What a bunch of losers

Yes, it's that time of year again - Biggest Loser season.  I confess, I am addicted to this show.  No, not for the inspirational stories of people working on the issues that made them put on weight in the first place; I am addicted to it because it's SO bad that I can't look away.  It is the train wreck of train wrecks.  Where they find these people I have no idea but, apart from the occasional delightful person (who is never the winner), the Biggest Loser house is filled with the fish that John West Big Brother rejected.

I believe their most endearing quality is their naivety.  I'm going to have to assume they've seen the show before in order to have applied, yet still in the first week they say things like, "We all went into the weigh-in room and I couldn't believe that we'd have to weigh ourselves! I've never revealed my weight to anyone - not even my husband!"  Seriously, you didn't realise you have to weigh yourself on a weight loss show?  And you didn't want to tell your husband your weight but you're okay with revealing it to thousands of strangers on national television?

The first week also sees the contestants expressing shock that they've been asked to exercise.  Anyone who's seen even a snippet of the show knows that there are crazy-eyed trainers who make people exercise until they vomit (which is then filmed in slow-mo for the enjoyment of all) yet they still say, "I thought they'd go easy on us in the first week because we're fat."  Yeah... your weight is kind of the point, here.

My favourite type of contestant is the one who forms an alliance in the first week but isn't smart enough to work out that the alliance is not in their favour.  This year it's a 'couples' format, so there are sisters, brothers, married couples, best mates, workmates etc.  The brothers team is made up of one scheming, obnoxious, arrogant brother who, as we saw last night, will screw over his own brother to be in control; and one younger brother who follows his big brother around like a puppy and thinks the sun shines out of his... ears.  They are clearly getting the 'villian' edit from the producers but I get the feeling it's pretty justified.  The thing is, though, these boys are powerhouses.  They are incredibly strong and determined to get their own way so at the moment they're pretty much unstoppable.  Early on they formed an alliance with the 'sisters' team, which was comprised of two lazy, whiny, unpleasant girls who appeared to have no clue what was going on but thought they were smarter than everyone else.  They're also the lightest people in the house, which means they have virtually no chance of winning the show.  They formed an alliance with, you guessed it, the brothers.  They kept saying, "They've promised to take us through to the finale."  It apparently never once occurred to them that the brothers would want to take the weakest, lightest couple to the finale so they can beat them.  Thankfully the sisters won $10,000 in a challenge last week and coincidentally decided they'd had enough of, you know, exercising and eating right, so they asked to be voted off.  They were.  Bye, sisters - it was fun to hate you but I'm happy not to see your miserable faces on my TV anymore.

The producers of this show apparently think they're targeting it to the Alzheimers demographic, so they constantly replay what we just saw, like, 45 seconds ago.  And in case we missed the replay they show two or three interviews with contestants where they commentate the thing we've already seen twice.  So most nights go a little bit like this:

Shot of Contestant 1 walking into the kitchen and finding a letter on the table addressed to the contestants.
Contestant 1 (interview): I walked into the kitchen and saw a letter on the table addressed to the contestants. I had no idea what to expect.
Contestant 1 (live): Hey guys, come into the kitchen. We have a letter.
Contestant 2 (live): We have a letter? Who's it from?
Contestant 2 (interview): Yeah, Contestant 1 called us into the kitchen and said there was a letter addressed to us.  I had no idea what to expect.  I asked who it was from.
Commercial break.
Contestant 1 (interview):  So earlier today I walked into the kitchen and on the table was this letter. I didn't know what to expect, so I picked it up and saw it was addressed to the contestants.
Replay of footage of Contestant 1 walking into the kitchen and finding a letter on the table addressed to the contestants.
Contestant 3 (interview):  This morning Contestant 2 came upstairs and told us that Contestant 1 had found a letter in the kitchen. And it was addressed to us!  I didn't know what to expect.  These things are never good news.
Footage from last week showing another contestant finding a letter in the kitchen.
End of episode.  Tune in tomorrow for a rehash of everything we've just seen... and if you're lucky they might even open the letter.

Ah, reality TV.  You turn my brain to mush and make me want to put my foot through the television... yet how I love you.


Hippomanic Jen said...

Yep. You've outlined precisely the thing that makes me not watch reality TV or documentaries. I realise it would be much shorter if they just showed stuff once (which would be good for me, but not so good for filling up air-time) The Biggest Loser 10 minute special - everything you would have seen in the whole hour, but without replaying stuff. I might be tempted.

PS - you really have written that very well. I like!

Long dark hair, blue eyes said...

Yes. I hear you. I love it too! I just can't help myself it is so deliciously bad.

I can't wait for the final weigh-in. That is my favorite - when they rehash the whole show.

Givinya De Elba said...

Loved your post! Makes me want to watch it now, just for the train-wreck value.

dr maya vale said...


a blog post about reality tv? i didn't know what to expect!

Swift Jan said...

Awesome post!! The constamt replays GAH they are so annoying & yes how glad am I that Holly & Mel are GONE woohoo!!

I have been hooked on this show since the first AMerican series was played here in Oz...
I think I like it so much because I can relate quite well to how a lot of them got to where they are.
I have contemplated applying for the show, but I couldn't bare to be away from my kids for that amout of time, so that stops me! Plus the Comando scares me!!

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