Dane didn’t actually complete a marathon; Bob breaks down over team changes

This week’s episode of The Biggest Loser 7 was split into two nights because of Tuesday’s presidential address, and each night offered its own drama, from a trainer and his team’s emotional meltdown to a contestant’s on-screen lie about running an entire marathon. Dane lied, and Bob cried.

After being eliminated at the end of Wednesday’s episode, Dane appeared in the where-are-they-now segment, and talked about running a marathon, which he says “was one of the most amazing experiences of my life to run side by side with my wife for an entire marathon.”

But he didn’t actually run the entire 26.2 miles. Aaron Barnhart rounds up two reports of Dane’s marathon experience, including an actual marathon runner’s blog post that says Dane “and his wife were several miles behind me throughout the entire race, but around mile 17 they got picked up by a van and driven to the end of the course, where they filmed the grand ‘crossing the finish line’ finale with all the family cheering. I’m hoping that they televise it as a half marathon, since I know he ran at least that far, which is truly a great accomplishment.”

Dane’s wife Carli actually commented on that blog post and admitted they didn’t run the whole way; she wrote, “unfortunatly [sic] this marathon has been a little exaggerated. In this industry you are always on a time frame and sometimes it is out of your control. We had stopped along the way to film at a water station and to make up for lost time our producers drove us ONLY 3 miles up the road. I am sorry if this has offended you in any way, but we are still incredibly happy about the 23 miles we ran. We were not listed as completing the marathon. Dane is an honest LDS Dad and I hope that they do say he completed this marathon because had time allowed he would have!”

Not having enough time to complete it is utter bullshit, because three miles is, assuming a slow pace, 45 minutes, maybe an hour. As Dane and his wife cross the finish line in the clip, the clock says 3:53. A sub-4:00 time is damn impressive (it took me 5:10 to do my first marathon, although I actually ran the whole thing), but it’s not like race organizers shut down the race at 4:45 or even five hours. The blogger quoted above says she finished the race at 6:14:59, meaning Dane would have had 2.5 more hours to run those alleged three miles.

Meanwhile, Tuesday’s episode was just, well, hysterical. Bob Harper, who completely lost his shit earlier this season, said on Tuesday’s episode, “I just feel like I’m about to lose my shit. I, just can’t even hold it together right now. I’ve never been this upset. I’ve never been this upset on this show before, ever. I can’t stand it, I’m like, I was out there talking to them I was, like, dying.”

What was bothering him so much? The fact that the producers shook up the tribes–I mean, teams with a coin flip. “This is the hardest thing that I’ve ever gone through on The Biggest Loser,” Bob said, and I don’t think he was referring to being a part of the weepy montage of past moments set to Daniel Powter’s “Best of Me” (“and I hate to thought of finally being erased/Baby that’s the best of me”) that seemed like something that would follow a death.

NBC has, surprisingly, not put the clip of any part of that online, and this YouTube clip doesn’t include the montage. Still, it’s entertaining, and while I suppose it’s possible to watch this clip without laughing at their obvious emotion, their reaction seems so much like an overreaction that it’s funny:

“The Biggest Loser” — or is that “Biggest Liar”? — fabricates account of contestant finishing marathon [TV Barn]
We Did It! [Melancholy Smile]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.