In any competition, one should outperform the other for him or her to win the coveted top prize or reward. But in reality series introduced by ABS-CBN to free TV viewers, a contestant must lose to be declared an ultimate winner.
The Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition is based on The Biggest Loser franchise that first made waves in the United States. Now shown in different countries, every adaptation employs new format but amid modifications the end goal still remains, which is for the contestants to lose the highest percentage of weight to become the Biggest Loser winner.
In the Philippines, the obesity issue is not as serious as compared to that of the United States or United Kingdom. But if we are to look closely, more than the fats and weight that the contestants need to lose, the emotional aspect involved in the show is the reason why the reality series in such a huge hit.
Behind the grueling and physically demanding tasks and workouts, and strict diet that every contestant must religiously follow, interesting stories about their life contribute to show’s appeal. Indeed, The Biggest Loser has a lot of achievements to brag about unlike its contemporary reality series, which are apparently shown in the same television network.
From the first time the Biggest Loser contestants were weighed-in, their life story has become an open book. Tales of rejections, out of the ordinary trials and hardships, and emotional stress to name a few are common to those people who have piled up unwanted pounds around their body. The show, on the other hand, teaches people that there’s more to learn and love about people who have enormous body size, and that superficial beauty should not be the basis of accepting someone as a friend or even a lover.
Chinggay Andrada, one of the two trainers in the Biggest Loser camp, talked about the transformation of the formerly obese contestants of the show. Her first hand accounts of what the contestants went through give us a better view how emotionally and physically challenging the show is both to the trainers and the contestants.
“This is more of an emotional training. When they first enter the camp I saw the sadness and the emptiness in their eyes. As their bodies progress with the weight loss, you can see that they become more alive,” Chinggay told the author.
The fitness trainer furthered that what the viewers see on television is just the tip of the iceberg. According to her people only see 10 percent of the hardship the contestants went through and their individual journey to achieving their end-goal is far more dramatic off cam.
Chinggay is more than proud of the The Biggest Loser contestants most especially the top five, who are now called the fab five. She attested to the visible changes not just physically but also the overall well-being of each and every Biggest Loser.
“They are happier in their life. They’re doing well in controlling what they eat in the kitchen. You are okay to hug them because they are comfortable with their body. Most importantly, you are okay to say great things about them because right now they know you are just appreciating what they’ve achieved,” Chinggay said.
She also furthered that her 20 years of experience training ordinary people and athletes was challenged in the show as she had to be psychologically prepared. She did not just deal with the physical changes of the contestants but she also had to bear in mind that they are sensitive with what she had to say about them. In this aspect, she believes the Biggest Loser contestants have made a lot of improvements.
“But right now, everything is beautiful to them. The word proud is not even a word to describe how I feel about them. I need to invent a new word. We trained together and I know that years from now they can inspire more people,” Chinggay ended
Biggest love affair
On Oct. 8 at the Ynares Stadium in Pasig City, the final weigh-in for The Biggest Loser Fab Five (Angela Chico-Lupangco, Hazel Chua, Larry Martin, Art Mendoza and Raffy Tan, 22) will take place. This is the culmination of the four-month training that literally changed their lives. At this point, the winner who will walk home with a million and a condominium unit will be announced.
More than the prizes and prestige of being the most dedicated Biggest Loser contestant, two of the Fab Five have already made a mark to the loyal followers of the reality series. It’s in the show where the love story of Raffy and Hazel blossomed. That’s right. They did not just lose weight, they also found true love.
Hazel admitted she couldn’t help but fall for Raffy during their stay inside the camp in Cavite because the 22-year-old charmer is very caring. At the press conference of the show that took place in ABS-CBN compound, Hazel shared some interesting things how the instant connection between them started.
“One time nag-hyperventilate ako when we were inside the camp. Raffy was the first one who helped me out and I guess that’s the point when we became very close,” Hazel shared and added that she likes Raffy’s sincerity for loving her even when she was over 200 pounds.
Raffy, on the other hand said that what attracted him to Hazel is her being simple. He said that they share the same interests like Disney characters and Chinese food.
“Since the day we became close, I made a promise that we I will help her out even until the series finishes. We started this together so our dream is to end this together as well,” Raffy beamed.
Here are the BEFORE and AFTER photos of the The Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition Fab Five: