‘The Biggest Loser’ or ‘The Biggest Crybabies’? Two players quit


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‘The Biggest Loser’ holds itself out to be a reality weight loss show. But as fans of the show -- now in its 13th season -- know, ‘Loser’ is as much about surviving the mental and emotional curveballs that the producers hurl at the contestants each week as it is surviving the weekly weigh-ins.

But the final five players either failed to watch the show before joining the cast or failed to read the multi-page contract they signed before walking on camera that apparently told them, in black and white, that they would be subjected to such twists and turns, all in the name of entertainment.


Thus we arrived at walkout week, the much-rumored showdown when the final five contestants threatened to quit en masse after learning that the past-eliminated contestants would compete for a spot at the finale.

At first, the producers pulled in trainers Bob and Dolvett to try to scuttle the protest. The clan stood firm, with seeming ringleaders Buddy and Mark insisting it wasn’t personal, but they’d just had enough of the machinations. It was just too late in the game to switch things up, they said.

Even though Bob and Dolvett have plenty of muscle between them, it was clear the producers needed to bring in the big guns to put an end to this group protest. Enter host Alison Sweeney, a.k.a. the Grim Reaper. Each week, the blond specter of game-show death has become the symbol of the most grueling elements of the competition, including the challenges, weigh-ins and eliminations.

Apparently, the only thing scarier than Ali is Ali Lawyering Up.

Cue the priceless look on Jeremy’s face when he was shown the parts of the contract he signed that explained the whole ‘eliminated players will return for a shot at a spot in the finale’ clause. Oh. Never mind.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the footage of Mark and Buddy being told that they were on their own. Mark was so certain that he held the upper hand that he said he had nothing but well wishes for the five eliminated competitors who would be brought in to replace them all.

Is it just me, or did he seem to stand on the curb an extra second too long, seemingly waiting for the producers to retreat and give in to his demands? Good riddance. The ability for at-home players to earn a shot back on the show has become one of the show’s hallmarks, proving that it is never, ever, ever too late. Without such a game changer, fans would never have enjoyed one of the most glorious moments in show history: Eliminated player Ali Vincent earning her way back onto the ranch in Season 5 and into the history books as the game’s first female winner.

Unfortunately for viewers, it leads to a bunch of questions we’ll probably never get answered. Including: Do you think Conda, Jeremy and Kim pulled a fast one on those guys? I wouldn’t put it past that crafty crew to encourage Mark and Buddy to dig in their heels and quit -- because it would mean leaving Conda, Jeremy and Kim as the final three standing.

Did you buy Mark and Zumba Buddy’s claim that they quitting for moral reasons? Or does that seem to ring false given that this is precisely what they signed up for -- literally. And what does this say about Mark? He threatened, but backtracked when they eliminated his son. But this -- THIS! -- was the last straw?

Frankly, it’s disappointing to have the season end on this note. Mark and Buddy have been great competitors. Fans would have enjoyed seeing Mark hit his personal goal weight while at the ranch. (Has that ever happened before?) Those guys can try to portray it any way they like, but in a season supposedly dedicated to no excuses, they are quitters.

Way to cut off your nose to spite your face. Although they were so close to the end, Mark and Buddy (and Joe) are no longer eligible for the shot at finale prizes including a $250,000 payday because they quit the game.

What did you think about this week’s episode? Were the finalists right? Are the twists and turns so late in the game unfair? And what do you think about Conda -- sigh -- making it to the finale. Although we keep hearing about how much Conda has ‘evolved’ and changed for the better, it was hard to ignore how she threw a tantrum (and threw Kim under the bus) when her brother Jeremy failed to secure a spot in the finale.

I will give Conda this much: It does seem unfair that the lovable Jeremy, who has been such a fierce competitor, might not make it to the finale. Maybe she should sacrifice her spot for him, given how much he sacrificed for his sister this season!


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-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch