Jan. 3, 2012 at 11:24 PM ET
After a brief, three week break since last season, "The Biggest Loser" returned Tuesday night with a new batch of weight-loss hopefuls and a whole new theme. For season 13, life on the ranch is all about no excuses.
That means the couples who signed on for the show can't blame anything or anyone else for their current conditions, and it means they have to take personal responsibility for the numbers on the scale each week. And before players even stepped foot on the ranch, they learned that it also meant earning their own way there.
The pairs lined up before the gates as host Alison Sweeney told them they would have to complete a challenge to land a spot in the game, and the couple that came in last place would go home immediately.
Talk about a tough start to the season -- at least it was for brother and sister team Adrian and Daphne. The duo did their best in a foot race, a puzzle race and even an endurance round, but they just couldn't keep up with the competition.
As promised, they went home, but they still had hope. Being the first players out of the game meant the siblings would also have a chance to get back in it in one month. They just have to drop 50 pounds as a team on their own -- with no trainers and of course, no excuses.
The nine remaining couples moved on and met the men who would soon help them change their lives: veteran "Loser" trainer Bob Harper and returning trainer Dolvett Quince (aka, my unwitting reality TV boyfriend).
During the very first workout session, the players considered which trainer they hoped to land. Purple team member Megan initially had her eye on one in particular.
"Dolvett -- he's such a fox and a half," the 21-year-old said. It was a sentiment shared by the orange team's senior member, Nancy.
(Ahem. Back away from the fox, ladies!)
But after a grueling workout session, some contestants had no favorites at all.
For instance, Roy, who just so happens to be a snowy-bearded dead ringer for Santa, found himself pushed to the point of passing out -- a move that might just put Bob and Dolvett on his naughty list. And he wasn't alone.
"I really don't like either one of them," Ben of Team Brown joked. "They're both terrible."
But not quite as terrible as almost everyone thought Alison was when she stepped into the gym to reveal the latest twist.
"Let's face it, sometimes we lean a little too much on the ones we love," she said. "This is a season of no excuses. It's also a season of no partners."
With that bombshell delivered, the teams where split. One member from each went to Bob's black team and the other to Dolvett's red team.
The game was on.
At least it was for the trainers. It seems Dolvett had something to prove after Bob's team beat his so often last season. So when it came time to step up to the scale, the two trainers were more competitive than the players.
The first round went to Dolvett, whose team easily bested Bob's.
Back at the house, the newly formed black team debated who should go when homesick dad Ben suddenly volunteered.
Everyone balked at his request, as well they should. After all, Ben dropped 15 pounds in week one, and he's a big enough guy to continue to pull big numbers in the future. In other words, the black team, already the underdogs, didn't need to lose their best chance to beat Dolvett's Reds next week. So the decision going into the vote seemed obvious: anyone but Ben.
Except that's not how it went down. Instead, they honored Ben's wishes and sent him back home to his big brood, a call that's bound to upset Bob when he hears about it next week.
Did the black team make the right decision by sending Ben home? And what did you think about Adrian and Daphne's early -- and possibly temporary -- ouster? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.