When Michael Ventrella showed up at the Biggest Loser ranch as the largest contestant in history, imagining himself $250,000 richer and weighing half his body weight a few months later was not so easy.
Despite starting out as 526 pounds, Michael's charm, willpower and competitive nature got him to the live finale, where he won after losing a higher percentage of bodyweight (50.19 percent) than his fellow competitors Ashley Johnston and Daris George.
The Biggest Loser finale: And the winner is...
Michael told TVGuide.com that teaming up with his mother Maria on the show was "amazing ... because she's not just my mother, she's my best friend."read more
A week after being hospitalized for a fall during a challenge that tested her fear of water, Maria Ventrella was up for elimination from The Biggest Loser ranch against her son, and teammate, Michael. Satisfying her wishes to keep Michael, 31, on campus, the 51-year-old Maria was sent home, but not without hearing her fellow contestants claim that her son didn't deserve to stay.read more