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Posted on Tue, Jan 26, 2010 : 10:10 p.m.

"Biggest Loser" episode 4: Great power, great responsibility

By Chrysta Cherrie

Note: Contains spoiler info. Missed the show? More "The Biggest Loser" air times.

Last week on "The Biggest Loser" (3-minute recap):

Between red team Lance and Melissa's suspected weigh-in shenanigans, and team white's Maria being voted off (she asked the remaining contestants to keep her son around instead, despite the fact he's perceived as not taking the opportunity seriously), the competition is getting a little edgy. So, in reality TV's pursuit of perpetual drama, it was fitting that the hopefuls started off this week with a "pop challenge."

The participants ran around the BL ranch grounds, grabbing and scanning keycards. The first team to find the "lucky" keycards won immunity and 3 decision-making cards that could change the course of the competition. Local hopefuls Andrea and Darrell hoped that running at equal pace would help them win, but much to the dismay of everyone else, the red team came out on top.

As challenge winners, spouses Lance and Melissa were ensured another week in the competition, plus the purpose of the 3 cards was revealed: choose a team who can't access the gym this week; choose a team who doesn't get to vote in this week's elimination round; give a 2-pound disadvantage to one team at this week's weigh-in. Their integrity called into question last week, the couple mostly used their advantages for good, taking gym access from team brown holdout John, pointing out that he rarely uses the gym and prefers to work out in the pool. Similarly, they took away voting privileges from Michael, thinking he might hold a grudge against the competitors who called him out last week for not working hard enough. Conversely, team green's mother and daughter Miggy and Migdalia got stuck with the 2-pound disadvantage for no particular reason.

Between the regular workouts, the trainers took aside Lance and Melissa as a team and individually to address their suspected fixing of the weigh-ins. The twosome insisted they were working their hardest and not being strategic, but given Bob and Jillian's knowledge about the science of weight loss, the team's claims rang false.


Andrea and Darrell prepare for the challenge.

Back in the competition, the teams received a challenge calling them to harness their strength, work together, and set aside their fear of heights. Each team worked inside a cage attached to a rope, using the rope to lift themselves. The first team to reach the top, 120 feet high, won phone calls from home for themselves and 3 other teams of their choice.

Team gray, cousins Sam and Koli, picked up where they left off at last week's ribbon-unraveling challenge to win the coveted phone calls. The ever-controversial red team, plus the scrappy ladies of team green and John of team brown, enjoyed the spoils of gray's success.

At the final weigh-in, Melissa — who barely lost 2 pounds in as many weeks — dropped 11 pounds this time. Whether the trainers lit a fire under Melissa or she was just trying to shut them up, the world may never know. Meanwhile, Andrea and Darrell added another 15 pounds and 2.37% lost to their tally. Their progress is solid: over the the 4 weeks of competition, they've shed 93 pounds.

Sadly, team green's 2-pound disadvantage only exacerbated the mother and daughter's difficult week. Even without the burden of extra weight, they would've gone up for elimination. Migdalia, seemingly disgusted by Lance and Melissa's alleged strategy, asked to be eliminated so she could see her family. In a close vote, Migdalia got her wish.

Chrysta Cherrie is the entertainment producer/copy editor for Reach her at or 734-623-2526, and follow her on Twitter @chrystacherrie.



Wed, Jan 27, 2010 : 10:27 a.m.

Remember the guy a few seasons back who loaded up on what was it? 5 gallons of water and gained something like 15 pounds? O this game is so rigged and so easy to play. Play the numbers when a few bucks. Won't see me on this show.


Wed, Jan 27, 2010 : 7:48 a.m.

the "drama" with melissa was all about waterloading. i think what ticked off the trainers was that she wouldn't own up to it. these trainers know how many calories these people are burning and what they're eating. good lord, it only took 9 season for the show to directly address it. the former wrestler who won the 2nd season was a master at it.