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"Below The Yellow Line": Competitor Discourse on NBC's "The Biggest Losrer"
Unformatted Document Text:  17 Disappointment Disappointment discourse is exemplified by language that reflects a clear sense or feeling of failure, either physically, emotionally or contextually within the competitive format of the show. 40 examples of disappointment discourse were recorded and did not reflect substantial acknowledgement of health issues or failure in gamesmanship. Instead, disappointment discourse was motivated primarily by dissatisfaction between weight loss and competitor expectations, “It’s not what I expected, especially the last week, it’s a very important week, and I just thought it’d be more.” – Elizabeth “Ok now that makes no sense. I’ve made huge changes since I’ve been here, so I mean that is really, really disappointing.” – Lisa “I mean six pounds is six pounds but I was expecting a bigger number.” – Jessica “That four, it really hit me by surprise. It was like, going up to the scale I’m on a high, and, that four just knocked me down.” –Elizabeth While failure to meet expectations would seem to be an evident motivational factor for disappointment discourse, the competitive nature of weight loss scenario elucidates a unique twist that merits discussion. In placing the competitors in an overtly competitive environment, disappointment discourse is consistently influenced by a very high level of agency, more so than any other form of discourse. In short, competitors exhibited a high level of intensity regarding their effort and what they perceived to reasonable weight loss, “I worked so hard (crying) What am I gonna do?” – Burgandy “A zero. I worked harder than that. I know how hard I worked out and I’m really disappointed that that’s not reflected in that number.” – Lisa “That’s a terrible number. I don’t understand it. I worked as hard as I could, I really did, and I don’t understand it at all.” – Brendan

Authors: Dunning, Eric., Alsip, Mary Katherine. and Bissell, Kim.
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17
Disappointment
Disappointment discourse is exemplified by language that reflects a clear sense or feeling 
of failure, either physically, emotionally or contextually within the competitive format of the 
show. 40 examples of disappointment discourse were recorded and did not reflect substantial 
acknowledgement of health issues or failure in gamesmanship. Instead, disappointment discourse 
was motivated primarily by dissatisfaction between weight loss and competitor expectations, 
“It’s not what I expected, especially the last week, it’s a very important week, and I just 
thought it’d be more.” – Elizabeth
“Ok now that makes no sense. I’ve made huge changes since I’ve been here, so I mean 
that is really, really disappointing.” – Lisa
“I mean six pounds is six pounds but I was expecting a bigger number.” – Jessica
“That four, it really hit me by surprise. It was like, going up to the scale I’m on a high, 
and, that four just knocked me down.” –Elizabeth
While failure to meet expectations would seem to be an evident motivational factor for 
disappointment discourse, the competitive nature of weight loss scenario elucidates a unique 
twist that merits discussion. In placing the competitors in an overtly competitive environment, 
disappointment discourse is consistently influenced by a very high level of agency, more so than 
any other form of discourse. In short, competitors exhibited a high level of intensity regarding 
their effort and what they perceived to reasonable weight loss,
“I worked so hard (crying) What am I gonna do?” – Burgandy
“A zero. I worked harder than that. I know how hard I worked out and I’m really 
disappointed that that’s not reflected in that number.” – Lisa
“That’s a terrible number. I don’t understand it. I worked as hard as I could, I really did, 
and I don’t understand it at all.” – Brendan


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