Two­somes dish up dou­ble serve of jelly

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv -

IT’S pretty poor form to sug­gest a drink­ing game while watch­ing a re­al­ity show on weight loss, but I’d ad­vise you to take the healthy op­tion and down a glass of wa­ter ev­ery time the word ‘‘ jour­ney’’ is ut­tered tonight. If you go the al­co­holic route you’ll be le­g­less by the first ad break.

For the unini­ti­ated, a group of 20 over­weight peo­ple agree to be locked in a re­sort with two per­sonal train­ers who put them through a pun­ish­ing regime to lose weight and be­come health­ier. There’s $ 200,000 for the con­tes­tant who drops the most weight in a gala weigh-in at the end of the show’s three-month run.

Dur­ing the first cou­ple of episodes the con­tes­tants tell us their life sto­ries: how their weight bal­looned and why they de­cided that enough was enough, re­ferred to eu­phemisti­cally as their jour­ney.

But it’s hard not to be­come a com­mit­ted viewer as the con­tes­tants this sea­son are ar­guably the most en­dear­ing we’ve seen in the pro­gram’s three-year run.

This year, the pro­duc­ers have mixed things up, and sent in over­weight cou­ples in­stead of just one per­son on a solo bid to lose weight. There are sis­ters, broth­ers, husbands and wives, par­ents and chil­dren, col­leagues and best friends.

This adds an in­ter­est­ing twist, and it ratch­ets up the emo­tional quotient be­cause they’re not just do­ing it for them­selves, but for each other.

It’s not just about weight loss but also mind games, as the con­tes­tants are di­vided into teams and given chal­lenges. Each week’s los­ing team must elim­i­nate a mem­ber.

It gets very tac­ti­cal, not to men­tion nasty. Hav­ing a part­ner will throw in

Tape mea­sure test: all man­ner of de­li­cious co­nun­drums.

Hosted by weight loss pin-up A. J. Rochester, the show is based on the suc­cess­ful US ver­sion that has made house­hold names of Bob Harper and Jil­lian Michaels, the per­sonal train­ers who spear­head each war­ring group.

Harper and Michaels fea­tured in the first Aus­tralian sea­son be­fore they were re­placed with lo­cal ver­sions in Shan­nan Pon­ton and Michelle Bridges.

Watch­ing this show, it’s easy to cross the fine line from viewer to voyeur, as there can be an el­e­ment of degra­da­tion in the train­ing and chal-

hosts Shan­nan and Michelle lenges forced on the con­tes­tants. This viewer still misses Bob and Jil­lian and har­bours reser­va­tions that Shan­nan’s main con­cern is feed­ing his ego rather than con­cern for the em­bat­tled com­peti­tors in his care.

How­ever, it is the peo­ple los­ing the weight who re­ally in­spire and there are al­ready some stand­outs. Keep your eye on broth­ers An­drew and Nathan and hus­band and wife Amanda and Ste­wart. They’ll be cer­tain to tug at the heart­strings. But ex­pe­ri­ence sug­gests it’s the quiet ones who fly un­der the radar who very of­ten turn out the win­ner.

Ge­orgina Wind­sor

The Big­gest Loser

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.