I agree that Jillian seemed a bit harsher - like she forgot that she needed to ease people into it a bit. But on the other hand, the other 4 people on her team also needed some time to adapt but in the end, seemed glad that they had been pushed beyond their comfort level in order to achieve way more than they had thought they could. I think Niki wasn't ready to go past her comfort level - she even said in her talking head farewell that she was going to find a therapist when she got home. That's beyond what TBL can provide and I think that Niki maybe was finally being true to herself about the reality of what she needs.
Of course, it still stinks that some other potential contestant lost out on the spot. It seems like they should have brought in a back up player given that she left so early on.
As for the show in general, I'm glad they've moved on from the misery sweepstakes, and that people have normal reasons for wanting to lose the weight, but it's not a contest about whose personal tragedy is the worst.
I also thought they did a great job with the kids in terms of how they will handle them. No eliminations, no embarrassing weigh ins or falling off exercise equipment, working with their families instead of the kids in isolation on the ranch, which won't help long term if they go back home to unhealthy lifestyles still being lived by the rest of the family. I've always wished the entire show was kinder and gentler although I realize that doesn't make for dramatic TV. But I'm glad they are taking that approach with the kids and I think that children and families watching at home, this could be really, really helpful.
Restart 1/6/13 - GOAL (for now) back to prior low
HAPPY SPRING & APRIL FOOLS CHALLENGE