Previous episode: Excess Baggage Season One – Finals Week Part #1
The series is quickly coming to a close, and tonight, it is the final Excess Baggage Breakthrough Experience. If you ask me, if there are still ‘throughs’ waiting to be ‘broken’ at this stage of the game, I would question this show’s method at…well, doing things. Still, being locked in a helicopter and submerged in a tank must be fearful for a sizeable amount of you lot! Luckily all we have to do is sit back and watch!
We begin with Kate showing us how contestants will be submerged in a simulated cockpit of a helicopter. It looks claustrophobic and Aquaphobic.
The contestant’s rock up and Lana is trying so hard not to cry. Tim welcomes them to the centre and tells them how scary the breakthrough challenge is. The need to make stressful decisions, the water, the claustrophobia- it will require a minor miracle to get Lana in that helicopter.
Dipper has had scuba diving problems in the past and wants to try this. An emotional Ajay is also going to be going through with it. To make Lana’s decision a little easier (or attempt to), they show contestants what will happen. Dipper did not realise that they will be lowered into the water- thinking they will start submerged.
The contestants are further freaked out when the cockpit flips over. Meanwhile, the red and blue teams are going rock climbing! They are all surprised by the height of the wall- they are five stories high.
Kevin and Renae are reminded of their Tasmanian abseil but Renae is a little more pessimistic about climbing. Darryn says he would be happy to climb if someone is holding the rope at the bottom. He is shocked to hear that Lisa would be holding the rope.
Well, actually, she will ALSO be able to go up, as she has a fear of heights. With that, they harness up and are given crucial information.
Meanwhile, the orange and purple teams are also being briefed with information for their dive. Gosh, my heart is beating just hearing about it.
With that, they gear up and get ready to give their decisions. Dipper, Ajay and Matt decide to go, but will Lana?
Opinion point: Going for a helicopter dive or rock-climbing? What would you pick?
After the break, she says yes, implementing mind games to help calm herself down. The purple team go first and Ajay just looks terrified. They hop into the water, board the helicopter and are lowered into the water. They have no breathing devices- they have to hurry!
But, despite the difficulty, they escape in seconds. With that, it’s Lana’s turn. She cannot swim and ‘doesn’t do water’. She is panicked and Tim is on hand to calm her down. As the helicopter is raised, Lana is unconvinced she can do it. She has to settle down otherwise she won’t be able to be submerged.
Then, it begins! I feel for her. But, as we all know, she gets out fine! So that was only the first part of the challenge. They now have to do it again, upside down!
Meanwhile, back at the rock-climbing wall, Kevin is going up. His back is hurting and after making it 15-20 feet, he has to come down.
Darryn is next and he says he is ready as he’ll ever be ‘to die’. He doesn’t make it up too high before Lisa begins to giggle and insinuate he isn’t safe. Darryn sees the man with Lisa, but doesn’t trust him either, haha. I have to say though; this could be dangerous if she doesn’t watch it.
When he wants to come down, Lisa holds the rope, disallowing him to do so.
Opinion point: Last breakthrough experience- should everyone have competed in the same thing?
After the break, it is time for phase two- an upside down dive. They are all going in together. The boys are quick to the cockpit. Ajay is in the pool, but Lana isn’t. Tim says she has had her success today, and that this would be a cherry on top.
She says she wants to do it, before having a breakdown, before going up again and then finally diving to give it a crack. This is the third part of the challenge apparently- so I’m guessing the purple’s attempt and the orange’s attempt before counted as two rounds.
Meanwhile, back at the rock-climbing, Darryn decides to come down, and Kevin thinks Darryn & Lisa’s attempts were the comedic points of the day. Renae is just annoyed as she wants to climb it. She says she didn’t get the opportunity to do that.
Lisa goes up and then surprisingly begins acting like a Matrix-wall walker- surprising and scaring everyone. With that, they all head over to see how the other half of the team are doing.
The helicopter is going under. Short story- they all make it! Surprise! While she is in tears, oh what a joyful moment for Lana. I don’t know about Kate talking to her like a three year old, but she did it nonetheless.
Opinion point: The breakthrough challenges as a whole- was it a good element to the show, or did they aid in the show’s demise? If so, how?
After the break, they all dry off and head back to their accommodation after a hard day. Well, not quite. For the divers, they now get to go for a real helicopter ride around Melbourne. At least they know what to do in an emergency. Ajay is a bit nervous, but Lana is happy.
Ajay actually thinks this is groundhog day. Surely she is fine with flying now. How else has she gone from location to location week after week?
The views are stunning, but we get more views of the contestants than the city. Up in the air, Ajay is not scared, and she sees the benefit of constantly stepping outside her boundaries. With that, the reward is over and they head back to the Crowne to celebrate their journey with the other contestants.
Tim tells them that he has something special planned for them- different site sessions for the contestants. What could this be?
Opinion point: Do you think the reward was sufficient for the task?
After the break, Lana and Dipper head to a Greek restaurant where Dipper’s daughter and Lana’s father is waiting for them.
Lana is emotional, and Dipper’s daughter hugs Lana as she reads through a letter. Dipper’s daughter promises to talk her through Dipper’s shouting. She tells her to just give it back. She says she hasn’t eaten with her father for a while. Her name is Candice.
Jim, Lana’s father, cries when talking about his daughter and her sister, who has autism. He finally realises what the condition of Lana’s sister is having on Lana.
Meanwhile, Darryn and Lisa head to a beauty spa, with Lisa given the opportunity to ‘beautify’ Darryn. Darryn is comically shocked, and intimidated! He is a bit confused as to where the cucumber is going!
Lana gives him a shampoo and massage. At one point, Darryn jokes about her body odour, but she does well. It looks relaxing. Darryn doesn’t know why she stopped it in the first place!
As a token of appreciation, Darryn gives her a necklace from…some place.
Opinion point: After ten weeks of something like what the contestants go through on Excess Baggage, what would you like to be rewarded with?
Meanwhile, Kevin and Renae head to Ministry of Dance to reconnect with their passion. Renae is given the challenge to teach Kevin some ballroom, while Kevin has to teach Renae hip hop. They both do well, but Kevin wasn’t so sure about future ballroom escapades.
Meanwhile, Matt & Ajay are given the task to write a letter to their kids about their regrets. They then have to read out their letters. Matt’s letter was very emotional, but Ajay herself was emotional as she read out her honest letter.
See, this is pure emotion. Because we know what is happening- we know how Ajay is feeling because this show has shown us that. When this show edits everything, we get nothing back emotionally. But today, we did.
She is so sorry to her kids for her eating obsessions. Hopefully they learn something from this, and become a bit more confident.
So with that, the episode ends and those last few scenes, clearly showing some true emotion- like Ajay’s tears and Darryn’s humour, really gave us insight to these contestants. Too little too late? For this episode individually, not so.
But still, they had a good opportunity for nice shots of Melbourne in that helicopter, to show the viewers what the teams were experiencing, and I feel they missed this opportunity.
The challenge itself was wonderful, if not a little short. It has intensity and emotion, and really packed a punch as the final breakthrough experience- putting the other experiences to absolute shame.
Great episode, great time!
Production Values (visual and audio techniques, overall ‘bling’ of the show):4.8/5
‘Sell-out’ factor (Cross-promotion and product placement free?): 1.9/2
Entertainment Value (emotional feel, storyline, eventful?): 3/3
Courtney’s Verdict: 9.7/10