When I finished putting my daughter to bed last night and turned on the TV, I was happy to note that EM:WLE was starting in half an hour. So, I jumped around a little, waiting for it start and then settled in for another hour of "transformations" as Chris Powell loves to say. This week's episode focused on a 500 (well, 498, but that's not really worth the nitpicking, right?) pound man, Dana Baker, a bachelor who lives alone and loves to sing. Do these people have jobs? The first fatestant (thanks to Mr. C for the term!) was a school teacher and last week's was a kid, but at 44 years old, you would think this guy worked for a living. Anyway, to truly showcase how big this guy is and how ripped Chris Powell happens to be, we see Dana huffing his way through water aerobics in the pool at the YMCA, with his tremendous man-boobs literally floating underwater, as Chris bounds out of the locker room and canonballs into the pool. They hug, awww. Cut to commercial.
Chris and Dana fly to California to go through the whole evaluation process, with Dana quipping that he hopes they got him a second seat on the plane, no kidding! So, Dana weighs in at just about 500 pounds and Chris clearly has his work cut out for him. He goes through the medical testing process and then the test kitchen to eat a healthier version of his beloved ribs and then its on to the gym. Several times I thought we were going to see a Biggest Loser-esque puke fest or some fainting, especially when Dana eyes rolled back in his head and could barely walk, but seemed to make it through the workout and be excited for what was to come.
They head back to Tennessee, where Dana's house has been transformed into a gym and his old fridge has been replaced and filled with healthy stuff. Chris moves in for the month and things seem to be going well, until Chris opens the fridge and finds ginger ale (and not the diet version) and some canned fruit in syrup, I think. Why you'd buy that and then keep it in your fridge is beyond me, but there's clearly alot going on with this guy. Chris basically blows a gasket, chucks the soda and canned fruit outside and then goes through Dana's car and trash, getting more and more pissed off as he finds more and more fast food wrappers. And then its time to get down to the heart of the matter. Dana eats because he was abused and no one in his family even knows. Well, millions of people know now. Chris thanks Dana for telling him and then the show continues. WTF!!! Is this guy going to get some therapy or something? Is that it? I've seen revelations on BL. They are usually of the "my daddy didn't love me" variety and Jillian would talk those to death, until they decided that, yes, they were worth it and someone was going to love them now that they were skinny. But sexual abuse? That goes a bit deeper, dontcha think?
Moving on, at the 3 month mark, Dana loses one pound more than the goal that Chris set for him of 110 pounds. Not too shabby. Dana then walks a mile and a half across a pedestrian bridge, barefoot. Ewwww. Can you imagine what's on that bridge? Then some homeless dude starts yelling "faaaaaaaaaaaaat" at poor Dana who's walking barefoot holding bags of fruit punch and steak. Chris, defender of the fat, asks his camera man and producer, I guess, if he can do something about it. He gets all up in the homeless dude's face and presumably the guy stops heckling. Chris leaves Tennessee and Dana goes to California to sing with his brother. Over the next 6 months we see Dana get more outgoing and happier with himself, but he also has a breakdown and when he returns to California for his 9 month weigh-in, he has not lost enough weight to qualify for the skin removal surgery. Also, we get to learn a little more about the inner workings of the show. Apparently, Chris is paying for the fatestants food. They submit receipts for reimbursement and get paid back. Chris is disappointed that Dana did not lose that much weight and starts looking at the receipts and sees all of the charges for pizza and ice cream and gets upset. And now, it's time for another revelation. Dana reveals to Chris and however many other people are watching the show, that he's gay and he's been hiding it for 45 years. Chris is very excited about this. Maybe this will be another 110 pound weight off Dana's back. But either way, please tell me I'm not crazy, but how many of these bombs is this guy going to drop in one hour! Geez. Anyway, it's now 10:50, which must mean that it's weigh-in time. In 365 days, Dana has lost...cut to commercial. Groan. Okay, 203 pounds and he's about to faint. He's still a big guy, but that's like a whole pretty big person he lost.
Dana thanks Chris and the show ends with the little declaration that he came out to his family and they love him as he is. Awwwww.