What's surprising, though, is that instead of discouraging her bullying, her teammates are being sucked in, and it's leading them on a downward spiral. As much as I like trainer Dolvett Quince, his Red team (except "Santa Claus" Roy) deserves to be sent home, which will surely keep happening if they don't shake off the Conda Curse. (For an update on that prediction see http://chewandchat.blogspot.com/2012/02/biggest-loser-condadaphne-face-off.html)
Every week, Conda relentlessly picks on someone. First it was Mike, who she bad-mouthed to get him eliminated. He seemed somewhat of a loner, and his tobacco-chewing habit didn't endear him to the team, but she went after him like a dog with a bone. The next week, she accused Cassandra of cheating. Next, she disrepected trainer Dolvett. Last week the target was her new team member, Adrian. He and his sister Daphne were on the Aqua team that didn't make it on to the ranch. But, if they lost at least 50 pounds by week four, they could come back — and they nailed it. Instead of a welcoming the new team mates as in past seasons (remember Sunshine and O'Neal Hampton?), the players gave Adrian and Daphne a cold shoulder.
Yes, Adrian's brashness could rub people the wrong way. But had the Red Team stopped acting like a junior high clique, Adrian likely would have been less defensive and outspoken. He proved during the workouts that he could keep up with the rest of the team, but was never given credit simply because he had missed the bonding process that the others had been through.
I'm especially disappointed in Kim and Mark, who have taken on the "leadership" roles in the group. They have joined in the bullying rather than nipping it in the bud. Their criticisms of Adrian were hypocritical. In the first-episode challenge that sent Aqua team home, Pink (Kim's team) and Green (Conda's team) were at the very bottom too, and could have easily been the ones sent home. When Adrian returned, he had lost 34 pounds to Conda's 27 and Kim's 32 -- and Adrian had done it at home on his own; while Kim and Conda had four weeks with a gym, trainer and supervised diet.
Kim carped about Adrian's remark that he had worked out 14 hours a day, but she (and one of the other red team) was unable to work out on the monkey bars the way Adrian could.
Mark confronted Adrian about not losing more during the weigh-in, saying he was a "big guy" and should have put up more than two pounds. Um, what about Mark's own son, Chism, who is also a "big guy" and only put up two pounds at the same weigh-in? What about Conda, who also only lost 2 pounds?
During the challenge to try to keep Dolvett from being dumped into the swimming pool, Mark was one of the first to let go of his rope, while Adrian and Roy (the oldest guy in the group!) hung on the longest.
When Dolvett brought out the long list of all Conda's backbiting remarks that he had overheard, why didn't the Red Team wise up? Why didn't the "leaders," Mark and Kim, tell her she was hurting the team? It seems that they, too, are afraid of her wrath.
Last week the Red team blew the perfect opportunity to get rid of the back-biting and bad feelings by sending Conda home. Would have made sense, since she only lost two pounds. But instead, they voted off Nancy, who dared called out Conda and Kim about their constant griping.
Last night Conda miraculously lost the most weight and had immunity. It was obvious that Conda's Crew was looking for any excuse to send Adrian home— a really stupid move. Adrian is a tough, strong guy who could have helped win challenges and put up big numbers. Had he been welcomed and treated as part of the team, he could have been an asset. Roy showed some integrity by not voting to send Adrian home; and he'll probably pay for that by being voted off next week. Buddy's been my Red Team favorite so far, but his lecture about Adrian making "excuses" seemed to be a big excuse itself.
Of course, viewers aren't seeing everything that went on 24/7, and perhaps there's more to the story than what we're seeing. Maybe Conda is really just a nice, sweet girl when she's not spewing venom. Maybe Kim and Mark had more justification for the way they treated Adrian. I wonder what they are thinking when they watch these episode and see their actions. They may claim they were edited to look bad. In past seasons, Vicky Vilcan and Heather Hansen (of Bountiful, Utah) said they didn't even realize that they were being portrayed as "villains" until they started watching the episodes as they aired.
It's true that things can be edited out; but you can't edit words that someone actually said.
I've heard from some viewers who say they don't like the nastiness and will quit watching. I hope the producers take note of this. Yes, conflict and controversy often raise viewership, but "The Biggest Loser" doesn't really need a "villain." There's a ready-made villain — weight — that all the players are fighting against. That's what makes the show so watchable, not the ugliness that's erupted this season.