The Biggest Loser: A Record 239 Pounds Wins It AllPosted on Dec 9th 2009 1:00PM by Bev Sklar
Bob and Jillian Look Back. During the finale, Bob shared that Shay's weight loss journey was the most defining moment of Season 8, and Jillian revealed that the secret to keeping weight off is appreciating your health and happiness. Healthy meal planning and time for fitness should be the top of your priority list, she said. Rudy did it and he works 70 hours a week. Biggest Loser proves it is possible for anyone to lose weight, even with a body mass index above 70.
Listen to Doctor H.'s Finale Message. In a finale house call, Dr. Huizenga delivered one of the most powerful messages to an increasingly obese America. He also challenged experts critical of Biggest Loser-style weight loss. He reported Shay, the heaviest contestant ever, has tacked on 13 more years to her life while shedding 36 percent of her weight, while Daniel's 14-month journey over two seasons added 23 more years to his life. Both contestants arrived at the ranch with BMIs over 70. "It was a medical emergency to get both of you to lose weight. All the experts say you only have one choice -- bypass surgery," said Huizenga. "They say people your size can't exercise. They say our exercise-centered approach isn't going to work. But what they didn't tell you is when people your size have bypass surgery, you have up to a one in 10 chance of dying within the first year."
Stunning $100,000 Winner - Single or Not? Julio, Tracey and Rebecca had everyone wondering as they stepped on the scale. A very handsome Julio lost 180 pounds for a final weigh-in of 227. Tracey looked like a completely different person after dropping 118 pounds to weigh-in at 132. But watch out for Rebecca. Not only did she shed her black locks for blonde, she hit the $100,000 jackpot by losing 139 pounds for a final weigh-in at 140, nearly 50 percent less than her starting weight. But is Rebecca single again? While she formerly professed her love for co-contestant Daniel Wright, after her win she wrapped her skinny arms around Sean, the married preacher, instead. Looks like a case of tricky producer editing. "He is my rock, he is my touchstone," Rebecca shared in a post-finale interview with NBC, however, that she's moving in with Daniel. There's still hope for a Matt and Suzy Biggest Loser love story here.
Antoine Drops to One Knee. This time it wasn't for a kneeling bent-over row. An early Season 8 romance between Antoine and Alexandra blossomed for weeks, and this one is for the ages. On live TV, Antoine asked Alexandra to marry him. Losing 152 pounds and packed with muscle, he is as crazy for fitness as he is about her. Their honeymoon will not be all-inclusive drinks and eats by a beach -- they'll probably be kayaking like Nicole and Damien.
Abby Lost 100 Pounds. Who was that gorgeous woman in the red dress? Her name is Abby Rike, and her family tragedy gripped millions this season. But she turned the loss of her husband and two children into a testimony of hope. "I think that the light inside me had dimmed, and it's back on," said Abby. "It's just a living example that there's always hope." She rekindled her spark for living while losing weight during a most desolate time in her life. May Abby's newfound diet and fitness habits strengthen her journey of healing.
Shay's $1,000-Per-Pound Shocker. Subway is one of the biggest advertisers on the show, and now they've pledged to support Shay as they sell more healthy sandwiches. Subway is offering Shay $1,000 for every pound she loses between now and a second chance weigh-in at next season's finale. Shay is gunning to lose 100 pounds and gain $100,000 in return, along with unlimited Subway, of course. Don't forget, Erik Chopin is returning to the Season 9 finale for a second chance weigh-in, too. He's gained back a load of weight after his Season 3 win, yet Bob and the producers haven't given up on him.
Amanda, Danny or Rudy? It took 55.58 percent to win it all. Amanda lost 87 pounds to land at 163. As predicted, that left Danny versus Rudy to stop the three-season sweep of women winners (Season 5's Ali, Season 6's Michelle Aguilar, and Season 7's Helen). While Rudy Pauls dropped 234 pounds to weigh-in at 208, it fell just short of Danny Cahill's record-setting 239 pound loss for a final weigh-in at 191. (Erik Chopin from Season 3 held the previous record of 214 pounds lost). Out of all the Biggest Loser champions, Danny least resembles his former self and wishes to keep it that way. "I'm figuring out the Biggest Loser isn't just about losing the weight. [It's] about healing what's wrong," said Danny. "Because it's all for nothing if I win the Biggest Loser and go back to that nightmare." Hopefully he's got a solid maintenance plan, his personality is a great fit for post-Biggest Loser fame and fortune. Pick out that new carpeting, Danny.
Congratulations to all 16 contestants from Season 8. Let's all keep our diet and fitness goals on the radar during the holidays, then tune back in on January 5 for the Season 9 premiere. We're back to a "The Biggest Loser: Couples" arrangement. Not sure if they're twin brothers or not, but a Season 9 promo clip had John and James weighing in at 484 and 485 pounds, respectively. That would make James the heaviest Biggest Loser ever.
Check out the gallery below to see what your favorite contestants from seasons past are up to now.
Take a look at the at-home journeys of 9 former contestants since it first aired in 2004.
Dave Bjerke, NBC
Chris Haston, NBC
Dave Bjerke, NBC
Trae Patton, NBC
Trae Patton, NBC
Trae Patton, NBC