This is probably the most unlikely final four anyone could have imagined would be standing when the dust settled from the last elimination. It’s official. Hannah, Olivia, Irene, and Jay. This week there are no more eliminations, but there is another weigh in. In lieu of running the famous marathon this year, they stay on the ranch for another week and weigh in one more time to face the yellow line and leave it up to America to decide who will be the three to vie for the big prize.
One of the things I was really big on, and still am, is nutrition. This week’s pop challenge is to cook the best turkey burger possible (but can they top MY turkey burger recipe?). The winner gets $5,000 and a two-week stay at The Biggest Loser Resort for a person of their choice. The judges for this have the most discerning of palates: A bunch of children! Olivia’s green slime burger didn’t seem to win over many kids and neither did Irene’s burger. Jay’s volcano burger and Hannah’s burger as well seemed to be the overall favorites with Jay barely squeaking it out for the win.
Now it’s time for that oh-so-famous “put the weight back on” challenge. I like the way this one was set up. They are carrying a golf bag with all their weights and must go 18 holes and drop off a weight at each hole on a golf course. Patrick House, season 10 winner, is there to talk to them about reflecting on what this weight really means. I remember going through my own challenge and thinking how I almost fell over when I put the weight on and wondered how I carried that for all those years. It seems like the players are going through exactly what I did.
Hannah leads the pack going through the challenge. Jay and Olivia are visibly struggling, after all, that is a ton of weight to carry. Irene is going strong, but is also experiencing some of the pains she used to deal with when heavy. As the weight is shed, it gets easier and easier, and even Jay digs deep and is able to jog after a while, but no one is able to catch up with Hannah. She blazed though the challenge to take home a nice little prize: $15000 worth of gym equipment! Everyone also gets an ARC trainer, which is one of my favorite pieces at the gym.
Seeing everyone work out in the gym now is a much different story than 20 weeks ago. The physical transformations are one thing, but the mental transformations are truly astounding. The looks of determination on the contestants faces bring back so many memories to me. When they first started working out way back when, there was an air of suffering and dread. There was pain and lots of complaining. Now, there is so much focus. I, for one, ended up looking forward to brutalizing myself at workouts near the end and the feeling is mutual for these people as well. They are just flowing through their workouts. Every move is smooth and seamless. They know exactly where they are at this point. No more questioning themselves.
And here we go with the weigh in. There is a lot less pressure with this weigh in because there won’t be an elimination, but it IS the final weigh in on the ranch and I am sure it will stir up a lot of emotions. Irene is first up and loses three. She is beaming on the scale when usually she doesn’t react too much. It’s great to see her open up like that. Jay is up next with a four-pound loss. Will that be enough to get him in the top two? It’s up to the purple sisters to determine that. Olivia is up first for the purple team and needs more than three pounds to guarantee a spot in the top two. She nails a four and is in it to win it! That also means that Jay is below the line with either Irene or Hannah. Let’s see what happens. Hannah steps up there and this is it for the season. She hits a home run with a four! That puts her over a 100-pound loss, makes her the biggest loser for the week, and most importantly, puts her in the top two with her sister! It’s official, the sisters are two finalists!
Now is the time for everyone to go home, finally see everyone, and show off their new selves. My own homecoming was very emotional. I saw people who I hadn’t seen in what seemed like ages, and they were seeing a completely new person. These contestants all were as emotional as I was. It is so great to see them come home to such loving family and friends.
I was actually at Jay’s homecoming to witness this first hand. The amount of love that poured out of the crowd was unreal. Hopefully this will help fuel the contestants going forward to the finale. The home stretch is here. No matter what happens at that finale, they have already won. They won their lives back. They have overcome such adversity and leaped so many difficult obstacles that there is no looking back. Congratulations to these people. I have been there myself and know exactly what they are going through, but I also know how things turn out. They get to experience the flood of emotions when they step on that scale next week at finale.
Check out the live finale next Tuesday. I’ll be out there to see it with my own eyes, as I am doing the stage interviews for Diets In Review. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s amazing transformations!
May 17th, 2011