The Biggest Confuser

By David Knox on February 2, 2010 / Filed Under News 43

The Biggest Loser is fast turning into the Biggest Confuser.

Just two episodes in, and its incomplete storylines are raising too many questions.

Yes, we know the show had to tackle a massive re-edit after finding out one of its contestants was facing child pornography charges. That’s not something any casting agent or production company could have ever forseen.

So on Sunday night we were fastracked to the first weigh-in within 60 minutes of the show’s launch. By Monday night, one couple -Allan and Romi- were cut already. By the end of the episode we were already at weigh-in number two. As Hayley Lewis told us, another week had already passed. Wow. If only we could lose weight that fast.

But they were not the only problems.

A challenge that saw contestants digging in the sand for a boat had to proceed minus two contestants “for health reasons.” Wait a minute. Isn’t the whole idea of the show to exercise? If they’re not up to the physical requirements -and I don’t for a minute doubt they aren’t- then why were they cast on the show?

Does this get back to why Michelle Bridges recently told a newspaper she feared producers were going too far?

Then at the final weigh-in one contestant was absent having been hospitalised. But why?

All these loose threads make for an unsatisfying start to the new season. Hayley Lewis, meanwhile, is already slipping into Ajay-speak too. Why is she telling us what we already know?

43 Comments »

  1. GCBJ February 3, 2010 at 12:34 am -

    I said I was only going to watch this show till somebody on the show cried.. I didn’t make it to the opening credits on the first night.

  2. Alison February 2, 2010 at 10:15 pm -

    There’s no real excuse for this level of incompetent editing. They’ve had two weeks to repackage two hours.

    Every single minute detail of these people’s lives are filmed and they do daily interviews with all the contestants to get multiple takes on every tiny incident.

    Even if the eliminated contestant was in the shot when the sick contestant collapsed and was taken to the hospital, they could have pieced together an explanation of the incident from the one-on-one interviews. Or gotten Michelle or Shannan who haven’t obviously lost weight to do another interview now and explain more about what happened.

    We’ve barely seen either of the trainers. They weren’t introduced at the beginning. They weren’t at the challenge (usually they’re there to make sure no one quits). No training sessions, bare-bones last chance training…

    I feel really sorry for people who haven’t seen previous seasons. It must seem completely incomprehensible.

    Feels like editing the show was delegated to an intern because the producers didn’t want to come back from their holidays.

  3. Ed February 2, 2010 at 8:20 pm -

    Everyone is blaming the editors, but I think you’d find that final editorial decisions are made by layers of producers, the editors are just the poor buggers that have no doubt been working around the clock trying to make the best of an impossible situation. Having said that, the show is total crap and I can’t bear to watch the crybabies any longer.

  4. Ktown February 2, 2010 at 6:23 pm -

    I don’t understand why at the very least they can’t be honest with the audience. Before these two episodes they should have had an announcement (as someone has mentioned) saying that due to court proceedings the first two weeks have been edited down and that things will return to normal after that. Then at least the audience would not be completely lost and confused.

  5. josh February 2, 2010 at 5:35 pm -

    oh no, this is the last year for the biggest looser! damn *sarcasm* that is so disappointing … :)

  6. Harry February 2, 2010 at 5:07 pm -

    Oh well, learn the names, and the faces and we should all move past this.

  7. Goonies February 2, 2010 at 3:56 pm -

    I think Hayley is fabulous – last night when she was talking to the lady who was scared of public speaking she seemed genuinely concerned and wanted to help. AJ could not have done that in a million trillion years.

    @ moog – I think you are being absolutely ridiculous, Hayley looks slim and healthy and just because you don’t own a full length mirror is not some big trigger for an eating disorder!

  8. Brent February 2, 2010 at 3:31 pm -

    David, did you not think that perhaps the ‘removed couple’ were a big part of those segments, therefore they couldn’t elaborate?

    They’ve done a bloody good job of editing out the ‘removed couple’, but unfortunately, as can be expected, it hasn’t done the continuity or stories within the show any favours.

    Let’s all just wait for tonights episode that is touted to be free of the ‘removed couple’.

  9. Allie February 2, 2010 at 2:37 pm -

    Try as I might, I cannot for the life of me see any entertainment value in watching morbidly obese people exercise and lose weight. Whilst I don’t argue with the past ratings success of this show, it puzzles me as to why it is so successful. I have only ever watched a couple of episodes of it, and it was truly, diabolically, awful. It is barrel scraping in the extreme.

  10. Luke February 2, 2010 at 1:32 pm -

    It was a bit confusing, but overall I cant really see it hurting the series too much. I caught a bit of it last night, but generally dont watch much tv and its usually midseason before I see enough of Loser to get hooked enough to come back each night.
    Agree with the comments about Hayley. She looks as though she’s got loads of personality but has been told to read the script. Still early days for her too though.

  11. Ellis February 2, 2010 at 1:08 pm -

    Great article David!

    Couldn’t agree with you more, the editing has been beyond confusing. I don’t really know anything about any of the contestants and therefore cannot feel for any of them. No doubt once all the tampering has stopped the show will get better, but often it’s those first few weeks that are crucial for getting to know the characters. Yes, I understand it’s not easy removing two constestants from the show, but they could have at least not treated the viewers like dummies and let them know that the first two weeks have been streamlined.

  12. Charlie February 2, 2010 at 12:45 pm -

    Whilst I understand the short notice editing would have been an utter nightmare, I can’t help but feel that 10/Fremantle took the easy way out. I think they should have delayed the show’s launch for a week with a disclaimer of “Due to technical difficulties, The Biggest Loser will not be seen tonight” whilst the crew could do some more fancy editing behind the scenes as opposed to the butchered version we have been presented with. Another week of “The SImpsons” and “Malcolm In The Middle” wouldn’t have killed us if it resulted in a better version of the show we really want. That’s my opinion.

    As for the contestants who can’t participate in challenges, I bet the medical reasons that prevented them were not found until during the first week. But we didn’t see that.

  13. Ant February 2, 2010 at 12:16 pm -

    The couple that have been edit out got evicted in the 2 week, being last nights show. (editig was really noticable when Haley announced that there was not going to be and eviction) so hopefully it will be back to normal.

  14. Scott February 2, 2010 at 12:13 pm -

    There have been a few contestants from past seasons go to hospital. Remember Amanda from last year and her leg problems? Also I seem to remember someone with a heart problem also having to leave the show for good last year?

    I am sure all these people are put through some sort of medical before they go on the show but come on these people are severely obese and they will always have health problems when starting to exercise again.

  15. slam February 2, 2010 at 12:05 pm -

    If you listen to what the contestants have been saying it’s clear that what would have been the first two weeks of the show have been condensed into the first two episodes.

    The contestant in question was eliminated early so things should get back on track and back to normal by mid this week.

  16. moog February 2, 2010 at 11:53 am -

    Is it just me or is Hayley looking dangerously unhealthy? After reading something in the Sunday papers about her not owning a full-length mirror, I believe she’s an unsuitable role model for those looking to lose weight.

  17. vanessa February 2, 2010 at 11:37 am -

    I think Ch 10 should not have edited it as much as they have, they could have showed minimal amounts of the couple but blurred out their faces at times so the show flowed better (like they did when they showed Underbelly in Melbourne). They way the editing has been done has really spoilt the show.

    Viewers have no idea what is going on and to tell you the truth it has really put me off this season.

  18. damo February 2, 2010 at 11:06 am -

    this years show will turn into a joke. some of these contetstants aren’t even massively over weight. that bloke that is is over 200 killos. he should be soem where else other than on tv. this is rubbish tv and it’s typical of 10

  19. Steph February 2, 2010 at 11:06 am -

    And what I want to know is, why is a prerecorded show go overtime (again!)…
    It is a worry for BL that it’s off to this rough start, but usually it takes a couple of weeks before it gets any good anyway

  20. ross. February 2, 2010 at 10:20 am -

    @me best advice to lose weight would be to not watch this show and dedicate the time to walking.

  21. Jenny February 2, 2010 at 10:10 am -

    Agree entirely David. All these editing changes have made me lose interest in the Biggest Loser show (when I normally love the show). I hope it gets back to normal soon (after the controversial couple leave I assume).

  22. dave February 2, 2010 at 10:07 am -

    I have been a viewer of BL, since day 1 – and likewise found the first episodes confusing and strangely truncated. The trainers, the teams, the aliiances seemed to be in place, and yet the viewer had no scenes to actually clock that. I know that from year to year producers adapt the model, and as with Idol auditions some years they cut to the chase quicker than others,

    But with a weight loss program and already selected contestants, it is strange that the rhythm has already been chopped about. Normally, there is a blow by blow of every step!

    As for Hayley, I like her – she didn;t talk herself up on 7pm Project last week. I think she is a lovely presence. 4 years of AJ’s clunky routines got a little old. Time will tell if the producers let Hayley find her own style. The tyranny of format will probably work against her.

    As usual some great human stories to get the viewer in – this one is.

  23. Rob February 2, 2010 at 10:01 am -

    Sure it’s a tough job to cut two contestants out but one would hope they’d hire editors who are up to the task. I think they’ve done a good job given the circumstances, the problem isn’t in the editing. If contestants are being taken to hospital and failing to complete challenges, it shows a lack of experience or understanding in people planning those challenges….if a person is so unfit they can’t complete a challenge then those planning people have failed in their jobs to create entertaining television.

  24. Linda February 2, 2010 at 9:55 am -

    I thought having Hayley Lewis as presenter would bring a fresh voice to the show. But she appears to be as tightly scripted as Ajay was, which does not do justice to the talents of either of them. Surely Hayley could be let off the leash and allowed to speak naturally, so that she can display the empathy she surely has with the participants.

    And teams…did I miss something? I did hear mention of teams, but no voice over to fill in how they were selected and who is in them. Yes, the editing out of participants would have been difficult, but some more voice overs to fill in the gaps created by not using footage of those participants would have helped with continuity. How difficult would that have been?

  25. slydoggie February 2, 2010 at 9:38 am -

    Meh….missed last night…was exercising! I’m sure it’ll be fine from tonight. It’s not the first time contestants have missed sessions/challenges because they were too unfit. I cringed when that bloke was lying down on Sunday night after walking about 400m!!

  26. Beckala February 2, 2010 at 9:36 am -

    Must agree with David – I understand the need for the editing, but people being in hospital and missing challenges has a big impact on the game – if for some reason they can’t show it (for example, the couple being in the middle of the shot when it is being explained) then surely they could explain it through a voiceover, or through captions, or have one of the other contestants talk about it, or Hayley explain. I understand the need to cut out workouts – it’s very hard to edit that stuff together as people are all over the place. I can understand the team formation being cut out too – but again, couldn’t they explain, have one or both of the trainers explain the makeup of the teams?

    But missing these vital moments and leaving the viewers confused as hell just isn’t making good tv. Again – I understand the difficulty, but there are many other techniques that could be used to fill in the gaps. They need to look outside the box rather than going “Oh no, we can’t use that footage, so just ignore that incident completely”. They are shooting themselves in the foot here – every person I have spoken to is confused as hell – and many of them didn’t know the reasons for the editing – which surely could have been explained before the first ep…(not going into huge detail but just making it clear that a couple had to be edited out because of court proceedings)

  27. Belinda February 2, 2010 at 9:33 am -

    As we know from previous seasons there are normally 25 contestant narrations of the one event. Surely they could have used one of those to explain what happened with the injured or ill contestants. Even if the light blue team was there, their faces could be blurred out.

  28. Doctor Ry February 2, 2010 at 9:20 am -

    I don’t think TEN is happy about the situation either; clearly due tot he lack of elimination after this weigh in, this would have been where the child pornographer was eliminated. So we will probably be back to normal, but I do agree; TEN are making the best of a terrible situation and cannot be happy to have lost two weeks of the show.

    Although they might have explained why the old dude was missing at the weigh-in.

  29. David Knox February 2, 2010 at 9:20 am -

    Brent it would be horrendous to edit an entire couple out, and I have acknowledged this. But it doesn’t explain why people are cast who appear to be medically unable to participate in challenges, nor why stories such as a person being taken to hospital are out too. In a show that combines journeys of its characters as part of the storytelling, I don’t think it’s adequate to just say “so and so is in hospital so he’s not here to weigh in.” We’re investing in characters, it felt very incomplete.

  30. Marco February 2, 2010 at 9:15 am -

    I’m so glad I made the commitment this year to not tune in after having watched all 4 seasons avidly – I’m saving myself at least 5 hours of my life each week. Same for Dance. All these reality shows are getting tired, and yet American Idol and Survivor are as brilliant as ever. With so much TV choice these days, I’ve finally learned to be a bit cut-throat and not bother with mediocrity.

  31. Edu February 2, 2010 at 9:05 am -

    I thought I was the only one confused and must have thought that I might have gone into a coma and missed a whole week!

  32. Doreen February 2, 2010 at 8:55 am -

    They also didn’t show how the eliminated pair are doing now and how much weight they have lost. It is very poor editing. Is there a blue and red team yet? Hopefully it will resume to normal now.

  33. Me February 2, 2010 at 8:54 am -

    Tried to watch the show again because i am one that needs to lose weight but the whole thing just does my head in and gets me angry and after watching the first episode of this season, i know now that i have every right to. The show is ridiculous.

  34. amy February 2, 2010 at 8:43 am -

    There seems to be alot of people complaining over the editing out of the person charged. While the editing was dodgy, I’m sure the other person in that couple is happy they won’t be associated with the alleged on national tv.

  35. angelsgal February 2, 2010 at 8:33 am -

    According to a source of mine at Ten, the 1st 2 weeks were condesed into 2 episodes and it goes back to normal tonight (how acurate this is, im not sure). This editing was necassary and i feel for ten who have lost 2 weeks of the show because of this. I expect suprise contestants and even more than 1 contestant re-enter the game towards the end to strech it out and gain back the 2 weeks

  36. Brent February 2, 2010 at 8:23 am -

    Do u guys have any idea how difficult it would be to edit out two contestants?

    How about we cut them some slack?

  37. Pakes February 2, 2010 at 8:20 am -

    Hearing inspirational stories about people we know nothing about was also a little strange. I agree re: Hayley already slipping into Ajay speak. Hayley could learn a thing or too from Alison Sweeney (host of the US Biggest Loser) – she is great.

  38. Bogues February 2, 2010 at 7:50 am -

    While I agree that the first two ‘weeks’ have been cut short, I’m assume that we get back to real time from tonight. All will be forgotten by the end of the season.

  39. kerry February 2, 2010 at 6:58 am -

    I think it is time the series was rested – boring boring boring

  40. Steve Roderick February 2, 2010 at 6:57 am -

    This is going to be the last year we see The Biggest Loser in my opinion.

  41. cjschrissouth February 2, 2010 at 6:31 am -

    I thought i had missed something!!!!
    Why dont they do some fancy zooms to cut out the bad person instead of remove half the show?

  42. ryan February 2, 2010 at 5:04 am -

    so weird tonight again! i was like what the hell is going on, we have watched 2.5 hrs of the show and already seen 2 weeks and 2 weighins, the last chance training session was like 40 seconds of footage, we havnt seen a training session yet, we havnt seen teams selected yet. They have lost the plot, talk about shocking editing.

  43. Evan February 2, 2010 at 4:58 am -

    Same scriptwriters, different head?

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