We begin “The Biggest Loser” episode with a flashback to last week’s elimination, when Adam was voted out. Sami congratulates the remaining contestants, and informs them that they’re halfway through the season. Already! And by “already” I mean, “Oh God there are seven weeks still left?” This next week is going to be an all-out war, Sami says, and then calls in some real live Marines! They are Sergeant Gonzales and Sergeant Corona. They have no weapons, except for those guns on their arms. Frado is a former Marine, and so is excited about this development. One of the Marines shout-talks at the contestants, in that military way. He says that they’ll be living like U.S. Marines for the next week. They’ll be staying at Camp Pendleton — the largest training facility on the west coast. And they’ll be walking, talking, and acting like U.S. Marines. Most importantly, they’ll train, work and sweat like U.S. Marines. And Marines are no slouches. The other sergeant says, “You think Bob and Jillian are tough? You ain’t seen nothing.” Cut to some very concerned looks from our contestants.
Sergeants Corona and Gonzales rush the contestants out, get them outfitted in Marine helmets and vests, and put them in a terrifying giant vehicle. Several hours later, they arrive at Camp Pendleton. The contestants are introduced to their combat instructors, which include Gonzales and Corona. They have three minutes to get into their new gear. Staff Sergeant Giaretta tells us that the contestants are in for some hard work, just like regular Marines. While the Marines are training to go into combat zones, the Biggest Losers are training to save their own lives. Frado tells us that he’s a veteran of the Gulf War. He’s told his wife in the past that if he went back to boot camp he’d never get to this weight again, and thinks this is all meant to be. Aaron’s brother is a military vet. He always wanted to follow in his brother’s footsteps but couldn’t because of his weight, so this is a bit of a dream come true for him. Mark is also excited to be exposed to military discipline, which he needs in his life. We’ll see if he changes his tune after a few hours.
Staff Sergeant Giaretta announces that two CH-46s will be coming in to take them to their next training evolution. CH-46s are helicopters, and Jessica is a wee bit scared. Most of the others seem excited, though. It looks like a pretty cool ride, even though it’s delivering them to what I assume will be some serious torture. The contestants emerge from the helicopters to meet Sami. She tells them that they’re standing in the middle of the largest Marine Corps amphibious training facility on the west coast. It’s special to her, too, because it’s where her dad was stationed. Roman Brady was a Marine? And an ISA agent! Some people lead really full lives. Sami suggests that the contestants follow the lead and orders of their superiors, and also follow a dirt road that leads to the barracks.
The contestants have to put on their heavy packs and march along with their sergeants. Anna immediately falls behind, claiming she can’t breathe. Her attending sergeant gives her some shit for it. When she yells, “Oh my God,” he promptly tells her that God isn’t going to help her now, and to get moving. Jessica is also falling behind, but her sergeants tell her that crying isn’t going to help her. Elizabeth also has trouble breathing. Does this woman actually have an inhaler? If so, why doesn’t she ever seem to use it? Combat instructor Sergeant Myers tells us that they’re trying to get through the contestants’ heads that you start together and finish together. You never leave anyone behind, and if someone isn’t keeping up everyone has to go back. This message of teamwork is great until you consider that they’re going to have to boot someone out of there in a few days. When the contestants finally make it to the barracks, one of the sergeants yells at them to think about what they’ve just accomplished, and to believe that they can do anything they put their heart to. Don’t quit and don’t give up are his ultimate messages. I think the basic Marine strategy is to just keep yelling at you until you un-quit, actually.
And before you can say, “98% of precincts reporting” we’re at the elimination. Patrick votes for Anna. Ada votes for Anna. Anna votes for Elizabeth. Brendan votes for Anna, and the deed is done. Poor Anna starts to cry and just looks really despondent. She says that she’s most proud of the hard work she did to get back on the ranch. The next time we see her, she’ll win the at-home, $100,000 prize. We catch up with Anna at home, where she tells us that running a mile is nothing to her now. Her son Ulysses tells us that she looks great, and he hopes she keeps going. Anna cooks with Jennie-O turkey! And she makes her meals in advance. She does have to work a full-time job, and has figured out a way to incorporate exercise into her workday. She and a few colleagues run up and down the stairs to prove to us that a desk job isn’t an excuse. Anna has lost 80 pounds, and now weighs 250 pounds total. Her goal is to weigh 180 pounds by the finale. She continues to do the stairs daily with her coworkers.
Next week: How do you recover from the worst weigh-in in Biggest Loser history? Screaming and tears. And there’s a live reveal of some sort!
Photo credit: NBC