Thanks for visiting!

SS Monday SS Tuesday SS Wednesday SS Thursday SS Friday SS Weekend SS Archives Primes Lineup About Us
InSites On the Buzzer Numbers Game State of Play WLTI Block Party Video Wall Replay News Archive Contact
January 12
February 2
February 16

Opinions expressed in On the Buzzer do not necessarily reflect those held by Game Show Newsnet as a whole.

Copyright Statement

No infringement of copyright is intended by these fan pages; production companies of shows this site covers retain all rights to the sounds, images, and information contained herein. Copyrighted material appearing on this site constitutes fair use, and no challenge to copyright is implied. 

Web design by Jason Elliott. Logo by Chico Alexander. 

When a Reality Show Is More Than a Game
March 2

Ever since the show began, I've been a fan of The Biggest Loser. I think it has a positive message: it is possible to lose weight through hard effort and putting your nose to the grindstone, and not through cheating or quick fixes. There are obviously heaps of people who agree with me: the show is in its seventh series.

As much as I enjoy the show, there is one thing I don't like, and it's typically what gets me in the door for a "competitive reality series," and that is that The Biggest Loser is a game above all else.

At it's heart, the show boils down to Survivor: Fat Camp. There are reward challenges and immunity challenges, which is nice; I like to see the various games that are created. After that, everyone weighs in and whoever is below the "elimination line" is eligible to be cast out. After that, a vote determines who stays and who goes. Unfortunately, that vote can have two-pronged consequences. Players will vote trying to win the game by voting out someone who has more weight to lose later on, or voting someone from the other alliance, without regard to their personal situation.

Personally, I would enjoy the series much more if the elimination aspect was removed entirely. You could still have reward challenges, and weekly weigh-ins for prizes and stuff, but you'd no longer have to deal with voting out people.

Normally I don't mind the vote-out. There are lots of times that I like it; because we get a blind-side or power shift and it makes for really good television. But it doesn't belong on Biggest Loser because the people who are on the show are there for a very specific reason: to lose gobs of weight. It seems needlessly cruel to choose between someone who's 400 pounds and 425 pounds, and send one of those people home.

I understand that the competitive reality genre depends on "cruelty," in blindsides, depriving people of things, or playing on their most basic fears. I also know that the contestants sign up knowing that they could be sent home any time, and to expect twists and turns. But when dealing with something as important as weight loss, I think an exception should be made.

Travis Eberle can be reached at