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 totally valid, but it also didn't surprise me that the others eliminated her when they got the chance.
The Biggest Loser's Melissa: "Don't tell me that I can't, because I can and I will"
TVGuide.com: Why do you think this season seems to have less of a competitive feel?
Sweeney: This group found a lot in common, and even with the various game play moves along the way, managed to stick together for the most part. There was definitely some friction — let's not forget Michael's choice of teams, the elimination of Stephanie, and Melissa's strategy — but all in all, they do seem very tight-knit.
TVGuide.com: Were you aware of Sam and Stephanie's relationship during filming?
Sweeney: Yeah, we all knew they were bonding. They're super cute together.
TVGuide.com: Why do you think this show produces so many successful couples?
Sweeney: A couple reasons. It's such a real experience, and people are meeting with a major thing in common — wanting to get healthy and change their lives. And going through such an emotional journey can really bring people together, it forms long lasting friendships, and so it's no surprise that the couples that find each other on Biggest Loser have a strong, deep connection.
TVGuide.com: There have been a lot of twists this season. Can we expect more?
Sweeney: Of course. There are always surprises around every turn. It's a reflection of life — you never know what's going to happen next, and you have to be prepared to handle everything that comes your way.
TVGuide.com: Do you have a favorite player or team?
Sweeney: I don't pick favorites during the show. It's really hard sometimes, but I try to stay impartial because I care about them all, and want them all to succeed. I am their cheerleader — I can't have favorites!
Watch a preview for Tuesday's episode here.