Wednesday, May 26, 2010

And the Winner is...

Michael Ventrella! Yes, the biggest contestant ever to step on a Biggest Loser scale ended up winning the latest season of The Biggest Loser. I have to admit, I wondered if Diane was screaming when he weighed in and it was revealed he'd lost more than 50 percent of his weight, making him the big winner.

The thing that struck me about so many of the contestants tonight wasn't so much their weight loss (though that was striking), but their attitudes about themselves. So many went from depressed and lonely and not feeling much self worth to wide smiles and confidence. Can you imagine the Michael of eight months ago trying to pull off a huge, shiny skull bell buckle?

Highlights of the night:

1. Daris has a very pretty girlfriend. This made me smile. And he was announced as the third finalist, based on America's votes.

2. Shay weighed in and revealed she'd lost 52 more pounds, which made her eligible for a check from Subway for $52,000. Only when Jared from Subway came out, the check was blank and he offered her another challenge -- train with him for the next year to run a marathon. Do that and they'd double the check. She accepted.

3. So many of the contestants looked wonderful, but I was particularly struck by Maria, Michael's mom. I still felt that when she left the show, she was in danger of not making the change in her life that she needed. I'm so happy that she's succeeded in her weight loss. She looked beautiful.

4. Cherita's willpower helped her lose 91 -- all on her own!

5. O'Neal practically running down the stairs when he was introduced. He has come such a long way from the man who could barely pull himself up stairs. And I love the enthusiasm his sons have for him and particularly their sister, Sunshine, who was rocking a very appropriate bright yellow dress.

6. Loved Miggy's new, short haircut.

7. Darrell, proclaimed the sickest man on the ranch by Dr. Huizenga at the beginning of the season, dropped an amazing 189 pounds and looks the picture of health. He took away the top percentage of weight loss from Sherry, who'd held it during most of the weigh-ins of the night. He eventually lost out the $100,000 at-home prize to Koli, but I still think Darrell's accomplishment is so much bigger because he had to do more of it at home than Koli did and because he improved his health so much. Not that Koli didn't make a huge change in his own life, but I think Darrell's health situation was more dire.

8. Ashley proved you should never underestimate anyone, especially a pink ninja. :) She came in second place, losing 183 pounds. And there's part of me that wonders if there's something more than friendship between her and Michael. Hmm...

9. I know Melissa wasn't a lot of people's favorite contestant, but I thought she looked smashing in her red dress tonight.

The percentages of weight loss were impressive tonight, lots of them in the 30-45 percent range. Some people still have a ways to go -- Migdalia, Drea, James and John come to mind -- but they're already well on their way. I wish all of the contestants well, whether they're still on their journey to their goal weight or in maintaining it.

What was your favorite moments of the finale? Who impressed you?

Note: Jillian's new show, Losing It with Jillian, debuts in the same time slot as The Biggest Loser next week. I'm going to check out the first episode to see what it's like and decide from there if I'll continue watching. I have a feeling I will. I need all the inspiration I can get.


Sally Kilpatrick on May 26, 2010 at 6:50 AM said...

Hey, Trish, think we should set up some Biggest Loser type competition between the Healthy Writers and the Petit Fours? Of course, as I type that, it would appear to me that you guys have the advantage based on how you identify yourself!

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on May 26, 2010 at 8:39 AM said...

LOL, that could be fun, Sally. I've thought about seeing if my chaptermates might be interested in a group health initiative, but I haven't posed the question yet.

Diane Gaston on May 26, 2010 at 8:42 AM said...

Well, Trish, I am much too ladylike to scream :-) but I was flabbergasted at Michael's appearance. I do appreciate that he wore clothing unlike he'd ever put on in his life, but I would have chosen something else...It was sweet that he gave a rose to his mother.

The person I felt sorry for was Koli, who looked like he was about to cry after he was not selected. And I worried about why he could not stand still. I sure hope winning $100,000 helped him feel better!

Ashley looked amazing, as did all the mothers! Wow, those ladies transformed themselves.

I really liked this whole group of contestants, even Melissa, who we were supposed to hate. I like that she held her own no matter what.

Michelle Butler on May 26, 2010 at 10:22 AM said...

It is always so dramatic how differently the contestants look on finale night. And, it's always a little scary how big some of them still look. I hope their healthy living journeys continue well for the rest of their lives. Particularly the brown team (the twins) - they always struck me as so big and so troubled - even though I know they weren't the biggest guys.

I do wonder how much editing has to do with how I view the contestants. I've never liked Melissa. But, if she really didn't throw those weigh ins, how heartbreaking that she could work so hard and only lose 1 pound.

It is kind of entertaining to see some of the guys glory in their new bodies and what kind of sartorial choices they make. Like I read on Twitter, Sam looked like a stripper, and Michael's outfit was so over-the-top (in a fun way.) Ashley looked beautiful - as did many of the women. Some of their attitude-filled posing seemed a little forced, but they looked so much better than where they started.

Like Diane said, Koli did seem to have a lot of nervous energy - I hope it was just a one-night thing. He'd always seemed fairly calm on the show.

Cherita is probably the most inspiring! She did all that entirely at home.

I was pretty excited/interested in the Jillian Michaels' show until I realized she just spent a week with the families. Perhaps you can have powerful transformations in a week, but the short time period makes it feel a little bit more exploitative. I really do feel like the biggest loser contestants get an amazing amount of help and support - especially if they get to stay on the ranch a long time. I may still watch the first one, but it's on at 10, right? The network is probably not that keen about it since it's on so late.

Michelle Butler on May 26, 2010 at 12:14 PM said...

From the Programming Insider:

Despite the severity of the competition, the two-hour Biggest Loser season-finale on NBC scored an above-average 6.5/10 in the overnights from 8-10 p.m., with growth by half-hour as follows:

The Biggest Loser (NBC)
8:00 p.m.: 5.8/ 9 (#4)
8:30 p.m.: 6.2/ 9 (#4)
9:00 p.m.: 6.8/10 (#4)
9:30 p.m.: 7.1/10 (#4)

Considering the core strength of The Biggest Loser falls within adults 18-49, consider this a solid performance. Airing out of The Biggest Loser was the season-finale of Parenthood at a third-place 4.2/ 7 at 10 p.m. As bad as that may sound, it could still be enough to beat CBS' competing The Good Wife in the demo.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on May 26, 2010 at 2:56 PM said...

Diane, I'm sure some costume person is behind Michael's look. Not sure he'd choose something like that on his own. They probably do it to make the changes even more dramatic.

I feel like Koli had built up the idea of winning so much that anything less was going to be a disappointment. Hopefully he can get past that and just enjoy this new life he's given himself.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on May 26, 2010 at 3:01 PM said...

Michelle, I thought Losing It was in the same time slot as The Biggest Loser. But I just checked my TiVo, and you're right -- it's on at 9 p.m. Central, 10 Eastern.

And you're right! Sam did look a bit like a stripper. It was that short-sleeved shirt with the tight sleeves.

Sally Kilpatrick on May 27, 2010 at 8:48 AM said...

I missed the finale, but I saw some of the contestants on Larry King last night while I was, in the words of Fergie, "up in the gym just a working on my fitness." I saw the parts with Michael and Ashley--I have got to start DVRing this show next year.

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