Biggest Loser
Episode 15

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M. Giant: B | Grade It Now!
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Yellow Rose, Yellow Team, Yellow Line

What have I done today to make me feel proud? Well, I resisted the urge to steal Potes's opening gag. Oh, wait, no I didn't. Goddammit, I SUCK!

In a black-and-white flashback, Koli casts his lone yet binding vote for Victoria's eviction. And then we're in real time, Big Brother-style, as instead of calling it a night, Sami calls everyone else in. O'Neal hugs Sunshine, happy to see his daughter's still there. Once they're all assembled, Sami reminds them of their visit to the Olympic Training Center and "America's fittest people. This week, you're gong to do the opposite. You're going to train with some of the most unfit." Yes, they're off to Texas, home state of five of America's ten fattest cities. That's not me saying that, it's the show, and it'll be said several more times. The Losers are all very excited about getting to go to Texas. Bob and Jillian will be coming along as well, and Sami tells them to pack their bags and their cowboy hats, and any other Texan stereotypes they can think of.

Amazing Race-style B-roll segues into the Losers meeting Sami in the middle of what looks like a herd of cattle statues in Dallas's Pioneer Park. No wonder Texans gained weight, if all the cattle turned to stone. You don't get nearly as much exercise chasing those around. Sami gives them a little speech about how everything's big in Texas, up to and including the people. In fact, she projects that 75% of the state's population will soon be overweight or obese. That's scary, but if any state has the room for it...Now, though. It's the Losers' job to fix it, which seems like a tall order. But they'll start by making the rounds of Texas radio stations to recruit listeners into joining them in a 5K run.

Sam and Koli hit KRLD 1080. Rock that AM dial! Sunshine and O'Neal are at KVRK 89.7, with Ashley and Michael and Daris at 96.3 KSCS, so at least they get to go FM. Sam and Koli field a call about how they plan to deal with temptation when they return, and discuss not wanting to go back to the way they were. O'Neal and Sunshine talk about the 5K that'll start from the Cotton Bowl, with O'Neal talking about starting with small steps. Michael tells the DJ that he started out at 526 pounds, and the DJ is impressed at how much he's lost thus far. Michael accepts his praise and exhorts tubby Texas to coming out to join them for the race. Then all three stations are seen taking calls, saying the first 35 callers will get to be part of the 5K run. The phone lines appear to light up, which is pretty gratifying to the Losers. I bet it is for the producers as well. And then Jillian takes Sunshine and Ashley to Walgreens for some product placement that's so blatant I feel like I should zap it like any other commercial.

Now we're at the Cotton Bowl, and it's the day of the 5K. Sami runs out onto the field and high-fives the noisy crowd that's turned out to join the race and get team-colored t-shirts with Texas on them. It's a big crowd, too. By which I mean there are about a hundred people there, but the crowd is still pretty big, if you follow me. Sami works them up a little bit before calling out the seven Losers, who get a big, loud reception. Michael is humbled by the attention, and Sam feels like a rock star. After everyone gladhands and settles down, Sami gives a lecture on big, fat Texas, with its five fattest cities and its annual $10 billion obesity-related health care costs. And these hundred or so people are here to fix it. They'll even get a 90-day pass to 24 Hour Fitness just for showing up. Everyone's matched up with a different contestant by their t-shirt color. Daris tells his orange team he just wants everyone to push themselves. Ashley tells her pink team she wants to inspire them, and says there was a day when she needed it herself, but has since lost 120 pounds off her initial 374. Not that it's all about her. Sam and Koli say it's okay to walk, as long as you keep moving. Sunshine offers similar but more vague encouragement to her yellow team.

Sami takes up position at the starting line, and begins the run. Which, let me just say right now, is not a race in any meaningful sense. Clearly the point is just to get some Texans to get a little exercise, and that's fine. Nothing that happens here is going to have any effect on the competition in any way. Which I guess is fine, especially when you have two hours to fill. Most people start running, except for a few walkers at the tail end. Daris is in the lead as they exit the stadium, VOing that his fastest 5K time on a treadmill was 21:14, and he wants to beat it. "I told my team. 'We're gonna finish, and I'm gonna come back for you, and we're gonna finish it together,'" he says. Michael power-walks with his white team, not wanting to leave anyone behind, since he's been there. He tells them -- and us -- about how he got himself hooked on weight-loss milestones and has been chasing that feeling ever since. And speaking of milestones, they just hit the 1K mark. Koli hangs mostly with his gray team at first, then meets a guy named Jeff on the yellow team, a big TBL fan who's lost 65 pounds in nine months. He's clearly still got a way to go, but he's inspired by past and current contestants. Ashley is focusing on pumping up the ladies as they pass the 2K mark. Daris appears to be way out in front, almost by himself, and crosses the finish line at 21:02, beating his personal best. And then he runs back to herd in his stragglers, still running.

O'Neal meets a woman named Deborah on his yellow team who rattles off her family's grim history of diabetes and overweight and death, and she feels like "I'm just waiting to die." O'Neal can relate. "Bob and Jillian can get us to the gym," he says, "but we have to want to be there." Deborah's so inspired and excited she has a happy little meltdown right there in O'Neal's arms. He's thankful for the moment.

After Sunshine finishes, she goes back to finish with O'Neal. He and his yellow walking entourage are happy to see her return, and O'Neal flashes back to how unhappy she was 15 weeks ago, compared to how now she's happier than he's seen her in 24 years. She joins them for the walk back.

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