The Biggest Loser Australia – Mon-Fri 7pm, Ch10
And so, just like that, in the blink of an eye, Biggest Loser is almost over for another year. Well, when I say ‘’in the blink of an eye’’ obviously I’m referring to the eye of a coma patient closing down as the person descends into the coma and slowly opening up again 3 months later, struggling through the haze and confused memories until the shocking realization that Michelle loves Hamish dawns on them. And it certainly feels like Biggest Loser has been a coma: a coma of fears and victories, of emotions and revelations, of badly parked cars and damaged duco. But hopefully, at the end of it all, we will have learnt something, something about how life is like a cheese sandwich, in that it is a smelly, mouldy dairy by-product stuck between two highly processed wheat based products, much like being on a train during peak hour.
When the contestants returned from their Swiss adventure, completed by a tour of the Von Trapp house in Austria and the lesser known Von Trapp Kennards storage locker, where the Von Trapps hid their belongings before taking flight from the Nazis, they had no time to unpack their unmentionables before they were forced to entertain long lost family and friends, who had been allowed to visit the contestants as some sort of a perverse ‘reward’. Bek, Kasey and Margie all had the pleasure of a visit from their mums, while Alex was comforted by his sister, and Brenda was surprised by a visit from her orthodontist, who was fuming about an unpaid bill.
To show them what they had been through, each family member and/or professional acquaintance was allowed to train alongside their family member and/or non paying client. Alex and his sister had a race on the exercise bikes, a race that Alex lost because of his myriad of injuries. Kasey and her mum, Bernie, named after former Reserve Bank Governor and Sandman impressionist Bernie Fraser, stepped into the ‘dojang’. As Kasey pounded the treadmill, Bernie said she hadn’t seen Kasey run since Kasey had been in primary school. This wasn’t because Kasey hadn’t actually run since primary school, but because Bernie had spent Kasey’s formative years travelling the world, performing on stage in her one woman show entitled “What I would look like if Ronald Reagan was my mother”, a searing indictment on Thatcher’s Britain and the subjugation of the working class, and a catalogue of some of the 80s more bizarre fashion trends.
Meanwhile, Shannan had the pleasure of training not only Bek and Brenda, but Bek’s mum and Brenda’s creditor. Shannan took the opportunity to quiz Bek’s mum, whose name wasn’t Ethel, and asked not Ethel what she thought the biggest change in Bek was. Not Ethel didn’t waste any time in responding and replied “What are you daft? She’s not fat anymore, you moron!” Chastised, Shannan decided to punish not Ethel for her insouciance, by forcing her to listen to him for a bit longer.
After family and nodding acquaintances had left, it was time for the second to last weigh-in and elimination for 2012. Maybe. This time, Bek and Kasey fell below the yellow line and at elimination Brenda unsurprisingly voted to get rid of Kasey, while Alex, also unsurprisingly decided to get rid of the bigger threat in Bek. This meant the final vote came down to Margie. Margie said that deciding between Bek and Kasey was the hardest decision she’d ever had to make in her life, overtaking her previous hardest decision which was whether or not to watch Ben Elton Live from Planet Earth, and that time she’d made the right choice. This time it was between Bek, who in Margie’s words “lights up a room”, and Kasey, who Margie “didn’t even really know was there until Week Six”. In something of a shock she chose Bek, because (a) the lights at the camp were bright enough and she thought they didn’t need any extra illumination, and (b) she didn’t even realise Kasey was there at the other end of the elimination table. In a real shock Bek took her elimination with grace and good humour.
With the final four down to four, it was time for the remaining contestants to extract a little bit of revenge. Upon arriving at training, the trainers were shocked to find that the contestants were nowhere to be seen, only a note telling them to head down to the bunker. Unable to think for themselves and used to taking orders, the trainers headed down to the bunker where they saw vision of the contestants holding signs making various threatening statements, the upshot of which was that the contestants were going to train the trainers. Margie put Mish through her paces while taking the opportunity to make various sexually inappropriate remarks. Alex dressed exactly like Commando for his session, and the resemblance was uncanny, in that there was no resemblance at all. Kasey decided to test Tiffiny’s strength with some high impact wooden board breaking, but first asked Tiffiny to write on the board the things that were holding her back. Tiffiny merely wrote “Tiffiny”. Meanwhile, Brenda forced Shannan into an ice bath as payback for the dip in the frozen lake in Switzerland, as well as method to reign in his raging erection.
With the contestants’ training methods resembling being flogged by a wet paper towel, the trainers had sufficient energy to take them to Sydney Olympic Park, where they were supposed to train and inspire 1000 people. One by one the contestants took to the stage, told (or had told) their story, and put the crowd (or some of the crowd) through their paces. Some of the crowd left inspired, some of the crowd left disappointed, and some of the crowd left confused, led to believe that when they were told they were seeing “the biggest loser” they were going to see Delta Goodrem.
After everyone had cooled down and showered off, the contestants headed off to a singles party where the contestants were supplied with ten eligible singles each, matched according to personality, age and energy efficiency. First the contestants had to cook food for their guests, and they approached the task with their new found respect for healthy, low fat, low calorie food and served cardboard and other paper based products. But the food was just a sideshow for the main attraction of attraction.
Each contestant spent some time with their ten “lucky” people, but nature took its course and the contestants began to gravitate towards particular individuals. Margie was drawn to Genevieve, someone she’d known from playing football together. Kasey and Anthony had geographical location as a trait in common and that was all they needed. Alex and Leanne had numerous things in common, such as bondage, S & M and knitting.
Once the mingling with the nobodies was out of the way, it was time to do some mingling with the somebodies. Kasey trained with Olympic beach volleyballer and high seas adventuress Natalie “Captain James” Cook , while rugby superstar and international good guy John Eales spent some time with Margie, showing her some of the finer points of Rugby and providing some inspirational words, such as “glory”, “honour” and “spittoon”. Brenda was lucky enough to spend some time with the multi faceted Eamon Sullivan, known primarily for winning silver at the 2008 Olympics, appearing in underwear with popular Olympian Stephanie Rice, and winning the inaugural, and only, edition of Celebrity Masterchef. Eamon was able to show Brenda some of the tricks he’s learnt throughout his event filled life, including how to train to be an Olympic athlete while concurrently baking a flan and distancing yourself from a former lover who has displayed her homophobic tendencies on Twitter. But the real winner of the spending time with celebrities part of the show was Alex, who had the great fortune to be teamed up with Bob Herdsman, former Biggest Loser winner and author of the 2011 bestseller “101 Hidden Cavities”, a beautifully photographed pictorial exploring the folds of his skin.
Once the celebrities left the contestants were tethered to their trainers for a brief race before having a squiz at some photos and DVDs of what they looked like before they lost weight. And that’s where we left them on this penultimate week of Biggest Loser. Next week, a brief weigh-in for the last elimination before we get down to the final three to see who will be crowned as this year’s biggest loser. Although from memory they don’t actually have a crown. Not even a hat. Really, you would’ve though a hat was within budget.