I don't think the Commano smiles often...

Sometimes television can transcend the cattiness and the bitchiness of people forced to compete against each other for some kind of a prize, whether it be $250,000, a diamond set memento, or a Molkie. Sometimes television can raise itself above the everyday dross and provide us with something truly inspiring, that envelopes us in its wake and lifts us up to its level. Sometimes television provides a glimpse into our collective soul, and allows us to see all that is good and wondrous in human nature. Sometimes, just sometimes, television offers us hope.

So it remains a mystery as to why Ben Elton’s Live from Planet Earth was cancelled so quickly.

Be that as it may, last Sunday’s Biggest Loser elimination was quite a sight to behold. The 1kg advantage Joe should have given to his brother Damien, came back and bit him on the arse, when it transpired that the 1kg advantage, would have, if given to Damien, saved Damien from falling below the yellow line. As the 1kg advantage was not given to him, Damien did in fact fall below the yellow line.

Yet the biggest shock was still to come. Just as the house was coming to terms with the repercussions of Damien being up for elimination, again; just as the house was pulling itself together after the shock of Joe turning on one of his own, again; just as the house was counting the cost of a high fibre diet and not enough toilets, again; the house was thrown into revulsions of horror when the other person to fall below the yellow line was Lara. So it was Lara versus Damien at elimination.

Leigh was first to vote and started by saying that it was obvious who he voted for. He followed that up by saying

“Many here may think this was an easy decision. I mean obviously, if I vote against Lara I can look forward to a lifetime of torture as she wreaks her terrible revenge, although some say that is, by its very definition, marriage. On the other hand, I can’t have a visit from Mrs Palmer and her five daughters, if you get my drift, without someone looking over my shoulder in this house. But, at the end of the day, my fear of the combined anger of my mother and Lara had a much stronger influence on my decision than 2 minutes of rapid hand movements. So I vote to evict Damien.”

Joe was the next to reveal his vote. He begins his explanation by saying that he had learned a lot about family during the week. In particular, he continued,

“I learnt that my family is not as close as some. And in many ways that’s a good thing. I know my family is dysfunctional. We clearly hate each other for a variety of reasons. Mainly, I think it stems from the time when we were children, where our parents would put a bucket of chicken in the middle of the table, shout ‘Have at it!’ and leave me, Damien, Greg and the other one to fight it out. Damien and Greg were then, as they are now, bigger than me, so more often than not I’d be left with the coleslaw and nothing else. And I think on some deep down subconscious level, I became jealous and envious of my brothers because of this. But I’d rather be in this family than Leigh and Sharlene’s family. There is something unnatural about the bond between this mother and son. They are too close. Too reliant on each other. I half expect Leigh to look at Sharlene one day and say ‘Bitty!’ and for Sharlene to flop one out and nurse him. So, in an effort to get you away from this family Lara, at least for a short time, I’m voting for you. May God have mercy on your soul.”

Sharlene was the third person to vote. She began by saying that Lara was her rock and she’d be lost without her. She went on, saying:

“The thought of Lara leaving chills me to the bone. I’m only one person and I can’t possibly watch Leigh all the time. And if someone doesn’t keep an eye on him, I’m afraid of what he might do. I mean, he’s still just a boy, still discovering himself. Oh don’t look away Leigh, I know why boys your age spend so long in the bathroom, and it’s not just to ‘comb your hair’. So, in conclusion, I vote for Damien because I still need Lara’s support and because Leigh is a dirty little boy.”

Rebecca’s vote followed Sharlene’s. Rebecca said that the decision was an awkward one, and that:

“I get on well with both but I wouldn’t want to be locked in a house for weeks on end with either. Which is exactly what has happened. So I have to make a decision about who I would rather be locked in a house with. Or to put it less delicately, who annoys the shit out of me less. And on that point Damien wins, because not only do I find Lara a sanctimonious harridan, but she is also a lot thinner than me and that I cannot tolerate.”

Joe farted.

Kellie was next. She said that she based her vote on who needed to be there more. She continued, explaining:

“Lara has come such a long way. And I’d like to see her go further, like out the front door. I really can’t stand the way she and Sharlene are constantly at Leigh. The poor boy has beak marks all over his head where they constantly hen peck him. And plus, I see Sharlene and Lara as some kind of malevolent force in this house, criticising and judging everyone else for playing the game, when it is clear as day they have an agenda based on total world domination. So my vote goes to Lara.”

Meg’s was the penultimate vote. She began by saying that both Damien and Lara needed to be there for different reasons. Damien, she said:

“… needs to be here because obviously he is still morbidly obese. I think if Damien get’s voted out and eats just one chip, he is likely to explode in a an orgy of intestinal wall coverings. On the other hand, Lara still needs to be here because … well because …. actually, I don’t think Lara needs to be here at all. Look at her, she is almost skin and bones. She looks so worn out that she can barely keep her eyes open. I actually think she desperately needs to get out of here for her own well being. Be that as it may, if I vote for Lara, we won’t have the pleasure of listening to Sarah try to explain, in her own special way, who she chose to eliminate. So for that reason, I vote for Damien.”

Meg’s vote left the numbers split three each for Damien and Lara. The deciding vote came down to Sarah. She began by saying that this was a most difficult decision to make. She went on:

“Youse both need to be here. But I been thinkin. I been thinkin real hard. I been thinkin about all those cookies I et and what that done meant. Youse both need to be here. Cookies. Damien.”

The walk of... less loserness...

And with that, Damien was gone.

But that didn’t mean the end of Biggest Loser Families, of course, as the temptations and challenges continued. This week they had a special flavour. There would be four immunities up for grabs.

The first involved all contestants being locked in a room together for 24 hours. Every hour, on the hour, they would be tempted by some calorie laden treat. The person who had consumed the most calories in the 24 hour period would collect an immunity.

Kellie and Meg started things off, with Joe following close behind. When a muffin and coffee came out even Lara had a go. On the 7th hour, the contestants were given the chance to leave the room, although leaving would also mean losing the chance at immunity. All but Meg, Joe and Lara chose to leave, Lara staying to support Meg. You would have thought that there would have been little to talk about between these three, Meg and Lara over one side of the room ignoring Joe over the other side of the room. But the reality was something quite different. At first shy with each other, they each began to probe the other, asking questions about their respective journeys and their hopes and dreams for the future. As things became more relaxed, Joe began to braid Lara’s hair, whilst Meg administered polish to Joe’s toe nails. They talked about all the important things in life: baking, fashion, boys and Justin Bieber. When the 24 hours was up, you could tell by the looks on their faces that they were a little sad to be leaving each other. However, Joe promised to stay in touch with Meg and Lara, and Lara in turn promised that if she saw either Meg or Joe walking down the street she wouldn’t just ignore them like she used to. They left the room, arms entwined, singing Simple Minds “Don’t you forget about me …”.

The end result though, notwithstanding all the love, was that Meg had consumed nearly 5,000 calories and thus won immunity.

The next immunity decider was a snap weigh-in. Meg went first and the other contestants were eager to see whether her pig out that gained her immunity would cause her to put on weight. And of course, Meg confirmed the existence of, and her lack of control over, physics, when she gained 4.18% of her body weight. This led naturally to the implementation of the long forgotten rule that those with immunity who put on weight are instantly stripped of the immunity and thrown into a pit of ravenous crocodiles force fed a television diet of Today Tonight and A Current Affair. But, Meg was given a lifeline. If she were to weigh less at the next weigh in than she did at the previous one, her immunity would be safe. Though whether the crocodiles would be fed remained up in the air.

Joe was in fact the winner of the second immunity challenge, losing a staggering 2.55%, even though he’d consumed over 3000 calories in the last immunity challenge. Sharlene and Lara attempted to invoke the rule that because they were so great and morally superior to everyone else, Joe should not be awarded immunity. However, their pleas fell on deaf ears.

Tiffiny took Meg’s weight gain like a shot to her own heart, which is, coincidentally, the preferred method of removing Tiffiny from the show by 9 out of 10 viewers. However, Tiffiny and Meg dealt with the serious risk of elimination by undertaking an extreme regime of anaerobic exercise and watching Karate Kids 1, 2, 3 and 4. WE ARE WARRIORS!

The next immunity challenge was boring and pointless. As such, it was won by Lara.

The final immunity challenge was a recreation of the beach landing scene in saving Private Ryan. Each contestant had to run up and down the beach, crawling under things, dragging things along, and then going for a little paddle, whilst machine gun far rattled from the sand hills beyond. At the end of Friday’s episode Leigh was leading, despite sacrificing some of his lead to either help Sharlene out of the sand. Either he was trying to help her out, or bury her in it.

I guess we’ll find out which soon.


The Biggest Loser Australia: Families – Sun 6:30pm; Wed/Thu/Fri 7:30pm, Ch10.
Image sources: Channel 10.