Is there anything more exciting than a Sunday night weigh in? Yes of course there is. It was a stupid question. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the weigh in does happen on a Sunday night and it is the culmination of all the contestants hard work over a gruelling, gut wrenching week. Or in the case of Craig and Sarah, it is the culmination of all their mediocre work and hard whingeing over a squishy, sponge like week.
And so it was, that the contestants strode to the platform. The weigh in proceeded in the usual fashion. Some of the contestants were shocked at the amount of weight they had lost and some were shocked at the amount they hadn’t lost. Viewers were shocked that these people continue to be shocked by what has happened to them, and every other contestant ever, and viewers of the viewers were shocked that the viewers watching the Biggest Loser were shocked that the contestants were shocked that weight loss and gain does not follow an orderly pattern, much like climate change.
But after all the shock and tears, and tears and shock, and shocking tears, there can be only one winner, and this week it was Joe. Fortunately, there can be more than one loser, and this week it was the Westrens and the Duncans who were below the fabled yellow line, so-called because of its resemblance to a line.
The Westrens and Duncans were asked to choose one person from each of their families. For the Duncans it was a no-brainer, and the person with no brain in their family was deemed to be Sarah-Jayne. For the Westrens, there was uncertainty from the beginning. Craig put his chubby foot down and told the family that it had to be one of the parents, because he was sick of Leigh and Lara sponging of them and didn’t want either of them in his house whilst he was otherwise occupied. Sharlene batted her eyelashes until all the bats had flown out and agreed with her husband. Leigh found his voice just long enough to also agree, until Lara demanded it back before he got any fancy ideas about the rights of man and not having to watch Sex and the City. So Sharlene it was.
Or was it? No it wasn’t, because just as everything was about to reach the CLIMAX of ELIMINATION, Craig WITHDREW his support for the choice of Sharlene and instead nominated himself. Craig was asked why the change. His reply spoke volumes. “This week I was in a very dark place.” However, the fact that Craig had spent hours in a cupboard was not the sole, or even deciding reason for his decision. Craig was pretty sure he’d left the iron on, or the gas on, or had forgotten to feed the pets, or had forgotten to gas a pet, or some such thing, and so he had to rush home to check on, and remedy, the various problems.
Craig’s sudden recall of Sharlene drew horrified gasps of horror, as the horrified Hayley Lewis found herself in the unenviable position of having to make up the rules on the spot. However, she covered well, stating that such an unheard of request was unheard of, and for the change to be ratified the Duncans would have to give their approval. Which they did. So terrorist attack averted.
So it was down to Craig and Sarah-Jayne for elimination. At elimination, the voting contestants registered surprise at seeing Craig there. Not because they thought another of his team would have been nominated for elimination, but rather they were surprised because no one had expected that Craig would undertake the arduous twenty metre walk between the two rooms. Surprisingly, he surprised them all.
And it may have been this new-found respect for Craig that resulted in the voting contestants turning on Sarah-Jayne like a pack of well fed, indolent wolves. The Challenors, in particular, seemed to be using their votes as some sort of payback for all the times Sarah-Jayne short sheeted their beds and stuck their fingers in a glass of warm water as they slept. Whatever the reason, Sarah-Jayne was voted out. Not one to hold a grudge, Sarah-Jayne hugged Craig, told the rest to “go f**k themselves” and stormed out after punching her fridge in the cheesecake. to coin a phrase.
So then there were 10, which is an alternative way of saying that two had been voted out. Yet nothing had changed. For example, Craig continued to be a whiny little boy band about the training and had the temerity to constantly put Sharlene down for her inability to grease and oil change a 74 Mustang. While his point may have been valid, trainer Shannan felt there was no place for domestic abuse on Biggest Loser, and rightly pulled Craig up on it, although he ignored the continued spousal abuse going on between Lara and Leigh. Poor Leigh. Craig apologised to Sharlene, though canny viewers will not be convinced that Craig has changed his ways just yet.
Challenges and temptation abounded this week, as they usually do. Temptation involved that perennial Aussie favourite, Yum Cha! Who says Australian’s are racist? Any team that decided to take up temptation would have to eat dish after dish of tempting, tasty, pseudo Chinese fair made palatable to western palates by less chilli and more msg. The last family standing would win the challenge. Noted brain-box Sarah used the compelling argument that because had suffered from a mild tummy upset for two days she would be well prepared for the challenge of eating grease laden food, to nominate her family, the Moons, to partake.
In fact all the families except the Challenors were tempted and so they sat down to eat. Each dish came with a specified kilojoule count, with each course higher than the last. Dumplings, chicken’s feet, pork buns and custard tarts came and went without so much as a raised eyebrow. These people had been surviving on only vegetables and positive affirmations after all. However, when a whole duck comes out, plucks and roasts itself, then shoves itself in Sarah’s mouth, the culmination of the food and here families refusal to assist overwhelmed Sarah and she couldn’t see it through to the end.
This left the Duncans and the Westrens up against each other for the final round. The dish? Century Egg, or as Don Bradman liked to call them, 99.94 Egg. A Century Egg is a hard-boiled, shelled egg that is left to marinate in a green jelly for at least 100 years. It is similar in flavour to a Four and Twenty pie bought at the footy.
Jarrod and Sharlene were the family members tasked with eating the egg. Jarrod tried, but just couldn’t stomach the ancient delicacy, and spewed into a bucket. Sharlene looked at them, said “Couldn’t be worse than what Craig puts in my mouth” and promptly scoffed them down followed by a 2000 year old cheese burger as chaser. Thus, the Westrens won temptation. And the prize for winning temptation? Immunity. Unfortunately, it’s not immunity from food poisoning.
After temptation, the teams headed off for the family weigh in. There was an added surprise: Greg and Sarah-Jayne appeared by video link, much as they do for prisoners who can’t get out to attend court for another offence. You know how they say the camera adds 10 pounds? And not just because you ate it? Well spare a thought for Greg and Sarah-Jayne, who appeared on camera via camera. But still, both have managed to lose weight without the benefit of 24 hour surveillance and a 19th century public school mentality. Kudos to them.
Their losses were added to their respective families losses and the result of all the families weighing in is that the Westrens are, as a family, the weeks biggest losers. Frankly, I didn’t need scales to tell me that. But, for their efforts they are rewarded with the ability to choose each families competitors for the next pointless challenge.
Let’s not dwell on the challenge, because, really, these challenges detract from the point of this show and I’ve already written too many words describing this weeks episodes. Suffice to say it’s a test of knowledge, and in a surprising twist it transpires that Craig is the smartest and Lara the strongest. As winners, the reward for the Westrens is to nominate a family to babysit a 5kg medicine ball, and they choose the Challenors. In a happy coincidence, it’s Nathaniel’s first ball.
The final challenge of the week is for the benefit of a 1kg advantage at weigh in. The challenge involves the contestants filling up sand bags with, of all things, sand, and then running 100 metres away and putting down the sandbags in an odd way. The odder the stacking of the sandbags, the more points for the team. Or something like that. Craig should excel at this task, being used to dragging an old bag around.
The outcome? Who knows? But stay tuned, because all will be revealed on Sunday night. And when I say all will be revealed, I don’t mean that the contestants will strip down to nothing for the weigh in. Or do I?
The Biggest Loser Australia: Families – Sun 6:30pm; Wed/Thu/Fri 7:30pm, Ch10.
Image sources: Channel 10.