Makeover week on The Biggest Loser is known for eliciting plenty of OMGs and gasps, but for contestant Dannielle "Danni" Allen, meeting fashion guru Tim Gunn brought out a side of herself she didn't know she had. "I screamed like a little school girl, and I'm not a girly girl!" says Allen, 26, who's still reeling from the encounter with the Project Runway icon.
But when Gunn showed the formerly 258-pound Allen a rack of clothes half the size of what she was used to wearing, the Wheeling, Illinois, native's excitement turned to dread. "I looked at him like he was crazy," she says. "There's no way I was fitting into those clothes."
She couldn't have been more wrong. "The first outfit fit like a glove," she says. "I was so happy trying on outfit after outfit, everything fitting, with some things even being a little big. That was when I realized: Everything is different now."
Later in Monday's episode, Allen arrives at stylist Ken Paves' salon ready to hand him the reins. "My whole life, my hair was the one thing I never let anybody touch," she says. "I was so afraid that if it was cut too short I'd look fat. And for the first time, I thought, 'I'm giving you total control.''
Paves lopped off eight inches and lightened up the color, ultimately giving her a shoulder-skimming cut with choppy layers — plus a little something for Allen's newfound sassiness. "Ken said, 'These bangs are your statement. They're going to be your bitch bangs,' and I loved it. The whole look made me feel like a real badass."
Allen hopes her fierce new attitude can take her all the way to the big finale on March 18. "I think I have a really good chance," she says. "There's only been four other female winners, but I think I can make it number five!"
The Biggest Loser airs Mondays at 8/7c on NBC.