Jan. 6, 2013 at 11:00 PM ET
It's back! After a longer than usual break between seasons, NBC's long-running weight-loss competition, "The Biggest Loser," returned to prime-time Sunday night. And it's clear, while some things have stayed the same on the show, others couldn't be more different.
One change was, of course, the highly anticipated return of pull-no-punches trainer Jillian Michaels, who made her renewed presence known right away -- more on that later.
But the biggest change by far was the addition of kids to "The Biggest Loser" mix. Host Alison Sweeney introduced them as "the three people who will change everything" -- Biingo (13), Lindsay (13), and Sunny (16). They joined the show as participants and ambassadors, but don't go calling them contestants.
In an effort to address the growing problem of childhood obesity, the teens will occasionally participate in challenges and visit the ranch, but they won't have to weigh in or face elimination like others on the show. Instead, their purpose is to learn to lead a healthier lifestyle and to inspire others back home.
Even though the kids aren't officially competing in the same sense as the older folks, they are part of the teams. Biingo is on Team Blue, led by trainer Bob Harper. Lindsay is on Team Red, with Dolvett Quince. And Sunny earned a spot on Jillian's white team.
Nah. There's no need to worry that Sunny or the others will be exposed to the typical tough talk in the gym that the over-18 crowd usually hears. Jillian's approach with the young ones -- as well as the approach used by all the trainers -- is much more understanding and sympathetic.
"I feel strongly that we're going to make a really positive, powerful impact," Jillian said.
As for the adults, while the end result is still aimed at a making positive impact, the path there won't be nearly as gentle.
Day one in the gym saw competitors repeatedly falling from treadmills, collapsing under their own efforts and vomiting at an alarming rate. Jackson, a member of Dolvett's team, blacked out completely and required oxygen. And TC, a man who tried out for the show repeatedly before making the cut this time, stumbled so many times Jillian kicked him right out of the gym -- along with Nate and Nikki, two of her other struggling charges.
"I have a job to do," she told TC. "You're impeding my progress!"
But progress was eventually made. After the first challenge of the game, which saw the charismatic kids leading the way for their adult teammates before the young players headed back home, everyone seemed to have a renewed energy.
Well, everyone but Nikki.
Nate and TC rallied when they returned to the gym, while Nikki seemed more depressed and far less motivated. She admitted she wasn't prepared for the emotional challenge of the game.
"The choice is yours," an impatient Jillian said. "What do you want to do? Don't say, 'I don't know.' It's really easy: There's the door, or you do the workout."
That's when Nikki made a surprising choice.
"I'm going to take the door," she cried.
With that, before the very first weigh-in, the competition was down one player -- and soon to be down two. When the weigh-in finally rolled around, it was the remaining four members of Jillian's team who were at risk, as they had the lowest overall percentage of weight lost.
Unlike most premiere-night exits, there was no vote to be had, no yellow line in play. The unforgiving red line, which spells a sudden end for the individual player with the lowest percentage on the losing team, claimed its first victim -- TC.
It was a tough and sudden end for a player who tried so hard to get a spot on the ranch.
See what happens next for the remaining "Losers" when then next episode airs Monday at 8 p.m. on NBC.
What a night! What did you think of the first exits from the show this season? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.
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