Biggest Loser
Episode 15

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

Mid-show previouslies. I don't cover them for two-hour nights of 24 and I'm not covering them here.

Back in the competition, the scoring is accelerating. Daris is still in it, despite being on his own and up against the yellow and gray teams working together. Michael decides to step up and help Daris, in support of Singleton Bond, and soon there's a three-way tie between Koli, Daris, and O'Neal, with five calves each. Ashley got one at some point, but she's not really in it any more. The three teams remain almost head-to-head down to the final seconds, with Koli and Sam getting a last one in under the wire, winning immunity for Koli. Daris feels the loss, but Koli feels pretty good about having both immunity and Sam's help. As anyone would. And I assume that as revenge against the cattle, they'll all be feasting on steaks and cheeseburgers tonight.

Jillian walks into Mabank High School and meets Abby from Season Eight, who looks terrific. I mean, this is the first time I've ever seen the woman, but she looks good to me. Abby talks to Jillian about the work they're doing at the school to educate the kids about heath, etc., and the next thing we see is Jillian addressing an assembly of students. She's about to scare those kids skinny. "Kids today spend seven hours a day in front of an electronic device" she tells them, and also that they're the first generation with a lower life expectancy than their parents. Jillian takes questions, and a big girl who we'll learn is named Addison takes the mic and tearfully says she's been told she'll never be skinny. Jillian goes all Dr. Phillian on her in front of everyone, telling her about projection, and that anything's possible. She also tells us about how horrible it is to be that kid. After the assembly, Jillian takes Addison aside for a little one-on-one time and gives her some home truths about the people who make fun of her: "They're never going to change. But you can." She tells her the value of small goals and small steps, and she can achieve anything she wants. "It will not be easy, but it will be worth it." Addison tells us, "I'll remember this day forever." Jillian tells her she expects big things from her, which strikes me as an infelicitous choice of words. Her time up, she walks her back to the door, and the return to her hellish nightmare existence. Seriously, if Addison thought her life sucked before, I hate to imagine the punishment she's going to be subjected to now for speaking up about it. And tomorrow morning, everyone at that school will have it fresh in their minds again, and it'll start all over, even if Addison's lost fifty pounds since then. Sorry, I'm not being very inspirational, am I? You can do it, Addison! I know you can! Remember that fear is your friend!

At night, Jillian and Bob welcome five of the Losers to a gym (O'Neal and Sunshine being absent for the funeral of O'Neal's recently deceased brother, which is liable to hurt them both this week). So now it's last chance workout time. Treadmills, weights, the whole routine. Ashley pushes a weight along the floor, and apparently the editors are just out to get her this week, because when she slips and falls, they add a big, booming sound effect and a fake camera-shake like she's a Lord of the Rings elephant or something. She's determined to make the final four and win it all. Bob tells Koli he doesn't care about his immunity: "You're gettin' it today." He works Sam pretty hard too. Michael's sure he's going home if he's not above the yellow line this week; indeed, after 15 weeks, he's still at some people's starting weight. Jillian sees that Daris is suffering from a malaise (as demonstrated by the fact that he can't seem to roll an exercise ball up a support column with his back), and he complains to her about not having a partner there like some other contestants. She's unsympathetic, reminding him this won't be the last time life is unfair, and reminds him of his ultimate goal to get healthy. He seems to get it. "Okay, running time," she tells him in a cutesy voice that coming from her is almost as terrifying as the dominatrix routine. Bob runs Michael and Ashley through some sprints, and Michael slips off the treadmill in the final seconds. Bob counts the rest down and tries to give Michael some advice about stopping and holding on when he needs to, but Michael tries to shut him down, too whacked to listen right now. Bob isn't playing that: "Watch yourself, because if you fall off, you're gonna break your fucking ankle!" Okay, but maybe then he could get gangrene and have the leg amputated below the knee and that's probably good for fifteen pounds right there. Michael eventually backs down, adjusting his "Don't talk to me right now" to a deferential "Yes, sir." He finishes beating the crap out of them, and that's the last of the last chance workout.

This week's weigh-in is at the American Airlines Center, which sounds to the uninitiated like some kind of museum dedicated to how awesome American Airlines is but actually turns out to be a large sports and concert arena. Unfortunately, Sami, Jillian, Bob, and the Losers don't get to go inside and it's like 34 degrees out. On giant monitors, there's a quick montage of the season thus far, which impresses even Jillian. They're all in full winter gear, which of course each Loser will need to remove for his or her weigh-in. Do goose bumps add weight? Sami recaps the week and opens the floor to comments. Sam talks about how he didn't realize until this week the measure of the whole TBL phenomenon and the size of its fan base. Yes, show, we get it, everyone loves you. Sami brings it back to the task at hand, namely the looming yellow line that she explains to first-time viewers (which, yes, in case you haven't figured it out yet, does include me). Koli, with his immunity, is getting weighed in first, and he strips to his shorts and t-shirt. Sami reminds him he started at 403. Last week he was at 260, and now he's at...259, a one-pound difference. Yikes, good thing he has immunity, right? Everyone's stunned, Koli most of all. "I was expecting, like, a five," he says. "Go get warm," Sami tells him. Well, that isn't going to help.

Sam is next, and Sunshine murmurs to O'Neal that his arms look finished already. He started at 372, weighed in at 246 last week, and is now at -- commercials! Okay, when we come back, now he's at 240, down six pounds. That's an overall total of 132 off since the start, with a weight loss percentage of 2.44% for this week. And if this were a full recap, I'd probably be sitting here with a calculator to confirm the figures, but since this is due ten hours after the show ends, and I plan to spend most of those hours sleeping, I'll take them at face value.

Next is Sunshine, who talks about how having to leave Dallas this week was tough. She started at 274, came in last week at 191, and is now at 187, a four-pound loss. "You feeling good about that?" Sami asks in a tone that suggests it's not really a yes or no question but more of a just-plain-no question. Sunshine is happy to have lost more than last week. She's lost a total of 88 pounds, and 2.09% for the week.

O'Neal, who started at 389 and came in at 270 last week, needs to have lost more than six pounds to be safe. Currently he's at 265, a five-pound loss. He tries to be philosophical about it, but he's disappointed at being in the bottom thus far, with a percentage loss of 1.85%. Sam's definitely safe. I mean, as safe as anyone can really feel standing that close to Jillian Michaels.

Michael's turn. He knows he won't survive a vote if he finds himself under the yellow line with either O'Neal or Sunshine. Having started out at 526 pounds, he was at 358 last week, and needs to have lost more than seven pounds to be safe. And he lost -- commercials again?

Bob takes a moment to warn us about airplane food, like we needed that tip.

When we come back, Michael's current weight turns out to be 343, for a whopping 15-pound loss. "There's your double digits, buddy," he tells Bob, who responds, "About time!" Michael marvels in an interview that he's lost 183 pounds. "A whole adult man! And I have a whole adult woman left to lose." I find myself wondering of that whole adult man and whole adult woman will get married someday. Sami tells him his total loss is 183 pounds, 17 pounds from the 200-pound total loss mark. And his percentage for the week is 4.19%, which puts him in the lead, followed by Sam, Sunshine, and O'Neal. Sunshine is starting to take it personally.

Up comes Daris, who isn't feeling confident. He started at 346, was 219 last week, and needs to have lost more than four pounds to be safe. And he comes in at 214, so he's good with a total loss of 132 pounds and a weekly percentage of 2.28%. This show doesn't just teach about diet and exercise, it's got a shitload of math in it. Daris says he was in seventh grade last time he weighed that little, but he's safe

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