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Biggest Loser: Families: The Dreaded Second Week Dead Zone

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Dave Bjerke /NBC

We headed into this week’s episode with a wishlist: a) the emergence of a villain we can love to hate and b) shocking weight loss numbers in the traditional second week dead zone.

Lo and behold, after Heba cries with survivor’s guilt in the wake of her and husband Ed’s win over the Green team (Stacey and Adam Capers) last week, the focus is all about setting the contestants … and us … up for the lame numbers we can expect this week on the scale. We get inspired when Bob announces: “Week two sucks.”

If anyone can break the enduring week-two curse (over the years, host Alison Sweeney informs us, the average weight loss remains at 2%), we think it’s Bob and Jillian. Sob Story of the Week: They’ve all got one, and Pink is suffering this week. Cut to daughter Michelle crying, and we completely relate when she tells Jillian that her “brain was overwhelmed” by being thrown together with her mother, Renee, 24/7. It does seem like a bit much for a pair who were estranged for years after Renee left Michelle’s father when she was young (Michelle stayed with her father); the mother and daughter didn’t speak for years. Jillian reminds Michelle to “take care of you,” which Michelle vows to try to do. “I’m worth giving 100% for,” she says. She wants to do it. Whether she’s ready to live it remains to be seen.

Mental and Physical Challenges: Coleen sets the Yellow team up for a pressure-filled week as she banks on hitting a 2.4% weight loss — which for her and dad Jerry means at least 14 pounds — when the teams are offered the chance to go for a $10,000 prize by “bidding” on a percentage of weight loss they think they can achieve. The highest bidder must reach at least that number to win the prize … and if they don’t, they’re guaranteed a spot below the yellow line.

Jillian, predictably, is peeved. “I think you’ve lost your mind,” she chastises them.

Next is the physical challenge, where the producers have some fun making roly-poly slither down a giant Slip ‘n Slide. Once at the bottom, they have to hike back up as fast as they can. The prize is a phone call home, and Amy and Phil are desperate to speak to their children.

The game is revealing: when we see Brady struggling up the hill in round one, we almost feel sorry for him … until Vicky is shown crowing that they lost on purpose so wouldn’t view them as a threat. Guess the title “bad sport” doesn’t bother them though.

Heba and Ed eventually win, and are given the chance to let another team call home. When they give it to the Red team, Phil chokes up. And when he calls his children and a tiny little voice pipes up: “Dad? I’m proud of you,” we choke up.

Beating the Curse: At the last-chance workout, Jerry admits he’s feeling the pressure to lose the 14 pounds his team needs. With Jillian pummeling her, Coleen loses it and yells: “I am seriously dizzy as bleep!” “I’m not buying it,” Jillian blasts back, and soon it emerges Coleen is self-sabotaging, which has been a common theme in the Loser house.

Early in the weigh-in, there’s a flash of hope. The Brown team goes first and loses 2.04%. But those numbers soon take a dive, with Grey’s percentage adding up to precisely zero after LT gains three pounds.

Finally, it’s Coleen and Jerry’s turn. We know they can’t possibly do it, that no editing tricks or plot twists can help them, but we live in hope. When she loses six pounds and he loses five, Coleen shakes it off, saying to a verklempt Jerry: “My dad could never let me down.” Yellow joins Grey below the line.

Playing the Game: Enter the scheming. Vicky explains during a summit meeting that LT and Tom have to go because they’re poised to drop big numbers. But Grey saved the Orange team last week, so Heba and Ed are dead set on voting for Yellow.

Brady grumbles that MUST tell Grey if they’re voting them off because it’s the “manly thing to do.” Phil tells a smug Brady, whose arms are crossed aggressively over his chest, to lose the attitude because he looks like he’s going to punch someone.

At elimination, Heba is crying again as she betrays the Grey team and cuts LT and Tom loose. It’s unanimous, and Grey’s gone. Again we find ourselves wishing Brown had been below the yellow line, because you can’t help but like the Boston boys of the Grey team and the heart of the Yellows. –Sara Hammel

Tell us: Did Ed and Heba betray the Grey team? Were Vicky and Brady bad sports to throw this week’s challenge?

Dave Bjerke /NBC