After the toughest elimination yet, Alison invites the Red Team into the Elimination Room for another surprise. After two months on campus, the contestants are ready to face every excuse in the book. Tomorrow, they're going home to stay for 18 days. In that time, they'll face all the excuses that brought them to the ranch in the first place. When they return to campus, there will be a weigh-in - and every one of them has a chance to gain immunity... by losing of their totally body weight! Jeremy will need to lose 16 pounds; Chris will need to lose 10, etc. If every single one of them reaches their goal, there will be no elimination. Everyone heads out to pack his or her bags.
The next morning, the players head home to reunite with family and friends. Everyone has great news to share - best of all, Kimmy is no longer a Type 2 diabetic! Cassandra asks her family to help keep her on track, since she has 10 pounds to lose. Everything's going great until each contestant receives a DVD to watch with his or her families. Alison pops up on TV screens across the country with yet another surprise. The next challenge is about to begin! Right now, there are rowing machines set up for each contestant. The first one to row 10,000 meters wins the challenge. The prize? Cold, hard cash - one dollar for every meter rowed, aka $10,000. Plus each of them will receive the WaterRower indoor rower they'll use today.
The contestants change into their Biggest Loser gear to start the challenge, as their family and friends cheer them on. Everyone has a different strategy. Emily's excited that her dad (and her former weight-lifting coach) gets to support her in this test of endurance. Fifteen minutes in, Chism is in first place; Kim is in second, then Mark, followed by Emily. Nearing the halfway mark, Chris develops a cramp and has to stop; she plans to go all-out at the end, hoping to make up time. At 8,000 meters, Jeremy finds a groove, while Mark and Chism get closer and closer, and Kim knows that she and Emily are neck and neck. Everyone finishes rowing, but as luck would have it, Alison won't announce the winner until the weigh-in!
That night, Emily decides to test drive her will to avoid temptation, visiting her favorite bakery with friends. Buddy drives around Wayne, Michigan, passing his many favorite fast food places. He decides to purchase some chili dogs and cheese fries to see whether he can withstand temptation. He knows he still likes this stuff and still wants it; there's a part of him that's not "cured." Nevertheless, he's determined to be a better father, and he throws the food away, while Emily decides to only order a hot tea. It's not about the food for her anymore; it's about the company she keeps. Jeremy heads to a bar to shoot pool with friends, opting for water as the rest of them drink beer. Cassandra has a big family and they love to bake. Everyone gets together to make cookies, and she allows herself only one. It was precarious, but she did it!
The next morning, Cassandra gathers her family to talk about breakfast. She loves peanut butter, so she's excited to introduce MultiGrain Cheerios Peanut Butter to her family. Afterwards, she grabs her sister and heads to the gym. In Magnolia, Texas, Chism gets together with his band, My Side of the Story, for a jam session. His biggest struggle in being home will be finding time to do everything, especially working out. But when he and Mark play some Ultimate Frisbee with friends, they both realize they can run around and be just as active as anyone. In Middlebury, Indiana, Chris and Roy are facing challenges. Their house needs repairs, especially to the roof, which leaks badly and is causing more damage. Unfortunately right now, they just don't have the money. In the past, Chris would deal with this sort of stress through emotional eating. Chris and Roy agree they have to focus and not let themselves get distracted.
Emily and her dad go to the gym for an Olympic weight-lifting workout, which they haven't done in a long time. Emily's nervous; she quit lifting five years ago, and she hasn't been able to work out with all her excess weight. She starts getting mad, then sad because she's lifting "chump weight." She's embarrassed by her mediocre performance. Her dad tells her that she'll get it all back in no time, but Emily knows that Olympic lifting is not in her future. She nervously tells him that she has a farfetched dream of trying an Iron Man. Her dad reminds her that she can do whatever she wants to do, and what she's doing now on the ranch is the most important thing. Meanwhile, brothers Ben and Buddy head to Planet Fitness for a 30-minute express workout. Jeremy visits a gym in his hometown and uses the tricks he's learned on the ranch to hone in on his destiny - the loss of 16 pounds.
Kimmy accompanies Megan on her first visit to her horse since they got home. Before she left, Megan had to use a step stool to mount her horse, but now she can do it on her own! Pretty soon, it's time for the contestants to pack up and head back to the ranch. Kim's kids get together to explain that as much as they'll miss her, they know how much she needs to stay on the road to her health. It's not long before everyone's back on the ranch and meeting up with their trainers. The Black Team knows Bob has been using his 18 days to cook up a demonic Last-Chance Workout. He's excited to test-drive a whole new outdoor exercise facility. Wondering if he's not a little sadistic, Bob pushes his team harder than ever, so hard that Chris falls to the ground with tremors, hyperventilating. She thinks something's wrong, so Bob calls Sandy. Once Chris gets control of her breath, she's right back on the rowing machine.
Thinking Kim seems off her game, Dolvett pulls her aside for a talk. She explains that going home may not have been the success it was for some of the others. It wasn't the temptation of food so much, but the time she wanted to spend with her kids instead of focusing on herself. She knows she didn't figure it out at home, and now she's worried. Did she lose the 10 pounds she needed to, and will she be able to stay on the ranch? That night, Bob and Dolvett agree that it's a special weigh-in; they both want to keep everyone on the ranch. Alison welcomes the contestants back after 18 days at home, and prepares to announce the winner of the Rowing Machine Challenge. It's down to Chism and Kim... and Chism wins by a mere seven seconds! Alison reminds everyone that whoever has lost of their body weight receives immunity, and if everyone on the losing team hits their goal, no one will go home!
Buddy is first to climb on the scale, and he has lost an astounding 23 pounds! Now he's under 300 pounds, which is a big milestone for him. He remembers standing in a hospital room when his daughter died; now he's lost the weight he gained over the six years since her death. It's a culminating moment of pure victory. And he's the first player this season to lose 100 pounds! Jeremy's next, and he's hoping to lose 20, so he'll hit his 100-pound lost milestone. And he makes it! Now he has no fear of returning home after the show. Kimmy loses 10 pounds, earning immunity for herself, but Mark misses immunity by one pound, having only lost 11. Still, he knows this loss is awesome. Last to weigh in on the Red Team is Kim, who misses her goal by three pounds, losing seven total. Kim explains that it was so much harder at home than she thought it would be. Now if the Red Team loses, Kim and Mark will face elimination, since they're both below the yellow line.
The Black Team will now have to lose 78 pounds total. Conda's thrilled to earn her immunity by losing 14 pounds. Emily surprises herself with a 17-pound loss - which takes her to 199! Megan loses 12 pounds, one pound more than what she needed for immunity. Chris loses 11, one more than she needed for immunity, and Cassandra surprises herself by losing three pounds more than she needed with 13. Last to weigh in is Chism, and if he loses fewer than 12 pounds, the Black Team loses the weigh-in, and Chism will be automatically eliminated. Chism is blindsided to learn that he's lost only 11 pounds - one pound less than he needed for immunity. Everyone's devastated. Mark insists on going home in Chism's place, but Chism won't hear of it. He now feels better than he ever felt before in his life, and he's never going back. Dolvett remarks that Bob, Mark and the ranch have turned Chism into a man. Bob advises Chism (the son he never had) to take all the energy in the room home with him.