Abby Rike the seventh contestant ousted from 'The Biggest Loser'
By Christopher Rocchio, 10/28/2009
Abby Rike, a 35-year-old teacher from Mabank, TX, became the seventh contestant eliminated from The Biggest Loser's eighth season during Tuesday night's broadcast of the NBC reality competition.
"The next chapter of my life is yet to be seen. But whatever it is that's waiting for me at the finish line of this journey, I'm just ready. I'm ready to fly again," said Abby after her ouster.
"When I came here, I was probably at one of the lowest points in my life -- I was shattered and broken and I knew something had to change. I've always loved wholly, completely -- and as much as it hurts to leave this place and the people I love -- the fact that I am again is huge for me... I am so glad that I am coming back."
The Black Team's decision to oust Dina was an easy one since Daniel Wright, Shauntina "Shay" Sorrells, Abby Rike and Amanda Arlauskas had become close and Danny Cahill possessed immunity for having the squad's highest weight-loss percentage at the previous weigh-in.
"I have three good friends on the Black Team -- Daniel, Shay and Abby," said Amanda. "So when it came down to it, Danny had immunity and Dina was the last one left. We had to write her name down."
The two teams then met host Allison Sweeney, who revealed their next week at the ranch would be "Face-off Week" and require each contestant to go head-to-head with an opposite team member at the week's weigh-in, with whoever had the highest weight-loss percentage scoring a point for their team.
The team that earned the most points would win the weigh-in and the losing team would have to send somebody home. In addition, Allison explained that whoever won the upcoming pop challenge would get to pick the head-to-head match ups.
In the challenge, the teams needed to swing under a bar and jump to touch a team-colored disc on the other side. The first team to get 500 touches would win the challenge. The twist was that only one person for each team could compete at a time and -- while they could switch out whenever they wanted -- each player only got one try.
Abby started the challenge for the Black Team and built them a small initial lead but had to quit after getting injured after about 20 touches.
"Something didn't feel right so she said she had to come out," commented Danny. "I thought gosh, we've got four people to do about 480."
The challenge eventually came down to Daniel and Blue Team member Rebecca Meyer, and she was able to reach 500 just barely ahead of him.
The Blue Team then thought about their decision about pairing up the contestants before revealing their choices. Rebecca picked Amanda, Tracey Yukich chose Abby, Allen Smith picked Danny, Rudy Pauls chose Shay, and Liz Young picked Daniel.
After Bob Harper trained the Black Team at the pool and Jillian Harper worked with the Blue Team in the gym, both teams once again met Allison at a baseball stadium where they received a giant video scoreboard message from New York Yankees star Derek Jeter.
Allison then explained the challenge. On the field were 2,535 balls that the contestants would throw at a target assigned to one of the other team's members. Once a person's target was hit 316 times that player was out.
The winning team would win a two-pound weight advantage at the next weigh in, which they could give to one contestant or assign one-pound each to two contestants. In addition, celebrity chef Curtis Stone would cook lunch for the winning team. Abby sat out for the Black Team due to medical reasons, while Tracey sat out for the Blue Team so the squads were even.
The Black Team won the challenge -- their first of the season -- and was excited about the weigh-in advantage.
"This is big time momentum going into the weigh-in," said Danny.
After the Black Team's cookout with Stone, both squads worked out in the gym. Abby had an emotional breakdown with Jillian and opened up about how losing her husband and children in a tragic car crash had sparked her weight gain.
"This is the hardest thing I've ever done, but it's good. I'm strong and I'm going to live and not just exist anymore," a tearful Abby told Jillian before elaborating further about what The Biggest Loser had done for her in a confessional.
"I came here and I thought, 'Can I lose weight? Can I live again? Can I do this?' And now I know I can."
Both teams then participated in their last-chance workouts before The Biggest Loser's seventh eighth-season weigh-in commenced. Allison reiterated how the weigh-in would work before the Black Team revealed Amanda would be receiving the two-pound advantage they won during the challenge.
Rebecca and Amanda were the first to step on the scale. Amanda started the week at 218 lbs. and lost four, but the two-pound advantage brought her total to six for a weight-loss percentage of 2.75%. Rebecca began at 232 lbs. and shed nine for a weight-loss percentage of 3.88% -- giving the Black team their first point.
Tracey and Abby went next. Abby started the week at 204 lbs. and lost three for a weight-loss percentage of 1.47% while Tracey began at 202 lbs. and shed five for a weight-loss percentage of 2.48% -- giving the Blue Team a 2-0 lead.
Allen and Danny were the next to go. Danny started at 357 lbs. and lost 12 for a weight-loss percentage of 3.36% while Allen began at 270 lbs. and shed eight for a weight-loss percentage of 2.96% -- giving the Black Team their first point.
Liz and Daniel went next. Daniel started the week at 277 lbs. and dropped five for a weight-loss percentage of 1.81% while Liz began at 228 lbs. and lost seven for a weight-loss percentage of 3.07% -- winning the weigh-in for the Blue Team.
Despite the outcome already being decided, Rudy and Shay were the last to step on the scale. Danny knew the importance of the final weigh-in, as he needed to remain the Black Team's biggest loser or lose immunity to Shay.
"There's still hope for me," said Danny. "I'm the odd man out on this team. The other four members of the Black Team, they're close. I'm not with them. They're going to vote me off. It's Danny versus Shay at this point now."
Shay started the week at 411 lbs. and lost nine -- which wasn't enough to beat Danny, who once again won immunity for having the Black Team's highest weight-loss percentage. Rudy began the week at 355 lbs. and lost 14 -- making the fastest The Biggest Loser contestant ever to reach a 100-pound weight loss.
With the weigh-in in the books, the Black Team began to contemplate their impending decision. Abby volunteered herself because she felt she no longer needed to be at the ranch to lose weight.
"My journey is different. Mine was not that I put everybody first and that's why I got fat. That wasn't it," she said.
"My journey is about opening up and loving people again. My journey is about being truthful to who I want to be. I have gotten the kick-start of a lifetime. I love y'all. I am going to be fine. That's the difference. I know who I am. I am soaring, and I will fly home."
While Abby voted for Amanda because she didn't think she "would receive any other votes" and Danny voted for Daniel because he is "further along than everyone else" -- but Shay, Amanda and Daniel all voted for Abby, who was eliminated.
"My husband and I spent a lot of time dreaming, and I thought those dreams had died with him," said a tearful Abby.
"But I'm starting to have new dreams again. I'm having new dreams again. I've proven to myself that I am the things I want to be. I kept trying different things to try and rejoin life for the last two-and-a-half years. But none of them were working, and then I came here. It's working."
During a post-show update, Abby revealed that she has lost an additional 34 pounds since returning home and hopes to help others realize that everyone gets a second chance to choose to live differently.
The Biggest Loser's next eighth-season episode will air Tuesday, November 3 at 8PM ET/PT on NBC.
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