On tonight's finale of The Biggest Loser (8 pm/ET, NBC), a large part of the show will be missing, since good-natured Maurice "Mo" Walker was voted off last week. While the 30-year-old travel agent won over his housemates and Loser fans with his Tennessean charm, we're still left wondering: Why didn't the big guy — who started the contest at 430 pounds and lost 56 — shed as much fat as his skinnier rivals, like Ryan, who's already lost 90 pounds? Here, TV Guide Online phones our favorite Loser for Mo info.
TVGO: You've definitely emerged as the most popular contestant. How does that feel?
Mo: I wouldn't say I am the most popular, but it is wonderful how everything is going. I love talking to people and I love giving people motivation.
TVGO: Is that why you did this show?
Mo: Here's the story on that. Probably about two months before the show started, I had gone to the doctor and had a physical. He told me that if I didn't change my ways and lose weight, it would be possible that I wouldn't be here in five years. That was a total wake-up call. So when the opportunity to do the show came about, I was like, "I have to do this."
TVGO: Any housemates you didn't get along with?
Mo: I could pretty much tolerate everyone. Lisa... she really rubbed a couple of people the wrong way, but she is just misunderstood. Everybody had their good points — some people just had more bad points than others.
TVGO: Any hard feelings toward Gary for voting you off?
Mo: No! Gary is a great guy, he's a family man and since Day 1, we had an alliance and we just looked out for each other. I'm sure he had his own reasons for [his vote,] and I hold nothing against him.
TVGO: Why do you think Ryan shed more pounds than you, even though he was smaller to begin with?
Mo: I am so happy you asked me that question. Ryan was at almost the perfect weight; he weighed enough to drop weight quickly, but he didn't weigh too much, so that he would have limitations in his physical activity. So when I first started, there were several things that I was just physically not able to do. After a workout, my body would be so exhausted that I would basically have to just rest until the next workout. Ryan was 330 lbs. when he started, so he was able to continue and push himself all the way through those first couple of weeks when I was having trouble.
TVGO: So you weren't cheating on your diet?
Mo: I was not eating enough food, that is what the kicker was. Bob [the trainer] toward the end actually increased my food intake. He said that you definitely have to eat to lose weight or your body will go into starvation mode, and I think that was what was going on with me for a couple of weeks.
TVGO: Some viewers thought you might've been snacking on the side.
Mo: I would never, ever be given this opportunity and then ruin it by cheating. That wasn't even an option. There were so many people that were turned down for the show, and I would feel just terrible to know that these other people could be here [instead]. So no, I wasn't cheatin'!
TVGO: Are you still losing weight?
Mo: I am averaging about three to four pounds a week. I feel excellent and my energy level is terrific. Of course, I want some of those 10- or 12-pound weight-loss weeks that we had on the ranch, but slow and steady is good. On the show, [I lost] 56 and now I've lost an additional 27 pounds. I've passed that 80-pound mark and I'm trying to get there.
TVGO: Have you been tempted by your favorite, fried chicken?
Mo: No fried chicken. I do the baked chicken now.
TVGO: Do people recognize you on the street?
Mo: Oh gosh, do they. Right now, I'm like a trainer, I'm a nutritionist and a motivational speaker. People come up to me and say, "Maurice, what do I need to do on the treadmill?" And I'm sharing the advice that I was given. People will come up to me in a restaurant and ask what to eat. I'm telling them how to change their diet. So that has been really cool, to affect a lot of people's lives.
TVGO: Sounds like you enjoyed your experience.
Mo: Oh yeah, I'd do it again.
TVGO: Maybe you could replace Caroline Rhea as the host!
Mo: That would be a wonderful idea. Even better, maybe I could be on the next find-a-wife sort of program.
TVGO: You aren't getting more dates now?
Mo: [Laughs] Oh gosh, I'm already getting ex-girlfriends calling me.