Their hand was forced, so Channel 9 had to get Excess Baggage on screen, seeing as Ch10 announced the launch of The Biggest Loser Australia: Singles. Ch9 start a week behind their competitor, though the style of the shows is markedly different (even though they are both reality weight loss shows). Comparisons will abound, but for now – the press release:

Excess Baggage, a series delving into the hearts, minds and bodies of eight celebrities and eight everyday Australians to help them shed their physical and mental baggage, will premiere on Monday January 30 at 7pm.

The celebrities taking part are American dancer Kevin Federline, AFL legend Robert ‘Dipper’ DiPierdomenico, singer Christine Anu, international paparazzo Darryn Lyons, Beaconsfield miner Brant Webb, comedian and actress Gabby Millgate, Australian Idol winner Kate DeAraugo and TV presenter Ajay Rochester. The 16 contestants, who will be paired up in teams of one celebrity and one ordinary Australian, come from different walks of life but all have one thing in common: they have excess baggage and want to reclaim their lives.

The stripped series, hosted by Kate Ceberano, will travel to some of the most spectacular and remote locations in Australia, with the back drops – including the East Kimberley, Whitsundays, South West Tasmania and Victoria’s high country – just as epic as the newfound freedom our contestants will discover.

The show will also feature nutritionist Joanna McMillan, trainer Christian Marchegiani, psychologist Dr Tim Sharp and cardiologist Dr Ross Walker as judges and mentors. Together they will help turn around the lives of the contestants, educating and pushing them to make a permanent change. There will be no forced diets and no ‘lockdown’ that removes them from everyday temptations – they will need to take responsibility for their actions.

There are no scales on Excess Baggage.

They won’t be scored on weight loss; their success will be measured on body fat percentage, waist circumference and fitness levels, and will be encouraged to gain lean muscle. A true indication of healthiness and fitness will be achieved by using a state-of-the-art ‘Bod Pod’. This enclosed egg shaped device measures body fat percentage calculated on air displacement.

With teams undertaking challenges to gain points, one by one the bottom pair will be eliminated until one couple remain. Not only will the contestants be eyeing the prize of a complete overhaul of their lives, but also a cash prize. The winning team each week will receive $10,000 for the celebrity’s chosen charity. And at the end of the series, the winning team will be awarded $100,000, with the everyday Australian pocketing $50,000 and the celebrity giving $50,000 to a charity of their choice.

Each pair will need to commit to their partner and strive to achieve excellence over the series. They’ll be faced with intense challenges and the only way to succeed is through persistence, teamwork, dedication and trust.

Meet the teams:

RED TEAM: International Paparazzo Darryn Lyons and Lisa Giammaria
YELLOW TEAM: Singer Christine Anu and Nathan Pamenter
BLUE TEAM: Renowned backing dancer Kevin Federline and Renae Pratt
GREEN TEAM: Actress and Comic, Gabby Milgate and Ben Jones
PURPLE TEAM: TV Presenter Ajay Rochester and Matthew Palmer
PINK TEAM: Singer Kate DeAraugo and Sarah Robinson
GREY TEAM: Beaconsfield Miner Brant Webb and John Rose
ORANGE TEAM: AFL Legend Robert ’Dipper’ DiPierdomenico and Lana Pilakis

Excess Baggage Week One
Monday January 30, 7pm: Excess Baggage Launch (Episode One)
Tuesday January 31, 7pm: Excess Baggage (Episode Two)
Wednesday February 1, 7pm: KFC Twenty20 International cricket: Australia vs. India
Thursday February 2, 7pm: Excess Baggage Special (Episode Three)

Visit the official website for Excess Baggage to learn more about the teams:

Like the show on facebook at or follow on twitter using @ExcessBaggage9