Although I have to admit that I am tired of reality shows and contests that make participants live through hell in a ferocious competition for money, I would also say that The Biggest Loser Season 7 from NBC has been a true inspiration and a reality contest that I feel like recommending. While I have never been overweighed myself (I think thanks to my digestive system more than anything else), I do feel empathy for people that struggle with weight, especially in a society like ours with so many double standards and contradictions. We are constantly bombarded with images of happy people, skinny, beautiful with perfect skin, perfect hair, perfect everything and on the other hand there is always the Big Mac, the Big Coke, and the famous Starbucks Venti (I still don’t understand why can’t they use regular size names). How can a normal mortal keep a normal weight with so many “Tall,” “Grande,” and “Venti” options?
This is why I have liked the Helen Phillips and the Biggest Loser story. I truly admire Helen Phillips and all the participants particularly the finalists. Yes, I still think that this kind of shows are no more than marketing tools and another of our “perfect world” representations where there is always a happy ending, but this show, in my opinion, it’s a little different. While other reality contests seem to be a disloyal and unfair competition of what they call talent; in the Biggest Loser participants are truly battling with themselves and there is nothing they can do or say to make the other look bad, at the end the scale decides.
This week we saw the 3-hour season finale of Biggest Loser; revealing that 48-year old Helen had lost the largest percent of weight (55%) therefore winning the challenge and a very likable $250,000 grand prize. Season 7 was unique compared to previous seasons because it had the heaviest, the oldest, the sickest and the youngest contestants throughout the history of the show. Season 8 of this show will start in September and casting for season 9 is now open. For now, as a travel enthusiast I believe that Helen Phillips should book a luxurious Caribbean vacation rental and enjoy her triumph in a paradisiacal beach while listening to the sound of waves. She has gone through great lengths to win the challenge. She deserves it!