The contestants head to the ranch, but instead of having the wonderful welcome they deserve, everyone is pretty somber because of freaking dead Tracey. Just kidding about the death. Tracey is alive, and so is Mo, so I guess that still means a 16-week season. Drat. As a precaution, they'll both stay at the hospital for observation, but will be back eventually. Meanwhile, it's time to get down to business. The past few seasons have featured couples who knew each other in one way or another. This time, they're all strangers and will have to pick their partners now. They'll have an hour to get to know each other to help form their decisions.
Allen, the firefighter, talks about how he looked back and saw Tracey on the ground after their challenge. He couldn't go and help her because he wasn't doing so well, which is pretty bad news for someone whose job it is to help people. Rudy was a lineman on his college football team, and was encouraged to get bigger. After college, he kept up with the eating and stopped working out, which led him to his current situation. He has a wife and two daughters who are dependent on him, and if he kicks the bucket they'll be in bad shape. Rebecca is a 25-year-old nanny, and has been called fat all her life. She weighed 235 pounds at 14, and is sick of being called "the girl with the pretty face." Shay grew up in a volatile home, and was homeless with her heroin-addicted mom from age four to six. After she loses all the weight, Shay should totally try out for America's Next Top Model. Tyra loves this shit. Shay was in foster care from age six until she was 18. Her motto has always been not to give up, but she's never really tried to work on herself. Dr. Phillian is certainly going to open up a can of urgent emotional care and well-being on Shay's ass. Seriously, she kind of puts all the "I'm exceptionally good-looking but for all the fat -- boo hoo!" stories to shame.
Julio gained 100 pounds a year after he met his wife. They both promised that when they turned 40 they'd change their lives, and he's determined to keep that promise. Abby is the woman whose husband and two young children -- ages 5 1/2 and 2 1/2 weeks -- were killed in a car accident two years ago. Everyone, including me, starts crying. It was by the grace of God that Abby wasn't in the van that day, and so she has to believe that she's here for something bigger. She says that this is her second chance to make a difference. People ask her what she wants to do, and right now she doesn't know. But today she walked a mile, and that's something. Everyone is fucking brutalized at this point. But Abby seems kind of awesome and I hope she sticks around for a while, as long as she doesn't make me cry every week.