The voting process on NBC's The Biggest Loser (Tuesdays at 8/pm ET) has quickly gone from survival of the fittest to survival of the fattest.
Both in the series opener and last week's episode, the teams eliminated their lightest members — and kept larger-sized contestants for their potential to lose more weight. Never mind credit for those who tried hardest. That strategy spelled doom for Red Team's spunky Lizzeth Davalos, 24. Before the big weigh-in, she woke up at the crack of dawn to go jogging, in a failed attempt to shed extra pounds. Here, the California girl tells TV Guide Online about her weighty dilemma.
TV Guide Online: Have you stuck with the diet?
Lizzeth Davalos: I've managed to keep up. I'm losing weight and meeting my fitness goals.
TVGO: You set out to inspire your family. Did you ultimately do that?
Lizzeth: Yes, I am helping family members and friends, so I definitely achieved that. They were just behind me 100 percent before the show and after they saw [my elimination episode]. I just saw it on their faces. They just looked at me with tears in their eyes and were like, "I'm so proud of you."
TVGO: You made reference to past eating-disorder issues. Think you could be a role model?
Lizzeth: I definitely do. I want to show people the right way to eat and exercise, and not hurt themselves or their bodies.
TVGO: What was the best dieting advice you got?
Lizzeth: Not to stop eating. I sometimes do that. I won't eat, and it is important to eat because I have to keep my metabolism going.
TVGO: Was Jillian as tough as she seemed?
Lizzeth: She was really tough, but when I worked out with her, I felt like I was working out with a friend. We would sit there and chat because she saw me pushing myself hard. At times, when she thought that maybe she could push me a little bit more, she would push me, but then she would back off.
TVGO: She's like a drill sergeant.
Lizzeth: She is, in a way. But even a drill sergeant, if they see a person trying their hardest and putting that extra 100 percent in, they'll lay off a little bit.
TVGO: You said Dave deserved to be ousted. Was he really doing so badly?
Lizzeth: He was definitely not pulling his weight. He was just walking out on workouts and not stepping it up at all. I don't want to say it was wrong for [my team] to keep him around, but it was unfair from a moral point of view. The way that I grew up, you don't just do things for money. You don't just do things for greed. You do it on principle. In the beginning, we said we were going to base [votes] on performance — they all changed their minds when they realized they probably were not going to win the money if I stayed.
TVGO: So Biggest Loser became a very competitive game.
Lizzeth: It turned into an ugly game.
TVGO: During the vote, Ryan's comments upset Kelly. Were you aware of that?
Lizzeth: I didn't know that happened. I saw that [when the show aired,] and it hurt me a lot that he would say something like that and react that way. I knew I was kicked off, but when I walked out and he said, "We aren't curing cancer"... [Sighs] To me, we were curing people's bad eating habits, which can send you to the grave, too. It really hurt, and my niece was just brokenhearted about it.