Previous episode: Excess Baggage Season One – Check In #5 & Elimination #1
So I’m not quite sure how this ‘Sports Week’ works, and how much deviation from the usual format will feature, if any occurs at all. But one thing is for sure, the teams are heading to Sydney and they’re a little bit lighter- both in terms of weight and number of contestants. They should all be on their toes though because at the end of this week awaits the second elimination.
The sun rises on Sydney and it looks very picturesque. Kate tells us that we have now passed the half way mark and that the scoreboards have been wiped bare.
The contestants head to their bus and on board, they talk about their chances this week. Matt is keen to find a sport that Dipper isn’t good at. They arrive at a field where Kate, Christian and Joanna are waiting for them. Kate explains about the scoreboard reset and Gabby thinks everyone is now in danger.
They are actually in Blacktown and Christian tells them that today’s spirit challenge is AFL. He asks if they’re up to it and Dipper sure is. He is a bit daunted about the expectations being put on him. The contestants bring up his hall of fame status and Lana thinks that there should be no reason why they would come anything but first.
Kate DeAraugo has never kicked a football and Kevin isn’t so knowledgeable about the sport, being American and all. Kate tells Christian that she has ‘never handled balls’ before, which drags out a snide remark from Darryn.
Kate and Sarah think that as the only all-female team, they are at a disadvantage. Kate tells them that the challenge today will involve them marking balls. She then introduces them to the Greater Western Sydney Giants- the new kids on the block!
The captain introduces the team to the contestants before they get into part one of the spirit challenge. Dipper is very nervous but feels that the other guy will be nervous about kicking to an AFL Hall-of-Famer. Kate explains that the contestants will be split into two teams for the kick-off challenge. Girls and boys will be kicking from a varying distance depending on their gender.
For round one, Sarah is the only girl kicking. They have to mark as many balls as they can. What this involves is the contestants catching the balls kicked by the professionals. Kate is very impressed with Sarah’s efforts here. In fact, they all seem to do really well.
Dipper smashes his fingers on one mark and begins to feel the pressure. Kevin meanwhile can’t seem to mark any balls after a while.
Dipper soon gets into the zone and begins to dominate the competition. During this, very cheesy AFL crowd noises are played over the action.
Soon, the game ends and Dipper finds out he marked 14 balls. The red team have marked 12 balls; the pink team have marked 9 balls. The yellow team have also marked 9 balls. The green team also mark 9 balls. The blue team have marked eight balls. The purple team have marked six balls- ranking last.
Now, it is round two, where the majority of players are female. In fact, all players are female. Dipper continues to hound Lana with rules and tips, and while he says this is because he wants to win, it seems to really annoy her.
Opinion point: Do you think this challenge is just a little too unmatched for contestants versing the orange team?
While the teams switch members, the footy blokes comment on Darryn’s six pack, which is mounted on his fat due to contouring. Quite funny.
Then, it is game on! Lisa is going OK, but Darryn doesn’t seem to think so at first. Dipper is like a kid watching bubbles with Lana doing her best to secure as many balls as possible. Renae meanwhile is picking up on Kevin’s slack. This is because she loves sport.
I wonder how this team will do compared to the last lot.
After time is called, Darryn goes to give Lisa a hug- have they won? Renae caught every single one, so I don’t quite know.
The orange team have 21 balls, the red team have 24. The pink team have 16 balls. The yellow team have 21 balls. The green team have 22 balls. The blue team have 24 balls and the purple team have 17 balls.
Darryn is over the moon, but Dipper is not happy at all. It is onto part two of the spirit challenge. Christian didn’t think the spirit challenge was too demanding, but Kevin seems to be a little dizzy. He sits down for a medic check and Kate suggests that Kevin is having a heart attack!
He is given oxygen and an ambulance comes to collect him for a second time this season. This is pretty serious. Christian comes over to Renae to tell her that she now has to compete on her own. She keeps thinking about the Kimberly’s, but is very much happy to take up the slack, promising to do as much as she can.
Opinion point: In situations like this, should Renae get some sort of handicap?
After the break, it is time for the second part of the challenge, which involves them grabbing the balls that they caught in the first part, and try to run it over to a net on the other side of the field without being tapped on the shoulder by a footballer.
Dipper uses his kicking skills to kick the balls across the field to Lana, avoiding the footballers. The other contestants also try this strategy. Renae, who is on her own, just waits for them all to be occupied trying to catch other contestants before running through whatever gap she can.
Darryn takes a leaf from Dipper’s book but keeps kicking the balls out. They were going OK to start with as well. Who will win?!
It’s quite a long round and Kate & Sarah feel that them being girls will still be a disadvantage. Sarah jokes, saying Kate should flash the footballers. Dipper and Lana are definitely dominating this part, but Sarah is very impressed with Renae who is pocket-rocketing her way around this challenge.
Darryn injures himself by stretching his calf, and now it is all up to Lisa- team red are in a lot of trouble.
Opinion point: If you had to enter this competition versing another contestant, what contestant would you want to verse? Who would you not want to find yourself going up against?
After the break, day one of sports week continues. We head over to the hospital where Kevin is still battling a heart condition. They all think he is having a heart attack. He’s now in the hospital being tested. Christian feels that there are times when he lets himself go with his bad habits, thinking this may be a problem.
His health tests come back all clear, but will have to go to a heart specialist before continuing in the competition.
Back to the competition and Lisa is getting the hang of flying solo after Darryn’s injury. She doesn’t think she will be able to do it, but is giving it her best crack. She actually gets a few balls in. Darryn helps her by throwing balls to her. She doesn’t count the amount of balls she puts in and all the running is wearing her out quite a lot.
The footballers do look as if they are giving her an easier go.
Dipper spends a bit of precious time arguing with one guy, but they do look as though they are in the lead.
30 seconds remain as the contestants get their final balls in.
Time is called, and only the results remain. I actually didn’t catch how the points will be allocated. Darryn is waiting for a medic, and yells at Lisa out of frustration after calling a medic.
Tim comes over to her, and she is crying. She doesn’t like how she performed, feeling as if she has let Darryn down. She sounds like she is fretting about carrying the team. Darryn meanwhile expresses his happiness over Lisa’s efforts.
Tim tells her that there is nothing wrong with wanting to be better. Tim feels as if she needs to find self-motivation for when Darryn finally leaves her side. He meanwhile goes on about being made to leave the competition, but his injuries are a joke compared to those of Kevin.
Opinion point: Who performed better than expected today?
After the break, it is time to see what the heart doctors feel about his condition. We find out that his heart is absolutely perfect! But what is a problem is an atrial flutter, which can be contained by cutting down on his caffeine and tobacco update.
Ross Walker gets him to imagine him in a coffin being looked at by his family to stop him from smoking. We then get a recap of Kevin’s journey so far. He didn’t come all the way to Australia for no reason.
Ajay feels Kevin’s excess baggage is his smoking, drinking and partying. Gabby feels as if he hasn’t even put in the effort to warrant a position in the competition. That was a bit left-hook! I didn’t even know that there was that sort of bitterness between Gabby and Kevin. The same went for the other day when Darryn has a huge go about Ajay not turning up to training, branding her as a ‘complete disgrace to the competition’. Surely her not turning up to training and Kevin not giving up smoking aren’t the only reasons for Darryn and Gabby’s reactions. Either the cutaways are a bit scripted, or we’re not seeing the full picture of things.
So, to the leaderboard and this is a complete surprise. Here are the scores:
DIPPER & LANA: 13
BEN & GABBY: 10
RENAE & KEVIN: 8
NATHAN & CHRISTINE: 8
DARRYN & LISA: 7 (Darryn is sore and upset but maybe Lisa will carry Darryn this week)
So this means the scoreboard looks like this:
DIPPER & LANA: 8
GABBY & BEN: 7
KEVIN & RENAE: 6
CHRISTINE & NATHAN: 6
DARRYN & LISA: 5
KATE & SARAH: 4
AJAY & MATT: 4
Ajay is not worried, having come from behind a lot of times. Kate however seems nervous about her scores.
It’s still very close. They all go off to rest with Darryn’s lovely words about his teammate closing the episode.
So a very good episode all round, but I didn’t hear the points system explained at the top of the episode, and actually, it seems as if the episode was thrown together. Hopefully this episode wasn’t sacrificed due to any budget cuts made after the show’s move to go. I just felt it had lost its kick.
Sometimes, the production was a bit cheesy, and to open up a supposedly themed ‘sports week’, the challenge wasn’t very inspiring.
Still, the quirkiness remains, it was very well balanced and there was plenty of action.
Production Values (visual and audio techniques, overall ‘bling’ of the show):3/5
‘Sell-out’ factor (Cross-promotion and product placement free?): 1.9/2
Entertainment Value (emotional feel, storyline, eventful?): 1.8/3
Courtney’s Verdict: 6.7 /10