Each week, Biggest Loser champ Ali Vincent brings you her unique perspective on the show — only on okmagazine.com! We took a brief hiatus last week, but don’t worry! Ali is covering Week 4 and Week 5 in this blog!
Do you think you would be on the Biggest Loser campus if you had it all figured out? How would you play the game… of life?
Week 4, Part 1: A Test of Wills
“The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result.” I think maybe they should put a sign that reads that on the door of the red team’s room so they can see it every day.
Immunity is priceless on the Biggest Loser campus because it is an automatic guarantee to stay on campus one additional week. Often, when contestants receive immunity, they will try to slow down the weight loss process so that the next week, when they don’t have immunity anymore and have to weigh in, their weight loss will be a larger number and hopefully keep them above the yellow line.
It is virtually impossible to be on campus, working out the number of hours contestants are given to work out, and not lose an extraordinary amount of weight. Yes, there are weeks when maybe your body resists and holds on a few days longer. But if you are doing the work, the weight will drop that following week. So when Bob and Jillian see contestants who consistently have immunity and consistently have a low rate of weight loss on the scale, a red flag pops up and talk starts about people “throwing” the weigh-in.
What does that mean exactly?
Well, the rules of The Biggest Loser are that if contestants or teams receive immunity, they will not be eligible for elimination — even if they have the lowest percentage of weight loss for that week — as long as they do not gain weight. If immune contestants or teams gain weight, their immunity will be taken away and they are eligible for elimination. We must remember, as much as The Biggest Loser has changed my life and so many of us who have been on the show or watched the show, it is still a game show with distinct rules. And in any game with stated rules, competitors try to strategize so as to give themselves the best opportunity for success while still following the rules. We see it all over the place so why is it so surprising when we see it on the Biggest Loser campus?
What is surprising is when a contestant or team thinks they know best and do not share their game plan with their coach, aka trainer, so that everybody can be on board, and then, to top things off, they lie about it.
Melissa was so offended that Bob and Jillian called her out while she was on the scale that she refused to budge or possibly look at what we all saw. Her immediate defensiveness also led us all to question the situation and it planted seeds of doubt: Did she or didn’t she throw the weigh-in?
Some of you out there who are reading this might be thinking to yourself, “Well, I get the immunity rules, but how does that mean she threw the weigh-in?” A contestant who knows they will not be eligible for elimination can throw a weigh-in a couple of different ways.
One option is that they can just give their body a little break, with less pressure on them to actually lose weight. Maybe they still work out and perform for Bob and Jill when they are being trained, but since they know the minimum they have to do is just stay the same weight as the previous week, they might not do all their homework. Or they might not count all their calories or go over their budgets a little. Or maybe they stay up late as if they are on vacation.
Another option, the one that a true game player (who has immunity) uses, is to stay in more control than the first option and track everything to a T. This contestant has done their homework and knows that 3,500 calories equals a pound. So, as long as they track the amount they are eating and write down how many calories they are burning (based on their BodyBugg), they should know within a pound or two what their anticipated weight loss would be.
This contestant is so in the game that they risk everything by manipulating the situation instead of just working their butts off and seeing where the cards fall — they bet everything. And with their strategy in play and their math right, they drink water right before they get on the scale! They know that the water will register as weight and their real weight loss won’t be shown until the following week, when they have to stay above the yellow line. Why is this risky? Because if your calculations are off you could drink too much and show a gain on the scale. Then your immunity would be stripped away and you’d be eligible for elimination.
I anticipate that this week, although the red team, Melissa and Lance, received immunity in the pop challenge, Melissa, after having so much confrontation in regards to her weight loss, will register a significant number on the scale. Unfortunately, this will only confirm Bob and Jillian’s suspicions that she has been manipulating the weigh-in’s.
I’m anxious to see the outcome this week with the penalties in play from the pop challenge. I imagine that the Biggest Loser household is not a fun place to be, with tensions running high and the pressure to stay on campus building. I think that Miggy and Migdalia should try to put their anger from the 2-pound penalty behind them this week and just focus on what they can control and take advantage of every single minute on campus. They are going to have to pull out all the stops to stay above the yellow line this week.
Even though the red team will be on campus another week because of their immunity, did they really win this week? If you are lying and staying on campus, are you more of a winner than the fighter who goes home?
Week 5: Will immunity prove to be worth it?
It seems as if Melissa is stacking all of the cards against her. Immunity is what feels priceless on the Biggest Loser campus, but I’m not sure it’s worth it this week, especially with the reaction of Miggy and Migdalia! Two pounds against anyone seems like a death sentence but particularly with the green team — and, man, are they ticked. I think the stress I would have after giving them that penalty would be enough stress for me to personally create enough cortisol in my body to prevent me from losing any weight. If there’s one week when I honestly think Melissa’s body might hold onto weight, this would be it.
What a challenge; the gray team kicked some serious butt! I love when the contestants give it their all not to receive immunity or a cash prize but to hear the voices of their loved ones. At this point on campus, not one of the contestants has heard from a family member since leaving home (after the original weigh-ins), and trust me when I say it makes a difference. Although the red team seems to be causing some problems on campus — mostly for themselves, I might add — I was glad that Koli and Sam gave them a phone call home so that they might get to talk to their kids, for the children’s sake.
Can you imagine? Season after season, there is always at least one family where both parents go on The Biggest Loser and the children stay home? I think the kids are the heroes in that equation. I was glad that Miggy and Migdalia got to call home, too. I was particularly glad for Migdalia. We’ve seen her struggle with her own walls and demons of self-worth in these few short weeks on campus. Her partner and lover, her husband, will be off serving our country when she gets home, and it seems to be weighing particularly heavy on her heart and her thoughts and her shoulders.
I imagine she is worried about her kids feeling left by her; and then, before she gets to go home and show them that she did not leave them but just went to take care of herself, their dad will be sent away and they won’t have a parent there to hold and console them.
It’s different than Lance and Melissa leaving their kids, because they know for sure they will be returning to them. As much as we might pray for all our soldiers to return home safely, the reality is that not all do. My heart sank for Migdalia as she talked to her family and actually voiced the words that she wants to go home, because I believe her. I know she is scared of her own issues but that is not why I believe she wants to go home; it’s a tough feeling that I’m sure she’s struggled with every day since she decided to try out for the show.
All I can say — and say loud and clear — is that after watching the last-chance workout, I would not want to be walking into that weigh-in. Actually [it wasn't just the last-chance workout that made me think that], it was the moment the penalties were handed out from the pop challenge. I’ve been a little on edge, I must admit.
Don’t you just love the way Alison Sweeney says different things so that tensions rise? I mean come on, calling Lance and Melissa out: “Because of you, John didn’t have access to the gym this week. Because of you, Michael won’t have a vote at tonight’s elimination. And because of you, Miggy and Migdalia will have a 2-pound disadvantage this week.”
Hold on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen: It’s almost like the fight you heard about at lunch time in junior high school, which was going to happen after school by the baseball field! Remember that feeling?
And then she did it, Melissa opened her mouth and had to be “right” about her choices. And then she walked up to the scale, to be “right” again. For crying out loud, does she not get it? She even said it, as she walked up to the scale: “There will be no yelling tonight.”
What part does Melissa not understand? Suddenly losing weight the week the peer pressure is on, even if she has immunity, does not prove that this week her body finally got it. Her sudden weight loss verifies that she threw the previous weigh-in and lied about it!
What an awkward energy at the weigh-in tonight. But besides all of that, I love Michael! Now it comes down to it the pink team and the green team, and it doesn’t even matter that the green team would have fallen below on their own — the focus was not on them doing the best this week but on them proving something. Any time we attempt to do something for someone else that requires ignoring our own needs, it just doesn’t work! I know this because I have lived on both sides of the coin.
I must say, I’m not surprised, on one level, about Migdalia wanting to go home; I felt a little taken back by the abrupt way she went about sharing with the group. I wish she hadn’t done it, and I hope that she will find her way at home and find solace in the few days she might have with her husband [before he goes off to fight].
Migdalia: Give your husband lots of hugs and kisses from all us — we thank him for sharing you with us. And we thank him for serving our country!
Until next week,
Since becoming the first female champ on The Biggest Loser, Ali has found a new life as a motivational speaker and author. Her new book, Believe It, Be It, is currently available at bookstores everywhere. For more, be sure to check out her Twitter page and her personal site.