No other show on TV has as a rewarding finale as The Biggest Loser, and this season did not disappoint. Who did America choose to join Helen and Tara in the final three? Not just yet people, this is a three-hour show!
We take our first look back at this season's journey that began with 22 contestants hoping to change their lives. At first there was struggle, but once the cheesy music started playing we got to see how far they've come. After 179 days, it's now down to Helen, our 48-year-old mom, Tara, our former model, and father-and-son team Ron and Mike, who at 18 was the youngest to ever step foot on the ranch.
So let's see our Brown team: Mike pops out first and I literally shouted an expletive at my television. That boy looks gooood. Did his father do as well? Not too shabby for a man that has tried every diet and weight-loss method out there. And America chose...Mike. Yay! He certainly deserves it.
But Mike and Ron weren't the only two battling it out tonight. We also meet Erinn, a senior at Ohio State, and Amanda, 19, from New Jersey, who are fighting for the final spot on next season's Biggest Loser. And to get a taste of life on the ranch, they're immediately whisked away to a gym where they'll start training with Bob and Jillian. Those producers don't mess around.
So let's see the eliminated contestants: First to appear are Jerry and Estella, who are certainly unrecognizable after their transformation, and engaged couple Damien and Nicole, also looking fab. But before we can weigh them in, Alison tells us about the Pound-for-Pound challenge that NBC has waged in the war against hunger. For every pound lost, a pound of groceries will be delivered to a food bank. So far America has pledged over 2,926,027 pounds. Well done!
Time for the first round of weigh-ins: Estella started the game at 242 pounds and has lost 83 to bring her to a 34 percent weight loss. Her husband Jerry (I'm still in shock over his transformation), started as the oldest contestant at 63 and 369 pounds. He's now lost 177, 47.97 percent. Next up is Damien of the Red team. He started at 381 and has lost 136 pounds, 35.7 percent. His fiancée Nicole, crying on the scale, started at 269 pounds and has now lost 123, 45.72 percent, and will be getting married in a size eight wedding dress.
The next wave brings out Silver Bullets Joelle and Carla and fan favorites Sione and Filipe. Oh, how I missed my boys! Joelle and Carla are certainly more civil and the Tongan cousins show us their native dance one more time. Gotta love those facial expressions. Sione steps on the scale. He began the competition at 372 pounds and lost 146 pounds, 39.25 percent. Still not enough to beat Jerry, who's in the lead. His cousin Filipe weighs in next. 364 pounds in week one, today he's lost 135 pounds, 37.09 percent. Silver is next. Carla began as the heaviest woman on campus weighing in at 379 pounds. Today she's lost 128 pounds, 33.77 percent. Her partner Joelle, on the other hand, only loses 80 (from 309), but exclaims, "That's mine!" Her 25.89 percentage lost ain't nothing to sneeze at.
Cousins Blaine and Dane and sisters Mandi and Aubrey are revealed next. Blaine and Dane have completed a marathon and Blaine now wants to be an Ironman. He steps on the scale first. He began his journey and 365 pounds and has lost 116 pounds, 31.78 percent. Jerry is still unstoppable! Dane was a whopping 412 pounds and with his 154-pound weight loss, he's down 37.38 percent. At 263 pounds in week one, Mandi has now lost 92 pounds, 34.98 percent. Her sister Aubrey started at 249 and has lost 55 pounds, 22.09 percent.
Heading toward the home stretch, mother-daughter team Cathy and Kristin enter the stage, followed by friends David and Daniel. Cathy looks fab in her eggplant dress and Kristin is sporting quite the short, platinum blonde 'do. And she's even had her own magazine cover (Life & Style). Meanwhile, Ali tells Daniel he's still got a long road ahead, but looking back at him from week one, he's come quite a long way. Cathy is up first. She started the competition at 292 and today has lost 95 pounds, 32.42 percent. Her daughter (another fan favorite), Kristin, first weighed in at 360 pounds. She's lost 167 pounds, 46.39 percent. The Orange team is up next. David was 393 pounds at the start, and has lost 43 pounds, 10.94 percent. Daniel, who was the heaviest person on the ranch at 454 pounds, has lost 142 pounds, 31.28 percent.
THE AT-HOME PRIZE
Three more people weigh in for the at-home prize. Out walks Laura and Shannon, both looking absolutely stunning, followed by Ron. Laura steps on the scale. The former model started out at 285 and has now lost 86 pounds, 30.18 percent. Pink team member Shannon was 283 pounds, and has lost 92 pounds, 32.51 percent. And weighing in last is Ron. Can he pull off the biggest number? In week one he was 430 pounds and after losing 192 pounds, it's still not enough to clinch the prize. Jerry, now 64, (Remember: He passed out after only an hour on campus, and ultimately lasted only two full weeks there), has won the $150,000. Way to go, Jerry!
Time to take a look at our final three and as Jillian points out, they're "not just making a television show" but are "part of something that is magical." Mike has truly changed from a boy to man and having gone through this journey at 18, admits he has his entire life ahead of him.
Helen, meanwhile is an inspiration. The hot mama arrives on stage in her hot-pink team color. Looking at the video of her crossing the marathon finish line makes you believe anything is possible.
And then there's Tara. In 18 straight weeks, she never once fell below the yellow line. Remember seeing her cry at 294 pounds and saying, "I'm gonna change"? Did she ever.
Before the three finalists weigh in, it's time to see who America chose to be on the next season...and that person is 19-year-old Amanda. I was secretly hoping they'd say, "You're both on the show." She better start packing because shooting starts Thursday.
After two long hours and 50 inspirational minutes, it's time for the final three contestants to weigh in. Helen is up first. She began the show at 257 pounds. Today she is 117 pounds, has lost 140 and 54.47 percent. That's right, she's less than half her original size.
Mike goes next. He started weighing in at 388. He is now 181, after losing 207 pounds, or 53.35 percent. Also an impressive number.
Last to weigh in is powerhouse and front-runner Tara, who started The Biggest Loser at 294 pounds. She's down to 139 pounds, with a 155-pound weight-loss.
Despite their impressive numbers, neither can beat Helen's numbers — and America has a new champ!
Yet, regardless of who won, that entire cast of contestants should feel nothing but proud. And not for nothing, let's hear it for another Team Jillian win and another female Biggest Loser. What do you think of this year's winner?
Read my full q&a with Helen here.