The Biggest Loser recap: Tears of a Clown

Funnyman Michael buckles -- and breaks down -- under pressure during a particularly sad episode
Ep. 17 | Aired May 11, 2010

THERE'S NO CRYING IN WEIGHT LOSS! Actually... yeah, there is. Kind of a lot of it.

Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

Things were sad in Biggest Loser land last night. I know that's a bit like saying Albert Einstein was a genius, Mother Teresa was a saint, and Dunkaroos were the all-time best snack of the 1990s. But still, there's no denying a sense of sadness and dread had loomed over our final five contestants last night — and it's not just because we lost a little Sunshine. (And I do mean little! The girl, like her or not, does look fantastic these days.)

Nope, our contestants were concerned about cracking the final four, and, in Mike's case, fixated on the weight he still has yet to lose. It was strange watching the mood spread throughout the ranch. After all, any casual Biggest Loser watcher knows this is the point in the season in which everything is supposed to turn into gameplay, gameplay, gameplay. At this point, confidence is supposed to be restored. Each player is supposed to be a mere dozen or so pounds away from their goal weights. And the contestants are supposed to have only one thing on their mind: The final cash prize.

But this season, some of our contestants aren't so lucky. Both Mike and Ashley have plenty of weight to go, and the mere thought of that fact had the former in hysterics at one point during the episode. And unlike tantrums of episodes and seasons past, it was tough to watch Mike struggle with something so real and (here's the key word again) sad. Because it's hard to imagine, in his case, that everything is going to be okay. (Especially when we saw the return of season 3 champ Erik, someone who had gained the pounds back after being crowned the victor.) In fact, I really had a tough time finding anything remotely funny about this episode, something that's usually as easy as finding a piece of hay in a haystack. So please forgive me if this recap today is a little, well... you know.

We began with a meeting between alliance members Koli and Sunshine, who called Ashley and Daris ''stupid'' and ''delusional'' for deciding to keep Mike in the competition over Sam. Because, as they figured, they would land big numbers this week, and once again come out the alpha dogs of the competition. Usually, I like underdogs, but I'm having a tough time liking these two. Anyone with me?

Then Ali trotted along to tell everyone the big news of the episode: There would be no yellow line. Instead, she told us there would only be a red line, and as Tom Ridge tells us, red means bad. Or, more specifically, whoever falls below it would be immediately eliminated. But before the crew could get started working out, we saw two previous winners: Helen, who still looks fantastic, and Erik, who, as we saw, doesn't look quite as fantastic. Anyone who saw Biggest Loser's ''Where are they now?'' episode a few months back knew that Erik had failed to keep up with his regimen. And really, it's heartbreaking, considering how incredibly in-shape this guy was when he picked up the win. I mean, he was jacked enough to appear on the next season of Jersey Shore.

NEXT: Smart and honest moves from a reality show? Did you ride here on a unicorn?

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