Reality shows make us feel better about ourselves. Let’s say you have a day from hell — you know the kind I mean. You get diagnosed with an STD, can’t seem to get your parole officer off your back and the DVR somehow misses your “Degrassi” series recording. Well, you can just turn on an episode of “I Love New York” or “Cheaters” and instantly feel better about your lot in life.
This does not apply to all reality programming, though.
There are those shows that actually provide — surprise! — wholesome quality entertainment. I’m speaking of shows like “Extreme Home Makeover” and “Intervention.” OK, maybe “Intervention’s” not that wholesome; still, these shows remind us of what’s truly important in life (hint: it’s not getting wasted at the Jersey Shore) and inspire us to strive for the best in our own lives.
Falling into this category are two of my favorite reality series, “The Amazing Race” and “The Biggest Loser,” both of whose finales aired this week.
Sure, the winners of “The Amazing Race,” Meghan and Cheyne, won a million dollars. But like winners of past seasons, they cited a closer relationship as the real prize. In that respect, even the losers are winners on this show.
Gay brothers and interracial couples everywhere were, no doubt, beaming with pride as they watched this season. (Sneaky female poker players? Maybe not so much.) The contestants may not have gotten to see as much of, say, Estonia as they would’ve liked, but, I mean, really … how much of it would one really like to see?
Tuesday night’s finale of “The Biggest Loser” also provided tears and inspiration.
In fact, I was so moved while I was watching that I thought twice before emptying my can of Pringles. Then I reconsidered and decided that my new life starts tomorrow. Nevertheless, it was mind-blowing to see the transformations in the contestants. (I’ve gotta hand it to that casting director, too. She really knows how to pick fat people who are super good looking.)
The theme of the night was surprises. For one thing, did anyone else think that our favorite sea witch, Tracey, looked better as a fatty? While everyone else looked amazing, I thought that her face was rather gaunt. Don’t be offended; if you watched the show, you know she’d compromise her ethics to win.
I was disheartened when it looked like she might take home the $100,000 lose-at-home prize. It seemed like it could be more of her black magic. But she must’ve missed a toad’s eye or a newt’s tail in her spell, because Rebecca ended up winning with a total weight loss of 139 pounds.
Rebecca has been gorgeous from the beginning, but now she looks like a superstar. (Though, I must say that I preferred her as a brunette, and I feel that even skinny girls should wear Spanx when they are appearing on national television in a mini-skirt and walking down stairs.) I was surprised that there was no mention of the love affair between Daniel and her; I hope that they’re still together.
Speaking of “Loser” couples, Antoine had a big surprise for his girlfriend, Alexandra, when he asked her to marry him in front of the live studio audience. (I half expected Bob to propose to Amanda, seeing as he’s so far up her butt.) Regardless, I must say that this moment elicited tears from me, even though I could barely remember who they were. Great publicty stunt, Antoine!
Rebecca looked pissed as this scene played out; was it because because they were stealing her spotlight? Or perhaps she wants a ring from the 20-year-old Daniel. Hmmm. Hang on to him, girl! Now that he’s a mere 201 pounds, all the girls will be after him!
There were other happy moments,, too. You will be glad to know that Dina finally conquered her fear of jumping on a box. (That one still gets me every time.) Also, Subway has offered Shay $1,000 for each pound she loses between now and next season’s finale. Way to keep us watching.
In the end, it came down to Amanda, Rudy and Danny. Amanda looked like a sexy LeAnne Rimes in her new svelte body. (I still cannot imagine why Bob did not propose.) I was glad to see her in the final three instead of Liz, especially since she was the girl chosen by America to participate in this season. Liz just always seemed a little bitchy; maybe it’s her broken marriage. (I especially liked the part last night when Danny said Rudy had been his best friend at the ranch. You know that made her madder than a wet hen!) Still, I never really thought that Amanda could win; she just wasn’t fat enough to begin with.
Rudy is the one person in the top three who I really did not want to see win. Yes, he worked really hard and set records and loves his family and has a name that’s fun to chant. But I didn’t like the way he voted off Shay and Rebecca.
In the end, even Rudy’s amazing weight loss of 213 pounds was not enough to beat my favorite contestant, Danny. Danny won the title of “Biggest Loser” and $250,000 with a 201-pound weight loss. Again, as on “Amazing Race,” the real prize is something that is priceless — health and confidence. It must also be said that the biggest winner of “The Biggest Loser” is Danny’s wife. He’s totally hot now.
Speaking of hotties, I can’t wait for “Loser” to return in January, as the focus seems to be on losing weight in order to date. I’ll be watching, Pringles in hand.