'The Biggest Loser' recap: Desert Hearts

biggest-loser-season-12-trainers-nbc.jpgYou guys, it's the penultimate episode! Rejoice! We begin by flashing back to the finalists when they weighed in on week one. They were all very, very obese, and also Vinny needed a hug. It was the worst of times, and the worst of times. We get time-elapsed footage of the contestants shrinking over these many weeks, which is really creepy. It actually looks like they're melting. John has gone from 445 pounds to 296, for a loss of 149 pounds. Vinny has gone from 426 pounds to 314 pounds, for a loss of 112. He has gotten a wicked belly dimple in the process. Becky has gone from 238 pounds to 172, for a loss of 66 pounds. Her hair has also gotten increasingly vertical. And finally, Antone has gone from 447 pounds to 323, for a loss of 124 pounds. Ladies and gentlemen, these are your final four.

Suddenly we are in Benton, Arkansas, which is home to Becky. She rides in her limo looking pretty, and says that she's coming home a brand new person. In Knoxville, Antone is heading to Newland Stadium at the University of Tennessee, where he played many a game of pigskin-toss. He hopes that everyone loves what they see, and appreciates his hard work. In Mesa, Arizona, John has sweaty palms. He says he's changed inside and out, and now has strength, energy and desire. He's hoping that this will bring him closer to his friends and family. It will if he stops acting like such a weirdo, maybe. Next, we see Vinny in Nashville. He says he doesn't know if Webster ever came up with a word to express how proud he is of himself. Now that right there is a country songwriter talking. I imagine the title of that song would be something like, "Ole' Mister Webster (Got No Words for You)." Vinny feels like a champion already.

Then we're back in Benton, where Becky's friends and family wait for her at her school and chant her name. She enters to voluminous applause and hugs from her family. Her daughter, Samantha, tells us that Becky looks hot. It's true! Antone enters his hometown stadium, and actually has to run up the stairs to get to his peeps. His daughter Cailyn cries tears of joy, and says that she gets to keep him longer. Oh my god, that made me tear up for I think the first time this season. Well done, Cailyn. Antone's son Dakota is similarly adorable and touching. John also greets his people in some sort of a school. In a strange turn of events, he actually looks really suave in normal clothes. John picks up his kid and kisses his wife, who is very proud of him. She's even made T-shirts! Vinny, meanwhile, wants to take his welcome home up a notch. His band, Trailer Choir, is going to play! We see a picture of Vinny back in his fat overall days, which he hopefully will never revisit. Vinny's bandmates have written a song for his return, called "Love Me First." They sing it before he gets there, which seems to be an odd choice. But then Vinny enters onto the stage, and there's lots of applause, and his girlfriend Lori is in the audience crying. She says that Vinny is a better version of himself. He's her best friend, and makes her happier than anyone's ever made her, and she can't imagine her life without him. Tears again! They really are the sweetest couple.

Then we go back to Becky speechifying to her people. She talks about finishing what you start. John's speech begins by focusing on all of his manifold issues. How much time do they have? Antone talks about how at the ranch they focus on the mental and emotional component as well as the physical, and also work pretty much all the time, when they're not eating Jennie-O Turkey. Phillip Fulmer, who is billed as "Legendary Tennessee Football Coach," says that Antone is primed to experience the greatest thing in his life -- his kids growing up. Then Vinny talks from the stage and talks up the value of hard work and exercise. Vinny's mom, Tracy, cries in the audience. And then everyone else cries too. Vinny promises that he'll play some shows here and there...after he's done winning The Biggest Loser.


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