There are eight contestants left, and we are forced to endure even more montages about them to open the show. Do you remember that one glorious week when this show was an hour long? I want to write epic poetry about that week. And I could, if I didn't have to spend so much time recapping the regular two-hour version of the show!
We enter post-elimination. If you'll recall, Aaron and Jesse were unceremoniously booted. Jesse was particularly offended by Patrick's decision to vote him out, since the two of them were good friends. Emphasis on the past tense, there. Patrick tells us that Aaron was his biggest competition, and so had to go. I hope all these douchey guys just eat each other alive at the end. Metaphorically, of course.
Sami tells the contestants in quite a dramatic fashion that they're going back to individual competition now. At least this means we're inching closer to the end. Liz says that she's excited about going to singles, because Bob and Jillian keep giving her shit about letting other people take care of her all the time, and she has something to prove. I'm surprised that Liz stopped gasping for air long enough to eek out that sentence.
The contestants are working out in the gym when Bob and Jillian enter, noting that Aaron and Jesse are gone. Bob says he's surprised that Brendan voted to oust Jesse and Aaron, since he thought the gameplay was over and that everyone was finally going to release Lisa, who talked openly about wanting to leave. Brendan says he wasn't going to send Elizabeth home. For once Jillian is the calm one, and Bob is totally pissed. He agrees with Lisa's assessment at the weigh-in that it's whack to want to compete against the weakest players. Bob chooses Brendan for beatings, but then hugs him because it's adorable when he tries to jump with a giant crazy-looking rope. Everyone talks about how they have to rely on themselves now that it's down to singles. Patrick lets us know that he's been unemployed for a while, and thus needs some cashola. Bob gives Patrick some beatings, and then takes him outside for a heart to heart. Patrick says that he put himself first in the elimination, but Bob tells him that he's a competitor and can take anyone in the house. He wishes Patrick had some integrity and was willing to take on some strong competition. Patrick tells us that he's sharpened his focus, and has zeroed in on his goal of winning.
After the workout, Bob and Jillian announce that they've secured videos from home for each of the contestants. Boy, do I hate videos from home. And so does Ada, mostly because she doesn't have any. Her shit-ass parents never responded to any of the show's requests. Ada is disappointed, but also knows that they suck. She doesn't want people to see that she's so hurt, but Bob tells her that she has every right to be sad and it's good to express her feelings. She can overcome this, he tells us, and create her own family. Bob gives Ada a big hug as she wipes her tears.
The other contestants discuss Ada's situation, figuring that she doesn't have a video. Liz suggests that they give Ada time alone and focus on their own happy video times. Patrick has two cute little kids and a wife who has dropped a bunch of weight. Frado has a pretty hot wife and a gorgeous teenage daughter who wants to run the last ten miles of a marathon with him. Lisa has a whole mess of kids, and she wants them to be proud of her. Brendan's mother reads a letter she wrote to him that makes it clear that she ignores his assholish tendencies. Jessica's mom is proud of her, and apparently they have gotten over some rough times in their relationship. Liz's mom has also lost weight and is eating healthy meals. I wish she were on the show instead of Liz. Mark's cousin also has lost a whole bunch of weight -- 65 pounds! -- and looks great.
Ada, meanwhile, is sad. She knows that culturally her family is different, but she can't help but want the videos and the affirmations of love and just for her parents to be borderline decent to her every once in a while. Brendan and Lisa talk to Ada, who says that she didn't want to watch the videos with the others because it might suck the joy out of the room. And then a special thing happens. Ada joins the others to watch one more video -- the video they made for her. Awww. They go around and everyone says something about how great Ada is. Happily, the things they say are true, because Ada's pretty awesome. I hate to think what would have happened if Brendan was the one who didn't get a video. It would be like, "Brendan...there were moments when you weren't a total dickwad. I can't think of any right now, but I know there had to be at least a couple." Ada is thankful to be with a group of people who are so caring and supportive, and is really touched by the video. Group hugging abounds.
And then there's more gym time. Jillian reminds us that she really laid into Elizabeth last week, and wants to make sure that she's giving it everything she's got. It's put up or shut up time. Liz was expecting Jillian to beat her to death after the verbal lacerations at the weigh-in, and is not disappointed. Jillian has everyone gather round, and challenges Liz to retry her initial challenge during the tryouts in Boston -- 500 steps. As you may remember, Elizabeth had an asthma attack and had to go to the hospital at that time. Judging by the way her upper lip looks in her interview segment, the step may actually jump up and punch her in this do-over. And you know what's more exciting than watching Elizabeth do 500 step-ups? Anything. She does make it to 500 without having her eyes roll back into her head, which is really compelling if you have low expectations. Everyone gives her a hand, and Elizabeth seems proud of herself. In case you've been keeping track, absolutely NOTHING has happened yet in this episode.
OH! But wait. There's a commercial for season two of The Sing-Off! Shut up, that show is awesome and so is a capella music. I said shut up!
Finally, it's challenge time for the contestants. It involves a pool. This totally brings up some traumatic memories for Ada, whose brother drowned while she was in a kiddie pool with him. If you'll recall, her awful video-eschewing parents blamed her for his death, despite the fact that she was three when it happened. Here's how the challenge works: each player will stand above the water on two platforms -- one for each foot. All they have to do is keep their balance. This is made tricky by the fact that one platform will be pulled from under them, at which point they'll be forced to balance on one foot. The contestants will go one at a time, in rounds. If a player keeps his or her balance in a given round, he or she will choose who gets to go next. The first round starts at five seconds, and each round will increase by five more seconds. Mark thinks that the bigger guys are at a disadvantage. Boo hoo. The winner gets a one pound advantage at the weigh-in.
Frado has lost the highest percentage of weight, and gets to choose who goes first. He goes with Jessica. Her platform disappears, she balances for five seconds, and it reappears. She chooses Brendan to go next, and he can't balance for five seconds. He falls into the pool and is disqualified. Jessica gets to pick again, and goes with Frado. She totally wants to knock out all the dudes, which I think is an excellent strategy. Frado touches the platform with his non-balancing foot, which I guess is not allowed. He's disqualified as well. Jessica then picks Patrick, who barely manages to hold on for five seconds. He chooses Elizabeth to go next. She is hopeless and falls into the water right away. Patrick next chooses Ada, who is terrified. Lucky for her, she has excellent balance and has no problem holding on for five seconds.
The contestants have now reached round two, when they must hold their right leg in the air for ten seconds. Ada chooses Patrick to go. He doesn't hold on for very long at all, and face plants into the water. That's karma on behalf of Jesse. Jessica, Mark,