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"Below The Yellow Line": Competitor Discourse on NBC's "The Biggest Losrer"
Unformatted Document Text:  14 “It would have made me so angry if I had fallen below the yellow line and gotten sent home.” – Sophia “I know that we are in serious jeopardy of going home.” – Aaron For many competitors, the show is a last resort effort, as they have been unsuccessful losing weight in the “real world” and have turned to “reality TV” to help them accomplish their goal. It is interesting to note, that “home” is something to be avoided. Perhaps this does not seem so extreme when we realize that home or the “real world” has been a place of difficulty for many of the competitors. “In any other world that would be amazing. 5lbs in one week, great you worked your but off for it, but I still don’t know where I’m gonna fall. That line was right in the middle again.” – Burgandy “It would have really made me so angry if I had fallen below the yellow line and gotten sent home.” – Sophia Therefore, as the above quote shows, competitor discourse reveals as cognizance of the special circumstances in which they are involved, a reaffirmation of the yellow line and a desire to stay in the competition. Success/Pride Discourse of this nature tends to be largely self-directed or self-referential and reveals a sense of competitive or personal accomplishment. 79 success/pride statements were recorded and revealed that competitor success/pride discourse revolves unambiguously around numbers. There were no substantial comments about weight as a health or lifestyle issue as an impetus for success/pride discourse. Instead, the discourse revolved around tangible, numerically codified reduction in weight, “I haven’t lost more than 5 lbs in 2 years, so that’s pretty cool.” – Ada

Authors: Dunning, Eric., Alsip, Mary Katherine. and Bissell, Kim.
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14
“It would have made me so angry if I had fallen below the yellow line and gotten sent 
home.” – Sophia
“I know that we are in serious jeopardy of going home.” – Aaron
For many competitors, the show is a last resort effort, as they have been unsuccessful losing 
weight in the “real world” and have turned to “reality TV” to help them accomplish their goal. 
It is interesting to note, that “home” is something to be avoided. Perhaps this does not seem so 
extreme when we realize that home or the “real world” has been a place of difficulty for many of 
the competitors. 
“In any other world that would be amazing. 5lbs in one week, great you worked your but 
off for it, but I still don’t know where I’m gonna fall. That line was right in the middle 
again.” – Burgandy
“It would have really made me so angry if I had fallen below the yellow line and gotten 
sent home.” – Sophia
Therefore, as the above quote shows, competitor discourse reveals as cognizance of the special 
circumstances in which they are involved, a reaffirmation of the yellow line and a desire to stay 
in the competition.
Success/Pride
Discourse of this nature tends to be largely self-directed or self-referential and reveals a 
sense of competitive or personal accomplishment. 79 success/pride statements were recorded and 
revealed that competitor success/pride discourse revolves unambiguously around numbers. There 
were no substantial comments about weight as a health or lifestyle issue as an impetus for 
success/pride discourse. Instead, the discourse revolved around tangible, numerically codified 
reduction in weight,
“I haven’t lost more than 5 lbs in 2 years, so that’s pretty cool.” – Ada


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