A Dose of Reality: Celebrity Fit Club 4 - Week 5: "Mentally, I'm jogging on the treadmill."
by Paul Phillips
Published: September 14, 2006
After taking Labor Day weekend off, Celebrity Fit Club is back. After last timeís Special Meltdown Edition this episode, unfortunately, doesnít compare: it just sort of meanders along without anything too exciting happening. Sure, Angie Stone makes some more excuses, which is always fun. But even thatís starting to get old. With the way sheís complaining, youíd think she was on Survivor, stranded on a beach and forced to subsist on only rice for 39 days. All theyíre asking her to do is put the Big Mac down and hop on the treadmill a few times a week. Angie, youíre a plus-size diva, and you know what? You are working it, Girl. If you didnít want pressure to exercise and lose weight, you shouldnít have done Celebrity Fit Club. You would, however, make an excellent guest star on MoíNiqueís PHAT Princess (or whatever itís called) show. MoíNique and Angie Stone take down United Airlines, one skinny, middle-aged white man at a time. That'd be good.
I think the biggest problem with Fit Club, however, is itís lost its effervescence since Nick Turturro became suddenly sane. Iím boredósomeone hide his Prozac, quick!
When we left our Fit Clubbers, Angie was aghast and agog at the suggestion that she do some physical activity other than eating her pastrami sandwich and carrot cake for lunch. Anything more strenuous than that and she MIGHT HAVE A HEART ATTACK. SHE COULD DIE, PEOPLE! Angie walked off the set, with that fierce, weight-losing machine Tina Yothers (or, as Ant calls her, Tina YO-thers) following her out to do damage control. (SIDE NOTE: After my last recap, I got an email from none other thanÖFit Club host Ant. I just about plotzed. Antís ear from comedy is apparently very finely tunedóhe thinks Iím hilarious. And since flattery will get you everywhere with this writer...Ant can now do no wrong). Dr. Linda joins them, hoping to make use of that PhD her poor parents mortgaged their home to pay for. Angie whines, "I donít need the people in my immediate company to be looking at me cross-eyed and sideways because we donít f*cking win a trip to go somewhere. Take your ass up to a regular spa and get a massage. Everybody out here got money. They could do that on their own." Except, perhaps, Ted, Tina, and Erika, who havenít worked in decades. Angie, of course, is deflecting the real issue: no one gives a sh*t about the spa. Theyíre frustrated with Angieís stubborn refusal to get off her ass and do the work. Tina YO-thers does some really intense, confrontational therapy with Angie while Dr. Linda just stands there and takes up space. Seriously, Dr. Linda doesnít say a word. Tina convinces Angie to stay with the show, but the night ends without a final weigh-in.
While the Fat Crushers get pampered at the spa, the Team Thatís Been Dragged Down by Angie Stone is subjected to a "Native American Medicine Man and a band of spirited drummers". Tina takes in the spectacle and asks, "Weíre gonna do a sacrifice?" Seems so: a wild-eyed serial killer rushes in and-- Wait, thatís just Gary Busey, season 2 alumnus. I didnít watch Garyís season of Fit Club, and Iím not familiar with his work, other than knowing that he hasnít done much lately. All I can really say about Gary is that he creeps me the hell out. Gary shares, "I did the show two seasons ago and I realized that the show was brought to me by a blessing I used in prayer." That, and his agent, who was tired of not making a dime off Mr. Busey. Gary gives the team a recycled 12-step speech, saying that FAILING stands for "Finding An Important Lesson, Inviting Needed Growth". Which is a nice way to say "Making a huge mistake and f*cking everything up". Gary says "Winnersh do what loshersh donít want to. If youíre in a losing position with yourself"óTAKE ANGIEó"you might as well leave the show cause youíre not representing the truth and the heart and the love you have for yourself. I could speak foreverÖ" Please donít. "Öbut I canít." Thank you Jesus.
Tina, extremely moved, tells Gary: "I just have to say really quickly I lost my father in December and you have the same exact arms. And you just remind me so much of my father." I'm sure somewhere up there, Tina's late father is super-pleased about that comparison. Tina is clutching Garyís arms, and he looks at her like he wants to rape her. He says "Let me tell you, I have been to the other side of my death after brain surgery in í88. Your father is in the most beautiful, wonderful place. And celebrate his life, Ďcause heís here right now." As the White Cloud Singers play "a song of inspiration" (it sounds like the Survivor theme), Gary & crew join hands and dance, with Gary chanting, "Feel it, feel the spirit of friendship. Weíre all together as one here, Baby!" Gary flashes the camera a devil grin that says: "Iíve got Tina YO-thers right where I want her. That plump little chicken is mine!" RUN, TINA! But, sadly, a moved Tina says, "His words were inspiring. His words were encouraging. This whole night was a blessing. It just felt good." Oh, Honey. He got to you, didnít he.
Itís day 65 as the celebs report to the weigh-in chamber. Last time, Bone turned a corner as he got down to under 400 lbs. This week, he does great again: he loses 11 lbs., down to 386. Bone is just 3 lbs. away from beating Phil Margeraís Fit Club record of 41 lbs., and he looks great. Dr. Ian gives him props: "A lot of people in your condition wouldíve given up and resorted to something like surgery." But Boneís doing it "the right way", through diet and exercise. My new best friend Ant, always trying to stir the pot, says "Ian, I just have to interrupt you for a second because Carnie looks really pissed." Carnie says, "I think it was a pretty irresponsible comment coming from a doctor. Or ignorant. I donít know why you would say that." Dr. Ian gives Carnie the dirtiest lookÖand Iím sensing a theme with this little twerp: he canít take it when anyone challenges him. Dr. Ian gets all uppity, saying: "Iíve helped perform these surgeries, so I know these surgeries very well." HeísÖhelped? What, he handed the scalpel to the real doctor? Dr. Ianís point is that many people turn to the gastric bypass as an easy way out. That may be true, but what Carnie (and I) are objecting to is Ian saying that losing weight the old-fashioned way is "the right way", and the surgery is "giving up". Instead of just clarifying what he meant, Ian goes into "Iím right and I donít care what you say" mode. Listen to me, Ian: last week Tina orchestrated Carnie getting traded to the other team so she could be Captain. This week Tinaís in the clutches of Gary Busey. Coincidence? Maybe. Or maybe Carnieís #1 fan made Tina pay. All Iím saying, Dr. Ian, is Iíd hate for you to wake up in the middle of the night bound and gagged, with Bruce Vilanch looming over you in a Dominatrix outfit and whip. I humbly suggest that you give Carnie the respect she deserves.
Carnie has a bad weigh-in: she only loses 1 lb. Erika encourages Carnie: "You lost a pound", and leads a clap for Carnie. See, Ian? Erikaís a smart woman. To Carnieís credit, she knows why she only lost a pound, and she takes full responsibility: she picks off her daughterís plate, and she wasnít great with her eating. Carnie turns to Harvey and says "Kick my ass." But Harvey says "What I like about what you just did, Carnie, is you didnít get up here and try to BS us." Hear that, ANGIE!? Carnieís target for next weigh-in is 3 lbs.
Tina has another great week: Sheís down 9 lbs., to 164. Wow. Next up is Nick "no-fun-when-heís-not-crazy" Turturro. Lately, Nickís relationship with his brother, actor John Turturro (the Turturro brother youíve actually heard of) has been strained. So Fit Club hits the road, going to Queens, NY, where the Turturro boys reunite and play basketball with some old friends. When he sees Nick, John kisses his cheek. Nothing strange about thatóthose Italians are very affectionate. But Nick immediately WIPES THE KISS OFF. What was that about? Even if a kiss it really wet, you should wait till the kisserís not looking before you wipe it off. Itís just common courtesy. John is impressed with the new svelte Nick: "You can see his cheekbones." But John shouldnít talk: he looks like he could be collecting Social Security. Seriously, heís got wrinkles, giant bags under his eyes, white stubble, and yellow teeth. Was he not told there was a camera crew coming?
Nick gets on the scale. I didnít think Nick had a big weight problem to begin with, but I gotta give it up: Nick does look good. He loses 3 lbs. again this week, heís down to 160.
Erikaís up next, and she has an amazing week: sheís down 8 whole lbs., to 132. Erika is almost down to the goal weight the panel set for her, but she wants to lose even moreóshe wants to get down to 123 "because when I go to work, if Iím not a certain size I look heavier on camera." I wouldnít worry about it, Erika. Iím sure you wonít be working much. Harvey is simply beaming with pride (he has a very nice smile!): "Erika, every time I talk to you youíre trying to raise the bar higher and higher. How much more can you take that bar up?" "I donít know," a sassy Erika says. "What do you got to dish out? Why donít you throw me something, Harvey?" You can bet Erikaís not talking about one of Harveyís workout videos. I guess since Dr. Linda and Ted began their illicit love affair, itís okay for the panel and contestants to bang. "I love to accommodate," Harvey says suggestively. Is it just me, or is it getting hot in here? Iím guessing starting tonight, Erikaís gonna be on Harveyís "special", extremely individualized exercise program.
Last time, you might recall, Vinny was constipated. But he mustíve taken an enormous dump, because he lost 5 lbs. The panel is impressed. Says Dr. Ian, "20 out of 35 lbs. Youíre goal is 35 lbs. for the show. Youíve already lost 20 lbs." To which Vin replies, "So I got 10 lbs." Old people get so confused by the simplest things. Like 2nd grade math. I swear, Vinny reminds me of my Grandma. When she has to call a computer system and press 1 or press 2, she canít handle it. She totally freaks out. Ian explains that 35-20=15, and Vinny exclaims, "I gotta lose 35 lbs.? Marone!" Vinís target for next weigh-in is 3 lbs.
Next up is Ted, whoís looking thinner and thinner. This week, he lost 4 lbs. Says Ted, "I work my ass off. I mean literally. I donít have my ass anymore. Itís gone. I used to have a black ass. I donít have it anymore." Dr. Ian says, "I can relate to that." Dr. Ianís commiserating with Ted on the black experience? Okay, Iíve been thinking it since I tuned in. And Iím just gonna say it: Dr. Ian is one of the least black black people Iíve ever seen. Un-PC? Yes. But I bet a lot of you know what Iím saying. Dr. Linda comments, "You and I have spoken about feeling sexier for your wifeÖ" And for Dr. Linda. I figured out last time that Dr. Linda has been setting sail on Tedís "Love Boat", if you know what I mean. Dr. Linda engages Teddy in some titillating dirty talk about his sex advice column in FHM magazine. Harvey tells Ted, "I didnít realize you were so experienced in this sex thing." Heís amazing, Dr. Linda coos, a pink blush in her cheeks. That man made me feel things I didnít know were possible. Now, Dr. Linda talking about Tedís sex life is hot. Harvey talking about it is just weird. Tedís goal weight for the show is 165, heís already down to 167. So heís just got one more pound to go? asks Vinny.
And we save the best for last: yes, itís time for our big beautiful Drama Queen Angie Stone to step on the scale. Says Ant, "We start every Fit Club season with eight celebrities committed to diet and exercise for 100 days. But sometimes challenges can surface that make it tough or even impossible to continue." Challenges like not feeling like getting off the couch. " Itís time to discuss your health, Angie, and your future on the show." Since last weigh-in, Dr. Ian accompanied Angie (wearing a giant white hat) to a heart doctor, to find out the real deal. The doctor (not Ianóthe real doctor) asks: "Do you smoke cigarettes?" "Yes, I started back," says Angie. Also, Angieís been off her diabetes medication for two weeks (she ran out), and she stopped taking her blood pressure meds. Let me get this straight: Angie couldnít take a stroll through the woods because she was afraid sheíd go into cardiac arrest. She can, however, smoke cigs and stop taking all her medications. Thatís not a problem. I see. Angieís blood pressure is 180/100. I know almost nothing about blood pressure, and even I know thatís really high. So high that itíd be dangerous for her to do the stress test. Angie has to get back on her meds, get her bp down, and come back.
Angie and Ian come back a week later, and Angie (wearing a hospital gown and a sideways capóitís like the K-Fed Hospital Scrub Line) does the stress test. Rather, she does five minutes of it. Thatís all she can take. But itís enough to establish that Angieís heart can handle exerciseóeven vigorous exercise. Dr. Ian, in his best "told you so" voice, announces, "This is great news. Angie has found out she can go full board 100% vigorous exercise." Angie got a weak, "oh f*ck" smile on her face. "All the way," says Ian, "no more excuses." Thatís what you think.
Back at the weigh-in, Angie immediately starts bitching. "Iím a little disappointed Ďcause I work out and I think that was overlooked." Sorry, Ang, but the walk from the couch to the fridge doesnít count as exercise. "I Ďm jogging on the treadmill. Mentally, Iím jogging on the treadmill at this point because I know now that I can do it without my heart failing." Sheís jogging on the treadmillÖmentally? Mentally I didnít eat at McDonaldís, Friendlyís, and the Chinese Buffet last weekend. Mentally, Iím 6í4" and 180 lbs. Oh, and blonde. Angie gets on the scaleÖand she gained 2 lbs. Oh, thatís not good. Angie and the panel just stare at each other for several long moments, and itís just deliciously excruciating. Angie finally speaks: "I donít know what to say. I worked out. Iíve been dieting. What do you want me to say?" Dr. Ian throws a major hissy fit: "I donít know what to do. I flew here to help you. I took you to doctors. Everyone was upset last time because they thought that you were having a heart attack and we were possibly being mean and singling you out." "You were," Angie whines. "What youíre doing is trying to make me look as if Iím an idiot. Iím not an idiot." Lazy, yes. An idiot? NO SIR! For every problem Ian points out, Angie has an excuse ready. Her smoking? It's the stress. Not taking her diabetes meds? She was trying to call her doctor.
Harvey intervenesóand heís not happy. "Youíre really wasting our time up here right now. Itís one excuse after another excuse, Angie. Iíll tell you what. Put your money where your mouth is. You can join me this week and we can make some money, we can rock and roll. And weíre gonna work out every damn day. You and me. Can you handle that? Put up or shut up." The appropriate response would, of course, be "Yes, Iím there, letís do it!" But Angie hesitates. Harvey presses: "Yes or no?" Angie says "I have things booked already. Obligated." I have to take my dog to the groomer. Oh, and I need to go buy more cigarettes. This woman is unreal. Come on, Angie, step up already! The panel and the cast basically shames Angie into saying yes, sheíll do it. Ant tries to orchestrate an XXL cat fight, nothing that Tina YO-thers doesnít look happy. Tina thinks even if Angie couldnít exercise, if she was following her diet she shouldíve lost something. But Angie says "I havenít, in my opinion, gained a bunch of weight." Gaining only 2 lbs. was actually a triumph. As they head out to the big scale, Angie murmurs, "I do not want to do this anymore. I really donít."
They get on the big scale, and the Fat Crushers lost 23 lbs. to Tinaís teamís 16 lbs., giving the Fat Crushers a 10 lb. lead overall. And Angie pipes up: "I think this is gonna be my last night, guys. Iím serious. I canít deal with this. I quit."
Next week looks good: Harveyís at the gym waiting for Angie. Will she show? Or is she off the show for good? Also, the celebrities have to shovel horsesh*t. Good times!