It's week five at the Biggest Loser ranch, and Danni is all alone. She's the only remaining member of trainer Jillian Michaels' decimated White Team, and Danni's bummed -- she misses teammate Pam and her support -- and she's worried -- her only support now is the tough Michaels, and Danni is concerned that she won't be able to keep up with Jillian's challenging workouts.
As for the rest of the contenders, when they return from their first workout of the week, they head to the kitchen, ravenous, and begin discussing what healthy vittles they're going to sink their teeth into. Problem: the kitchen has been cleaned out, with nothing left but condiments, coffee, and a note from host Alison Sweeney, telling everyone to meet her at the local supermarket.
And we have the week's first challenge: food shopping. After acknowledging that most people have to food shop within constraints -- time and money -- Ali tells the teams they will have 15 minutes and $70 per person to purchase their sustenance for the whole week.
That sparks comments about how challenging it is to buy healthy food on that budget -- as many contestants point out, junk food is usually cheaper than good fresh fruits and veggies -- and how some of the contestants' habits include living on fast food rather than shopping and cooking, all sentiments most people wishing to live a healthier lifestyle probably understand first hand.
But the teams pull together (save Danni, who's pulling a Jason Derulo … y'know, ridin' solo) and come in right at their budgets and returning to the ranch with carts full of tasty and healthy food.
Mission accomplished on that front, but Bob's still worried about his Blue Team. They have yet to lose a weigh-in, but to Bob, that only means they're setting themselves up to fall, and he feels it's necessary to point that out to them. They need to step it up a notch or 10, Bob says, or they're going to find themselves regretting it come weigh-in time.
And you're thinking this is foreshadowing a big meltdown by the Blue Team, right?
Updates, we got updates
Changing focus from those still at the ranch to those who left weeks ago, viewers are updated on the progress of the Season 14 contestants who left the show the first week.
There's Nikki, the White Team member who quit before the first weigh-in, setting in motion the White Team's dwindling numbers. Nikki's back home in California, and, as she promised she would when she left the show, she's motivated herself to pursue a healthier weight, dropping 50 pounds from her 280 pound starting weight.
And then there's TC, who was the first contestant eliminated in Season 14. TC began the competition a 376 pounds, lost 15 his first week on the ranch, and has lost an additional 65 at home. The newly confident Oregon man even admitted he looked fantastic in his "after" makeover photos.
The update segment also includes a quicker-than-usual check-in with the season's teen contestants, who share their immediate weight-loss motivations. For Lindsay, it's a chance to make the cheerleading squad at school. For Sunny, it's losing enough weight to have her choice of beautiful gowns to wear to her prom.
But 13-year-old Biingo is still having trouble finding his motivation to play baseball, the sport he loves, and Bob seems to be missing the reason why. Bob, usually so perceptive to his trainees' emotions, tells Biingo to gather his friends and just go play. But in last week's home visits with the kids, Biingo's parents revealed their tough economic situation, which had forced them to lose their home and move in with relatives. Biingo was also forced to change schools, leaving his friends behind, and had trouble finding friendly new faces at his new school.
Bob, see the connection? Maybe that's why Biingo's not so anxious to pick up his ball and bat.
Throwing "coins" in a fountain
This week's backstory reveal focuses on David, a law enforcement officer with seven children. Seven! And it's his fear of not being around to take care of them, especially his eldest daughter, who has debilitating Rett's syndrome.
In his meeting with Bob and Dr. H, David assures them he understands the situation; he's afraid he won't be around to take care of his kids, and the very thing making that likely to come to fruition is his weight. But unhealthy eating is the way he tries to "stuff down" his demons, Bob tells him, and advises David that he needs to be willing to show his emotions and ask for help, so he can deal with his physical and emotional frustrations once and for all.
Unfortunately, David's knee injury renders him once again unable to compete with his team in the weekly challenge, which offers more fantastic prizes.
Three fountains are set up in a lake. Each team -- meaning Danni by herself -- have to swim back and forth from the shore to the fountain, pick up "coins" (which are actually five-pound metal discs) and swim back with the discs, depositing 40 of them (10 for Danni) into the fountain.
The first team to do so gets 10 one-year memberships to Planet Fitness to share with family and friends, as well as a choice of a two-pound advantage at the weigh-in, or a phone call home.
The Red Team and Danni were neck-and-neck most of the race, but then … eh, we'll just spill: Danni won, by just a split second, but she still won, versus teams of four and five people. Impressive. And because she's on a team of one, Danni chose that weigh-in advantage as her extra prize.
Last chance workouts again found the Blue Team struggling, and Bob had yet another run in with Gina, the complaining lawyer whose whining so frustrated her teammates that one of them, Jeff, very publicly rolled his eyes at her at the fountain challenge.
Bob also yet again warned his contestants that their lackluster commitment to working out during the week was going to spell trouble at the weigh-in.
And he was wrong. Sorry Bob.
In fact, the whiny Blue Team members turned in very impressive numbers for week five, losing 55 pounds amongst the five contestants, for 3.9 percent of their weight. Jeff and Michael each lost 13, followed by Alex and David with 10 each and Gina, who feared she had actually gained weight, dropping nine pounds.
Danni stole the show from everyone, following her challenge win with a weigh-in win. She lost nine pounds, or 4.95 percent of her weight, and brought her five-week total to 45 pounds.
That left the Red Team, then, in last place, with a 31-pound, 2.97 percent collective loss. And when it came time to vote one member home, Francelina, Jackson, and Joe sent Lisa packing, because they felt she was the one most ready to leave the ranch and maintain her motivation.
Were they right? The at-home update proved they were, as the special education teacher, who began the show at 246 pounds, now weighs 170. She's happier, healthier, more confident, and, most important to her, more active with her sports-loving children.
Another happy ending, but a preview of next week's episode suggests those troubles between Bob and Gina and her teammates -- the word "meltdown" was bandied about -- get a whole lot worse.
Watch the full episode:
"The Biggest Loser" airs Tuesdays at 8 PM on NBC.
- Sports & Recreation
- Jillian Michaels