right. The alternative is to face an early death. He says this without having even talked to Dr. Huizenga! Patrick's starting weight is 400 pounds even.
The Atlanta contestants also have to run a mile. This still doesn't seem like a good idea. Rick knows he's older than the other two, but tells us that it's all about heart, and he has heart. An artery-clogged heart about to give out, but a heart nonetheless. He starts running, and his arms look truly wee when pumping next to his big belly. Jillian runs alongside Anna to give her strength, and tells her that she's been through a million times worse than this. She screams at Anna and then literally starts pulling her. Jillian tells us that she played every card she has with Anna, and nothing worked. That doesn't bode well. Meanwhile Rick is kicking butt. He crosses the finish line first, to thunderous applause. Patrick is next, and these two sweaty messes hug each other. Meanwhile, Anna is screaming and invoking the Lord. She says that: 1) she's failed everybody; 2) she's going to die. With help, however, she manages to stagger across the finish line. The poor thing does not look good. She tells us she's determined to keep going, even if she must do so at home.
Next, the Blistery Tour takes us to Phoenix, Arizona, where obesity costs the state $1.5 billion per year. Fucking Arizona. Don't even get me started. Sami introduces our three potential contestants -- Jessica, Mark, and Marcia. Mark says that it's 100 degrees out, but these fools are ready for whatever's in store for them. Jessica is up first, and is a 26 year old wedding planner from Tucson. She was always the big girl growing up, and says that in junior high her relationship with her mom hit a rough patch. This may be because her mom told her that no one would love her if she was fat. That's some parenting, right there. Oh God, and Jessica's mom was physically abusive too. Jessica got back at her by eating. This was not a successful strategy, as you may have guessed. Jessica forgives her mom, but all of the shit her mom put her through still affects her. I would not even forgive the bitch, unless she had a traumatic brain injury or something. That's whack. Jessica's starting weight is 282 pounds. Oh! And her mother's actually in the audience! Intriguing.
Mark, the 30 year old bartender from New Jersey, is next. He says he wasn't particularly fat growing up, but started to get bigger in high school. He played football. At college the workouts stopped, and he gained a whole lot of weight. Mark says that he has a nervous Jewish family. His mom is also overweight, and is starting to have a lot of health problems. He wants to succeed, and to have her succeed, because she's miserable. And he's miserable too. Misery does not always, in fact, enjoy company. Mark's starting weight is 421 pounds.
Finally there's Shanna, a 38 year old teacher from Pima, Arizona. I still don't understand why nobody from Detroit was a contender during the Detroit stop! Detroit always gets the shaft. Shanna has a husband named Travis, and four sons. Last year, Shanna was diagnosed with grade 3 breast cancer, which is very aggressive. She beat the cancer, and now she plans to beat obesity. Her starting weight is 242 pounds. Shanna explains that there's a link between the weight and the cancer, which I did not know. She seems extremely determined to get to a healthy weight.
The Arizona contestants compete in the mile race. Jessica and Mark take an early lead, but Shanna is determined not to give up. Mark's father runs with him, which is very motivating. Jessica sprints to the finish, and seems to be first by a wide margin. She's so pretty, and is doubtlessly going to be absolutely smoking at the finale. Mark comes in second, and is pumped to have made it to campus. Poor Shanna comes in third and is crestfallen. She says she's still determined to lose the weight. Bob sits down with Shanna, and tells her that she's a survivor and there's nothing that she can't do. He tells her to take the power back when she feels like it's becoming too much. She promises that she will, and interviews that she's going to get to a healthy weight, and will live to raise her kids.
The tour's penultimate stop is Oklahoma City. Season 8 winner Danny Cahill shows up to host the event, and still looks totally skinny. He motivationally speaks and imparts the plus-sizers in the audience to lose some weight. Then he introduces Bob, who sprints in and mingles with the very enthusiastic crowd. Bob in turn introduces the three potential contestants -- Allie, Lisa, and Sandy. Allie is first to weigh in and be montaged. She tells us that she had vertical gastric band surgery when she was 14. Her story is apparently so sad that we don't get her hometown, age or occupation. It would only distract us from the misery at hand. Anyway, Allie was told that she would die if she stayed heavy, but the surgery would fix her. What she's learned is that the band fixes your stomach, but not your thought process. She did everything she was told, but the surgery hasn't fixed her. To reiterate: Allie is very, very sad. Her starting weight is 322 pounds. Allie tells the crowd that her mother has diabetes, and had a stroke at 48 years old. She totally breaks down. Frankly, I kind of worry about her mental state. In a much calmer interview, we learn that Allie is a 22-year old student. She says without tears that she's going to break the cycle.
Lisa is next, and we get her starting weight -- 288 pounds -- before her montage. Lisa tells the crowd that about three months ago, she came home to find out that her daughter had completely lost her vision. At the ER, they found out that she was so dehydrated that her liquid levels didn't even register. Lisa's daughter finally admitted that she hadn't been eating or drinking because she didn't want to be fat like her mom. Oh, that is some devastating shit right there. Lisa's poor daughter cries in the crowd. Lisa wonders how she can raise her children if they don't want to look like her. I wonder why we never got any stats for Lisa or a montage! Very odd.
Sandy's starting weight is 259 pounds. She says that she's been a fan of the show for a long time. Her older brother tried out for The Biggest Loser on March 20, and then on March 25 he died in his sleep. Good Lord. She says she's doing it for him, as well as for her and her family. She wants to be around for a long time. Sandy interviews that her kids are devastated that their uncle died, and will be infinitely more devastated if she dies. She has much to live for. But not a montage! Oklahoma City contestants get no respect, which is STILL more respect than Detroit has gotten.
The Oklahoma City contestants have the step challenge. They are going very slowly. Allie is the first to reach 300 steps, closely followed by Lisa. Sandy wants to stop, but doesn't because she feels her dead brother watching. That's creepily motivating. Allie reaches 500 first, and is going to the ranch. Lisa, motivated by her daughter's ER experience, is the next to reach 500 steps. She collapses on the step, in a regularly exhausted way and not a medical emergency way. Sandy does f