The week began with contestants lying about in the mud as a medically ordered treatment for a strange but virulent virus that had spent the week rampaging through the camp like a bull in a travel book shop that mainly stocks titles describing trips to China. The mud also formed part of an obstacle course that two from each team had to overcome in order to once again love themselves. When we left them last week, black and blue were battling it out for last place. Graham struggled to extricate himself from the bog, while Luke struggled to extricate himself from Hamish. Alas it was not to be for blue. The ‘penalty’ for coming last was an extra 2kg at weigh-in, as well as being forced to hug each other and pretend they had achieved something. But the blue team immunity anyway so it was pointless.

In an instant the trainers were watching their charges in the gym from their bunker. It was 5.30am and only red and black had bothered to get up. Both Shannan and Tiffiny’s faces showed the shock of not seeing their team members in the gym: Shannan because he thought he had hammered home the importance of an early training session, and Tiffiny, because the Botox had left her face unable to express any other emotion. Shannan’s crew eventually turned up but Tiffiny was forced to bang down the door to the white team’s room, and then she dragged them off to the gym to face the most gruelling training session imaginable.

Tiffiny asked Kasey to provide an excuse as to why she hadn’t been at the gym. When Kasey said she had been sick, Tiffiny said that was just an excuse. When Tiffiny asked Selena to provide an excuse as to why she hadn’t been at the gym, Selena said that the diet Tiffiny had set them wasn’t providing them with enough energy to do the amount of exercise she demanded of them. Tiffiny said that these were all just excuses and couldn’t believe that they were just providing excuses, excuses, excuses when all she asked for was a reason why they hadn’t been at the gym. Exasperated, Tiffiny gave up.

Soon the teams were back in the weigh-in room, as the fluorescent lights flickered like a beacon to better life. In that time they had faced temptations and challenges which would have tested the will of the strongest amongst us. They had sweated blood, tears and not an inconsequential amount of actual sweat. In that time they had battled their own demons, their devils inside, and a couple of lost hobbits who lived down the road.

This is your body on a television reality weight loss show...

Ryan said he had lost sight of his ‘passion’ for life, but could feel it coming back. Luke said he had lost sight of the important things, but he was starting to see through the misery. Hamish said he had lost sight of his penis, but was just starting to see the tip now and hoped he could reacquaint himself with it in the near future. In the end though, blue team lost 2.69%.

Alex was disappointed with losing less than 3kg when he got on the scales, and that was only because he took his leg brace off. Simon couldn’t put his finger on why he wasn’t losing enough weight, though the fact that he’d put his finger on, and his mouth over, a number of steaks during the week was a clue. Graham’s loss of 4.4kg brought on the tears as he thought of his mum and dad, sitting at home without him, throwing out all that excess food. The black team, as a whole, lost 2.26%.

Margie started her journey to the scales by stating that “we need to each lose 2.9kg which is just below 3kg”, taking a load off the minds of the members of the Academy of Sciences of Paris, who as the inventors of the metric system in 1790, had banked their reputations on that very fact. Margie did her part by losing 3.9kg, but neither Lisa, Brenda nor Lydia could lose enough to keep red out of elimination. Lydia expressed her disappointment through the medium of tears.

Finally, white team had a chance to move above the yellow line for the first time. Michelle fell below 100kg, and she said she hadn’t been below 100kg since high school, apart from that short stint she did as an astronaut and experienced weightlessness. Bek’s loss could best be described as reasonable to middling, but Selena shook the house to its very foundations when she lost a mammoth 7kg. No one was more amazed than Selena herself, who asked that someone slap her. From that time Biggest Loser has been inundated with volunteers.

As Selena’s loss put white out of elimination contention, no one cared what happened with Kasey, as usual.

Red and black needed to pick a member each to go up for elimination, and wasted no time in arranging a suitable sacrifice. Simon admitted but he hadn’t worked hard but Alex felt that Simon and Graham wouldn’t be able to do it on the outside, so he nominated himself. This caused Graham to rub his face and squint his eyes in an effort to look upset. Margie said to Brenda that it was between the two of them, or more specifically between Brenda and Brenda. “Lisa can’t go” Margie began, “and it can’t be Lydia” she continued, “so that just leaves you Brenda.” Brenda, though confused, accepted her lot and thought that maybe an alliance with the white team would save her.

In the elimination room the shocks just kept on coming as the blue and white teams were bewildered to see members of the red and black teams there, clearly forgetting what had happened less than half an hour before. Brenda played the childlessness card to good effect, but Alex trumped her with the death card, claiming that if he was eliminated he would surely die. Judging from the tears the others believed him. When the votes came in, Alex’s death threats carried so much more weight than Brenda’s so called alliance, and it was with a heavy heart and other heavy organs that Brenda bid farewell. On the way out she swore revenge on the white team, but no one heard her.

Following on from elimination and the inevitable fallout from broken alliances, the teams were bundled into the weigh-in room where Hayley informed them that Biggest Loser is unpredictable (it’s not) and that this being Biggest Loser, they should expect the unexpected (they shouldn’t). They were told that the game was about to be turned on its head. Each wondered what terrible surprise could be in store for them. Would there be twelve new contestants? Would the object of the game suddenly become putting on weight rather than losing it? Would each of the contestants be required to undergo gender reassignment surgery and start competing for other teams? In fact, the big surprise was nothing so dull. Instead, the red and white teams, and the blue and black teams would be combined for one week to make it boys against girls. That’s right, boys against girls. What’s next, making them compete as individuals? In fact, that is probably what’s next.

Of course this twist wasn’t exactly embraced by Margie. Not only did she object to being described as a girl, but also felt that the Machiavellian actions of Bek at the last elimination would make it almost impossible for them to work together. Still, she could see the odd fringe benefit. Tiffiny decided to rechristen this new combined team the Pink Team, because ‘pink bits’ is a well known term used to describe female genitalia in some circles, and also because if you mix red and white together you get pink.

"We don't need another hero..."

The two new teams then met in another Contest. First round was a brain and brawn type situation, where Ryan for the boys and Margie for the girls had a barbell on their shoulders, with a 5 kg weight added for each question that either Hamish or Lydia got wrong respectively. When asked if they were ready Hamish said yes, causing 5 kg to be added to Ryan’s bar. It was a poor start from Hamish and it went downhill from there. Every time he said he didn’t have a crush on Michelle another 5 kg was added until inevitable Ryan could take no more and took no more.

The second round involved an exercise bike race between Michelle and Luke over 10km. To make it interesting, the race took place on a tandem bike. With Michelle at the front and Luke at the back, she always had an advantage, and try as he might at no stage was Luke able to overtake her, even though at times Michelle didn’t even bother to pedal but instead put her feet up and took in the sights. So the contest ended with two-nil to the girls, which meant as a group they had to take the walk.

But as budgetary considerations restricted the filming of that many contestants walking at once, Lydia was put up as the walker for the girls group. At the end of the walk Lydia found the three choices of Food, Training and Mystery, and chose Food. What was required of the girls’ team was to choose a team to eat either green or orange food for a week. So they chose the boys team (naturally) and orange food.

What the hell could the boys eat that was orange? They sat down with Commando and tried to work out a sensible diet. Ryan suggested twisties and cheezels, earning only a scowl from Commando. Ryan clarified that he was, in fact talking about cheese twisties, which had little impact on the trainer. Alex asked about egg yolks, but he was reminded of their heavy fat content. Ryan suggested cheese and bacon balls, which resulted in a deft knee capping from Commando. Alex, starting to get a feel for the task, suggested orange lentils, which pleased the trainer but brought eternal enmity from his team mates. Ryan gave it one last shot when he suggested Burger Rings, forcing Commando to hog tie him and store him in the larder for 5 hours.

With dietary considerations sorted, it was time for matters closer to the heart, once you get past the arterial blockages that is. Love was in the air, and not just because of the boys’ lentil heavy diet. To celebrate Valentine’s Day which was at least three months away, the contestants were dressed up to dine at the infamous Biggest Loser fine dying…sorry dining restaurant, for TEMPTATION! This week it involved dinner for two, with the first one eating a calorie catastrophe going up against the next person until the last one holding the silver spoon is left to claim immunity. As it turned out Hamish had the fastest hand in the house, his skills honed from years of masturbation playing computer games.

"One of these things is not like the other..."

As a reward for winning temptation, Hamish was given a night away with one other contestant. Tossing up between Michelle and no one else, Hamish chose Michelle, causing short bursts of giggles to break out around the room like machine gun fire on the beaches of Normandy. Arriving at their cottage, Hamish was surprised to find two rooms with a double bed in each, suggesting that another couple from a different Biggest Loser might be arriving as well, or that Michelle was being given the option of not sleeping with Hamish. Whether she took that option we may never know. Hamish explained how hard it was meeting new ladies, particularly as his favourite haunt is the local RSL club where only old ladies hang out, both figuratively and literally. Still beggars can’t be choosers. Apparently it’s a law or something.

Upon the return of Hamish and Michelle, after everyone had spent two hours comparing double entendres and innuendo, it was time for the now traditional and pointless running up sand hills challenge. Boys went against girls and were competing for a 2kg advantage at weigh-in. The sand covered hill was christened “Hell Hill”, so called because Peter Hellier had once been seen there. Hamish managed to run up and down the hill without crying, so in itself that was an achievement. Selena, lacking in encouragement, decided to do it for her sister who has lupus, as lupus is a disease that affects the very muscles needed for running up sand hills, maybe.

As the week drew to an end, Selena was racing triumphantly down the mountain (yes the hill had become a mountain), while the mountain that is Ryan was stuck halfway down the hill, firmly planted face first in the sand, and unable to extricate himself.

The Biggest Loser – Mon-Fri 7pm, Ch10.