Thursday, February 26, 2009

Okay, So NOW I Have a Beef

So I will first give credit where it's due, and acknowledge that I saw this on Laura's blog.

But her blog is now private, so I will relay the message.

But thanks, Laura, for your sluthing.

Okay - here goes.

So you know how I didn't really pitch a bitch about how on The Biggest Loser that one guy got the IM distance wrong? I figured - hey, it's still a big accomplishment, maybe it was just a mistake.

But then I learned from Amy in her comment that BL actually editted out the "half" in the guy's description - and that he DID in fact say "half-Ironman."


So BL lied.


But THEN there was last night.

Anyone else wonder how a man who was morbidly obese and totally inactive was suddenly able to squeek out a 3:53 marathon just three months later?

Well, I did. Especially considering my little sister, who is all of 100 pounds, ran five marathons in the last calander year (many of those as Boston Qualifying attempts) and her best was 3:53.

And the weight is not even really the issue - but rather the fact that a completely inactive man (for many-a-year) suddenly up and ran a 3:53 in three months?

An event that most active fit people need 3-4 months to run?

It sounds fake, and it apparently was.

Laura discovered the blog of a woman who also ran the race. Apparently, the woman discovered that Dane (who was behind her throughout the race) suddenly appeared at the finish line - in front of her.

How did this happen?

Turns out, a van picked up Dane and his wife along the way (mile 23), and drove them in.

And not at 3:53 either - the woman marathoner finished in 6:14, which would mean that Dane would have finished later then that. Well, would have, if he didn't get the van ride.

But yet, there they were, cheering and celebrating his "marathon" finish.

(I should mention that Dane's wife found the blog too, and actually commented that they were picked up at mile 23 and driven in to make up for time they lost while filming at a water station - whatever - he still didn't run the whole thing and he in no way ran it in the time stated).

Before I launch into my issue with BL, let me just say that, dishonest editting aside, Dane did his own part in deciving the public about his finish. I mean, he faked crossing the line. He perpetrated like he actually finished.

It may only be 3.2 miles, but then own your 23 mile run, and don't lie about it.

But my bigger issue is with BL.

First the IM thing, then this?

You know, a half-Ironman and a 23-mile run (or even a half-marathon) are HUGE HUGE accomplishments on their own.

So why lie about them? Why try to build it up to something bigger? Why not just promote the goal for what it is, instead of trying to make it into something else?

I mean, what these contestants are doing is at times hard to wrap the mind around - the stunning weight loss, the years of inactivity turned around through fitness, and new life goals they never before considered.

Hell, even a 5k at that point is a big effing deal. So celebrate THAT.

Eh, maybe I am overreacting to this.

But I remember when this show has the best premise and spirit on television. Now it just seems like they are being eaten up by their own hype.

If they just brought it back to the basics - the reality of what it's like to go from morbidly obese to healthy and full of goals - this blog might very well become the BL Fan Site.

But instead, this show is starting to leave a bad taste in my mouth - and don't get my ass started about the product endorsements.

Ugh. I need a new show.

Good thing I recently found "The First 48."

From weight loss to murderers.

Seems a logical progression. Yes?


Amy said...

New show eh? May I suggest United States of Tara? It's only 30 minutes but it's written by Diablo Cody (of Juno fame) and stars Toni Colette (yeah Muriel!). But I'm afraid it's gonna be one of those shows that is too smart for TV and will go the way of Pushing Daisy (RIP my beloved Pie Man and Bee Girl and Digby and Pigby and wonderful Itty Bitty... sigh... Bryan Fuller's shows rock but are too damn smart... Dead like me was another awesome one of his).

But as for reality TV? My true love is so you think you can dance but that's only on once a year. Or you can opt for the skinny bitches in America's Next Top Model I had to stop watching that hot mess though. Project Runway? Just as catty but with real models. Actually you know what you should do? Start your own reality TV.

Michelle J said...

YES!!! I was totally wondering about that too!!! And feeling horrible about my own marathon accomplishments as it would seem that Dane completely blew me out of the water! It looked a little cheesy and produced when they finished (they looked too "upright" and happy - maybe that's just me at the end of a 26 MILE MARATHON).

So, if I understand you, Dane's wife said that they ran 23 of the miles??? BULLSHIT

Tyger Lily said...

Thanks for the eye opener! I started watching BL this season and now they have lost a viewer. I agree with you. Their accomplishments should be applauded but come on. No need for the bullshit! WTF?

Lauren said...

I read an article a week or so ago about the 'eating' on the biggest loser. Heba, Vicki, Heba's Husband, and the guy that owned the deli that won Season 5 (?) were the interviewees.

They were talking about how they have to keep food journals to prove they are eating, but in reality most of them aren't eating at all. Oh, and most of that 'week one' weight loss is from A LOT of vomiting during the first week. YUCK!

The guy that won Season 5 has gained all his weight back and then some. My husband said "I think they should do a reunion show"

I don't think they will because, in reality, very few of the contestants have been set up for long term success.

Either way, I'm disappointed in BL for lying, stretching the truth, or bad editing.

Tri-Angle said...


Go rent seasons one and two, season three just wrapped.

It's twisted and comlicated and funny.

Just like you Meg.

Jen Rife said...

I'm shocked that BL would stretch the truth on distances and times. I think that would be confusing to newbies who may not know the distances or what to expect for finishing times. That could be discouraging for some people if they think a sub-4 marathon is what they should be running. Thanks for giving us the real story!

IM Able said...

Why is this making me mad?

I don't even watch the show, but it's making me stupid mad.


And The First 48? Fabulous. Have you caught the new DEA show? Another piece o' candy.

Eric said...

I was thinking the same thing about this and meant to look it up. I was sitting on the couch kinda dumbfounded. After only 2 years of running, I ran my first marathon in 4:38 and was damn proud of that and then I see this fat out of shape guy turns in a 3:53. I guess BL doesn't realize what a slap in the face this stuff is to real Ironmen (and women) and real marathoners.

You're right, a 1/2 marathon is a huge accomplishment too. Celebrate that.

And I absolutlely hate all the "in show" commercials. If they cut out that and all the repeating things when they came back from commercial, they could wrap that show up in an hour instead of two.

suzncasey said...

Two years ago, I was dead last in a yearly tri that I do.

Last year, I was second to the last (my husband was last this time. LOL)

This year, I have been training for a century so that I can move up in the pack and I also plan on attempting my first 1/2 marathon.

I may be slow and last but at least I have my self-respect and the the Tri community has always been so supportive of my efforts.

Shame on Dane! This really bums me out and I'm so glad you pointed this out because my mouth dropped when I heard his time as well. No, I don't feel so bad about being slow. LOL

J-Wim said...

My 2 cents:
I watched the episode in DVR last night, knowing that there was controversey about the time.
When I look at the clock on the actual video, the timeclock says 5:53 I think, but the BL typed statement at the end says 3:53 so maybe someone without any sense of the difference between sub 4 and sub 6 did the copy editing. idk.
I hope he went back and finished, I haven't heard yet if he did or if he bagged it and called it a day.
Regardless, big accomplishment that should be celebrated- 23, 26.2, 2.6, whatever but be honest about what you have done.
BL needs to get a clue about setting these people up for public pressure from people watching this. It is a big deal to shortchange the distance or misrepresent the facts. This is a show about exercise, I find it hard to believe that no one on staff has the knowledge that misinformation is presented in thier show.

prin said...

How are people at home supposed to derive inspiration from unattainable, unrealistic lies?

That's like those skinny people wearing ginormous pants to show how much weight they lost. Good for them, but that doesn't inspire people who have a hard time losing a pound.

Tri-Angle said...

Speaking of Murderers....

Dexter then would be THE MOST LOGICAL choice..Since Dexter is the Ulimate Killing Machine....

Oh and would you please forward my info to GMG, since she "forgot" to invite me to view her blog.....

Thanks so....


Benson said...

Oxymoron: "Reality TV"
Dump it, you deserve better.

Flatman said...

i'm totally upset.

but cereally, I stood up and called BULLSHIT as soon as they flashed the 3:53 finish time on the screen. it was way too soon for that.

Captain Cactus said...

It's stupid media tricks like this that cause us all to be trepidatious about sharing our own results. We chatted about this when I was there ... everyone should celebrate their accomplishments, be they an ironman, a half, or a walk around the block. There's no need for the BL to exaggerate the feats of their contestants. They should be celebrated for getting off their butts and exercising. Period.

CT said...

Now I've only been a member since October, but I'm pretty sure the first rule of marathon runner club is YOU DO NOT DRIVE TO THE FINISH!

Michelle J said...

anji said...

I'm a chunks-a-hoy and I only watched the first season... the second season, it got too commercialised. I felt encouraged at end of season 1... couldn't even get two episodes in second season... which is too bad.

There's a show up here in Canada called X-weighted... they follow one person over a six month period. It really IS awesome. The other one is called Taking it Off... it also follows for six months but involved two teams... and no one is kicked off. It's really an awesome show... and realistic... and none of this shit talk.

If you ever get to see them, let me know what you think!

deb_de said...

Sounds like BL is backtracking big time for this:

Fe-lady said...

It's TV. Most TV is fiction now-even the news.
Don't let it bother you-do your own thing.

And 3:53 isn't a mind boggling time for a's really mediocre for a guy. I don't care HOW much he weighs.

21stCenturyMom said...

Suprised? Not me. This show is so clearly become about the drama and not about the fundamental issue - regaining your life through regaining your health. Ugh. This is why I hate reality TV. Full of lies - all of it (but I lurve the Amazing Race because the challenges are so cool).