The Biggest Loser AustraliaMon-Fri 7pm, Ch10

Alex is climbing the walls.

The last time we left the contestants at camp Biggest Loser, Lydia and Margie were battling it out on the treadmills, racing over 5km. They were there by virtue of the fact that they had eliminated all the other contestants by beating them on the bikes and cross-trainers, and were the only two left. Down to the wire it went, neck and neck. Well of course it would be neck and neck, they were on treadmills. Nevertheless, it was close, but Lydia managed to just beat Margie by a fraction of a something.

Lydia won the title of Biggest Loser’s Ultimate Athlete, a title that is devoid of meaning for the simple fact that no athletes actually compete. Perhaps Ian Thorpe should have begun his comeback here. Anyway, importantly, for the game itself, Lydia also won a 1kg advantage at weigh-in.

At weigh-in, there was something in the air, and it wasn’t just a miasma of jealousy directed towards Michelle and Lisa because they have “boyfriends”, though whether Hamish falls into that category is debatable. No, one could sense that something was up, that trouble was afoot. It began early when Margie weighed-in first. Margie, you may remember, had been granted immunity and so was safe from elimination, unless she actually put on weight. And she very nearly did. She had only lost a measly 800 grams, less than the weight of Tiffiny’s teeth.

However, when Graham lumbered to the scales, the look on Commando’s face told us that he wasn’t expecting much. And when Graham weighed-in and had only lost 3.7kg his fears were realised. Hayley asked Graham if he was happy with that number, and he replied that he was “proud of what I have achieved”. “I never” he went on “imagined that I could dream of thinking of wondering if I could stand here. I’ve pushed myself to my limits this week. Luckily I set my limits at about 50% of what I am capable of at the start of the week. I don’t want to overdo it.”

Death by Zumbo.

Commando couldn’t contain himself any longer. “Are you really proud? Honestly?” he sneered. “Not of the number on the scales” Graham answered back “but I’m proud of what I’ve achieved. The old Graham would have had to have a three hour rest walking up to the scales, but now I can do it in less than 10 minutes. The old Graham would have needed a full picnic basket between the time I stepped on the scales and the time you asked me that question, but now I can go that whole 5 minutes with only two pork pies. The old Graham would have not been able to see his manhood, but now I can see it, reach it, and….”. Mercifully the producers threw to an ad break before Graham could complete that thought.

When we returned to the weigh-in room, the tension was still hanging in the air. Commando demanded that Graham look him in the eye, but Graham couldn’t bring himself to do it. Perhaps Graham was feeling intimidated, but it is instructive to note that Graham hasn’t been able to look Commando in the eye since they were accidentally locked in the pantry together weeks ago. Hayley asked Graham how he was feeling and Graham, who was initially reluctant to betray his true feelings, finally admitted that “I’m standing up here and with what I’ve achieved and my trainer is making me feel like shit!” Graham was referring to an untested and controversial dieting method whereby you convince the person who needs to lose weight that they would prefer to eat actual poo than high fat, high sugar foods, and judging by Graham’s comments it seemed to be working.

All of this infighting and fecophilia masked the fact that the only remaining couple were about to be split up at elimination. Lisa and Simon both fell below the yellow line and had to face elimination together. In the elimination room, Lisa said she was ready to go home, but both Margie and Lydia refused to believe her. Simon also felt she still had much to achieve, whereas if he was eliminated before her he’d have a small window to “clear up a few loose ends” before she joined him.

The voting initially went according to teams, with the former black members voting for Lisa and the former red members voting for Simon. The decision came down to the two former white members, and when Kasey revealed Simon’s name, his time was up. He left with little animosity, and perhaps with little regret. On the outside, Simon knew that he had only a limited time before Lisa joined him and had decided to sow his wild oats while he had the chance. Last anyone heard his wild oat farm was proving to be a roaring success.

Tyres goes on, tyre goes off, tyres go on...

With the tears from elimination barely dry, the contestants were taken off camp to learn some more important life skills. Margie, Lisa and Michelle went with trainer Michelle to undergo training in the art of trapezing. Though many may see this as a frivolous pursuit, in an era of increasingly crowded urban areas and crumbling transport infrastructure, the trapeze may just be the answer to the future of public transport. Particularly if the question is “What is the dumbest way we could think of to move masses of people about the city?”

Meanwhile, Tiffiny went with Alex, Lydia and Kasey to teach them about the important art of rock climbing. This is one of those life skills that you realise you need at the most inopportune times. For example, say you were part of a crack paramilitary unit who, during World War II, were tasked with assassinating a top ranking Nazi general. Now, if my military history is correct, based solely on movies like ‘The Eagle has Landed’, Nazi generals invariably perform the bulk of their tasks from castles in the picturesque, but isolated, Bavarian Alps. How would you get to your target? Without the training gleaned from scaling fibreglass cliff faces with strategically placed knobbly bits, you would inevitably fail. Even with that training you would fail, but at least you’d have some idea of what to expect.

Once all but one of the contestants had finished learning how to face some of life’s more obscure hurdles, they were faced with literal hurdles when they returned to the camp for this week’s contest. They had to jump over, or duck under, enormous noodles sticking out from turning poll, with the last person standing the winner. This was another life skill being learnt, as it prepared the contestants for their inevitable appearances on ‘Celebrity It’s a Knockout’, no doubt slated for some time in 2014. Lisa was the last person standing and was given the right to go on ‘The Walk’ again, which last time ended in the acrimonious split between Alex and Graham. Lisa again chose the Mystery, which allowed her to choose one contestant to have exclusive access to a trainer until weigh-in. She chose to have Mish to herself, but what she didn’t know was that included in the package was a tortuous five hour ‘shopping for Nature’s Way vitamins’ session.

With Lisa loaded up with enough Horny Goat Weed to satisfy an elephant, the contestants assembled for this week’s Temptation, which involved some of Adriano Zumbo’s most famous desserts, as well as a not insignificant number that had passed their use by date. Whoever consumed the most calories in a blind tasting would not only win immunity, but also be able to nominate another contestant to have immunity as well. Margie, Lydia and Alex all decided to play, but none of them consumed enough calories to beat Michelle, who ate a dessert called the ‘V8 Diesel’ containing a whopping 850 calories. Unsurprisingly she chose Kasey to have the other immunity.

This week's Loser loser.

With all the contestants now getting along famously, it was time to revisit the ghosts of weigh-ins past. Shannan decided to check on James to see how he’d progressed without the benefit of being in the Biggest Loser system and having full time professional staff to call on. Plus he needed a loan for a new ‘wrist based magnetized sports performance enhancer’, or ‘Powerband’, business venture, and he hoped James had some of his $30,000 left over. Fully expecting to see that James had failed to lose any weight on the outside, Shannan was amazed and shocked to find that James had lost 33 kilos. Shannan pointed out to James that, according to the Biggest Loser standard contestant contract, the first contestant to leave the camp for good is not entitled to lose any more than 10kg, in any given series. James was unaware of any such condition, but suggested that if Shannan wanted to take a closer look at the contract, he could start by “shoving it up his arse”. Shannan said that he would consider James’ response carefully and get back to him soon.

Back at the camp, the final challenge for the week was thrust upon the contestants. They were asked to move ten tyres each amongst five poles, stacking all ten on one pole, and then on to the next, until at the fifth, and then come back again, pole by pole. The winner would get a 1kg advantage, and the loser a 1kg penalty. From the start the contestants threw the tyres over the poles with gay abandon, and without considering the damage they were doing. Poles haven’t been treated this badly since Stalin’s forces ‘liberated’ Poland in 1945. And with no Lech Walesa to protect them and teach them about solidarity, these poles were on their own.

Margie came in first and earned herself a 1kg advantage. Lisa came in last and will be penalised 1kg at weigh-in. But in reality, it was the Polish nationals forced into such humiliating subjugation, who were the real losers. If only Shannan could have used his Powerband for good and saved them.