May 7, 2010By Marc Wilkofsky Posted: May 7, 2010
People who say happiness on TV is boring probably haven't seen THE BIGGEST LOSER: COUPLES. This week's makeover episode brought more proof of how a sea of onscreen smiles can be highly entertaining.
This episode of the hit NBC series, which host Alison Sweeney (DAYS OF OUR LIVES' Sami) called her favorite installment of each season, featured the six remaining contestants — who already look wonderful, after losing weight to improve both their health and appearance — getting professional hair and wardrobe makeovers. Reuniting with thrilled family members and friends — and touchingly inspiring them, as in the case of Michael's tearful sister Rosangela, who asked him if he could help her lose weight — the players, looking better than ever, hit new emotional highs in a season filled with them.
Earlier this season, the stationary bike-racing competition across the nation was far from static; thanks to the participants' stamina and sharp editing, it was enthralling enough to have been a documentary short film. Not many reality shows can boast having its stars race with, encourage and truly change the lives of regular civilians who need to get healthier, as happened in Texas later on.
The show has also offered a heaping portion of real-life drama, with contestants falling apart on the workout equipment and facing severe mental roadblocks in their journeys to fitness. Up for elimination this week, Michael literally begging his fellow contestants for mercy was a powerful moment.
But the physical strength these people have developed and displayed is amazing; yes, even though they have a penchant for yelling, "Last chance workout!" far too often during that weekly event, intense but caring trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper have certainly proven their skills once again. During the latest episode, Ashley, who fell off the treadmill in week one, forced herself to run on it at impressive speeds.
"I feel so good right now" — a statement by Sunshine — is not abnormal for this series. And whoo-hoo! Sam, the latest contestant to leave, and Stephanie, who was voted off earlier this season, are now a couple and living together. Sure, they were occasionally shown hanging out during the season, but this was a definite, and welcome, surprise.
I'm still rooting for Daris, who pushed himself to and beyond the limit, looks to be the dark horse in the battle for $250,000 and will hopefully make the final four next Tuesday. His mother and teammate, Cheryl (who was sent home), must be extremely proud of him.
On that note, here's a special Mother's Day gift from Jill Gates-Paz of Plainville, Conn., to her mom, Eleanor Gates: two photos from March's GUIDING LIGHT-celebrating So Long, Springfield event in their state (see below). Eleanor, 85, a GL fan we "met" in a previous blog entry, listened to and watched the soap from its radio inception, for more than 72 years. Happy Mother's Day, everyone.
Jill Gates-Paz and Eleanor Gates with Robert Newman and Kim Zimmer (ex-Josh and ex-Reva, GL)
Eleanor Gates with Beth Chamberlin, Grant Aleksander and Michael O'Leary (ex-Beth, ex-Phillip and ex-Rick, GL)