Obviously I’ve made no effort to hide my love for dumb reality television (love you, Tough Love), but I don’t think I’ve paid enough attention to a show that I think is actually good: The Biggest Loser.

The Host, Alison, and the two trainers, Bob and Jillian

My mom was the one who got me hooked on this show and I’m glad she did. It’s a show that has a ton of heart and manages to be uplifting and not exploitative towards the contestants. Its clear that most of the people involved want to see the contestants succeed(save for the producers inciting drama, but we’ll get to that later), which is really empowering and touching to see on a reality show (a medium that is often solely used to subtly humiliate those who would accept their fate for a short spot at fame).

First: the contestants. 90% of the people on that show are just there to get healthy and they have so much heart and genuinely good character. With any reality show there are some obvious “game players,” but for the most part many of the people on this show are positive and passionate about changing. Hearing some of their stories makes me cry. The contestants make this show great. They’re there to make a positive difference in their lives and they just seem so eager to do it and help each other out as opposed to tear each other down. And good people make me happy, darnit.

The trainers are awesome. I personally love it when trainers get all sadistic with the people they’re working with and Bob and Jillian really don’t hold any punches so to speak. They’re brutal with the group (Jillian, despite her teeny tiny size, ends up being the biggest “bully” of the two, but they occasionally switch off as to whose the bigger tyrant) but they do it because they really want the contestants to get better. Both of them are life coaches and they’re not only trying to get the players to shed pounds, but break down the walls and patterns that brought most of the people to over-eating and self-destruction. Bob and Jillian, despite they’re tough demeanor, are passionate about helping people live healthy lives. Nothing that they do is out of vanity; they work with people because they hate the idea that someone is not living the best life possible, which is pretty fantastic. Obviously, both of them are strong-willed and this can cause head-butting with some of the contestants, but overall the trainers do a great job.

Alison, the host, is also great. She clearly empathizes with many of the contestants and also wants them to succeed (she is always everyone’s biggest cheerleader when they’re in the middle of challenges), but she stays out of the drama, which is what you want in a host. She’s the objective eye, watching and reacting, but never voicing her opinion… Unless it’s to say something upbeat and sweet.

Overall it’s a great show with a lot of heart… Even if its clear much of the casting is done in an effort to create optimum tension for the cast. That plus some of the ridiculous challenges the contestants have to face, there is plenty of tension to be had. Stinking producers!

Ok, spoilers below, because I have to rant.

AH!!!! I cannot believe Migdalia went home. Holy crap, woah. She just gave up and I was shocked. I guess it reflects on the fact that she’s strong-willed and doesn’t like people getting in her face (Jillian). And she missed her family, but still…

Also, I hate that lady from the red team. Clearly this is all a game to her. Jerk. Some people are trying to get healthy.

But go Gray Team for being ridiculously awesome sweethearts.