Excess BaggageMon-Thu 7pm, Ch9.
Finally everyone gets to see what Channel 9 have been sizzling for weeks and had to rush forward to combat Ch10’s move of Biggest Loser into the 7pm timeslot to fight it. Kate Ceberano was very comfortable as host and welcomed everyone to the Kimberleys in the Northern Territory as the ‘normal’ contestants and ‘celebrity’ contestants arrived and were sorted into pairs – one of each per team. The celebs lined up a somewhat notorious bunch: Kevin Federline, Ajay Rochester, Kate Dearugo, Gabby Millgate, Brant Webb, Darren Lyons, Christine Anu & Robert DiPierdomenico – and personalities/show personas started to show through already. We got to meet two of the judges: trainer Christian & nutritionist Dr Joanna and the surprises kept coming… no set diet & optional exercise sessions. Early sessions with Christian showed how out of form all 16 contestants were, and personalities rubbing against each other. Bring. It. On. A strong contender in the battle of the 7pm weight loss shows.

The Biggest Loser AustraliaMon-Thu 7pm, Ch10.
FINALLY we finish the ferry challenge that started last week. I guess it took that long for the teams to row that far. The Commando’s Black team managed the win, sans Alex, giving them the 2kg advantage for the weigh in. Selena collapsed. Only the white team cared. When it came to weigh in, the truth was harder to swallow for some than others. Total weight loss percentages for the teams combined:
Black: -44kg (6.29%)
Red: -32.4kg (6.16%)
Blue: -35.3kg (5.26%)
White: -25kg (4.69%)
On average each contestant lost at least 6kg, not outrageous in the first week. A bit harsh that a 4.8kg weight loss for Selena wasn’t enough to save her (beating Hamish with meagre 4.9kg weight loss)… even after the Black/Red teams had the chance to save both those nominated.

My Kitchen RulesMon-Thu 7:30pm, Ch7
A welcome return for Pete, Manu and 12 new teams from across Australia (with a “surprise” team from New Zealand). First team to present their home restaurant was that of siblings Helen & Steve from NSW, and they stayed somewhat true to their roots with a Greek-inspired menu. Jen “The SA Princess” & Justine “The WA Truckie” already my favourite characters from the first group. Strong 7’s across the board from their fellow contestants (SA team offered 6) – total score 34/50. Pete & Manu scored:
P Entree – 7; M Entree – 8
P Main – 5; M Main – 5
P Dessert – 8; M Dessert – 8
Overall score: 75/110
A high bar set for the rest of the teams for the first pop-up restaurant for season 2012. Tomorrow night – friends Angela & Justine from WA.

Please Marry My BoyMon 8:45, Ch7
Lots of people with low expectations for this show and the first airing at least exceeded those. A great reveal for the assembled 40 girls when told that their speed dating was to be with a guy and his mum. Bring on the shocking/amazing/cringeworthy revelations! The “teams” Brendan & Anne, Matt & Karen, Vlad & Milena and Tony & Elva all played a very good bat during the speed dates and the outcome was that the mums all picked three girls to move into the family home to date their son. After weeding out the topless waitress, the girl who can move her boobs, random and plentiful boob jobs & a host of other made-for-TV suprises the mums had to make their decisions (after falling in love again themselves).
Anne chose: Anna R, Anna, Edwina.
Karen chose: Amanda, Lyndall, Koa.
Milena chose: Andrea, Costanza, Liz (Jackie pulled out).
Elva chose: Sarah, Magdelena, Tammy Lee.
Host Ada Nicodemou did a great job of hosting and her gentle voiceovers provided a good counterpoint to the chaos/cringe of the speed dates. Surely a sleeper hit for Ch7 in 2012.

Santo, Sam & Ed’s Sports FeverMon 10:45pm, Ch7http://facebook.com/sportsfever7
If you saw Cup Fever in 2010, you’ve got a very good idea with what was offered by the boys. Bad gags, good gags, tongue in cheek gags, the miuse of footage, and a bit of sport. Live into Victoria/New South Wales and delayed elsewhere, Sports Fever was nothing short of shambolic sincerity and it shouldn’t be any other way. A wider smattering of sport helps the show appeal to a bigger market, and the only thing working against it is the timeslot (though an earlier airing would lead to sharper criticism). Welcome back Santo, Stan and Ed – looking forward to next week’s offering. Any chance of a cameo from Graham & the Colonel?