Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Reason #47: Biggest Loser Finale

There are two "must-haves" when watching the Biggest Loser finale – tissues and DVR. The tissues are necessary for 1) the contestants’ amazing transformations and 2) any Max Morelli appearances (who isn’t rooting for him to be the next contestant!) The DVR is necessary to fast forward through the endless commercials and numerous product placements throughout the show (Biggest Loser protein powder anyone?). NBC devoted not two, but three hours to the season finale, which was just another way of dragging out the longest season ever. Yet it seemed at the end of the three hours they almost ran out of time - the winner was announced with 30 seconds left and commercials came on before we got a real reaction from the winner and runner-ups. So dramatic, here is a finale recap:

The show started off with Mike being chosen by America as the third contestant to compete for the $250,000 prize. Mike came out looking very trim in a tight blue striped shirt and sporting an adorable and glowing smile. Mike was a sweetheart throughout the show, and America made the right choice to vote for him.

America then got introduced to two potential contestants for next season - Erinn, a Ohio State University senior and Amanda, a 19 year old from Butler, New Jersey. During the show, they were brought for a grueling work out with Bob and Jillian in the gym. America voted for Amanda to be chosen as the next season's contestant.

The eliminated contestants then came out to compete for $100,000. The most remarkable couple was the oldest couple, Estella and Jerry. Estella came out and it appears to have spit in her hand and then blown the audience a kiss; she lost 83 pounds (34.3%). Jerry, 64 years old came out in a vest, flexed, and threw up his arms in delight. My last memory of him was from the first episode when he dropped to the ground in the gym. When Allison asked if he recognized himself, Jerry replied, "He's gone, he's gone. I'm here!" Jerry's waist size went from 62 inches to 39 inches. He lost fat and gained muscle, got rid of all of his diseases, is now off all medicine, and lost an amazing 177 pounds (47.97%).

Carla(who lost 128 pounds)and Joelle(who lost 80 pounds) came out thinner and holding hands - clearly they had made up. Filipe (lost 135 pounds) and Sione (lost 146 pounds) are now giving exercise and nutrition classes to their culture which had frowned upon being thin.

I was excited to see Dane and Blaine come out as Laura from Absolut(ly)fit ran the Country Music marathon alongside the both of them and blogged about it. See her experience here. Dane and Blaine finished a half marathon and half iron man on top of the full marathon in the last three weeks before the finale. Blaine lost 116 pounds and Dane lost 154 pounds. Talk about a transformation!

Kristin came out looking like a Pink look-a-like with blonde spikey pixie cut and a weight loss of 167 pounds(46.39%). Daniel, the heaviest contestant ever who started out at 454 pounds lost 142 pounds. David, his partner lost 43 pounds. Jerry, possibly the biggest underdog, ended up winning the $100,000 - who would have thought!

The three final contestants then came out. Helen looked astonishingly thin, while Tara and Mike both looked healthy and glowing. Mike lost 207 pounds for a total percent of weight loss of 53.35%. Tara weighed in at 139 lbs, just six pounds shy of being crowned the Biggest Loser. Helen lost 140 pounds and received $250,000 in the final weigh-in and bragging rights as the biggest loser.
Helen, a 48-year old retired retail manager from Sterling Heights, MI, claimed during her time home she claimed she lifted tires, ran up and down stadium stairs, and trained like a wrestler to whittle herself down to 117 pounds for the final weigh-in.

While her weight loss of 54.47% is incredible, Helen received a lot of criticism from viewers. Early into the show, she chose her daughter to go home and kept herself on the ranch instead. As seen in the finale, Shannon sported a grin throughout, but still had weight to lose (she lost 92 pounds and weighed in at 191 pounds).

I was shocked on Helen's weight loss, and I had thought Mike or Tara would have taken home the prize. All in all, once again the transformations were amazing and inspirational.

I have received a few questions from readers about the show, so here are your questions answered:

Question: Will Max be on the next show?

Bob Harper claims he has been doing everything in his power to get Max onto the next season. Max is 17 years old and over 400 lbs. The one problem is with legal issues on the show, you can not have someone under the age of 18 more than 10 hours on a set.

Question: What is Tara's story? Tara Costa is a 5’9, 24-year old, former plus size model from Bethpage, New York. Tara became a plus size model at 13, and after gaining weight was dropped from the modeling agency. She graduated from NYU and started her career in a financial firm that was demanding and required long hours. Her weight escalated in her demanding job, and after watching season 5 of the show, she was determined to sign up for the show. Since arriving at the ranch her total loss is 135 pounds. Tara was a consistent and top competitor throughout the season. She has lost the most weight out of any female contestant, won almost all of the challenges, never fell below the yellow line, and showed determination throughout the whole competition.

What is her workout at home? Morning jogs five to six miles six days a week, three to four spinning classes a week, lifting weights

What is her diet? Tara claims in an interview that her diet is balanced, with plenty of protein and leafy greens, plus three to four liters of water a day. For breakfast she has Ezekiel raisin toast, three egg whites and one egg with mixed peppers and a sprinkling of cheese, two slices of turkey bacon and a cup of tea. She has a 150-200 calorie snack of trail mix in the early afternoon, and then a "huge" salad with some type of protein, veggies and miso-Caesar dressing for lunch. In the afternoon she drinks a protein shake with almond milk, protein powder and strawberries. For dinner she has fish -- orange ruffie, tilapia or salmon -- with a large portion of vegetables, often broccoli or green beans.

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