SPOILER ALERT: The recap for the "Get Moving" episode of "The Biggest Loser" contains contestant spoilers.
It was Night 2 of "The Biggest Loser" Season 14 premiere, and trainer Jillian Michaels has to be wondering if her decision to return to the series after a two-season hiatus was worth it.
Jillian lost one of her White Team members at the weigh-in during the premiere and watched another one quit before even weighing in. Night 2 of the season opener saw another White Team member wind up on the red line at the weigh-in.
Worst of all, it was Jillian's most motivated contestant.
Actually, worst of all is the preview for next week's episode, in which the voice-over teased that another White Team member -- there are only two left at this point -- will also quit the show.
Back to Night 2, which covered the second week of competition at "The Biggest Loser" compound. Nathan, a 25-year-old Colorado financial adviser, was sent home after a two-week total weight loss of 25 pounds.
Nathan, who was motivated to go on the show to get healthier before asking his girlfriend to marry him, hadn't made a great first impression on Jillian, getting kicked out of the gym in the premiere because he couldn't keep up with Jillian's treadmill workout.
But in Week 2, he revealed his gratitude to his tough trainer and even thanked her for her frank words. He told her that she helped him admit that he'd been using his weight (he started the show at 350 pounds) as an excuse to avoid making an effort to excel at anything in his life.
Jillian breaks down in tears
A newly motivated Nathan was the highlight of Jillian's Week 2 team. In fact, he was clearly working hard to reach his goals, while his two remaining teammates, Pam and Danni, struggled with the mental issues associated with their weight.
But at the weigh-in, Nathan's efforts netted him a modest five-pound weight loss -- that dreaded Week 2 plateau. With the lowest percentage of body weight lost among all three members of the losing White Team, Nathan was sent packing.
Jillian, the other trainers, and Nathan's fellow contestants were crushed to lose a competitor who had just begun to earnestly attack his health issues.
"When things were tough this week, I was thinking, 'You know what, I'm really excited to see Nate,'" a teary Jillian said. "He doesn't deserve" to go home.
"Day 1, you would have asked me how thankful I am to have Jillian. … I'm like, 'Man, she kicked me out of the gym,'" Nathan said after losing the weigh-in. "But it was a test to see how much I want to be here, and I passed that test. Throughout this process, she's told me a lot of things I needed to hear in my life that I've never been told."
Here is a good place to mention another of the few high points of the episode, before we move on to the many nuggets of harsh health news delivered to the contestants in Episode 2.
A quick postscript updated viewers on the progress Nathan has continued to make since leaving the show, and it's impressive: He has lost a total of 60 pounds, and he hopes to be down to 240 pounds by his wedding. The one he will definitely have, because -- drumroll -- he was shown buying a ring and proposing to his girlfriend, Maddy, who accepted.
The medical results are in
Now, back to the fitness tests and Dr. Robert Huizenga's medical results. This season's three teenage contestants returned to the show, where they discussed the changes they're making in their eating and exercising habits. Adorable 13-year-old Blue Team member Biingo suffered a fracture in his foot, which happened when he was playing basketball. The trainers did their best to show him it was a net positive, that he was motivated to play a physical sport instead of a video game.
But when he and equally adorable and endearing contestants Sunny, 16, and Lindsay, 13, were given a fitness test -- you remember the whole sit-ups, sprints, and one-mile run routine from high school gym class, right? -- they all fared well below average for kids their age.
The trainers delivered their results in an encouraging way, stressing that they were a jumping-off point for improving their health. The segment was another well-executed effort in the show's plan to focus attention on childhood obesity, without embarrassing or discouraging these brave teens who are so openly sharing with millions of strangers how profoundly their weight affects their lives every day.
Their enthusiasm for the program and willingness to accept help are also a great reminder that it's much easier to address weight issues in children and build healthy habits they can carry into adulthood, than it is to carry bad habits into adulthood and then struggle with weight issues.
Yeah, you just want to hug those kids every time they're on camera.
Test results for the adults were eye-opening: 21-year-old Jackson -- who was not medically cleared to do more than walk for much of Week 2 -- learned that he sometimes stops breathing during sleep for as long as 41 seconds at a time.
Single mom Pam, 43, found out she has the beginnings of a fatty liver; attorney Gina, 47, learned her blood sugar is at "toxic" levels; and new dad Michael, who had the highest starting weight of 444 pounds, was told his neck arteries are calcified, making them the equivalent of those of a 78-year-old man.
Michael is 34.
Again, sobering news for the contenders, but they're all still in the game for at least another week, which means another week to get healthier with the help of "The Biggest Loser" experts -- and another week to help motivate those of us sitting at home on our couches to, well, get off those couches.
Watch the full episode:
"The Biggest Loser" airs Mondays at 8 PM on NBC.
- Sports & Recreation
- Jillian Michaels