Last week, the shit officially hit the fan (and the fans). The final five contestants got wind that the show was going to bring back former contestants for one more shot at the Finals, and they decided to, for lack of a better term, go on strike. Despite the fact that The Biggest Loser has pulled a fast one exactly like this seeral times in the past, and it was spelled out in their contracts that this was a possibility, when the dastardly event occurred, every one of them decided that it was just too big a slight for them to take.
As a result, production of the show was shut down for a week. Two contestants, Buddy and Mark, ended up not returning when the smoke had cleared, leaving only Conda, Jeremy and Kim remaining in the competition. And then, in one of the most heartbreaking weigh-ins ever, Jeremy lost ten pounds but was still eliminated. This left Conda and Kim, two of my least favorite constesants in the show’s long history, as two-thirds of the Final Three.
That’s right: the dramatic twist ended up happening anyway, as all of the eliminated players (except Buddy, Mark and Joe, the three players who quit) walked through the doors. I’m of two minds about this twist: First off, I’m sad that this happened so late in the game, because I did kind of feel the outrage the contestants had last week, a twist that ended up driving Buddy, the most deserving constestant of the season, away from the show for good. On the other hand, I am overjoyed, because it means that SOMEONE besides freaking Kim and Conda will have a shot at winning the title. Call me selfish, but that’s about the only happenstance that can save this whole stupid season.
Just like that, they are all assembled in the gym: Emily, who was paired with Kim initially and then split from her two seconds later; Mark’s son Chism; Buddy’s brother Ben, the first to go, as well as Mike, the first guy on Conda’s shit list; mother-daughter teams Gail and Lauren, Megan and Kimmy and Nancy and Cassandra; married couple Roy and Christine; brother-sister team Daphne and Adrian, who caused such an uproar in the house one month in; and, of course, Conda’s brother Jeremy, who was just eliminated only a few minutes earlier.
So it came down to this: the eight contestants with the highest percentage of weight since the season started would move on to the “next round”, and the rest would be eliminated: Here’s how the weigh-in went:
Jeremy (Week 15) - lost 150 pounds (-38.56%), now stands at 239.
Cassandra (Week 10) - lost 81 pounds (-33.89%), now stands at 158.
Emily (Week 11) - lost 89 pounds (-33.71%), now stands at 175.
Mike (Week 2) - lost 114 pounds (-31.84%), now stands at 244.
Christine (Week 14) - lost 74 pounds (-30.83%), now stands at 166.
Lauren (Week 3) - lost 74 pounds (-30.08%), now stands at 172.
Kimmy (Week 12) - lost 65 pounds (-29.68%), now stands at 154.
Megan (Week 13) - lost 70 pounds (-27.03%), now stands at 189.
Below the Red Line:
Chism (Week 9) - lost 96 pounds (-26.59%), now stands at 265.
Roy (Week 7) - lost 79 pounds (-25.82%), now stands at 232.
Ben (Week 1) - lost 99 pounds (-25.00%), now stands at 297.
Daphne (Week 8) - lost 67 pounds (-24.72%), now stands at 204.
Gail (Week 4) - lost 73 pounds (-22.67%), now stands at 249.
Adrian (Week 6) - lost 79 pounds (-21.35%), now stands at 291.
Nancy (Week 5) - lost 41 pounds (-18.89%), now stands at 176.
I expect the highest numbers to be put up by the people who were on the Ranch the longest… but frankly, the numbers put up by Mike and Lauren shocked me. I mean, they were on the Ranch for two and four weeks only, respectively, and yet, here they are in contention. That’s just terrific. I kind of found myself pulling for Mike, solely because him being in the Finals would piss off Kim and Conda the most (except perhaps Adrian).
The next day, the remaining eight potential finalists geared up for Round Two, which took place right outside the gates to the Ranch, the same place where they had their first challenge on Week One. Sadly, Christine was eliminated before the challenge even began because she still had some nagging medical issues. Round Two, as it turns out, was a simple 100-yard dash, with the top five of seven moving on. Jeremy beat out Kimmy for fifth place by the skin of his teeth, and Emily brought up the rear and was also eliminated.
Round Three required the remaining five to assemble a puzzle much like the one they did on Week One, only slightly more complicated this time. They had to stack puzzle blocks with food items listed on their surfaces in such a way that they matched the number of calories listed on an electronic scoreboard right next to it. Mike finished first, followed by Jeremy and Lauren, thus eliminating Megan and Cassandra.
Round Four, the round to determine the third finalist, was your basic Survivor stand-on-a-post-the-longest challenge. In Week One, the teams of two had to do it together, but Mike, Jeremy and Lauren had to do it solo this time. Jeremy displayed a little bit of the Conda-ness in his genes by trying to psych Mike and Lauren out by prattling on nonstop. It doesn’t work, however, and when the night air starts to get chilly, he eventually shuts up.
After two hours, the contestants had to stand on one foot only, and it was only a matter of time after that. Lauren gets a spell of dizziness and falls off at the 2:35 mark, and then begins the battle of wills between Jeremy and Mike, a battle that would end forty minutes later when Mike puts his other foot back on the post. Jeremy wins.
I’m really glad. Not only because Jeremy deserves to be in the finals more than anyone else, but because he’s a good kid that hasn’t acted like a twerp or a tool since the season started.
So that’s it. All that’s left now is to see who wins. As I said last week, Kim currently has the clubhouse lead at 41.67% percent, but that’s a little bit misleading. I’ve been talking about the contestants’ BMI (Body Mass Index) all season, so perhaps I’d better expound a little further on what that means.
I’m not sure who determined these numbers, but here are the six classifications of BMI:
Underweight – less than 18.5 BMI
Normal – 18.5-24.9 BMI
Overweight – 25.0-29.9 BMI
Obese Class I – 30.0-34.9 BMI
Obese Class II – 35.0-39.9 BMI
Obese Class III – greater than 40.0 BMI
When Kim started the season, her BMI was 38.3. It is now an amazing 22.4, which is well within the boundaries for “normal”. Jeremy, on the other hand, came in at a staggering 59.1 BMI. Four months later and 150 pounds lighter, he is still classified as Obese Class II, with a BMI of 36.3. (Conda went from a 48.9 to a 32.4.)
What do all these numbers mean? Well, it’s simple: Kim simply does not have any more weight to lose. I’m sure, given her will to win, she could possibly drop a few more pounds, but Jeremy still has so much more weight to lose, it is almost impossible to picture Jeremy not winning.
Here’s the math: if Kim loses no weight between this episode and the finale, Jeremy needs to only lose an additional 13 pounds in order to claim victory. If Kim pushes her weight down another five pounds to 142, Jeremy would have to drop twenty to counter. And if Kim can get down to 137, that would force Jeremy to have to lose 28 pounds in the final two months at home in order to win. Which would be tough, to be sure, but we’ve watched Jeremy’s fighting spirit and will to win increase exponentially throughout the season, and whatever it takes, I think he’ll pull it off. (And as for Conda, she’d have to drop 35 pounds to counter Kim’s ten, and that’s just not possible.)
Next week: this interminable season finally reaches its terminus. Nearly all of the contestants will step in front of a live audience and weigh in one final time. One will cop the at-home prize, and either Kim (No! Jeremy!), Conda (No! Jeremy), or Jeremy (Yeah!) will become the Biggest Loser.