But before we get there, let’s see how we got there from last week.
The last time I left you, Joe was in a life and death struggle with his nephew, Nathaniel. At the start of the series, this would have seemed impossible. Nathaniel was just a fat, lonely, socially awkward cry baby when we first met him. Now, however, he is a thin, lonely, socially awkward cry baby, with just the hint of the potential serial killer about him. So all sorts of doors are bound to open for him.
Joe and Nathaniel were neck and neck in the rowing challenge, which is ironic, because at the start of the series neither contestant had a neck. But anyway, Nathaniel just pipped Joe at the post. Joe was magnanimous about being beaten by the mammalian equivalent of a wet towel. He said he wanted to be in the final four and have a shot at the money but, “no amount of money can buy your health back”. Sure Joe. The Royal family seemingly live for ever because of pure luck. Before leaving, Joe hugged Nathaniel and Nathaniel said that he, “hated Joe’s guts when we first came in, but now he’s lost so much weight he doesn’t have any guts left to hate so imma hate his face instead.”
However, Joe’s magnanimity was short-lived. A report in the Courier Mail had Joe suggesting that he may have thrown the challenge so as to allow Nathaniel to progress to the final four. If this is the case, it brings into question the legitimacy of the Biggest Loser and whether we can be certain that the final four are actually made up of people who deserve to be there. Oh wait. That’s right. None of them deserve to be there. It’s a game show.
Moving on from the demise of Joe, you may remember that earlier in the series, the contestants were informed of their biological ages. There was lots of shock at the time when it was revealed that to a man and a woman each contestant was biologically a lot older than they were chronologically. This time around each of the contestants biological ages had decreased, in some cases to a dramatic extent. For example, Nathaniel went from 32 to 22, Kellie went from 42 to 42, and Emma went from 37 to an astounding 22, 3 years lower than her chronological age. Leigh went even further below, with a biological age of only 18. If he gets any healthier, he’ll be at that age where he can have his first wank!
While these numbers are impressive and are a testament to the hard work these people have put in, there is something dubious about Nathan’s figures. It is hard enough to believe that Nathaniel has a biological age of 22, let alone 32. I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, but he hasn’t even reached puberty yet. It is more likely that he has a biological age of 12.
Continuing with the theme of relying on the content of previous episodes rather than creating something new and different, the contestants time capsules were dug up (dug up is a euphemism of course. At the start of the series, each of the contestants would have been too lazy to pick up a shovel) and the videos made by each when they were rather larger shadows of their current selfs.
Nathaniel was first up and he sat down on the lounge with Michelle to watch his message to himself. Old Nathaniel explained to new Nathaniel that the three main things he wanted to do were “play hockey, go out and go to the beach” obviously not realising that to play hockey you need to go out as well, unless you have a hockey field in your back yard. New Nathaniel then told Michelle that he had signed up for hockey again, and he’d been to the beach, activities which presuppose that he’s also been out, so basically all his dreams have come true. New Nathaniel stated that there was nothing about old Nathaniel that he recognised, save for the Kermit the Frog voice.
Next up was Sarah, who got rather emotional watching her old self. So much so that the tears began to flow. Sitting there with the Commando, she said that she found it hard to watch herself. Commando agreed as he sat there reading texts from his iPhone rather than looking directly at Sarah, old or new. Commando then added that, “it’s obvious you’re upset. At least it’s obvious to me. But anyone who doesn’t know you wouldn’t have a clue, because you resembles a surprised wombat with an irritating cough when showing any emotion.” Old Sarah had a parting message for new Sarah: “Don’t ever walk in these shoes again. Because they’re not actually shoes. They’re empty tissue boxes.”
Following Sarah came Rebecca. Old Rebecca told new Rebecca that she was going to be the best mum she could be. This came as a great relief to Rebecca, who had originally understood that she had to be the best mum that Octamom could be. With the pressure off, old Rebecca pointed out that if new Rebecca looked after herself she would also look after her family so much better. Obviously this was before old Rebecca realised that to stay in shape, new Rebecca would need to spend all the families money on a personal trainer and healthy, organic foods, as well as spend 6 hours a day training and preparing healthy meals.
Leigh and Shannon sat down next to watch the vision of old Leigh. Shannan began by asking how Leigh felt, and Leigh replied, “Actually nervous. Really really nervous. I’m not sure if you’ve brought me in here to watch a video of the old me, or a video of Lara informing me that you and her have been having an affair and plan to run off together and join the circus.” Shannan replied, with his typical boyish charm, “Don’t be ridiculous Leigh. I don’t even like the circus.” After that cryptic comment, the message from old Leigh began. “We have a girlfriend who loves us dearly” he said. My ears may have deceived me at this stage, but I thought I heard Shannan cough and say “Bullshit!” simultaneously. “We are hopefully at out goal weight now” old Leigh continued “that you can go up to Lara and propose to her”. “Propose a three-way” Shannan said under his breath, although I don’t think Leigh heard.
Kellie was the next to watch her video, and she sat down next to Commando with the trepidation usually reserved for the condemned. She started by saying that she didn’t know what to expect. Probably a fatter version of herself, but hey, I’m just guessing here. As it transpired I was completely correct as the video showed Kellie before she had lost any weight. Old Kellie started by telling new Kellie she looked amazing. This was a risky opening gambit by old Kellie, and it suggested that she had never considered the possibility that new Kellie might fall in a vat of acid, or indeed fail to lose any weight. Old Kellie continued, saying that she couldn’t play with her kids when she felt Tired, Lethargic and Bloated, which I would suggest are unusual names to give to your children. New Kellie stated that old Kellie wasn’t a real mum, because all she did was “wash, feed, take care of and raise the children, whereas real mums also sky dive and abseil and take part in the Sydney to Hobart and stuff like that”. Luckily for viewers, we did get to see some images of Kellie’s husband pressuring her to have sex, and Kellie turning him down. Wholesome viewing for the family. Kellie finished by saying that she didn’t think her husband “had seen the outgoing and bubbly Kellie. Well except when I had that yeast infection. Plenty of bubbles then.”
Finally, it was Emma’s turn to watch her message to herself. Old Emma started by telling new Emma that she was proud of her for eating salads and vegetables, putting her on a par with Mother Theresa and William Wallace. Old Emma asked new Emma to promise that she would never put the weight back on, which new Emma did, but I’m not sure old Emma heard. Tiffiny reinforced the promise, asking if they made a video now and watched it in 3 years would she have kept that promise and not put the weight back on. New Emma replied yes, although she conceded she may have a baby bump. Clearly then she has no intention of keeping the promise to herself not to put on weight.
Following the cinematic experience, where each of the contestants could say with all honesty that the camera puts on more than 10 pounds, the contestants headed out to a secret location. Upon arrival, they were told by Hayley that this was the final contest and that one of the contestants would be going home. Twice eliminated Nathaniel pointed out that he deserved to be there and said that he “didn’t want to let the Challenor family down. Well, I don’t care if I let Joe down. Or Damian. I hate their guts. And Greg is just a big oaf. I think I’ve got an aunty somewhere I like. So I wouldn’t want to let her down.”
The first round of the contest involved the flipping over of a massive tractor tyre as many times as possible in one minute. Nathaniel and Leigh, as the best flippers, were safe from elimination. Nathaniel actually flipped the tyre more times than Leigh, and you could tell by Leigh’s face that he wasn’t happy being beaten by a girl. Sarah, on the other hand, struggled to perform one flip in her allotted one minute. She blamed the tyre falling on her hand, believing that she may have broken some knuckles. She decided after one flip to save herself for round two.
Ironically, Sarah finished last in round 2 as well. At the start of round 2, which involved each contestant carrying 26 tyres from one end of a large room to the other, Sarah expressed her disappointment that because of safety reasons, they were only allowed to carry two tyres at a time. Which was the second instance of irony. Irony aside, Emma and Kellie moved their tyres in less time than Rebecca and Sarah, thus avoiding elimination.
And so it came down to round 3. Rebecca against Sarah, cousin against cousin, bogan against westie. Rebecca and Sarah had to battle it out via a tug-o-war, or as it is more affectionately known, the Love Rope, or as it is less affectionately known, Dope on a Rope. Of course, this was terribly unfair on Rebecca. On just about any other challenge, Rebecca could guarantee that Sarah would give up and lose. However, when it comes to being a dead weight, Sarah is the unopposed champion. Which was enough for her to win the third round of the contest and eliminate Rebecca.
With the final five now decided, the producers decided it was time for the contestants to embark on some reflective musings. Each would walk through the Dunes of Destiny, having kilos added to the backpacks they were carrying commensurate with their weight loss at certain points in the competition. At the end of the hike, they would be back where they started, figuratively and literally, carrying the weight they had lost throughout the competition, and being at the location where the cars could pick them up.
Throughout the walk, each reflected on their journey. Sarah looked back on Makeover Week. She couldn’t believe how good she looked and had never felt so beautiful before. “I’d never felt like a lady before that night” she said, which is odd considering throughout the whole show I was under the impression she preferred ladies.
Leigh looked back on week 11, otherwise known as “Face your fears week”. Leigh said that he squibbed it, and should have confronted Shannan and Lara with his suspicions. He said he wouldn’t back down again if given the chance. When Shannan asked “What did you just say Leigh?” Leigh muttered “Nothing”.
Kellie reflected on week 5, when she had eaten a bunch of chocolate buttons she had found inside the Biggest Loser rabbit hutch, in order to win the prize of spending 24 hours at home with her family. I wonder what would have happened if someone else had won the prize of spending 24 hours with Kellie’s family?
As Nathaniel ran up the hill to week 3, with an enormous weight in his backpack, he wondered what his recently departed brother, who had suffered from cerebral palsy, would think looking down on him now. Such a thought presupposes the existence of an afterlife and by natural extension a supreme being. Fair enough. However, I think it is a question that is fraught with danger. I mean, imagine if you had cerebral palsy and your brother didn’t. Would you not be a tad jealous? And imagine, if, though jealous, you at least could comfort yourself in the knowledge that your non-disabled brother had a weight problem. So, when you, who had suffered all your life with a disability, had a brother who had no disability other than his inability not to eat all the pies, suddenly discovered that your brother had found the ability to say no to pies and actually lost all that weight, wouldn’t you be even more jealous? So when Nathaniel asks the question, “I wonder what my brother Christopher would be thinking looking down on me now?” he should be aware that while the answer might be “I’m so proud of my brother”, it may also be, “What a C**T!”
And so, we enter the final days of Biggest Loser Families, knowing that only one of the final five can be the winner. Who will it be? My money is on the person who has lost the most weight as a percentage of their total body weight. But that’s just me. You might have different ideas.
The Biggest Loser Australia: Families – Sun 6:30pm & FINALE Mon 8:30pm, Ch10.
Image sources: Channel 10.