Amanda 'Mandi' Kramer gets cut from 'The Biggest Loser: Couples'
By John Bracchitta, 03/11/2009
Amanda "Mandi" Kramer became the twelfth contestant eliminated from The Biggest Loser: Couples during last night's broadcast on NBC after making a selfless decision to ignore a plan to eliminate her sister Aubrey Cheney instead.
"Looking at me now, I've become more self-confident, more strong, very independent, happier, and I just want everyone to know that you have it inside you to just take a little effort to get off the couch and go outside and go to the gym and start [getting] healthy," Mandi, a 30-year-old cosmetologist from Boise, ID, said following her elimination.
The Biggest Loser: Couples' ninth episode began right where last week's special Wednesday broadcast had ended, with Black team member Mike Morelli, an 18-year-old student from South Lyon, MI, on the weigh-in scale and needing to lose 10 lbs in order to ensure everyone's safety from elimination.
The Biggest Loserhost Alison Sweeney had revealed that, in a twist to the weigh-in, the Blue and Black teams would be working together. If the contestants' combined weight loss for the week was greater than 77 lbs. -- the equivalent of each of the eleven contestants losing one pound a day for the previous week -- then everyone would be safe. However, if the contestants combined weight loss came in at or under 77 lbs. than one member from each team would be sent home.
Mike weighed-in after the first 10 contestants had netted 68 lbs of weigh loss, with Black team member Helen Phillips, 47-year-old retired retail manager from Sterling Heights, MI, losing 5 lbs,; Mandi losing 8 lbs.; Black team member Sione Fa, a 28-year-old landscape company owner from Maricopa, AZ, losing 3 lbs.; Blue team member Aubrey, a 28-year-old information and education specialist from Gooding, ID, losing 8 lbs.; Black team member Laura Denoux, a 24-year-old sales director and former model from Miami, FL, losing 7 lbs.; Blue team member Ron Morelli, a 54-year-old city councilman and retired food distributor from South Lyon, MI, losing 6 lbs.; Black team member Tara Costa, a 23-year-old finance manager and former model from New York, NY, losing 11 lbs.; Blue team member Kristin Steede, a 28-year-old business owner from Greenville, WI, losing 9 lbs.; and Blue team member Cathy Skell, a 48-year-old title sales closing agent from Shiocton, WI, losing 3 lbs.
Thankfully for both teams Mike did not disappoint with his weigh-in, losing 11 lbs. to get the contestants over the 77-lbs. threshold and ensuring that everyone would be safe on the ranch for one more week.
"I lost 11 lbs. in 7 days. I'm over the 100 lb. mark and I could not feel better," a relieved Mike said following the weigh-in.
However, after congratulating everyone on surviving the weigh-in, Alison quickly told the contestants to meet her out in the courtyard for their next Pop Challenge. Upon arriving there, the contestants were informed that the format for the upcoming week's weigh-in would be changes as well and feature each contestant competing directly against another member of the other team.
After being paired up against an opponent for the week, the contestants would weigh-in side-by-side with a point being rewarded to whomever had the highest weight-loss percentage. Alison added that the first team to get three points would be safe from immunity, while the losing team would have to send one of its contestants home.
The contestants also learned that the winner of the Pop Challenge -- for which each contestant would have to prop themselves against a wall in a sitting position while holding a medicine ball on their laps and try and avoid falling or having the ball hit the ground -- would be allowed to pick out the match ups for the week and decide who would be sitting out for the Black team because they had an extra member.
"Being able to pick is huge because you're basically controlling the weigh-in," Tara said before the beginning of the challenge.
Because Kristin could not compete in the challenge for medical reasons, both Sione and Helen sat out for the Black team to even out the teams.
Tara backed up her perceived importance of picking the matchups for the week and went on to win the Pop Challenge, outlasting her teammates as well as Blue team member Mandi, who dropped her ball four minutes into the challenge to give the win to Tara.
After recovering from the challenge, Tara made her matchups, pairing Mike versus Cathy, Sione versus Mandi, Filipe versus Kristin, Helen versus Ron and Laura versus Aubrey while naming herself as the Black team contestant who would not be taking part in the matchups. While she told Allison that she had chosen Laura to face Aubrey instead of herself, Tara later admitted that she was worried by Aubrey and had decided to not compete instead of risk losing to her.
Following the revealing of the matchups, both teams felt that Tara had done a good job of stacking the odds in her Black team's favor. While the Black team left the challenge confident, the Blue team huddled and stressed that "snything is possible" and hoped to defy the odds and land an upset victory at the weigh-in.
During the following day's workouts, while most of trainer Jillian Michaels' team members were impressed with how hard she was working with them, Filipe's temporary acceptance as Jillian as his new trainer seemed to come to an end when he became angry that she seemed to be completely ignoring him.
"I'm like 'You know what, I need this, I need this workout.' And if I'm not gonna have a trainer that doesn't even wanna train me, than why am I even on this team?" he said.
After Jillian left the gym without speaking a word to him, Filipe became even more enraged.
"She walks out of the gym without saying a single thing to me," he fumed. "How am I supposed to compete against Kristin if I don't even get a workout from Jillian? This is bull crap."
On Day 4 of the week, the teams traveled to an off-campus gym and met with Allison for their challenge, which they were told would be a relay race.
One contestant from each team would begin the race in a pool where they would have to swim across it and grab two six-pound-medicine-balls at a time and bring them back to where they had began. After gathering 24 medicine balls, as second player form the team would transport them, two at a time, to a gathering spot by a set of stairs and then transport them up the stairs. Once the medicine balls were up the stairs, a third player from the team would have to transport the balls through an obstacle course of weights to a basketball court. Waiting in the basketball court would be the final member of the team who, after all the balls had reached him or her, would have to run them two at a time across the court and perform 24 squats before dropping off each set of balls.
The first team to complete the challenge, Alison added, would win 24 hours of luxury at a spa.
Because Kristin could once again not compete due to health concerns, both Laura and Mike volunteered to sit out the challenge in order to even out the teams before it got underway.
Filipe began the challenge in the pool against the Blue team's Ron and jumped out to a sizable lead, getting all of the medicine balls to Sione who then transported them up the stairs and got them to Tara before Cathy -- whom received the medicine balls from Ron -- was able to get all of her balls up the stairs to Mandi.
While the Black team maintained their lead throughout the challenge, Aubrey nearly caught up to Helen in the basketball court by performing the squats quicker than Helen was able to. However, the Blue team's deficit was too much to overcome, as the Black team continued their challenge win streak and won once again.
"I'm so sick of losing, I'm so sick of it," Mandi said after losing yet again. "I just really wanted to be by myself and tell everyone to go away because right now I feel like there is no hope."
The following day after the Black team left in a limo to head out to their spa, the Blue team committed to use the entire ranch to the best of their abilities to try and get a leg up on the relaxing Black team. That would not prove to be too difficult, as the Black team did no exercise while at the spa and received massages, manicures and pedicures instead.
The team also collectively binged on a night of eating and drinking -- as well as a cigarette smoked by Helen -- that added 12,592 additional calories to the contestants' diets. Conversely, a day of working out followed by a lean home-cooked dinner netted the Blue team a combined 1,612 calories.
"Last night my Black team was eating some mashed potatoes, fried chicken, some french fries, drinking a little too much, not working out," Sione said following the team's night of excess. "Maybe winning the challenge for 24 hours of luxury wasn't such a good thing at all."
Upon retuning to the ranch, the team was confronted by Jillian, who had been made aware of the team's binging. After struggling to get them to admit to what they had done, Jillian proceeded to chew out the team for dropping the ball the second they left the ranch.
"What is the f--king point, the second you leave you smoke and get wasted!?" Jillian screamed. "Why am I gonna care if you don't care."
However, after the tense meeting's subject switched to Jillian's commitment to the team, Filipe snapped and screamed back at Jillian for her lack of attention towards him in the gym and said that he could not trust her.
"I'm stuck in a conflict now of whether I even wanna work out!" Filipe said. "Why the hell am I even wearing this damn shirt. I woke up this morning just sick, sick out of my damn mind trying to put on this damn shirt because of the fact that I have to perform in a last chance workout and burn as many calories as I can, and not have a trainer that trains me."
"The last workout you didn't even wanna work with me!" he screamed as he got up and stormed out of the room, with Sione following.
"I'm glad he voiced his opinion because he said everything I was feeling," Sione added later. "I followed him because that was my way of telling Jillian I'm behind my cousin 100 percent and whatever he just told you is exactly how I feel too."
Filipe and Sione marched to the gym where Bob's team was training and surprised him by asking if they could join his team's workout. While taken aback by what had transpired, Bob allowed them to join his workout and put aside their teams' matchups momentarily.
"Filipe and Sione are struggling, they are basically lost in this house, so of course 'Filipe and Sione if you wanna train with me get in there,'" Bob said later. "It's not about black. it's not about blue, it's about people trying to lose weight, about people trying to get healthy. Filipe and Sione work well with me."
During the workout, Mandi admitted to being a bit concerned that Bob was splitting his time between her and Sione, her opponent.
"This is the craziest last chance workout in The Biggest Loser history," Bob said regarding his training both Sione, Filipe and both of their opponents on his Blue team. "It's nuts up in this house!"
When Jillian entered the gym and saw Sione and Filipe training with Bob, her reaction was largely relief more than anything else.
"I'm like thank God I don't have to deal with this today," she said later. "Part of me thinks Bob should've [sent them back to me], but I just don't care anymore. They don't care, I don't care."
Prior to the weigh-in, Filipe clarified that while he was on the outs with Jillian, he still was working hard for his Black team and wanted them to win over the Blue team.
The teams then gathered with Allison for their weigh-ins. Because Tara was not competing against anyone, she weighed in first. However, her weigh-in only caused worry in her Black teammates that their 24 hours of luxury may come back to haunt them after she lost no weight.
"I'm so mad at myself. I let myself down," she said following her weigh-in. "The second I was truly tempted I failed."
However, the Black team regained some of their swagger after it was revealed that Mike, who lost 8 lbs. for a weight-loss percentage of 2.8%, had beaten Cathy, who only lost 4 lbs for 1.63%.
The Blue team tied the score 1-1 after Aubrey, who lost 3 lbs. for 1.48%, beat Laura, who gained 1 lb. for a .44% percentage of weight gain. They then took the lead after Kristin, who lost 7 lbs. for 2.59%, trounced Sione, who only lost 1 lb. for a .36% loss.
The Black team tied it up 2-2 after Helen, who lost 4 lbs. for a 2.07% loss, knocked off Ron, who lost 6 lbs. for a 1.75%.
With a tie, the fates of both teams came down to the match up between Sione and Mandi. While Sione was able to lose 6 lbs. for a 2.12%, the entire Blue team -- Bob included -- was shocked when it was revealed that Mandi had gained 2 lbs. for a weight gain percentage of 1.03%, giving immunity to the Black team once again.
Because Kristin had the highest weight-loss percentage on the Blue team, she was granted immunity. The Black teams's Laura was also told that, because of a challenge she had won during the previous week's episode giving her an extra vote at the next elimination, she would be attending the Blue team's elimination vote and casting a vote of her own.
Before leaving to head over to the Blue team's deliberation on who to eliminate, Laura asked her Black team whom she should look to eliminate and was told resoundingly to cast her vote for Aubrey.
In the Blue team's deliberations, the alliance of Kristin, Cathy and Ron proved to be strong enough to immediately put both Aubrey and Mandi on the chopping block. However, Ron made it clear that Mandi was the one the team wanted to send home.
"There's no one here that wants to go home, but it's Mandi's turn to go home," he told the team.
"I'm not ready to go home, I'm not," Mandi responded.
Kristin added that her vote was being based on the fact that Aubrey had already gone home at the beginning of the competition and that she, Cathy and Ron had the numbers to keep each other safe.
However, things were made more complicated after Laura arrived and made it clear that she preferred Aubrey to be going home. After failing to sway Ron, Kristin or Cathy, Laura concocted a second plan with Aubrey and Mandi to vote for Cathy and create a tie, which would allow the entire Black team to cast the deciding vote on who would be sent home. Aubrey went along with the plan, well aware that doing so likely meant her elimination, but insisted that she would be fine with the decision.
Mandi initially agreed to go along with the plan too. However, after going to the elimination room, Mandi surprised Aubrey by revealing that she hadn't follow the plan to force a tie by voting for Cathy but had voted for Ron instead.
"I can do it at home, we had a plan that we were gonna vote for Cathy so that it could come down to a tie and the Black team was gonna vote Aubrey off, but the plan fact is I can do it at home and she can't so I can't allow a tie," Mandi told a shocked Aubrey as they both broke into tears. "You need to stay here, it's time for me to step up and be the big sister and tell you [that] you need to stay here."
In her post-show update, it was revealed that Mandi had dropped 84 lbs. going on The Biggest Loser. It added that she hoped to drop down to a size 2 dress size by the show's finale.