The journey to health and happiness – and hopefully $250,000 – began Tuesday with 15 newbies gearing up for the toughest reality competition on television: “The Biggest Loser.”
Season 12 began with the contestants meeting host Alison Sweeney and their trainers – Bob Harper, Anna Kournikova and Dolvett Quince – in the middle of the California desert. The trainers were brought in on military helicopters – an entrance that was about as impressive as we’ve ever seen on this show. How could these contestants not feel pumped watching their trainers appear like warriors? Of course, nothing in this game is ever simple; I mean, it is one of the toughest competitions on TV. So when it came time to choose a trainer, it wasn’t about which person you liked the best. Instead, the contestants, in their newly formed teams based on age, were forced to cross the desert while holding on to a long, slender pole. The idea was to cross the finish line first to choose your trainer first, but everyone had to cross the finish line for it to count.
Doesn’t matter which name you call him, this NBA star will no longer be Cha-Cha-Cha-ing on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ season 13
The teams did surprisingly well for their first challenge. The fact that one injured themselves, passed out or threw up shows a ton of potential in this season’s contestants. Team 30 – 49 were the first to cross the finish line, choosing Bob as their trainer and recasting themselves as the Black team. Team Under 30 crossed the finish line second, choosing Dolvett as their trainer and recasting themselves as the Red team. Seeing that the Over 50 team was way behind, having chosen to walk instead of run so that at least they cross the finish line, their trainer Anna met them half way to join and encourage them. Soon, everyone was racing out to help the last team cross the finish line. It was one of those great moments in “Biggest Loser” history that brings tears to your eyes.
An additional twist to this season, and probably the best twist the show has ever had, is that no matter whether a contestant makes it to the final week on campus or doesn’t make it past week one, he or she will still be eligible to weigh in at the final weigh on of the season, meaning the chance to win the title of Biggest Loser and the grand prize of $250,000 never ends. All of the season’s contestants will run a marathon at the end of the season, and the contestant who finishes first will win an automatic place in the finals. This is a fantastic twist because a lot of times it is a player who has been home for several weeks that actually has the highest total percentage of weight loss, not the season’s winner.
Nothing burns more than your first elimination, even for viewers. While we haven’t really grown attached to any one player, everyone still has such drive and passion to be there, so it’s sad to see someone forced to leave. At the week one elimination, Debbie Louds was eliminated. Because there aren’t ties or alliances yet, it really came down to which player lost the least amount of weight, and Debbie lost only six pounds. A few of the players also felt she had the strength and support to complete her journey at home.
Each season there is someone who stands out among the rest, and for me it’s Becky this season. On day one she was shown speaking about her father’s poor health, saying she didn’t know how much longer he had. She was barely settled on campus when, at 3:15 a.m., she received a call that her father had passed away. Instead of running to the fridge or breaking down in tears, she turned to the gym. She found a way to console herself that didn’t include fat-and-calorie-ridden death traps, which is something a lot of us fall to. It truly showed the person she can become on this show, and I hope that she sticks around long enough for us to see an amazing transformation.
Under 30 / Red Team, trained by Dolvett Quince
- Patrick Ferrari – 387 lbs / lost 20 lbs
- Vinny Hickerson – 426 lbs / lost 21 lbs
- Jessica Limpert – 254 lbs / 15 lbs
- Ramon Medeiros – 355 lbs / lost 17 lbs
- Courtney Rainville – 270 lbs / lost 16 lbs
30 – 49 / Black Team, trained by Bob Harper
- Antone Davis – 447 lbs / lost 32 lbs
- Joe Mitchell – 348 lbs / lost 22 lbs
- John Rhode – 445 lbs / lost 37 lbs
- Jennifer Rumple – 330 lbs / lost 19 lbs
- Sunny Sinclair – 277 lbs / lost 16 lbs
50 and Over / Blue Team, trained by Anna Kournikova
- Becky Comet – 238 lbs / lost 10 lbs
- Mike Danley – 309 lbs / lost 12 lbs
- Johnny Forger – 426 lbs / lost 17 lbs
- Bonnie Griffin – 254 lbs / lost 4 lbs
- Debbie Lounds – 239 lbs / lost 6 lbs
Looking to join the “Biggest Loser” contestants on their journey to health and happiness? Check out these New Hampshire weight loss/exercise studios:
Hampstead Health and Fitness, Hampstead – http://www.hampsteadhealth.com/
The Works Health Club, Somersworth – http://www.theworkshealthclub.com/
Club 27, Portsmouth – http://portsmouthzumba.com/
For more TV recaps, news and interviews, follow Amanda on Twitter and Facebook, and click Subscribe at the top of this page