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The Biggest Loser: Way Off Target

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As someone who’s dieting himself — hey, I could stand to lose a few! — it was with piqued interest that I tuned in to the premiere of NBC’s The Biggest Loser Tuesday night. And while all that sagging, wrinkly flesh will hopefully serve as a wake-up call to any fatties watching at home, I see this show as widely missing its mark — for two big reasons:

A show that kicks off the contestant who loses the least weight each episode is wrong, wrong, wrong. Did the producers spend any time thinking about the message that this sends to dieters around the world? If at first you don’t succeed, or if you don’t succeed fast enough, then you have lost… Nice. Why not just call it “Crash Diet for Cash”?

Also, at one point in Tuesday’s ep a woman freaks out about how much chicken she’s eaten and what sauce she put on it. In another clip the contestants are confronted with a huge breakfast buffet of both “good” and “bad” foods, and they have to decide what’s right to eat for themselves. Problem is, we the viewers never get any particulars about the specific diets they’re on. In the legal-ese of the end credits we discover that each contestant is supervised by a doctor and has a uniquely-tailored diet — that’s not a bad thing; better, at least, than the show being sponsored by Atkins or South Beach or some other fad. So how come we can’t find out more about the individual meal plans? Shouldn’t TV educate as well as entertain?

Apparently not, and once again the biggest loser is the audience.

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  • Eric Olsen

    sounds deranged, barbaric and cruel, all within the treacly context of “helping and improving” these poor bloated souls. Thanks Andrew!

  • MrPC

    I find it disturbing that everyone wants to be “the biggest loser.”

    Also, that team that had to vote someone off is stupid. That big fat guy who weights over 400 pounds (“Mo”) ate BACON ate breakfast, but NOBODY voted for him. Stupid people, stupid show.

    And why is fatty Caroline Rhea hosting the show? Shouldn’t she be a CONTESTANT on the show??

  • Eric Olsen

    I never got why they stuffed poor Caroline into all those tight, unflattering outfits on Sabrina – very odd

  • unknown

    in the first episode of the biggest loser .. there was a song dat went sumthing like this

    “..and i want to be the one that loves you forever..”

    does anyone know the name of the song ? .. it was sung by a man .. it was played towards the end of the show when there was only two contestants left to be weighed .. thanks

  • This review was chosen for Advance.net. You will be able to find it on newspaper sites including Cleveland.com.

  • Kyle

    No But I wish I could out who sings that song too..

  • Bianca

    I think the show is a bit off kilter. However the reviewer was mistaken when he said they vote off the person who loses the least amount each week. The losing “team” votes off one from their ranks. Just goes to show that people will always vote their fears, and never based on merit. It’s half strategy (if you call lying and back-biting strategy), and half popularity contest. I believe at the rate that the teams are going the winner will probably not be someone who merited the award (as compared to others on the teams). But in the end it’s about what they all have accomplished (without reckless surgery). I think the show is one of the most moral of the reality shows. I know that word gets thrown around alot, but they don’t get a single thing more than what they earned. Theyre all lucky to have the oppurtunity.

  • Loretta

    We are being played for saps (I’m just figuring that out? Must be slowing down in my old age)! Isn’t it convenience that one week Blue team loses, then the next week Red team loses? Or that Blue team (Or was it Red) after voting off the the guy that lost the most three weeks in a row won the following week? Then they themselves voted off Matt(?) who was himself a big loser? Now I know I’m being played!

  • This show was great it inspired me and 2 other guys to do a personal competetion for a prize pool. It does work. Check up on us at:

    The Biggest Loser’s

  • LosingWeightVerySlow

    Do you think that these people have had surgery?
    As over-weight some of the contestants were they seem to have no skin hanging. In the short amount of time they claim to have been dieting and working-out, there is no way possible they should have no skin hanging. Even Richard Simmons has at one point in time had skin hanging. hmm.

    Makes one wonder why the host hasnt taken on such a feat of becoming a contestant herself. Maybe she is scared of needles. Afterall, HOLLYWOOD has done wonders for some of the greatest stars.

    Maybe doctors cant advertise on the show, to give the secrets of the diet, because it might be by surgical means.

  • Host Caroline Rhea (who looked pretty good tonight, though she’s now bigger than the contestants) said several times tonight that the weight loss was the product of only diet and exercise. I must say, though, that ALL of the contestants looked AMAZING. Well, except for Kathryn, but she lost 16 pounds, so she’s doing better than me.

    Made a decision: If I can figure out a way to make a videotape, I will apply for BL3. I want to be that fit and thin and, knowing me, I need the trainers and assistance to do it.

  • Boffo Tumbles

    Dunno, Caroline needed to ditch that big fake hair thing she wore on her skull. She’s a nice gal tho in real life, so I’ll forgive her and her wardrobe people.

    News for whoever wrote this article – This show is a hit, and will continue to be so. It’s inspiring in a very real way, with a subject that many people have issues coming to grips with. Sure people get voted off, but would you watch 3 months of 10 people’s workouts only? Perhaps, perhaps not.

  • C’mon, it’s fun to do big hair and drag every now and again. My problem was with her raccoon eyes.

  • I have been on a diet for around 15 months now and have managed to go from over 85 kilos (about 188 pounds) to around 76 kilos (167 pounds), although I’ve been stuck at this weight for two months now. I would like to get down to 70 kgs (154 lbs/11 stones) in an ideal case scenario.

    I made up my own diet which I call the Tapas Diet as it (r)evolves around the very Spanish idea of eating a little often. If you’ll forgive the shameless self-promotion, the whole sorry story of my personal battle of the bulge is fully documented in All I Ate Today, complete with occasional recipes, plenty of photos and my weekly weigh-in ritual. The whole horrid story is told – and it’s all shamefully true!

  • melissa Pollio

    If you bothered to actually watch the show you would know that they do NOT kick off the person who has lost the least amount of weight. The person who is kicked off is determined by the team voting them off.

  • What are the armbands the participants are wearing this year??? Who is the maker??