Do you remember the fable about the hare and the tortoise? You know, the story that has a hare and a tortoise meeting in a seedy bar one night, neither looking for love, but each, in their own way, ready for the challenges associated with interspecies procreation, aided only by a mad and socially ostracised scientist living on an island? Or perhaps you’re more familiar with the PG13 version, where the hare and the tortoise decide to race each other, for some undisclosed reason and/or prize. The hare, obviously the faster animal, arrogantly takes his time, whilst the tortoise, fat and slow, nevertheless keeps a steady pace and ultimately wins the race.
And it is in this way that Biggest Loser Families resembles that famous race between the hair and the tortoise. Sure, some weeks the Duncans, Challenors and Westrens are pulling big numbers, but some weeks they aren’t. On the other hand, the Moons are consistently pulling low numbers and are almost always below the yellow line. Yet there are still four of the them, whereas the other teams have all at least lost one member, with the Duncans having lost three quarters. But that’s where the similarities end. In the story, the tortoise comes out victorious and the hare gets served up between sheets of delicious puff pastry, whereas in Biggest Loser, both the hare and the tortoise get eaten.
Which brings us illogically to the start of week 7 and the weigh-in. This week followed the usual course of events. The Westrens, Duncans and Challenors lost some decent amounts of weight, while the Moons disappointed again. However, whereas the usual response from the Moons to an uninspiring performance is to lament “Oh, we tried so hard” or “I don’t understand it. We ate all the right foods and did all our training”, or even “Where’s the soap? Sure does”, this time the accusations started to fly thick and fast. Sarah, Jodie felt, was not trying hard enough. Sarah tried to work up the energy to challenge the assertion that she was lazy but just couldn’t be bothered. Instead, she stormed off whilst giving everyone her best impression of a horse sneezing, or as she likes to call it, ‘showing emotion’. Jodie, herself stormed off, though in a less stormy way, and was heard to mutter “I knew this would happen” on her way out. No one was sure what she meant, though keen observers of international events may conclude that Jodie saw a link between the runctions in Egypt and a possible uprising in Libya, long before anyone else had.
Soon enough though, Jodie and Sarah calmed down. There were hugs and apologies and words were being bandied about, such as ‘love’, ‘family’, ‘duty’ and, confusingly, ‘functionary’ and ‘politburo’, which might be an indication that the Moons are sleeper agents for the Communist Party in China. Or possibly I misheard.
Anyway, by the end of the weigh-in, the Moons and the Duncans were below the yellow line, with Lara taking the title of the week’s biggest loser. Lara is now so thin, that she runs the danger of running out of weight to lose to stay in the competition. If she wants to hang around, she may have to straddle the fine line between losing sufficient weight to stay in the competition, and dying.
With each of the Black and White team below the yellow line, so called because if it’s total dissimilarity with the fabled Maginot Line or the underestimated Dixie Line, they had to choose members of their respective teams for elimination. While casual viewers would think that Sarah for the Black team was a shoo-in, Biggest Loser is nothing if not spontaneous, and because it is not spontaneous, it is nothing. But that thought aside, Jodie nominated herself for the Black team because of a growing inclination to do the opposite of whatever Sarah want’s to do, whilst Meg and Emma decided that Emma should go up because Meg’s red nose meant that she would be useful for the rest of Camp Biggest Loser should the power in the compound fail and the inhabitants desperately need some natural light.
In the elimination room, the Red and Blue teams seemed shocked the Jodie was up for the Black team, but Jodie shrugged off their surprise as if it were a drugged, well manicured koala that had fallen on her from a nearby tree. Leigh was first to vote and he went for strategy, choosing Jodie. Damien was second to vote, and he went for strategy, choosing Emma. Sharlene had the third vote, and she went for strategy, choosing Jodie. Nathaniel had the fourth vote, and he went for strategy, choosing Emma. Oh for fuc…do any of these people understand the meaning of the word strategy? Lara was next, and in something of a shock, she went for … fairness, expressing a desire to even up the numbers. Jodie’s face betrayed the dismay she felt, as did her voice when she said she was dismayed, because Lara had made a promise to her. Lara denied that she’d ever made a promise. She may have given an undertaking, made a pledge, vowed or sworn not to vote for Jodie, said Lara, but in no way could any of those synonyms be confused for the actual word promise. Jodie accepted Lara’s explanation and replied that she must have misunderstood the slag, a statement which Lara almost certainly didn’t misunderstand.
So anyway, that left the vote at 2 for Emma and 3 for Jodie, with only Joe left to vote. In a surprise twist, Joe went for strategy and voted off Emma. So with votes tied 3 all, it was down to who had lost the least weight in percentage terms, which meant Emma was gone, leaving only one remaining Duncan in the house. Which is Meg, for those not paying attention.
While the elimination may have been over for another week, the fallout wasn’t. (Ooh, fallout is a bad choice considering the current international climate. Instead, why don’t I say ‘the decisions sent some aftershocks through the foundations of relationships’? Shit, that’s no good either. What about ‘some of the contestants rebelled against there African and Middle Eastern dictators backed by a duplicitous US government’? That doesn’t reflect any current international crisis does it? Good.)
When Meg saw Jodie return to from elimination, she put two and two together and realised that Australia would never again lead the cricket world while the current ‘bean counters’ ran the game. She also understood that Jodie’s return meant Emma’s demise (in a figurative sense only, though wouldn’t it be a wonderful show if eliminated contestants were forced into some kind of a turkey shoot type scenario). The thought of Emma not being there caused Meg a great deal of anguish. However, this anguish was soon replaced by mental torment when Sharlene told Meg she was part of the Westrens now.
But all the heartbreak, insidious back stabbing, and spontaneous adoption was soon replaced by one crackerjack of a temptation. In a game called Wacky Fridge, the contestants would have to choose from a selection of Fisher and Paykal’s finest. In each of the fridges were random items of food, but in only one of the fridge’s separate but in-built freezer compartments, commonly known as the headspace amongst discerning serial killers, would be a piece of cardboard decrying that the holder would be immune from elimination for the week. The fridges themselves contained a range of foods, from the light and healthy to the disgustingly sweet and calorie loaded. If no one chose to enter into temptation, Nathaniel would be, by default, immune from elimination again.
Meg spoilt the party by entering. Nathaniel spoilt the party instigated by the party spoiler, and entered as well. Meg went first and was forced to eat a whopping banana split sundae, which she did, but alas for no reward. Nathaniel then had his turn, finding a breath of fresh air in the fridge, which he digested with gusto. But unfortunately for Nathaniel, no immunity. Nathaniel was then first to go in the second round, and he found, somewhat fortuitously, that his fridge contained a hint of insurrection, which he was quick to consume. However, once again, no immunity. Meg’s second turn came up, and she found 17 chickens plucked, gutted, deboned and deep fried for her edification, which she ate without much enjoyment. However, although she had eaten the caloric equivalent of Papua New Guinea, she was fortunate enough to find immunity in her freezer, which made eating all that unhealthy food whilst partaking in an urgent and lifesaving weight loss regime, worth it.
With one silly challenge done came a slightly less silly challenge. With Meg having immunity and being the only White team member left, there was no point her competing so she was left out. For the rest, each team selected two members to be tethered together while tackling an obstacle course. Leigh and Lara, Joe and Nathaniel, and Rebecca and Kellie competing against each other and … no just each other, actually. There were the usual obstacles; climbing ropes, drain pipes, environmentalists dressed as koalas and Hari Krishnas, extolling the virtues of their religion and asking the contestants if they would be interested in purchasing a free book.The Red and Blue teams took to the course like former mercenaries settling into a life of normality. The Black team, however, struggled right from the beginning, with Kellie and Rebecca unable to decide which of them should be tethered to the other, until after twenty minutes they decided to just tether to each other. Smart move. Alas, as at the close of Friday’s episode, the Moons were seventy two hours behind the other two teams.
Can they catch up? Only time will tell. Or to put it another way, no.
The Biggest Loser Australia: Families – Sun 6:30pm; Wed/Thu/Fri 7:30pm, Ch10.
Image sources: Channel 10.