April 17, 2012 at 9:02 PM ET
"Are you kidding me?!"
That's how veteran "Biggest Loser" trainer Bob Harper responded when he learned that the remaining contestants in the game were ready to quit rather than endure a simple twist that previous players had faced time and time again. It's likely how many viewers responded too.
The drama all went down in the first 15 minutes of Tuesday night's "Biggest Loser." Just as reports revealed earlier in the season, mutiny was afoot on the ranch after the contestants got wind of an upcoming twist that would allow eliminated players to compete for a chance to get back into the game.
You know, the same way Ramon rejoined the competition just one week before last season's finale; or the way Jay returned to the game in season 11; or the way Ed earned his way back in season six; or the way eventual season-five winner Ali came back -- or the way several other contestants came back during several other seasons.
Needless to say, it's more the norm than the exception. But that was news to Mark, Buddy, Conda, Jeremy and Kim, who all ditched their show shirts, microphones and of course, their end of the reality-TV bargain by threatening to walk out over the perceived injustice.
"You're quitting the show because you think it's unfair?" executive producer Todd Lubin asked.
"Because I know it's unfair," Jeremy said.
"Because it is unfair," Mark agreed.
From there, things got worse. Bob and fellow trainer Dolvett Quince met with the disgruntled gang they've worked out with for weeks and got the cold shoulder.
"It doesn't involve you," Kim told them.
But it certainly involved the show's lawyer Jeff Friedman, who, along with host Alison Sweeney, joined the not-so-final five for a little contract talk.
Jeremy explained to the pair that in his heart, he knew this twist was wrong. There was just one problem. In the contract he signed before the show, it was right. Not only did the contract state that something like this final challenge might possibly happen. It stated clearly that it would definitely happen.
"All contestants, including all eliminated contestants, will be invited to participate in the final challenge for the series, and the one contestant who wins it will be automatically eligible to win the grand prize," the lawyer read.
So, that put an end to all the "unfair" bellyaching -- or at least it should have.
Instead, two members were still so sore about it all that they decided they'd rather call it quits and go home than endure any more from the reality show that had helped them drop weight, provided them with top trainers, took them on a vacation to Hawaii and even brought their families along for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the White House.
"I'm done with the twists and the turns and all that," Mark explained. "I've got to stand for what I think is right. I know this isn't going to be popular, but it's my decision."
One that he shared with Buddy.
"I'm following my heart right now and I'm doing what I feel is the right thing to do," said Buddy. "There's a part of me that's upset because I didn't ever see it ending this way. ... I just feel real strong that I have to make a stand for this thing that I feel shouldn't be. I don't feel like a quitter, though I'm quitting the show."
With that, they left.
But the show goes on for the three who stayed behind. Well, it goes on for the two of them that are headed to the finals.
Despite Mark and Buddy's exits, there was still a weigh-in, and it didn't go well for Jeremy. He fell below the dreaded red line. Unlike the earlier twist talk, at least he didn't call his weak weigh-in unfair.
His sister, on the other hand ...
"I feel like that's unfair!" Conda cried. "I feel like it should be Jeremy there (in the finals), not me. It should be Jeremy there, not Kim!"
But life, like reality TV, isn't always fair.
As for those returning past players who caused such a commotion, expect to see them battle it out for a shot in the finals next week.
What did you think of all the "unfair" action? Do think Mark and Buddy really had a good reason to walk off the show? Share your thoughts about the episode on our Facebook page.