Winners are grinners.

Congratulations to the Purple team Ajay Rochester and Matthew Palmer for winning the first (and likely only) season of Excess Baggage. The team beat out the other final four teams Robert “Dipper” Diperdomenio & Lana (orange), Kevin “K-Fed” Federline & Renae (blue) and Darryn Lyons & Lisa (red) and take home $100,000 for their efforts.

The teams faced a final group of challenges on Sydney’s Bear Island to add to their scores collected through the week, leading into the very final weigh in. The teams also took part in their final health check tests as these results added to the outcome.

All previous contestants returned for the final, as well as a group of family and friends, to hear the results for the finalists. Before the final numbers were delivered we got to hear of some of the successes for the previous contestants as they’ve continued their life-changing experience since being eliminated from the show.

The final check-in score of the Purple team made all the difference, and lead to a very tight victory over the Red team:
PURPLE (Ajay & Matt) – 102.8
RED (Darryn & Lisa) – 99.0
ORANGE (Dipper & Lana) – 98.6
BLUE (K-Fed & Renae) – 93.1

While the finale was a buoyant affair, it brings to a close a series the Nine Network largely considers to be an embarrassment. After allegedly investing $20 million to have FreeMantle Media Australia to produce the series, the Network was looking for the reality/celebrity/weight loss show to lead in their new 7pm reality strategy for 2012. Excess Baggage performed poorly in it’s initial weeks on the primary channel for the network and was quickly shunted to GO! to see out the season. It must have been tough for the contestants as they’d been filming while the series went to air and aware of the criticism, ratings and reviews.

Excess Baggage proved to be a far more interesting process than the other shows of the same genre. The inclusion of nutritionist Dr Joanna McMillan & psychologist Dr Tim Sharp as mentors/judges, along with physical trainer Christian Marchegiani, gave depth to the wholistic approach the show took to weight loss. Kate Ceberano was a more than capable host, and the contestants and celebrities involved were fun and interesting, with each team providing their own challenges and drama at various times.