Nothing good ever comes in twos. It is as if anything that exists singularly, if repeated, becomes the opposite of all that is good and wholesome in the world. And we know what the opposite of good and wholesome is don’t we? Well, the opposite of good is evil, but the opposite of wholesome is more difficult. Let’s look at the component parts, whole and some. Whole means completeness, as in, “I have the complete set”. If you didn’t have the complete set, you’d only have some. So the opposite of whole is some. On the other hand, some means a part, not the complete set, as in “I have some morals, but I am not completely moral”. And if you’re not completely moral, you could say you’re not a whole person. So the opposite of some is whole. Therefore, the opposite of wholesome must be some whole.
And there was some hole left in the Biggest Loser when there was a double elimination at the start of week 8. See how nothing good comes in twos?
The first to go was Jodie. You may remember from last week’s recap that the red, blue and black team competed in pairs, running an obstacle course. The team that came first could select a member of the team that came last to be eliminated. Well, the blue team came first, obviously. And the black team came last, obviously. And the red team came in the middle, logically. So the Westrens had to choose who out of the Moons would be sent home.
Leigh, ever the strategist, voted with his head. He thought Sarah was the biggest threat to them because she had more weight to lose than the rest. Lara, ever the softy, voted with her heart. She though Jodie was the closest to her goal weight and thus could complete her journey on the outside. Sharlene, ever the non-conformist, voted with her spleen. She thought Jodie was a bicycle and could ride her way to freedom on the dusty Birdsville track. Spleens aren’t very smart but they do have a romantic vision of life.
So Jodie was the first to go in the double elimination. But who would be the second? Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait too long because the second elimination was neatly contained with the first elimination in an episode called, ironically, the elimination episode. Or at least ironically as far as Alanis Morisette is concerned.
And so to the weigh-in the contestants trundled. Meg, the only Duncan left, being the holder of immunity, went first, losing only a paltry 2.12%. The Moons went second, losing a less than satisfactory 3.5%. The Challenors were third, losing a respectable 4.01%. However, in a familiar pattern, the Westrens were run away winners again with an astounding 4.06%. So bellow the yellow line fell the reds and the blacks again.
And that’s where the shit hit the fan. And when the shit hits the fan in the Biggest Loser house, it’s much the same as when the shit hits the fan anywhere else. You have to clean it off.
The reds got together to talk about who should go up for elimination. Apparently, they had agreed that whoever had the lowest percentage of weight loss would be up for nomination. Since Nathaniel had the lowest percentage of weight loss, Joe opined, he should be up for elimination. Damien just stood and stared at Nathaniel. Nathaniel put a different spin on the agreement, noting that in circumstances where the the nominee is an emotionally stunted underdeveloped sissy boy, all such conventions and agreements should be ignored and “one of the fat uncles” should take his place. Damien just stood and stared at Nathaniel. Joe said that an agreement is an agreement is an agreement and that a man should stand by his word and his word is his bond. Damien just stood and stared at Nathaniel. Nathaniel hit back, saying that Joe never went up for elimination and it must be his turn by now. Damien just stood and stared at Nathaniel. Joe stood firm, saying that Nathaniel had to go up for elimination. Damien just stood and stared at Nathaniel. Nathaniel stormed off, his parting shot being an incredible request that both uncles should never talk to him again. Damien just stood and stared at Nathaniel.
But in the end Nathaniel took his medicine like a man. Well, like a man lying on the ground scrunched up into the foetal position anyway. Oh, and Kellie went up for the Moons.
As soon as Nathaniel walked into the elimination room, the shock on the faces of Lara and Sharlene was obvious as they realised that Joe and Damien had sacrificed their nephew. But there was also anger there. Anger that they could force Nathaniel into elimination when he needed to stay more than Joe. Anger that Nathaniel had no say in his own destiny. Anger that Nathaniel again became a scapegoat for his uncles’ failings. In response, Lara and Sharlene put a metaphorical nurturing arm around Nathaniel, pulled him in close to their metaphorical bosoms, whispered a metaphorical “there there” into his metaphorical ear, and voted him the f**k out of the actual competition. Let’s hope they don’t strain their necks looking down from their high horses.
Nathaniel of course, fell victim to a kind of Stockholm Syndrome. He hugged his executioners after his execution (quite a feat when you think about it), failing to realise the Sharlene and Lara did, indeed have a choice to vote Kellie out, knowing full well that the game was heading towards the point that individuals, rather than families, would compete, and Joe and Damien would have much less control over Nathaniel’s fate. But he hugged them all the same, which was an excellent opportunity for Lara and Sharlene to surreptitiously remove the knives from his back.
Once the dust had settled and everyone had realised what a complete tool everyone else was, the contestants put on their happy faces and went to face the wrath of the evil Hayley Lewis. Hayley had two surprises for them. The first was a vat of fat. Hopes that each of the contestants would have to strip down to their unmentionables, rub the fat into their bodies and slither around on a gigantic plastic floor covering were soon dashed when Hayley said that the vat was filled with the fat that the contestants had lost. How they were able to extract the fat that each of the contestants had lost and put it into a vat remains a mystery. Nevertheless, they had, and there it was in all it’s glory.
Hayley’s second surprise was that, from now on in, the teams wouldn’t be competing as family units any more, but rather as singles. The relief on Meg’s face was palpable, as she realised that she was on an even keel with the others. This meant that Rebecca and Kellie could get rid of Sarah. This meant that Joe could complete the trifecta on his family and get rid of Damien. This meant that Lara and Leigh could get rid of Sharlene and finally let their love manifest itself physically.
With this move to singularity, we saw the shape of things to come, when the current standings, that is how much as a percentage of total weight at the start of the show each contestant had lost, were revealed. Coming in last, predictably, was Sarah. Coming in first, only slightly unpredictably, was Lara. Lara is now getting dangerously thin, so much so that Damien can’t see her when he sits down, and she keeps ending up lodged in his still ample bum cheeks.
So with their individual losses assuming more importance, the contestants headed to another challenge. This one was called the “Pyramid of Fitness”, so called because each of the contestants had to provide Hayley Lewis with a set amount of money, and each contestant had to in turn recruit 10 people who each paid a set amount of money to the contestant, with the contestants paying a share of that money to Hayley, with each of the 10 people recruited by each contestant having to themselves recruit 10 people to pay them a set amount of money, with a share going to each contestant, and a share of that going to Hayley. Oh wait, that’s the “Pyramid Scheme of Fitness”.
No, the “Pyramid of Fitness” involved a series of challenges, starting with all contestants and the loser of each challenge being eliminated along the way, until there was only one. That one ended up being Leigh. And for his troubles he won a gold medallion, and was appointed the ‘Ultimate Athlete’. Potential Olympians and professional sports people all over the world retired en-masse, knowing that their existence was now pointless.
Next the contestants rocked up for their weekly dose of “Temptation”. Unless I was much mistaken, I thought to myself, this was going to be a hum-dinger. As it turned out, I was much mistaken and it ended up being half an hour of Sarah eating chocolate chip cookies to win immunity. Still I watched. And so did you.
The final piece of the puzzling week on Biggest Loser was the Contest. Don’t worry, this was nothing lilke the Seinfeld episode of the same name. Granted, this was also full of wankers, but in a different way. This contest involved knowledge AND stamina. The contestants would answer a series of questions and undertake a series of physical tasks, with the time allocated for the physical tasks depending on the number of questions answered correctly.
There’s no need to go in to details, suffice to say that Lara suffered a meltdown and Leigh and Joe ended up facing each other in the final, with Joe prevailing over all. So much for being the Ultimate Athlete Leigh. The reward Joe gained was a 1kg weight advantage at the weigh-in for himself, and also the power to give another contestant a 1kg advantage at the weigh-in. However, there were shocks aplenty when Joe, rather than give the 1kg advantage to his brother, instead chose to give it to his steak dinner. I guess he was hungry.
The final challenge of the week was a triathlon, with the winner to be revealed on Sunday. Row, ride, run. The winner would get to spend some time on Cockatoo Island, with their loved one waiting at the finish line. Waiting for Meg at the finish line was her husband. Waiting for Sharlene at the finish line was her daughter Emma.
And waiting for Joe at the finish line was his steak dinner. And a mirror.
The Biggest Loser Australia: Families – Sun 6:30pm; Wed/Thu/Fri 7:30pm, Ch10.
Image sources: Channel 10.