Shakespeare* once famously said, “I know I shouldn’t waste my time, In dreams of yesterday, But your memory’s all that I have left, Since you’ve gone away”**. These words were particularly apt on last Sunday’s elimination. Elimination is often a difficult and emotional journey for the contestants. There is always regret. There is always sorrow. There is always heartache. There is rarely chocolate. But last week’s elimination had extra impact. Lara, you see, and Meg, you also see, were up for the boot.
How did they get there, you may ask? Well, they walked, I presume. Unless the elimination room is located some distance from the weigh-in room and they require the use of some kind of private light rail device to get to and fro. Or alternatively, they have a number of golf buggies on standby.
But how did it transpire that Meg and Lara were up for elimination, I hear you clarify? Ah, well that is a good question. And for the answer to that question, we must look back to the weigh-in.
Joe was first to weigh in. Having just fallen below the 100kg mark last week, it remained to be seen if Joe, with immunity, had it in him to keep up the hard work. Well he did, losing 5.24% of his body weight. This put him in first place and in last place at the same time.
Michelle was suitably moved. “I don’t think I’ve ever been touched quite like that on the show” she said. I would like to say more on this topic but as the police are investigating Michelle’s allegations and the matter is sub judice, I will keep my powder dry.
Leigh was next on to the scales. His weight loss was only just below Joe’s, having lost 5.06% of his body weight. Leigh was clearly pleased to continue his amazing weight loss record. He gave suitable thanks to Shannan for all the help he had given him over the series. Meanwhile, Shannan moved one step closer to Lara.
Following Leigh came Sarah. She headed up to the scales full of bonhomie and confidence, but felt extremely deflated when she discovered that, notwithstanding all the hard work she had put in, she had only lost 3.05%. Michelle and Commando both pointed out that 3.05% was her best result to date and it was a clear indication she had turned the corner. This cheered Sarah up somewhat when she remembered that just around the corner from her place is a Darrel Lea.
But then it was all downhill for the rest of the contestants. Neither Sharlene nor Kellie could get above a 3% loss. Meg couldn’t even get above 2%, meaning she was certain to fall below the yellow straight thing joining two points. However, the biggest surprise was that Lara, so far leader in the weight loss race and fierce competitor, could only manage a loss of 0.99%. Although this put her down to 69kg, it also mean her and Meg would be facing elimination together.
Lara tried put a positive spin on her predicament, but struggled. She said she thought the day she saw 69 would be the best day ever. Leigh agreed that he thought the day he saw a 69 would be the best day ever, unless it involved Craig and Sharlene, in which case it would be the worst day ever.
Sharlene and Leigh could not contain their heartbreak at the thought of Lara leaving. Lara sensibly pointed out that no one was actually dying. Leigh and Sharlene insensibly pointed out that they didn’t know that for sure and anyway it wasn’t the dying they were worried about. It was the access Shannan would have to Lara without the worry of Leigh accidentally walking in on them. Dying would be fine, they thought, so long as Shannan didn’t try to get one off while the body was still warm.
And so to the elimination room they trudged. Lara told the group that it was really hard sitting up the “other” end of the table, looking to her right and seeing Sharlene and Leigh so upset. She said it was really difficult for her to see Leigh crying. In fact, she said on a number of occasions that it was really difficult to watch Leigh crying, although she used a variety of words instead of crying, such as ‘blubbering’, ‘sniveling’ and ‘libido suppressing’.
Lara went on to say that she wasn’t ready to go home. She hadn’t packed, still had some washing on the line, and needed to do a wee before the big trip. Plus, she added, she hadn’t had a chance to make arrangements to meet up with Shannan on the outside yet.
Meg, for her part, was equally unprepared to leave. She said she had plenty of friends up the other end of the table, nodding to the empty chairs, but that she didn’t feel safe going up against a woman she variously referred to as “Miss Popular”, “Miss Skinny” and “Miss Anne Thropic”.
Sharlene was first to vote and voted for Meg. She said that, naturally, her heart went with her family, but that Meg had become like an adopted daughter to her. Not a favourite daughter, mind you, but more like the kind of daughter “you see only at Christmas and who you don’t really get on with and who you argue with about who was supposed to bring the cranberry sauce and why don’t you ever control those f**king noisy little brats of yours. In fact, not so much a daughter as an illegitimate niece.”
Joe was next. He said “Easy as” and voted for Lara.
Leigh came after Joe. And then it was his turn to vote. “Obviously I can’t vote against my partner” he said, referring to his and Lara’s Eagle Boys franchise agreement. He continued, saying that it sucked having to vote for Meg, but because he valued his testicles over friendship, that was they way it had to be.
Then it was Kellie’s turn to vote. She said she was choosing someone who she thought would be able to “do it” on the outside. And because Lara had lost so much weight and was completely hot, Kellie thought she was much more likely to “do it” than Meg was to “do it”, so she voted for Lara.
Sarah was last and once again had the deciding vote. She said she was voting for strategic reasons. Unfortunately, she’d heard the term used previously by other contestants but in fact had no idea what it meant. So she voted for the girl (Lara) who had no more weight to lose and couldn’t possibly still be a threat with so many weeks before the end, instead of the girl (Meg) with still quite a deal of weight to lose.
And so the end result saw Lara selected as the one to leave the camp. Though Lara was sad to leave she was grateful for what the Biggest Loser had done for her. She noted that it had saved her and Leigh’s relationship. Saved it for Shannan that is. She explained that she was sad to see Sharlene and Leigh so upset, and even sadder to see Leigh convulse when he cried. She told Leigh that absence makes the heart grow fonder and so they should spend at least 10 years apart so that they can really start to like each other. And with that, she was gone.
To get the contestants over the shock of Lara leaving, the producers decided to send them on a cruise to Tasmania. Although the QEII was originally booked for voyage, as a result of a Flight Centre instigated snafu, a replacement vessel was urgently needed. So the producers chartered the ocean going yacht, the Southern Excellence, figuring that there wouldn’t be much difference between a cruise ship and a racing boat.
Each of the contestants were assigned to an experienced sailor. (Shannan arriving decked out in traditional sailor garb, did his best to get assigned to Lara, but to no avail). The contestants were there ostensibly for the challenge, but also to lend a hand where they could.
Kellie was asked to replace the baggywrinkle*** but couldn’t find Sharlene anywhere. Sarah was asked to secure the booby hatch****, and proceeded to do so with relish, until she discovered that the hatch contained precisely zero boobies. Leigh was asked to empty any leftovers into the gash fanny*****, but when he tried to with Lara, she promptly told him that not before marriage, and even then only once a month. Sharlene, though, proved the most useful, by lying on the deck unconscious and allowing the seawomen and seamen to pour all over her should they get blown about by the wind. After all this time on Biggest Loser, she still provides a soft landing.
Whether they were great sailors or not was beside the point. What was important to each of the contestants was that they’d done it. They’d sailed from Sydney to Hobart on a boat designed to sail from Sydney to Hobart. They’d sailed from Sydney to Hobart on a boat with a full crew of sailors experienced in sailing from Sydney to Hobart. They may have vomited. They may have spewed. They may have chucked up their guts. And they may have fallen over a lot. But they had done it all by themselves. With a lot of help.
And that’s what’s important.
* The late William Shakespeare, aka Johnny Cave, 70s Australian musician and homeless person, from his smash hit “Can’t stop myself from loving you”
** He also once less famously said, “Excuse me. Have you got any change for a train ticket?”
*** A soft covering for cables (or any other obstructions) that prevents sail chafing from occurring.
**** A sliding hatch or cover.
***** Refuse container or dustbin.
The Biggest Loser Australia: Families – Sun 6:30pm; Wed/Thu/Fri 7:30pm, Ch10.
Image sources: Channel 10.