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Similar in tune to "The Biggest Loser", eight celebrities will be put through the ringer in a celebrity-studded weight-loss challenge.

Recaps by Gordon Pepper, GSNN


FACT FILE:

Host:
ANT
Packager: VH1
Airs: Sundays at 10:00pm ET on VH1


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The Weigh-In - January 9

Well, it worked for The Biggest Loser, didn't it?

This is a simple concept. Whoever loses the most weight wins. Whoopie. We have 8 'celebrities' who will be trying to shed some pounds. Like The Biggest Loser, they will be losing weight the old-fashioned way - good diet and good workouts. They will be training for 14 weeks as they will be able to win prizes on the way to fit-dom. They will be weighed as individuals - and as teams. The team and people who lose the most, win the most.

Our host is....ANT. Oy. He tells us how the celebrities are on their journey to be fitter, as he promises that we will see these people as we have NEVER seen them before. After seeing these celebrities talk about how much they are looking forward to it, we get to meet them -

Daniel Baldwin - Actor. He promises to give all slackers a kick in the @ss. Well, you can't have a celebrity reality show without a Baldwin. At least it's not Stephen, because I know that if that was the case, then Corbin Bernsen would be right behind.

Mia Tyler - Model. A fat model? Well, she is the daughter of Aerosmith's Steven Tyler (aaahhhh. THAT explains it). Yikes. She says it's not how much you weigh, but about how healthy you are. Based on the fact that you are here, apparently not healthy enough.

Biz Markie - DJ/Rapper/Actor/90's icon. Well, if you were wondering where he has been, now you know. He wants to show his body off to the ladies. Apparently, he needs to show it off to ANT too, as he mangles Biz's name when they meet.

Judge Mablean Ephraim - (Judge, Divorce Court). We finally get our first celebrity who is actually doing some sort of work. She wants a Janet Jackson stomach. At the weight she's in now, we do not want to see Janet's wardrobe malfunction on her.

Wendy Kaufman - The 'Snapple Lady'. This is a celebrity. Uhhhh...ok. She says that it's important for the people who love her - as well as herself. Well here's an opening tip - stop drinking all of that sugary Snapple - it could be why you're like that in the first place.

Joe Gannascoli - Actor. Who? He plays Vito in the Sopranos, and the former chef says that this is a serious commitment that he has to make.

Kim Coles - Well, you can't have a reality show without her either. Her objective is to burn her girdle by the end of the show. I want to see that just as much as I want to see the judges wardrobe malfunction.

Ralphie May - Dirty Old Comedian, Last Comic Standing Series. Finally, there's Ralphie. He says to the ladies to not let it fool him. He is so fat that it looks like there could be a lady hiding in his blubber.

ANT shows them all the huge scale and telling the celebrities that they will be weighed on it. He also introduces them to the judges, and they are -

Harvey Walden IV, Drill Sergeant and Trainer - 'Every muscle in their fat body is going to ache.' Seems like a nice guy to me.

Marisa Peer, Psycho-Therapist and Hypnotist - Hypnosis? OK, this show loses some points with me. Since when do us civilians get the luxury of hypnosis? She looks like a cross between Amanda Byram and Fiona from Mad Mad House. She's here for the contestants to find their inner thinness. If you say so.

Dr. Dave Katz, Health and Fitness expert from Yale - He not only wants them to change the way they eat, he wants them to change the way they live.

Last week, the contestants had their first training camp exercise as they are weighed and measured. During this time, the judges were watching them, and with those sessions, the judges have decided that the team captains would be...Daniel Baldwin, due to his strength of character (WHA? Mr. Head of criminal arrests has a strong character?) and Judge Mabley, as someone who is a take charge person (I can't argue that). Daniel, while getting a tattoo, promises to be a team player while the Judge thinks that though she's not doing this to meet men, it certainly couldn't hurt.

Next up - the celebrities weight themselves. This should be ugly...

Daniel - 264 pounds and 20.1% body fat. Dave says that he is on the verge of diabetes. He says that his family has had an issue with diabetes and he needs to lose weight to avoid getting it. He won't talk about his family, but he says that nothing is more pressure than taking your clothes off in front of millions of people. Heh. He says that he will lead by example. His target weight loss is 5 pounds.

Judge Mablean - 208 pounds and 29.1% body fat. EEK! Marisa says that she wants to try to get a softer version, but the Judge, who also has diabetes in her family, just wants to lose the weight. Her target weight loss is also 5 pounds.

With that, the captains can select their teams, based on who they think will lose the most weight - but also on who they think will actually want to lose weight. Daniel selects...

Mia - She married Dave Buckner of Papa Roach and she wants to slim down to make herself even sexier. Right now, she's married to 210 pounds and 33.2% body fat. She gained 35 pounds this past year and she's headed towards Ralphie May status. Marisa notes that she and Dave have both gained since they got married. Mia says that the weight gain is normal, but Harvey isn't buying what Mia is selling and they get into it. Her target weight loss is 4 pounds, but she wants to know why it isn't 5, which gets them squabbling again.

Judge, who admits that Mia was her first choice, selects...

Ralphie - He complains that he had to lose weight to play a fat guy, and admits that he's a sexy guy even at his weight. He has a hot girlfriend (Lahna Turner) who says that the weight issue isn't a problem for her. She likes his privates - when she can find it. OUCH! Well, that's a reason why to lose weight. He has a lot to lose, as he is currently 481 pounds and 72.7% body fat. He feels great about it, since he was over 600 pounds. Marisa notes that people overeat when they are emotional, and Ralphie attributes it to the fact that he was in the hospital in a long time due to a car crash, as he ballooned to 800 pounds while there. Marisa pledges to help him, while Harvey, who is impressed, tells him that the target goal is 8 pounds.

Biz is asked which team he does not want to be on - and he says Judges (as she adds that he wouldn't listen to her). Heh. Kim is asked who she'd want to be on, and she says that she didn't know, but whatever team she winds up on is going to wind up winning the whole thing, so remember it. Heh, heh, heh. Daniel selects...

Biz - He talks about preferring 'Ice' (Jewelry) over donuts, which is good, since he has 340 pounds and 27.2% body fat of donuts that he has to shed. He says that his late-nite schedule does him in and that he hasn't exercised until he's been in on the show. Harvey notices his pants hanging down, while ANT tells him that his pants hanging down in prison means that you're taken. Oops. His target weight is 7 pounds.

Next up for the Judge, who selects out of determination -

Fellow sister Kim Coles - who uses her elliptical trainer as a clothes hanger. She was hitting puberty early, and decided that if she was fat, then older men wouldn't go after her. Older men won't go after her with a weight of 220 pounds and 34.7% body fat. She was expecting it - and isn't too thrilled about it, but she is ready to lose the poundage. She says that she has had knee surgeries, but she will try to go through with it. Her target is 6 pounds, which she says is difficult, but it is what it is.

Daniel's last selection is...

Joe - He wanted to make sauces. Instead, he's getting caught by his fiance for eating everything in sight - including sauces. He is leaving Brooklyn to go to the club, and he has a lot of clubbing to do, because he's up to 302 pounds and a 27.7% body fat rating. David is very concerned - to the point where he wants a stress test and a heart scan. Marisa is wondering about his state of being committed, while Harvey thinks that he isn't taking it seriously. His target is 7 pounds. He says to make it 8, and they do so.

Finally, it's...

Wendy - She not only has a problem with weight, she's had an alcohol and drug problem. She's been able to turn her life around, but she's fat thanks to the lack of narcotics, adding that she gained 75 pounds. That gives her a total of 245 pounds with a 43% body fat content. The fat content makes it harder to metabolize the fat, but Wendy says that she is up to the challenge. Her target weight loss is 5, and she says that she is ready to rock her world.

With that - here are the teams -

Team Baldwin - Daniel, Mia, Biz, Joe

Team Judge - Judge, Ralphie, Kim, Wendy

Everyone is next shown with ANT to a giant scale. This is the biggest weighing scales in the world, as the scales can support over 3,000 pounds. Both teams will get on the scale, and the teams will be judged by the amount of total weight that each team has lost. Judge's team is 1,154 pounds, Vs. Daniel's team of 1,120 pounds. The scales will now be calibrated so that each team is even. 'Remember, the scales don't lie. Good night.'

And with that, the first episode ends.

My take? This is a solid beginning. The background stories were great, and it gives every celebrity a personality that you can relate to. This episode I have to put up there with America's Next Top Model 3 for best opening episode. I am also hoping that we will get helpful hints or anything to help us in the fight to defeat fat.

We'll see how serious everyone really is in 7 days.

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