Biggest Loser
Episode 8

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You Better Work

Episode 8 begins with that singing lady asking once again what I have done today to make me feel proud. I started recapping at 8:30, in hopes that I can actually get to sleep before 2 a.m. Sleep is a big part of health, lady! Also, stop judging me.

Last week, the Blue Team eliminated Miggy, and so this week O'Neal (who was teamless and had immunity) joins them as a team member. O'Neal wasn't in the voting room with them and so was very nervous that Sunshine had been eliminated. But she wasn't, and when he saw her return from voting he pounded the table with joy and cried a whole bunch. Sunshine assures him that she's not going anywhere, which makes me think that she'll be eliminated tonight. She's all, "Calm down, crazy old man." She loves him though. O'Neal is happy to be part of the Blue Team, and gives his fellow chumps a pep talk about teamwork. He says that they're all individuals, like fingers on a hand, but they come together as a fist. That's...kind of a violent call to action. O'Neal implores his Blues to rise to the occasion every day, and they all redouble their intention to pummel the Black Team this week.

The contestants meet Sami at Agua Dulce Airpark Ranch, where two 18-wheelers await them. Sami reminds them that they've had an experience that a lot of people covet -- namely, a couple of months away from their jobs. And other distractions such as families. But really, I'm thinking about gaining 150 pounds just so I can take a leave of absence. The vacation can't last forever, though, and the contestants will have to learn to juggle their busy lives. To help them with this lesson, it's "work week" on the show. Oooh, maybe they'll have to intern at the Jennie-O slaughterhouse! Sami says that all week they'll have to work at a full-time job, which entails an eight-hour shift with a bus commute every day. No one is happy about this. Stephanie works full-time at a high-pressure job, which is in part why she got heavy. She's nervous. Sami says that if the contestants want to eat healthy food they'll have to bring it with them, and if they want to work out they'll have to make time for it, just like the rest of the good people in the world. The gym also won't be open 24-hours. It's mock real life! The contestants will have meaningful jobs, working alongside volunteers from Feeding America and fighting the good fight against hunger.

Since there's a packed work week ahead, the contestants are going to get the challenge out of the way now. And they're going to have to pull the trucks. Each one weighs 33,000 pounds. Daris tells us that he's always wanted to pull a semi. That's kind of a weird dream, but okay. Each team will have to pull a semi down the runway and load puzzle pieces into the back of their truck. The puzzle pieces are located at three stations along the runway. At the finish line, each team will have to put the puzzle pieces together to spell their reward: groceries for one year. Everyone is psyched about this prize. Five members of each team will pull the semi, and one will be charged with collecting the puzzle pieces. The big guys on the Blue Team are feeling pretty confident, while Sam is wondering if his Black ladies are going to be able to do this.

The challenge begins, and the Blue Team takes a huge lead. The Black Team can't even get their truck to move. Let Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow be your motivation! (And seriously, she should be a consultant for this show, because holy shit. I put an ad on Craig's List, trying to find a devil to sell my soul to so I can not only be that amazing but look that amazing when I'm 58. Or now.) The Black Team finally gets their truck to move, and Stephanie hopes that the Blue guys are too dumb to figure out the puzzle. O'Neal and his bum knee is the puzzle picker upper, and has a hard time keeping up with the rest of the Blue Team. And then the Black Team catches up! Until it's time to move the truck again. But then again with O'Neal's slowness! He was the wrong person to pick for that job.

With two sets of puzzle pieces collected, the race is pretty close. But then O'Neal gets a magic and timely burst of energy. The Blue Team picks up the rest of the puzzle pieces and once again takes the lead. Both teams cross the finish line and have to assemble their puzzles. Sami insists that they're neck and neck, though I'm not sure that that's strictly true. And even if it is, the Blue Team wins. There is much celebration, except from the Black Team. Free groceries for a year, suckers! Koli cites this victory as evidence that the Black Team should be skurred. Sam reminds us that if you don't win the weigh-in, the only thing you actually get is a free trip home. Also, in this case, groceries. Though it's probably just ground turkey and gum.

A commercial tells us that Toyota is now offering us their "biggest thank you ever." Oooh, brakes that work! How special!

When we return, Bob meets with his team. There's a bit of sadness that Miggy is gone, but happiness that O'Neal has joined them. The contestants explain to the trainers that this is "work week." Jillian, as always, is pissed. Bob actually thinks it's a good exercise to prepare them to go back to the real world. He says that he gets that the last thing you want to do after a long day at the office is to go to the gym. Tell me about it, sister. But, he says, you have to pull yourself up by the bootstraps (or the sneaker laces) and do it. The contestants head off to the gym, with the exception of Sunshine and O'Neal. They're newer, and haven't had to endure a product placement session yet. That all changes as Bob introduces them to Biggest Loser Protein Powder. Goes great with an Extra Sugar Free Gum chaser!

There is working out. Drea says that she doesn't look forward to short workouts, because they're painful. Having done Jillian's 30 Day Shred, I concur. But work week starts tomorrow, and ass-busting today is crucial. Jillian tells us that, when it goes Blue versus Black, it's nearly impossible to win the first two weigh-ins. She's ready to fine tune her David versus Goliath slingshot. Sam decides that it's his duty to rally the Black troops. He wants them to continue having the force of victory and putting the team first. And then he starts talking football. The girls are all like, "...Can you maybe relate this to shoes somehow?" But Sam reminds them that they're all athletes, and have to start training like athletes. They're going to win all four quarters. Or get every last clearance deal at Filene's Basement.

We head to commercials and see Shay and her family eating Subway at the Universal Studios Theme Park. She'd like to belly dance next.

When we return it's 5:30 a.m. The contestants have to get up, hit the gym for an hour, and then get ready for work. Stephanie tries to convince us that this feels like a jump start for her day. As a big fan of sleeping, and sleeping in, I don't know how anyone works out in the morning. The contestants head to the L.A. Regional Food Bank, where they have to clock in. O'Neal and Andrea get the arduous task of calling donors to thank them. When they're not giving interviews to the cameras, that is. Koli, Sam and Ashley work in distribution, which also means they get a workout. Smart. Sherry and Cheryl do inventory in a Laverne and Shirley style. They crack up at the word "condiments." Daris gently mocks their crazy old bat ways. Michael also works in inventory. Daris and Michael can neither read nor count, in case you were wondering.

The Losers take a lunch break, and food bank inventory clerk Steve comes in to tell them that they're an inspiration. Steve is, to say the least, a big guy. He asks them for tips. Sherry tells him to get up and walk around the block, until he can walk two blocks. Michael suggests going to a park with his family instead of the movies. Steve tells his story, which involves his dad dying at 33 from complications related to obesity. Steve is about to turn 33, which has to be a giant mindfuck. O'Neal tells him that meeting his weight goals is achievable, and in no uncertain terms tells Steve that he can do it. Steve is thankful and lovely.

Everyone is pretty happy about their awesome feel-good job. Until, that is, they're on the bus home. It actually looks like a city bus, too. They get home just before 6:00, and head to the gym. They have only 45 minutes until the gym closes. All right, then. My gym, which is a YMCA, stays open until at least 8:00 or 9:00 every night. I call shenanigans! At the designated closing time, the lights just cut off. Nice.

Day two of work week kicks off. It's cold and rainy, which takes a little of the fun out of giving poor people food. The Losers go to a distribution site and bag fruits and vegetables for people in need. O'Neal almost gets an eye taken out by some lady's umbrella. They head home on the bus, work out, and the lights go off. Day three brings the same story. At noon, Sam realizes that he forgot his lunch. Stephanie says that there's a vending machine out there. Can these bitches not share their food with him? And, I mean, also, they're at the food bank. They're literally surrounded by food. Oh, wait. AS IT HAPPENS, there's a SUBWAY right around the corner. Those fuckers.

The week continues, and under the pressure of working and working out, Cheryl and Sherry totally become menopausal lesbian lovers. That's one way to burn some extra calories when the gym is closed! They're worried that they might be wrenched apart by the next weigh-in and corresponding vote, but remind one another to be strong and not to give up. Because you can do anything you set your mind to, including pulling an 18-wheeler or switching teams at midlife.

The contestants complete day five of work week, and are tired. Stephanie totally tattles to Jillian that Sam forgot his lunch. But thankfully there was a Subway. They JUST HAD THIS PRODUCT PLACEMENT! Another one so soon? Really?

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