schem­ing to win

Raj plays the vil­lain on The BiggestLoser Asia2.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - T R.AGE - By FIONA HO

Raj is the biggest vil­lain on re­al­ity TV show The­Biggest


THERE is a vil­lain in ev­ery re­al­ity show and Vive­g­anan­dam Dev­eraj (Raj) is the one ev­ery­body loves to hate on the sec­ond sea­son of The Biggest Loser Asia (TBLA2).

Dubbed “the snake” by fel­low con­tes­tants, the 3D mod­eller from Singapore with a pen­chant for com­puter games has been ap­ply­ing his tac­ti­cal gam­ing skills on the show. It all be­gan when he won the first chal­lenge, when 16 hope­fuls were put through an ob­sta­cle course soon af­ter they landed on lo­ca­tion at Putrajaya JW Mar­riott in Bangi, Se­lan­gor. The win­ning male and fe­male of the chal­lenge get to be­come the re­spec­tive cap­tains of two teams.

TBLA2 con­tes­tants are Norziana Mo­hamad Azmi (Yana), Saw Liang Wei (Saw) and Izana Shakira Mohd Isa (Shakira) from Malaysia; Jonathan Wong, Scott Hanna, Leonardo Di Ca­p­ati and Rico Michael from In­done­sia; Raj, Nurhafiza Mo­hammed (Fish) and Man­jit Kaur from Singapore; Atikom Lak­sana­panai (Nai), Picharatch Phuntha­worn­nawin (Peachy) and Pat­tanavadee Soon­sin­pai (Patty) from Thai­land; Genghis Khan En­rique and De­siree M. Vi­noya from the Philip­pines; and Lori David Gran­ito from Hong Kong.

The cap­tains get to pick the colour and team mem­bers. The Red team will be coached by the no­to­ri­ously mean Kristy Cur­tis while the Blue team will train un­der Dave Nuku.

Fish, who was the first fe­male to reach the fin­ish line, be­came Red cap­tain while Raj leads the Blue team. Raj led Fish to be­lieve he was be­ing gen­tle­manly when he let her have the Red team and that he wanted to be in the team as well. But what he re­ally wanted was to have Nuku as trainer.

Small-time vil­lainy aside, the for­mat is the same as the pre­vi­ous sea­son – con­tes­tants put up in a re­mote lo­ca­tion with no con­tact with fam­ily or friends; they are di­vided into two teams and have to work out six hours a day and ad­here to healthy meal plans; and take part in chal­lenges that de­ter­mine if they stay on the show or not.

At the end of each weekly episode, par­tic­i­pants have to go for a weigh-in and the team with the low­est per­cent­age of weight loss will lose a mem­ber, who will be voted out by their peers. The last one stand­ing walks away with US$100,000 (RM312,000).

The Blue team was the first to taste de­feat when two of their mem­bers – Rico and De­siree – were elim­i­nated at the first weigh-in.

Bummed by the loss, the Blues tried to pick them­selves up while their cap­tain Raj went about try­ing to in­fil­trate the Red team. He man­aged to be­friend some of the Red team mem­bers, namely the fast-mouthed, whiny but lik­able Genghis.

When the Red team lost in the sec­ond week, there was a tie in votes for Man­jit and Patty to be booted out.

As the rules go, Raj, be­ing cap­tain of the op­pos­ing team, had the power to pick a per­son to send home. He chose Scott – Red team’s strong­est con­tes­tant who lost 15kg in the first week alone. Raj, who was later seen with a smirk on his face, called it the “best week ever”.

But what do we know, karma soon bit Raj in the ass when the Blue team lost the fol­low­ing week. Once again, he set his schemes to work by team­ing up with the boys of his team and they voted Yana out.

The Blue girls have only them­selves to blame for their dwin­dling num­bers. Yana, Shakira and Peachy – while ex­tremely lik­able and up­beat – were too sub­mis­sive. They let Raj de­cide their fate and made no ef­fort to break the al­liance of the guys.

Fan favourite Peachy was the next to go when the Blue team again lost the weigh-in the fol­low­ing week.

This sea­son of TBLA has not been very event­ful, not even with Raj and his vil­lain­ous schemes, though there are some very charis­matic con­tes­tants on­board.

Some­times an­noy­ing but mostly en­dear­ing Genghis, who has been pep­per­ing the show with his wry hu­mour and oc­ca­sion­ally princess-y at­ti­tude when it comes to sweat­ing it out at the gym, is def­i­nitely one to look out for.

Malaysia’s very own Saw won over view­ers when he fell from the tread­mill but picked him­self up still smil­ing and game to push on, in the pi­lot.

I would love to see the su­per­slug­gish Patty, the heav­i­est con­tes­tant in the com­pe­ti­tion, try harder. Ev­ery­one loves a good un­der­dog story.

Till Raj’s next scheme ... n TheBiggestLoserAsia2 air­ing on Diva Uni­ver­sal (Chan­nel 702) on Tues­days at 9pm.

Vive­g­anan­dam Dev­eraj (Raj) is the one ev­ery­one loves to hate on the sec­ond sea­son of The­Biggest LoserAsia.

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