The contestants got visits from two previous Biggest Loser winners -- Helen from season 7 and Erik from season 3. They gave them advice and listened to their concerns, and Erik talked about how easily one can slip back into old habits and see the wait come back as he did. His advice was to watch how you give yourself passes, things like "Oh, it's only a weight gain of 10 pounds. I'll get to the gym and knock that off in a week or two." That's dangerous thinking, and before you know it you've gained more weight than you realize.
Michael had a very emotional week, still struggling with the fact that he's about to go home still a big guy and still having to shop in big clothing stores. But when the contestants watched retrospective videos of their journeys on the ranch, his was especially moving -- and just what he needed to see to refocus him on what he's accomplished versus how long of a road he still has ahead of him.
The challenge this week involved racing over a series of sand hills carrying the weight they'd all lost during their time on the ranch. At the top of each hill, which represented a week on the ranch, they got to drop however much they lost that week. Ashley and Michael, especially, had a hard time even getting their weights up the hills, and this made them wonder how they ever carried that weight on their bodies. Daris, still upset with himself for dropping out of last week's challenge, was determined to win the challenge and did so. By doing so, he won $10,000, which he ended up trading for a 1-lb. advantage, which he didn't end up needing.
Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys went shopping for active wear and then hiking with the contestants, and Dr. Huizenga met with Michael to show him how much his life expectancy had improved because of the weight he's lost. The last time he saw this score, his body was that of a 54-year-old. When the score came down this time, he was down to 38, within sight of his actual age of 31. This score, more than anything else, helped him realize just how much he's accomplished.
This week, there was no yellow line at the weigh in, just a red line. This meant that whoever lost the lowest percentage of weight was automatically eliminated. Still, in week 17, there were some impressive numbers. Michael lost 12 pounds, Koli 13, Daris 10, and Ashley 7. Sunshine only lost 2, which put her below the red line. But she looks great and was one of the smallest people left on the ranch. Prior to the weigh in, I thought it might be Daris who would fall below, but Sunshine was a possibility too just because they're both so much closer to their goal weights than Michael and Ashley, who still have a way to go.
We've only got one more episode before the finale, and I have to say I'm rooting for Ashley and Michael. What about you all? Any favorites to win? What did you take away from this week's episode?