Trae Patton/NBC
Jean Bentley
April 15, 2009 AT 04:00 PM EDT

This episode of The Biggest Loser should’ve come with a disclaimer — WARNING: TISSUES NECESSARY FOR VIEWING. I’m used to crying during this show. It really is inspiring, and tears are my involuntary method of showing any extreme emotion. But this episode was relentless in the emotional manipulation department. I mean, it wasn’t even a minute into the show before the tears started flowing.

Tissue alert #1: The obligatory eliminated-player montage is always a little sad, but I’ve never actually shed tears before. When Filipe started reading from Sione’s letter about inspiring the Tongan nation, however, I lost it. And this quote — ”The thought of him leaving feels like the first week again, but this time I can’t bring him back” — well played, NBC. Well played.

Next, in a bout of what I hoped was foreshadowing, Filipe and Kristin started casually discussing the fact that Jillian always ends up with the first-place finisher, and they’d really like one of Bob’s players to win this season — but Jillian’s team hasn’t lost a single player in seven (seven!) straight weeks. Hm, Bob’s team, do you think that could’ve been prevented if you hadn’t started cannibalizing yourselves by voting off your strongest players first? Because, uh, I totally do.

They didn’t mess around with a temptation challenge this week (and after last week’s gluttony-fest, that’s probably for the best), and instead went straight to the challenge-challenge, something I’d like to call Biggest Loser: X-TREME! The contestants were led to a canyon (a really, really tall canyon, Kristin assured us) with thin wires stretched across it. The contestants had to traverse across 700 feet while walking on one wire and holding on to another. Alison Sweeney helpfully informed the contestants they’d be hanging 110 feet in the air at their highest point, the equivalent of a 10-story building. NO BIG DEAL. As Kristin so eloquently put it, ”Oh s—.”

If I were a betting lady, I would’ve put my money on Tara. Or, possibly…Tara. Basically from now until the end of the season. Girlfriend is a BEAST. Though the challenge began with Filipe in the lead, I’m sure you can guess how it ended. Despite a slip-up midway, Tara managed to come back and win the darn thing. I appreciate how the producers played up Tara’s fall to make it seem like the others had a chance at beating her, but it was no surprise when she passed Filipe in the final stretch, winning her tenth (tenth!) challenge, plus a $25,000 kitchen makeover and a stocked fridge from Jennie-O turkey. Side note: Tara’s only 23. Does she even have a kitchen to make over? Or will she just give it to her parents?

NEXT: Get a dollar if Ron doesn’t quit the next challenge

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