What have I done today to make me feel proud? I made lentil soup! So healthy! I had about four giant slices of Italian bread with it, though. But not EVERYTHING I've done today is supposed to make me feel proud.
And before I really get started, I have to extend a giant thank you to all of you who have written to me with moth control and prevention techniques! Much like the Losers are determined to continue on the path to wellness once they leave campus and go home, I am determined to beat the bastard moths when I leave my parents' house and head back to my infested apartment. If none of your wonderful techniques work, perhaps I can see if Jillian will come and scream at them for me.
We begin as the contestants return from last week's vote. With Rebecca voted off, Amanda has lost her only ally in the house. Allen notes that the elimination was intense, and we flash back to Rudy being kind of a dick and ranting about trust while Rebecca told him that he was ridiculous. Liz says that a lot of people will say that Rebecca's ouster has to do with her being a real competitor, but in actuality she just fell victim to the oldster alliance. Amanda knows that if she falls below the yellow line she's gone. She's reconceptualizing herself as an individual competitor now that her teammate Rebecca is gone, and would like the opportunity to come full circle from being voted into the house on last year's finale to being a finalist this year. Rudy says that America made a good choice in Amanda. Well thanks, but I'm sure the other one would have been fine, too. The contestants only have one more week on campus. I would say that time has flown, but it's actually felt like an eternity. Danny says he's going to take advantage of the last week on campus because he has a lot of work ahead.
Bob and Jillian meet up with the contestants and aren't surprised that Rebecca is gone. Bob says that she could have won the whole thing. Rudy talks about his vote for Rebecca, and mentions the bullshit fabricated trust issues. Jillian wants him to admit that he voted Rebecca off because she was the biggest threat. Rudy maintains his story, which was nonsensical in the first place. Jillian doesn't think it's a bad decision, but just wants him to be honest about it. Rudy still won't admit it, and says he can win with or without Rebecca there. Bob tells us that there's only going to be one winner, and the contestants have to remember that they're there to get their lives back.
The contestants hit the gym. Jillian snarls and asks Liz if this is her moment to shine. Jillian and Bob want to make sure that the accomplishments that the contestants have achieved on campus sink in. They have to let power and strength define them from now on. Jillian tells Allen that he excels every day and is a picture of strength. Rudy struggled on his first day on campus, but now can do the same tasks with ease. It's been eleven weeks, and he's lost 134 pounds and feels stronger than ever.
And then there are more stories of day one versus week eleven. Danny says that on day one, the weight bar would hit his belly. It still sort of grazes it, but not quite as badly. Like Rudy, Danny can now run on the treadmill and is amazed at his transformation. He says that it's all about taking control of your body. He's getting his life back. Allen drags Jillian, who is holding to a band wrapped around his waist. During week one, Allen wasn't running, but definitely was suffering ten kinds of torture. He struggled in week one, but now Jillian is the one who struggles to hold him back.
Amanda also was totally worn out the first day. Eleven weeks later, she knows that she can get through seemingly impossible things. Liz was a train wreck on the first day, and went so far as to fall off of the exercise equipment. Now, in week eleven, Jillian says that she's an athlete. On a scale of one to ten, Liz says that she was a minus five during the first week. Now she's a nine, and aims to be a ten by the finale.
Sami greets the contestants and congratulates them for being the final five. They've learned a lot about how to reshape their bodies on campus, but have also learned that this journey is not just about eating right and working out. When they're back at home they'll have to balance every aspect of their lives. There is a special guest to help them get ready -- finance guru Suze Orman! I love that loon. She's wearing a flowery, flowing top rather than one of her signature colorful leather jackets. Suze is there to help the contestants make the connection between wealth and health. Allen is very excited. You know he loves the Oprahs where Suze looks at people's financial statements and then denies them their dream weddings or kitchen repairs. Suze is on the show courtesy of Total cereal. She has a cereal deal? Is there nothing she can't do? Suze tells the contestants that to win they'll have to be very strong, and understand that wealth is a part of health, and that obesity is a very expensive disease. To wit, she says that we spend $147 billion per year in obesity-related illnesses. Sami gets the heck out and lets Suze have her way with the contestants.
Suze does one on ones with the contestants and says that there are so many more expenses when you're obese. She tells Allen that he might be paying an extra $500-1,000 for life insurance. He says that he is, which she totally already knows because I'm sure she looked at his financials. Suze tells Allen to call all the agencies insuring him and tell them to reduce his rates. Then it's Rudy's turn. Suze asks him how often he checks his own credit report. He's worried that too many checks on his credit report will negatively affect his score. Suze tells him that a consumer can pull his FICO score as many times as he wants, and it never affects anything. I have to admit that I first learned about my FICO score from Suze Orman. Also, stash the cash! I'm jealous of the people who get her personalized treatment, even though the thought of it terrifies me. Liz has been married for 20 years. Suze asks her if it's a happy marriage, and Liz says that they're working on it. Money is a factor in Liz's relationship problems. Suze says that you spend "more than" when you feel "less than." She wants Liz to pledge to give 100% all the time, and to be who she is. Liz says something about how awesome she is, and Suze gives her a patented, "You most certainly are, girlfriend!" Liz says she deserves to be all she can be.
The contestants go to the gym and meet Sami and Suze in front of five treadmills. Today the contestants aren't competing against each other. They're on their own, answering questions while on the treadmill. They have already invested in themselves, and the prize for this challenge will help them to invest in their futures. For every question they answer correctly, each contestant will get $1,000 invested in a Save Yourself account at TD Ameritrade. I don't know what any of those words mean. But on the TD Ameritrade web site, they have Suze's pictures attached to them. For every question missed, the treadmill gets one level faster and one level higher.
The contestants start at a 3.0 speed on the treadmill, and answer question number one. Research shows that obese employees earn less than their fellow workers. How much less do they earn in one year? The choices are: a) $700; b) $7,000; c) $17,000. The answer is $7,000, and everyone gets it right. $1,000 all around! When you're obese, you get sick more and don't work as much. That costs your employers more. But do you actually earn less? I guess if you have to take unpaid sick leave. In any case, on to question two. If a family of four swaps one meal at a restaurant for one meal at home every day for a year, how much money will they save? The choices are: a) $876; b) $8,760; c) $18,760. The correct answer is $8,760. Everyone gets it right but Amanda.
Question three asks how much Americans spend on gastric bypass surgery every year. The choices are: a) $44 million; b) $440 million; c) $4.4 billion. The correct answer is a whopping $4.4 billion. Holy stomach staple. Only Allen gets this one right. Suze says that 220,000 people (!!!) get gastric bypass surgery every year at a cost of $20,000 per surgery. That is madness. Question four asks how much Americans spend on obesity-related health issues every year. The choices are: a) $147 million; b) $1.47 billion; c) $147 billion. The correct answer is $147 billion, which everyone gets right. And to make matters worse, the U.S. spends only $90 billion on cancer per year. Suze tells the contestants to be as afraid of the "o" word as they are of the "c" word. Uh, no comment, girlfriend. The final question asks how much money you will save over 40 years by going from obesity to your ideal weight. The choices are: a) $10,000; b) $100,000; c) $1 million. The answer is $1 million. Everyone gets it right except for Allen. Each contestant gets between $3,000 -- 4,000 in the special Suze TD Ameritrade thing. Danny is happy that he'll have an emergency fund now. Suze says that having an emergency fund lessens your anxiety, which gives you power. You can thus say no to food and yes to exercise. And always say yes to Suze. She won't let you buy anything until you do.
Oh, and then it's time for product placement. Multigrain Cheerios, this time! The Biggest Loser is making a real cereal push this episode.