Alexandra White the first contestant ousted from 'The Biggest Loser'
By Reality TV World staff, 09/16/2009
Alexandra White, a 20-year-old student from Harrisburg, PA, became the first contestant eliminated from The Biggest Loser's eighth season during Tuesday night's premiere of the NBC reality competition.
"I did so many things this week that I never thought I could do," Alexandra said after her elimination. "I didn't really appreciate all the hard work I did until I really started to push beyond my comfort level and I learned that you know, you really can go beyond that point of pain -- you really can push above and beyond and once you do that greater things can happen."
"I started realizing that it was time for me to really change my life because my life is just starting. I'm in college now -- these are supposed to be the best years. I have so much ahead of me. I believed in myself enough to get me here so I have to believe in myself that I can go home and get the weight off. It's really important to believe in yourself because no one else can do it for you, you really have to have the will and the drive to do it yourself and if you have those things you can really lose the weight."
The Biggest Loser's eighth-season premiere began with the season's cast -- minus returning seventh-season contestant Daniel -- meeting host Alison Sweeney on a beach that marked the beginning of the final mile of the full marathon The Biggest Loser's final four seventh-season contestants had run as their final challenge.
After telling them their first challenge would require them to run the marathon course's final mile, Alison surprised the contestants by informing them that the challenge's winner would win immunity from the season's first elimination weigh-in and also get to select which other contestant would serve as their teammate during the competition. Daniel then arrived separately and Alison revealed he would be serving as the season's sixteenth and final contestant.
"Last season, Daniel arrived on the ranch as the heaviest competition we have ever had on The Biggest Loser. [He arrived at 454 pounds and] since then Dan has lost 142 pounds and we brought him back because we want to help him finish what he started," Alison told the contestants.
"Thank you," Daniel replied.
Given his relative conditioning advantage, Daniel easily finished the one-mile run in first place with a time of 14 minutes and 17 seconds. Despite struggling, most of the rest of the contestants managed to finish the one-mile course, however Tracy, a 37-year-old homemaker from Allen, TX, fell to her knees near the end and needed to be helped across the finish line after attempting to crawl across the final 100 yards of beach sand on her own.
However after crossing the line, both Tracy and Mozziz "Mo" Dewalt, a 56-year-old youth mentor from Louisville, KY, began experiencing medical issues -- with Tracy appearing to fall unconscious immediately and Mo encountering breathing problems.
After assessing her condition, the show's medics determined that Tracy's situation was so serious that she needed to be taken to a hospital immediately, resulting in a helicopter being called in.
"They had to call a helicopter... it blew us away because that could have been any one of us," said Allen Smith, a 44-year-old firefighter/EMT from Columbus, IN.
Mo was also taken to a hospital, however he was transported via a more conventional ambulance ride.
"Once I crossed that finish line I felt so elated, and then it flipped. Everything flipped," Mo explained afterwards.
The rest of the contestants were then taken to The Biggest Loser ranch, where Alison announced they would get to spend an hour to introducing themselves to each other before they would have to decide who would serve as their teammate during the competition.
In addition, Alison also revealed that Tracy and Mo were "both doing well" but would remain hospitalized for observation.
"They are still in this game are they are going to be back," Alison said.
Once the hour ended, Alison returned and oversaw the partner selection process.
As the initial challenge's winner, Daniel went first. He picked Shauntina "Shay" Sorrells -- a 30-year-old social worker from Newport Beach, CA who was starting the competition at an even heavier weight than he had -- as his new Orange team teammate.
"I decided to pick Shay for my partner because I could tell that she bigger than everybody else in her group," he explained afterwards. "I was the biggest in Biggest Loser history -- not just my season -- and I've lost 142 pounds since then. So if I could be there with Shay and show her that she can get through it that would mean the world to me."
Allen -- the challenge's second-place finisher -- selected next and picked Abby Rike, a 35-year-old teacher from Mabank, TX who lost her husband and two children in a car accident in October 2006 as his new Green team teammate.
"I chose Abby as my partner because to go through what this woman had to go through shows me she's a fighter, and I want a fighter -- I'm a fighter," Allen said afterwards.
Amanda Arlauskas, a 19-year-old patient care technician from Butler, NJ, picked third and selected Rebecca Meyer, a 25-year-old student/nanny from Des Moines, IA, to be her Pink team teammate.
Rudy Pauls, a 31-year-old engineer from Brooklyn, CT, then selected Dina Mercado, a 28-year-old custodian from Commerce, CA, as his Blue team teammate.
He was followed by Antoine Dove, a 23-year-old health insurance agent from Dudley, NC who selected Sean Algaier, a 29-year-old youth pastor from Tulsa, OK, to serve as his Red team teammate, and Liz Young, a 49-year-old salesperson from Lewisburg, TN who selected Danny Cahill, a 39-year-old land surveyor and musician from Broken Arrow, OK, as her Brown team teammate.
That left Alexandra with the choice of Julio Gomez, a 40-year-old mortgage loan officer from Algonquin, IL, or Mo and Tracy -- neither of whom were present -- as her Black team teammate.
Alexandra selected Julio, resulting in Alison announcing that Mo and Tracy would become teammates and form the Purple team.
After the teams were selected, Alison announced that it was time for their initial weigh-ins and introduced the contestants to The Biggest Loser trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels.
The Pink team was the first team to weigh-in, with Amanda weighing-in at 250 pounds and Rebecca weighing-in at 279 pounds.
The Green team went next, with Allen weighing-in at 325 pounds and Abby weighing-in at 247 pounds.
They were followed by Black team members Alexandra and Julio, who weighed-in at 309 pounds and 407 pounds respectively.
The Blue team was the next team to weigh-in, with Rudy weighing-in at 442 pounds and Dina weighing-in at 253 pounds.
The Brown team followed afterwards, with Liz weighing-in at 267 pounds and Danny weighing-in at 430 pounds.
They were followed by Red team members Antoine and Sean, who weighed-in at 367 pounds and 444 pounds respectively.
Daniel and Shay were then the final team to weigh-in, with Daniel weighing-in at 312 pounds and Shay weighing-in at 476 pounds.
The next day, Bob and Jillian guided the contestants through their first group workout, however they had one more surprise for cast before they starting the session.
"So I know you're probably wondering who you're going to be training with, right?" Bob told the cast.
"You'll be training with both of us this season!" Jillian revealed.
Most of the contestants managed to struggle through the workout, however Shay quit the workout and left the gym after Jillian told her to get on a ladder treadmill or leave, resulting in Bob and Jillian disagreeing about how they should resolve the issue.
"I think we give her a minute because she's been getting so much attention for quitting," Jillian whispered to Bob as they continued the workout with the rest of the cast. "Let's see what she does when she gets zero attention for it. Let's give it a day."
"A day?!" Bob replied. "We don't have a day. She don't have a day!"
"An hour?" Jillian asked.
"Let's give her 10 minutes," Bob countered.
"A little longer," Jillian replied.
"Okay, 30 minutes," Bob answered.
However Shay eventually returned to the gym before the 30-minute period elapsed and rejoined the workout after receiving a tongue-lashing from Jillian.
"If you quit on me again you go home! And no one is going to going to chase you! No one!" Jillian shouted. "You got it?"
"There's nothing to be ashamed of," she added. "But what I will not tolerate is you working below your potential. I will accept nothing less than 100% and I will not play the victim game with you."
Mo rejoined the cast that evening, however Tracy remained hospitalized.
"I can't believe Tracy is still in the hospital [but] if I can keep her here -- carry her -- until we can get her back here I think we'll be okay," he said after learning he and Tracy would be Purple team teammates.
After going through a series of additional physical exams and tests overseen by The Biggest Loser doctor Robert Huizenga, the contestants then participated in their first Last Chance Workout.
The Biggest Loser's first eighth-season elimination weigh-in then commenced, with Alison announcing that the team with the lowest combined weight-loss percentage would have one of its members eliminated from the competition based on the votes of the rest of the teams. In addition, Alison revealed that Mo's weight-loss percentage would count as his team's overall loss given Tracy was still hospitalized.
Since they were immune from elimination, the Orange team weighed-in first. Daniel lost 12 pounds and Shay lost 17 pounds for a combined 3.68% weight-loss percentage.
The Pink team went next, with Amanda losing 6 pounds and Rebecca losing 18 pounds for a combined 4.54% weight-loss percentage.
Blue team members Rudy and Dina were the third team to weigh-in, with Rudy losing 28 pounds and Dina losing 8 pounds for a combined 5.18% weight-loss percentage.
The Red team followed next, with Antoine losing 18 pounds and Sean losing 22 pounds for a combined 4.93% weight-loss percentage.
Brown team members Liz and Danny were the fifth team to weigh-in, with Liz losing 10 pounds and Danny losing 24 pounds for a combined 4.88% weight-loss percentage.
The Green team went next, with Allen losing 19 pounds and Abby losing 15 pounds for a combined 5.94% weight-loss percentage.
Alexandra and Julio were the seventh team to weigh-in and they each lost 13 pounds, giving their Black team a combined weight-loss percentage of 3.63% that left them in last place with Mo left as the only other "team" still to weigh-in.
However Mo lost 19 pounds, giving his Purple team a 5.35% weight-loss percentage that left Alexandra and Julio below the yellow line and up for elimination.
"You have one hour to talk it over and I'll see you all in the elimination room," Alison told the contestants.
Alexandra and Julio both used the time to ask the other teams to keep them in the competition, with Alexandra stressing that she had worked "her ass off" and lost as much weight as Julio despite weighing nearly a hundred pounds less than him and Julio urging the contestants to remember that he was attempting to lose weight for his wife and two little girls.
Sean and some several other contestants appeared to support keeping Alexandra given she had achieved a greater weight-loss percentage, however Allen urged the contestants to not just look at the numbers.
"All of us are going to go home, and if my time ever comes I pray to God that you guys do not look at me as a number -- I am more than a number, we are all more than a number," Allen said.
Once they were in the elimination room, Mo kicked the vote off by revealing the Purple team had voted for Alexandra's elimination, but the Pink, Red and Orange teams all subsequently voted for Julio, leaving him only one vote away from elimination.
However that last vote never came as the Brown, Blue and Green teams all voted for Alexandra -- resulting in her elimination via a 4-3 vote.
"I just had an amazing week with you all and I'll take all these moments, all the lessons that you all taught me. And good luck with your journey and I definitely will continue mine," Alexandra told the other contestants after her elimination was revealed. "I definitely do have a lot of things to take care of when I get home, so we'll see."
During a post-show update, Alexandra revealed that she has lost an additional 47 pounds since returning home and hopes to be at her goal weight of 180 pounds by the season's live finale in December.
The Biggest Loser's next eighth-season episode will air Tuesday, September 22 at 8PM ET/PT on NBC.