Michael Ventrella

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Top Moments: Lost Lets Go, 24 Moves On and Idol Says Goodbye

Season finales provided a lot of healthy closure this week, at least according to our shrink Mitzi Cohen-McGinty, Ph.D. She says that The Biggest Loser is not just about how we look on the outside. She praised Glee for showing us that there is no "right" when it comes to the relationship between a child and the mother who gave her up for adoption. She thinks Jack and Chloe are totally 24's most codependent coworkers, so it's good that they've decided to spend some time apart. And finally, according to Dr. Cohen-McGinty, Lost's season finale is just a metaphor for the journey to self-actualization that we all must take — except, you know, while we're still truckin' on this mortal coil — and preferably from the couch of her stately Upper West Side salon. Welcome to Top Moments: Everybody in Therapy Edition.

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The Biggest Loser Champ Michael: "I Learned How to Focus on Me"

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."

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The Biggest Loser is...

[SPOILER ALERT! The following story reveals the winner of The Biggest Loser]

After four months on campus and weeks spent at home, it came down to four finalists to be the Biggest Loser: Ashley Johnston, Michael Ventrella, Daris George and Koli Palu. While Ashley and Michael had already secured their spot in the live finale, it was up to America to decide if Daris or Koli would join them.

Watch full episodes of The Biggest Loser in our Online Video Guide

Daris and Koli walked out as their new fit selves and Alison revealed that the last member of the final three would be 25-year-old Daris.

Before they weighed in, the at-home prize of $100,000, for the highest percentage of weight loss, went to Koli for losing 215 pounds, 53.35 percent.

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Videos

The Biggest Loser Is Half the Man He Used to Be

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Credits

Year Title Description
2010 The View: Episode Episode, Guest
2010 Larry King Live: Episode Episode, Guest
2004 The Biggest Loser USA TV Show Series, Reality Cast Member
2004 The Biggest Loser TV Show Series, Reality Cast Member

More Credits (4)

News

The Biggest Loser: Couples Episode Recap: Week 18

With only the live finale left in The Biggest Loser, the competition is fiercer than ever and the contestants are headed home for the remainder of their time. Before they hop on the plane, each of the four players rewatch their initial weigh-ins, interviews and the triumphs they've had along the way.

Upon arrival to their hometowns, Michael, Koli, Ashley and Daris each weigh in at the location of their first live weigh-in. What a feeling it must be to be in the same spot months later with such accomplishments under their belts this time. It isn't long before Alison pops up on-screen and alerts each of the four that their final challenge is going to be a full marathon where the winner receives $10,000 for the charity of their choice.

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Alison Sweeney: "Definitely Some Friction" on the Biggest Loser Ranch

Don't let all the good feelings fool you: for all the teamwork — and even romance — on the Biggest Loser, host Alison Sweeney tells TVGuide.com there was "definitely some friction" during filming this season. "Let's not forget Michael's choice of teams, the elimination of Stephanie, and Melissa's strategy" the 33-year-old says. She also talked about why Stephanie's surprise elimination wasn't a surprise to her and why she doesn't play favorites.

TVGuide.com: Were you surprised at how much of a game-player Melissa was?
Alison Sweeney: At this point, I'm never surprised to see a game player. People watch reality TV, most of our contestants are fans of Biggest Loser before they join the show, and at that point, it's just a personal choice how to play the game. Melissa chose her path, and that's...

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The Biggest Loser: Couples Episode Recap: Week 12

It's been exactly three months since entering the Biggest Loser ranch and the stakes are getting high. Alison reveals yet another twist that can result in immunity for the week with the push of a button. As Ali presses it, lights go on, sirens go off and the scale is revealed. The first player to lose two percent of their body weight gets the reward, but the trick is, a contestant can only press the button to weigh-in once. So it's essentially a guessing game. Everyone is shocked when after only a short amount of time working out, Victoria takes her shot at immunity. She steps on the scale needing to lose 6 pounds, but doesn't do it.

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Biggest Loser's Maria Defends Son: "You Don't Lose 10 Pounds in a Week Being Lazy"

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.

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