Previous Episode: Excess Baggage Season One -Launch
Excess Baggage is set to unveil its unique scoring system. Instead of weight losses, these contestants will be judged based on their body fat percentage, waist circumference and fitness. Tonight, they face their first check in. Who will be the fittest? Who will be on their way to good health? It all begins now!
We’re reminded of last night’s episode, including a look at who will be competing in the series. After a look at tonight’s episode, we head into it.
It’s a brand new day. We’re told that the first check in will occur today. They are all waking up, nervous and a tad embarrassed. Ben feels they need to bite the bullet and hope that what they see will soon disappear.
The rain begins to pour as the contestants partake in their first training session. In these training sessions, there will be neither points nor any winners. Contestants don’t even have to compete in them. But if they want to lose weight, this’ll be the best way of doing it.
The training course is an obstacle course. It seems to be just an excuse to get them all rolling in mud if you ask me. At one point, trainer Christian throws mud on them!
John is struggling. As he crawls through the mud, he finds it hard to keep trudging. As he struggles, we look at a back story of him looking at himself in a mirror. He seems to have the most to lose.
Contestants then have to stand on a tyre and bash it with a bat. Dipper nominates Lana to bash the tyre, but as he yells encouragement at her, he seems to forget that she is not a footy mate. She is overwhelmed by the amount of support she is getting and she breaks down. Lana likes the support she is giving her, but as it is something she has never had, she needs to trust him more before she can get to know him.
We have a look at what is to come in coming weeks and it seems Dipper will take some pent up frustration out on Christian! He is asking Christian to punch him!
Back to present day and contestants are tyre flipping. Dipper is making easy work of it but Lisa and Darryn are some of those people who are struggling. They get their partners to help them. We look at a flash-forward to Darryn’s future in the competition, and it seems he will become more demanding.
Out of nowhere, Ajay jumps in a pile of mud, signifying the end of training. They all feel very good.
Christian forms a team circle of encouragement. ‘You leave it all here! One team, one dream!’ And with that, they head off.
Opinion point: Would you attend training sessions if you had to?
After the break, the sun goes down and the rain comes down. Kate tells us that it is time for the first check in. As the dark clouds shade the moon, Kate tells us how the contestants can move forward in the game. Haven’t we been introduced to this?
Before the start of the competition, contestants had their waist line, body fat percentages and fitness measured. We saw the fitness being measured last night. Body fat was done in a state-in-the-art bod pod.
Dr. Ross Walker, a cardiologist, tells us why waist circumference and body fat percentage is important to measure when weight is being lost.
The contestants head to an open rock pool in the Kimberly where Christian and Ross are waiting for them. Chris welcomes them to their check in and tells them all what we’ve just heard.
Dipper is first for his results. His body fat percentage is 33.3%- it needs to be 22%.
His waist circumference is 126cm. His fitness score was 5.9. Nearly six, but Dipper doesn’t see it as this. Christian is a little disappointed in him, having looked up to him when he was a boy.
Dipper puts it down to laziness.
Lana is next for her results. Her BFP is 47.9%. Her WC is 123.5cm- it needs to be 80cm. Her fitness is 3.7. That’s below the 4 which is the minimum requirement for a ‘healthy’ person (not really, but it is the maximum of what is considered ‘unhealthy’). She is shocked but wants to find the person she wants to be. Cue another look at her family, included her Autistic sister.
Christian tells her that her ab test was the best of the group and loved how she sprinted the last 400m of the 1.6km run. Hmm, so we’re going to have a positive show on our hands.
Opinion point: What is your first impression of these ‘check ins’?
After the break, Nine are playing that ‘this is Excess Baggage’ clip yet again. It’s starting to get annoying, and it’s only the second episode!
We’re then given a recap of how the check in works.
Next up for check in are Gabby Millgate and Ben. Gabby’s BFP is 40.4%. Her WC is 104cm. Her fitness score is 4.2. These are out of ten. Gabby is emotional as we look at her life and how she got to how she is. She blames depression.
Ben is next. His BFP 45.6%- almost 50%! His WC is 141.5cm- it should be 95cm. His fitness score is 4.2- the same as Gabby. He feels 100% embarrassed for his family, his girlfriend and himself. We look at his back story and how he hates feeling like the biggest. Christian thinks it is brave that he is trying to make a change.
Next up are Brant and John. John’s BFP is 47.2%. His WC is 150cm. His fitness is 1.7- out of ten! Not real flash. The experts bring up his other health problems, including high blood pressure and diabetes. They say he may lose diabetes when he loses weight.
Brant is next. His BFP is 26.9%. His WC is 108.5cm- it needs to be below 95. His fitness score is 4.7. Cue another look at the Beaconsfield Disaster. He was so scared of hurting himself after the experience, he never exercised.
Ross thinks he will be successful at this considering what he has experienced.
After the break, we look at Christine Anu’s back story. Her kids and her career came before her health, making her who she is today.
Christine’s BFP is 39.2%. Her WC is 108.5cm. Her fitness score is only 3.2. Not good at all.
Nathan’s BFP is 41.6% (needs to be less than 22%). His WC is 132.5cm. His fitness core is only 2.2. He is nearly in tears as he calls his score horrible. Christian notices that he takes care of others before he takes care of himself. He talks about how his partner required his care for sometime.
Next up is Darryn and Lisa. Darryn is asked why he is here and Darryn says it is to get extremely fit. Ross talks about his smoking. He says he knows the risks associated with it but finds it hard to give up.
His BFP is 33.5%. His WC is 106cm. His fitness score is 6.4- somewhat high, but he should be up at 8.
We have a look at his life- a luxurious one. But he doesn’t look after himself, which he considers a bad habit.
To Lisa now and her BFP is 50.6%. Her WC is 136.5cm. Her fitness score is 3.4. Pretty dire. She cries as she concedes it is time to change. We have a look at her bad eating habits. She says that from Darryn, she needs his determination. Darryn thinks he has already helped Lisa. We recall how he very unmotivationally yelled at her to finish yesterday’s race.
Darryn is asked to hug Lisa, but he later admits how he doesn’t like the gesture saying hugging wont make you lose weight.
Opinion point: Darryn’s villainous personality. Love it or hate it?
After the break, it is Ajay’s turn. Her BFP is 44.8%. Her WC is 109cm. Her fitness score is 3.9. As she sees this, she breaks down. She is asked why she got like this. She blames it on being forced to lose weight, even when she was fit and healthy. She just wanted to be herself and not someone who was made to wear ‘sample’ dresses.
Matt is up next. His BFP is 40.8%, better than I expected. His WC is 139cm. His fitness score is 3.1. He too is asked what got him to that level. He blames it on depression after his guilt. He also discusses his gambling and drinking problems.
Kate and Sarah are next. We look back at Kate’s story from winning Australian Idol before her check in. Her BFP is 41.9%. Her WC is 110cm. Her fitness level is 5.1, which she feels is OK. When asked about her image, she says she is ashamed by it and says it controls her life.
TO Sarah and she feels nervous. She hates her body and we see her life story. She’s only had one boyfriend and his friend’s kept asking him to break up with her. That’s very sad. She too is a singer, calling it the most special part of her life.
Her BFP is 48.6%. Her WC is 112cm. Her fitness score is 3.2.
Christian asks her about her music writing. He asks her to sing and she is hesitant in doing it as she has a low self esteem. Will she sing?
After the break, Kate asks her to sing one of her songs and after holding Kate’s hand, she belts it out. It’s a bit shaky, but this isn’t a singing contest and she is nervous. All that considering, it was pretty good! Excellent even! Congrats, hey!
Last team up is Renae and K-Fed. Renae’s BFP is 46.7%. Her WC is 113cm. Her fitness score is 2.8. She says she used to weight 55kg- about 10 years ago when she got married. Since then, she had kids. She wants to get back to what she wants. Ross tells her that the more she looks after herself, the more she looks after her kids.
To K-Fed and he talks about how hot it has been and how much of a toll it is taking.
His BFP is 38.8%. His WC is 118cm. His fitness is 4.8cm. Not good for a dancer. We look back at his life and he says he wants to do this for his kids. Christian tells him that as a fit man, it won’t take him long to lose his weight.
Christian congratulates them on finishing their first check in. For every check in from now, they have to improve. For every improvement, they will be awarded individual points. Those points will combine to give one team score. Those will be shown at the next check in.
With that, they head off to rest.
The storm cloud gather as the cars stop short of the hotel- Kevin has almost collapsed in the car. He needs urgent medical attention. The contestants are wondering how his soft-LA soul was ever going to survive the harsh Kimberley hardness.
I guess we’ll learn more about that later this week!
Another good episode tonight, I will admit. The concentration on just the check in was great! It’s a brand new concept that really needed to be explained. But we’ve heard the rules a good 5 times now, is that a bit excessive? I’ve also noticed that some of these contestant’s stories are being repeated and repeated- Kate’s especially. I’d like to learn more about the ordinary Australians. What the celebrities did for a living doesn’t really concern me.
Production was fantastic again, but the way the scores in the check in were revealed looked a bit tacky. Some improvement can surely be made.
What I liked the most was that attention to detail- the episode didn’t try to deal with too much, and the added look at the training session at the start of the episode was a fitting addition- much like Last Chance Training. This fast paced but very detailed episode ended with a shot of K-Fed’s much publicised health scare- which I believe was an absolutely perfect for the show to make as they lure viewers in after a one-day break tomorrow.
Production Values (visual and audio techniques, overall ‘bling’ of the show): 4.0/5
‘Sell-out’ factor (Cross-promotion and product placement free?): 1.9/2
Entertainment Value (emotional feel, storyline, eventful?): 2.9/3
Courtney’s Verdict: 8.8/10