Twosomes dish up double serve of jelly
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.
The Biggest Loser