The Biggest Loser: No Room for Slackers

Now in its tenth season on ABC, The Biggest Loser producers are proving there is no way they’re going soft on the contestants. Possibly one of the toughest season beginnings thus far, Jillian Michaels, Bob Harper and Alison Sweeney have let it be well-known that if you want a spot on the ranch, you need to earn it. So if any of the contestants thought they’d be able to game play or pass underneath the radar for half of the season, well, they thought wrong.

However, those at The Biggest Loser have also proven that they still have a soft spot for people with great stories. Let’s take a look at Aaron Thompkins, 29, from Kent, Ohio. He lost the original 500-step challenge during the season premiere, in which he had to be in the top two out of three contestants to complete 500 step-ups. For many Loser-hopefuls, a loss meant the end of their weight-loss journey in front of a national audience. This graphic designer made a soft spot for himself with Harper, though, and was allowed to move to the ranch as one half of the yellow team.

A 468-pound man with a three-year-old son, Thompkins struggled with weight partly because of his strained relationship with his alcoholic father. Without realizing it, Thompkins sank into his fathers’ destructive habits, only turning to food instead of alcohol. Luckily, he has realized the error of his ways and is pushing to change his life for his little boy. Personally, I’m rooting for this guy. Nothing like a great family story to tug at my heart-strings.

Aaron Thompkins, 29.

But back to the brutality of this season. Although Thompkins wiggled his way to the ranch, The Biggest Loser trio made it perfectly clear the contestants were no longer in paradise. If you want to stay here, you need to kick some serious butt. During day one’s workout, Michaels and Harper worked them to the bone (Michaels mentions the first speed on the treadmill is set at 7.0); with many puking or passing out. One contestant, Brendan Donovan, 32, asked Harper, “Are we almost done?” I shook my head once the words left his mouth. Harper went on a rampage, running this guy into the ground until snot was literally hanging out of his nose. Yum.

Then the producers kicked it into high gear. After only two workout days, the contestants were called for a weigh-in. This might seem insane, but remember they had two weeks to work out since their initial weigh-in. That’s not all, though! Remember that dreaded yellow line that two people were terrified of falling below? Well, it’s been bumped up — to eight. With 16 spots on the board, half were safe and half were eligible for elimination. No slacking, here!

To be saved from elimination, the seven women who found themselves below the yellow line (Patrick, the one guy below the line, was saved by Rick, this week’s weight-loss leader) had to complete sprint races and be the first to grab a flag at the finish line until only two contestants remained. Allie Ishcomer, 22, and Tina Elliott, 58, were the final two. The competitors who were safe from elimination participated in the final vote, and Allie was sent home.

I love that they’ve upped the ante, but do you think they’re pushing too hard?

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Posted on October 2, 2010, in Exercise, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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