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On ‘Biggest Loser,’ it’s Black and Blue all over

As “Biggest Loser” returned from a two-week hiatus, Michael won a challenge and the option to divide the competitors into Blue and Black teams any way he chose. Composed of smaller, weaker players, the Black team seemed to be at a real disadvantage.
/ Source: TODAY contributor

After a two-week hiatus for the Olympics, “The Biggest Loser” resumed with some unfinished business: a competition between the Orange team’s Cheryl and the Black team’s Darrell.

Having failed to lose enough weight to stay above the yellow line, the two had to compete to hold up an Olympic-style torch using only their heads. Unfortunately for Darrell, after a very long seven minutes into the challenge the strain of holding still in an uncomfortable position became too much. He dropped his torch, allowing Cheryl to win the challenge and remain on the ranch.

But Darrell certainly didn’t leave with his head hanging low: In six weeks on the “Biggest Loser” campus, he managed to lose a whopping 75 pounds.

SplitsvilleThe players then moved on to new business: a really big temptation. In this challenge, the contestants who opted to play would be attempting to match items in hopes of finding two golden tickets. The winner would choose the new Blue and Black teams — a tremendous advantage. But only two players stepped up to try their luck: the White team’s Michael and the Black team’s Andrea, who had seen her dad, Darrell, go home in the previous challenge.

The rules were simple. If a competitor could match up two foods, their opponent had to eat it; if they couldn’t, they had to eat a 100-calorie cookie. Michael ended up eating the most, consuming an astounding 2,122 calories in junk food. But he also scored the big prize: the option to split the players up any way he chose.

Michael chose to make the most of his advantage, regardless of the feelings of the other players. “The teams were divided strategically, so that I had a strong team,” he explained to home viewers.

And what a team he chose! The new Blue team is a powerhouse of strong men and some fierce women challengers: Koli, Daris, Lance, Miggie and Sunshine. Plus, of course, Michael, who purposely put himself on an unbeatable team. As in past seasons, the Blue team would train with Bob.

The Black team, which would train with Jillian, was mostly women. Michael chose Cheryl, Andrea, Stephanie, Sherry, Ashley and one lone man, Sam, to compete together. Composed of the smaller, weaker players, the Black team seemed to be at a real disadvantage.

Flagging spirits
And that disadvantage became evident during the first group challenge, when the new teams had to pull their respective giant team flags up from the roof of the Sheraton Universal Hotel. Though the Black team worked well together and showed a lot of heart, the sheer upper-body strength of the male-heavy Blue team helped them make quick work of the challenge and win the reward: letters from home.

But the Black team wasn’t completely done yet. Jillian, in a bid to help her underdogs, put them through a final chance workout that seemed to help them even up the game. “We’re not here to get letters — we’re here to lose weight,” said Sam, rallying his team.

At the weigh-in, the Blue team’s Michael posted a 15-pound weight loss, but his fellow teammates weren’t nearly as impressive. The Blues lost a total of 48 pounds — a percentage of 2.7. The Black team, however, managed to show some nice numbers, especially Ashley, who lost a game-changing 10 pounds.

In the end, the Black team lost a total of 41 pounds, a percentage of 2.82 percent — just enough to squeak past the Blue team and win.

When the Blue team was called upon to eliminate one of its players for losing the week’s weigh-in, a disbelieving Michael complained: “We’re not supposed to be here.” The Blue players were almost evenly split between eliminating Lance, who posted the lowest percentage of weight loss for the week, or Miggy, who also failed to achieve a big number.

In the end, Koli cast the tie-breaking vote to send Miggy home. “It’s only because Lance is good in challenges,” he explained.

Sunshine’s father, O’Neal, whom Michael had granted immunity after the temptation challenge, will be taking Miggy’s place on the Blue team next week, balancing the two teams at six players each.