Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you haven't yet watched NBC's The Biggest Loser Season 14 Episode 7.
This week saw the dissolution of the teams as contestants continued their time on the Biggest Loser ranch as individual competitors. Gina took to the new paradigm immediately, revealing a strategic and even cut-throat sensibility that came out during the first challenge -- a game theory-inspired activity that required a bit of strategizing.
Each contestant was put in front of a table full of Valentine's day-themed sweets: things like cupcakes, candies and red velvet cake. The person who eats the most calories wins a two-pound advantage at the weigh in, but coming up short brings with it the serious disadvantage of extra calories consumed without the two-pound reprieve. The majority of contestants didn't touch the food, but Francelina and Alex both consumed more than 1,000 calories in their bid for the two pounds. Jeff consumed fewer than 300 calories. Gina, a diabetic, didn't touch the stuff, but she wanted to give the impression that she was eating, so she moved the food around and made gulping sounds to try to throw the other contestants off their game. Danni did perhaps the exact opposite of cupcake eating: She dropped to the floor and did a circuit of ab exercises, winning our hearts forever.
As free agents, the contestants were able to work out with any trainer on campus. And, surprise, surprise, Jillian and Jeff were reunited. Jeff previously had great difficulty taking direction from Jillian, but this time she was able to break through: After the workout, she followed him back to his room where they had a conversation about his family. Jeff revealed that when he was 17, his father died very suddenly of lung cancer, asking Jeff to take care of the family in his absence. The pressure contributed to Jeff's overwhelming feelings of disappointment in himself, which in turn were playing out on the gym floor.
Meanwhile, the physical challenge (an in-the-dark race in neon-laced track suits) came with a valuable, Valentine's-themed prize: the chance to have a loved one come to the campus. Though Danni won the race, she gave her visitation privilege to Michael, who missed his son and wife.
Playing with his family, Michael revealed that his major motivation for staying on the ranch was to ensure that he would stay healthy and alive to watch his son grow up. Where Jeff fought demons related to the loss of his father, Michael was fighting to make sure he never left his son with the same fate.
Following the last chance workout, the contestants weighed in. Danni pulled a low number for the first time and grew emotional imagining that she might be sent home. But Francelina -- despite her two pound advantage -- and Michael, who lost just 10 pounds, pulled the lowest percentages of lost body fat. During a difficult decision, the contestants decided to vote off Michael. Jeff, who had previously formed an alliance with Michael, agonized over sending him home, but ultimately concluded that it was time to make decisions that championed his own interests over those meant to please others.
What did you think of this week's episode? Tell us in the comments! And tune in with us next week as we continue our live tweeting!
Here's what everyone was saying last night:
Be happy with yourself regardless of where you are on your weight loss journey. It’s about health- not self-worth! @BiggestLoserNBC #BL14
I feel like a lot of us can relate to David's story. Weight loss is always linked to emotions in one way or another. #BL14
Believe in yourself, trust the process, change forever. ~ Bob Harper #biggestloser #BL14 @MyTrainerBob
The desire to change has to outweigh the pain and the fear. #biggestloser
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