Whatever your opinion of reality shows, one thing is for sure: They know how to work a cliffhanger.
Information being a big reveal's worst enemy, here's what we're able to share about Tuesday's season four premiere of "Extreme Weight Loss," the ABC series chronicling the yearlong, weight-loss odyssey of a group of "dangerously obese" men and women as they set out to lose at least half of their body weight:
In the season opener, we meet Charita Smith, a 32-year-old hairstylist and mother of three from Colorado Springs who works two jobs to support her family. She hopes the show's health experts can teach her to address a food addiction and reduce her weight from 310 pounds, considered severely obese for her 5-foot-6 frame. We're told Smith was raised in a strict, religious home and her dysfunctional relationship with food stems from a "bad decision" she made when she was 19.
Smith hopes the show will help her get fit enough to dance again.
"I really enjoyed being able to dance as a cheerleader in high school. I look back on that as a great time in my life, and a lot of that had to do with cheerleading and dancing and being free," said Smith, now 33.
Also featured in the episode is 480-pound Ty, of Oklahoma City, a baseball prospect who must get his weight under 300 pounds to land a professional contract.
As per the format of the show, which began filming in spring 2013 and wrapped last week, Charita and Ty spent the first 90 days at a full-immersion boot camp at Anschutz Health and Wellness Center in Aurora, where they worked with the show's health and wellness experts and the center director, Dr. Holly Wyatt, to reset deep-seated bad habits.
"Pretty much everybody on the show has a (body mass index) over 40 and most have around 50 percent of their body weight to lose. Those are pretty extreme transformations," said Wyatt, whose 2-year-old center is renowned internationally for research and clinical work in the field of weight management. "We've added the science piece, to monitor and maximize weight loss and keep it at the maximum level, but in a safe way. These people who have a lot of weight to lose, there are lots of barriers and other issues in life that have put them in this position."
At some point in Tuesday's show, Ty gets a chance to work out with one of his Major League Baseball heroes. Charita begins a new career as a zumba instructor.
And at some point in the show ... (ABC-sanctioned spoiler alert) ... one of the two participants drops out, a surprise twist presumably not engineered from within.
"I can't get into details now," Wyatt said, "but you'll see."
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"Extreme Weight Loss," 7 p.m. Tuesday, ABC