Credit: Trae Patton/NBC

And now the game really begins! After Filipe almost got the axe last week by the hands of his original alliance with Ron and Mike, Filipe and Sione sided with newly returned Nicole when Ron found himself below the yellow line. But Kristin held the tie-breaking vote and as briefly as Nicole came back to the Ranch, the 37-year-old wardrobe stylist from Brooklyn, N.Y., found herself back out.

Many Good Returns: While host Alison Sweeney was off having a baby, season 5 winner Ali Vincent stepped in to announce the surprise return of three past players — Nicole, Estella and David. Of the three, Nicole lost a whopping 87 lbs. at home in 12 weeks, second only to Tara in percentage of weight loss among all players. Her brilliant home result got her back on the Ranch with immunity if she lost weight that week. Quickly, the old Ranchers tried to scare Nicole with game talk, which indeed got her stressed.

Mental and Physical Repairs: Nicole’s return sent Tara to seek out Jillian for help. Tara broke down and expressed her fear that all she had done at the Ranch would be for naught. Jillian was happy that Tara had finally acknowledged “there are bigger issues at work here.” Meanwhile, chest pains sent Ron to the hospital, where Dr. H diagnosed severe blood loss. Ron ended up recovering from a double-balloon enteroscopy, was given medicine and then returned to campus. On Their Last Ropes: At the reward challenge, season 6 winner Michelle Aguilar took on hosting chores and told the contestants they had to balance on a platform atop 40 ropes stretched across a pool. One by one, each rope would be cut and the last person standing would win a one-pound advantage. After more than an hour and 31 cut ropes, that last person was Sione. Yet at the weigh-in, Sione didn’t need the advantage, ably losing 6 lbs. on his own. And while it wasn’t a shock that Ron had gained 3 lbs. after his medical leave, powerhouse Nicole gaining 5 lbs. left many mouths agape and her without immunity. Ron asked the group to save him; Nicole asked only that consider that they challenged themselves when she was around. In the end, a 4-3 vote sent Nicole home.

Great Last Words: In a fantastic last interview, a teary Nicole remarked: “Maybe that’s why I was here, to really find out what I had done. It’s not about winning the title of Biggest Loser, it’s not about winning a weigh-in, it’s not about who gets eliminated in that elimination room. It’s about how I feel about myself and what I know I am capable of doing and knowing the woman that I have become, and I really love her. I know I am going to be amazing after all this is done.” Indeed, in an amazing reveal, Nicole modeled a size 12 wedding dress, half the size of her original one. –Cynthia Wang

Tell us: Was it petty for Filipe and Sione to cast revenge votes against Ron, or was that fair? Should Nicole have had another chance on the Ranch?

Trae Patton/NBC