During the first week on The Biggest Loser campus, Daniel Wright — who competed on last season's The Biggest Loser: Couples — chose Shay Sorrells, the heaviest contestant, as his partner. Together they were Team Orange but were eventually disbanded when pairs became Blue vs. Black which then became singles. In a week when not one, but two, contestants were sent home, both 20-year-old Daniel (who started at 312 pounds and now weighs 224) and 30-year-old Shay (who began at 476 pounds and is now 322) had two of the lower weight-loss percentages. The dismissed duo discussed their nine weeks on the ranch.
TVGuide.com: How did the opportunity to return for another season arise?
Daniel Wright: I was at the finale of Season 7 and producers said, "Would you be willing to [do a "second chance" season] and we start filming in three days." I said, "Wow. First off, I'd like to rest, but second off, sure. I have so much more weight I need to lose and I need to go, so absolutely."
TVGuide.com: Were you worried you'd be targeted because you were a past contestant?
Wright: Oh yeah, absolutely. I knew that I could be targeted because of having the opportunity beforehand. I had internal struggles with whether or not I deserved to be there with 15 other people who had just started a journey rather than me who had already had a head-start. I had to realize and come to the place of understanding that all of us have a journey and they're all equally important. When you start to compare yourself to people you deprive yourself of your joy and so I had to come to terms with I have a journey and it's just as important as everybody else's.
TVGuide.com: What was it like to become the fastest women to lose 100 pounds, a record previously held by Biggest Loser: Couple's Kristin Steede?
Shay Sorrells: Breaking a record was the most phenomenal moment. I had already broken a record by being the heaviest person on campus and I was like, "Great. That is not a record I want to hold." Breaking this record meant so much because I had watched Kristin the season before and I was so inspired. She's such as amazing person and an amazing fighter and a champion, so to have it happen that night was just mind-blowing. It was so amazing to walk down from that scale.
TVGuide: Were you shocked that the same night you broke the record, you were eliminated from the competition?
Sorrells: It's a numbers game and it's a percentage game ... I knew it wasn't enough to keep me there at the top of the scoreboard. And as I watched my name drop down I was like, "17 is not enough." Jill said, "Stop it, shut up, don't self-doubt" and I was like, "Jill, I'm telling you now. I love you, thank you for everything you did, I'm going home." I knew it at that moment and then when Daniel fell below the red line I was like, "Oh my God, this is crazy."
TVGuide.com: Daniel, last season when we spoke, you mentioned you were terrified of trainer Jillian Michaels. Is that still the case?
Wright: Definitely. I love her but there's an innate fear when she walks near a treadmill that I'm on. It's not really my fear of Jillian; it's my fear of running and the fact that she has control over making me try to reach limits with running. That's what I'm afraid of.
Shay Sorrells: I liked both of [Jillian's and Bob Harper's] styles and I knew either way I was in world-class training and everything was going to be really good. Jillian just dug, dug, dug and got everything open and Bob came in and filled me back up. I really feel like that tag-team approach was the best possible scenario that I could have possibly had and I think it's a great attribute to my success.