Brady Vilcan eliminated from 'The Biggest Loser: Families'
By John Bracchitta, 11/12/2008
A sub-par weight loss combined with the sudden betrayal of an ally proved to be too much for Brady Vilcan, a 36-year-old pharmacist from Houma, LA, to overcome, resulting in him becoming eliminated from The Biggest Loser: Families during last night's broadcast on NBC.
"When I came on The Biggest Loser I weighted 341 lbs., and 7 weeks after that I'm jogging up and down a mountain for 20 miles," Brady said following his elimination. "Losing 77 lbs. is truly amazing, but I think more importantly the whole reason for [my wife Vicky Vilcan] and I being here was for our children. Children learn from their parents. This is why I'm here because it's gonna stop now."
"I'm living proof, if I can do this anybody can do this," he added.
The Biggest Loser: Families' ninth episode began with the Black team members coming to terms with their decision to vote Phillip Parham out of the competition during the conclusion of the show's previous episode.
"We did, through the entire week, know that Phil had this desire -- not necessarily to go home -- but to be with his wife," said Michelle Aguilar, a 26-year-old assistant director from Ft. Worth, TX. "While we're sad that he's not here, we know that for him the journey does not end."
However, much of the Black team's sadness regarding Phil's departure turned to anger when they met with the Blue team and were subjected to them openly celebrating his elimination in front of them.
"I felt so happy to find out Phil was eliminated," said Vicky Vilcan, a 37-year-old anesthetist from Houma, LA, after meeting with the Black team. "It has taken me seven weeks to get rid of that sleazebucket and I am so glad he's out of this house."
"I know that the entire Blue team is not a fan of Phil, but watching them celebrate like that, it was enough to piss you off," said Coleen Skeabeck, a 23-year-old receptionist from Cleveland, OH, after seeing the Black team's behavior.
"I think the Blue team doing anything that's tacky really doesn't surprise me anymore. They are tacky," said Michelle. "As long as they're wearing a blue shirt, I'm happy to see them go home."
The Blue team's gloating over Phil's departure continued into the next day when they met with their trainer Bob Harper, where Vicky urged the team to stay unified as the competition continued.
"The Blue team is gonna stick together, and the plan is to get rid of the Black team one-by-one, so at the finale we have four Blue team member standing strong," Vicky told her teammates.
After observing Vicky's scheming, Bob reiterated that he felt Vicky was the "biggest gameplayer that has ever walked in this house."
"I mean this girl is methodical, and she's maniacal, and she's sitting there with her little puppets on a string," he added.
The teams then met The Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney and learned that, effective immediately, the teams would be dissolved and everyone would now be competing individually.
However, after being told to meet by the weigh-in scale, the contestants were surprised to discover that all but one of the eliminated contestants from The Biggest Loser: Families had returned to compete for one open spot at the ranch.
While the return of Phil sparked surprise from his Black teammates and frustration from the Blue team, the other returning contestants received a more positive welcome. Heba Salama, a 30-year-old pharmaceutical sales representative from Raleigh, NC, ran and hugged her returning husband Ed Brantley, a 31-year-old chef.
While Coleen was initially worried after not seeing her father -- Jerry Skeabeck, a 51-year-old police sergeant from Cleveland, OH -- among the returning contestants, Alison explained that he had simply been unable to come back because of a work conflict and not due to a health issue.
Before weighing in the returning contestants, Sweeney revealed a twist for the returning contestants by telling them that the contestant chosen to return to the competition would not be determined based on their weight loss. Instead, the returning contestant would be decided at a challenge the following day.
Phil led the eliminated contestants in weight loss totals, having lost 68 lbs. since arriving at the ranch weighing 331 lbs.
Ed followed, having lost 58 lbs. of his original 335 lbs.
Tom "LT" Desrochers Jr., a cab driver from Everett, MA, lost 57 lbs. of his original 357 lbs.
His father, Tom Desrochers Sr., also a cab driver from Everett, MA, lost 48 lbs. of his original 314 lbs.
Amy Parham, a 40-year-old real estate agent from Greer, SC, lost 47 lbs. of her original 229 lbs.
Because he could not return to the ranch, Jerry weighed himself on a video that was played before the contestants. He had lost 41 lbs. of his original 380 lbs.
Shellay Cremen, a 51-year-old stay-at-home mom from Royal Oak, MI, lost 39 lbs of her original 216 lbs.
Adam Capers, 39-year-old contracts manager from Gainesville, VA, lost 35 lbs. of his original 340 lbs.
Adam's wife Stacey Capers, a 33-year-old contract pricing analyst, lost 31 lbs. of her 221 lbs.
While the Blue team members secretly whispered to each other about how happy they were that the returning contestant would be chosen from the challenge and not from the weigh in -- in which case Phil would have returned to the ranch -- Vicky angered some when she made the team's opinion public after Brady stated that he would "love for everyone to be back" at the ranch.
"Yeah anybody. Anybody but the number one on that board right now would be great," she told Alison, referring to Phil.
Phil and Amy remained angry about Vicky's comment even after the weigh-in ended.
"I thought it was uncalled for, I thought it was mean spirited, I know we're playing a game, but you can keep some of those comments to yourself," Phil said. "They're just such little people."
"How am I not supposed to get offended at that. How am I supposed t not take that personally," added Amy, who went up to her room crying after the incident and did not want to see any of the Blue team members.
Because Amy had taken such offense to the comment, Phil decided to confront Vicky in the kitchen in front of the other contestants.
"You are so mean you are so mean!" Phil said to Vicky angrily. "My wife has gone upstairs to cry and that is exactly what you want!"
"I didn't talk to your wife," responded Vicky.
As the argument between the two increased and drew the attention of the other contestants, Brady decided to enter the fracas as he stood behind Vicky and yelled at Phil as well.
"You wanna hit me? Why don't you just hit me?" Phil yelled at Brady during the argument
"Oh I want to," responded Brady. I'll knock your block off."
"Go cause your crap somewhere else, 'cause I don't feel like dealing with it," added Vicky.
After eventually leaving the kitchen after the confrontation, a teary-eyed Phil continued to be angry at the Blue team and their repeated attacks on him and his wife.
"I've taken this opportunity to strip myself clean in front of America, in front of my family and my friends, and put my whole life on display to change my life in front of people," he said. "And these bastards try to take something that is so pure and so honest, and so real, and make it something so evil and so mean."
While Vicky apologized to the other contestants for the comment and the argument that resulted from it, she refused Heba's suggestion to go to Amy's room and personally apologize to her.
"For what? I didn't do anything to Amy," Vicky said.
The following night, the contestants met with Alison for the challenge to determine which eliminated contestant would be returning to the show. As the contestants who had not been eliminated looked on, the eliminated contestants learned that the challenge would simply consist of each of them in front of a step board. The first contestant to complete 1,000 steps on the board would be allowed back on the ranch, while the others would return home.
Alison also revealed that the winner of the challenge would receive immunity for the upcoming weigh-in.
Prior to the challenge, Heba lived up to her reputation of being controlling as she offered Ed advice.
"When I had to hug my husband goodbye, I whispered him a little nothing and I said 'Ed, you hammer out the thousand, you listen to my voice and when I say faster, that means you need to sprint," Heba said.
After jumping out to an early lead, Ed slowed down after his first 345 steps and allowed Phil and Stacey to gain ground on him. However, after Phil tripped on his board and fell behind, the challenge came down to a race between Ed and Stacey.
After Stacey closed the gap between she and Ed to as little as ten steps as both contestants hit the 900 step mark, Ed was able to prevail and hit his 1,000th step as Stacey hit her 987th to win the challenge and return to the ranch.
As Ed collapsed to the ground and was congratulated by the Blue team, Stacey was grateful to receive almost equal congratulations for putting up such a strong fight.
"Everyone came over to me and told me how much it meant to them. This is just absolutely priceless," Stacey said following the challenge. "I feel more important tonight than in any time in my life."
Meanwhile, Michelle lamented that Ed's return to the ranch had put the Black team in an even deeper hole because of his allegiance to Heba and the Blue team.
"Bam -- and now Ed is back in the game," she said. I doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out: There are five blue shirts. For the Black team, that's the worst case scenario."
"I'm so happy that we have five blue shirts right now," said Vicky following the challenge. "I can remember the first week with Heba, and Ed and Brady ,and saying that we were gonna be the final four in this. For us to actually have a shot at that happening is fantastic."
The following day, The Biggest Loser: Couples champion Ali Vincent and Cynthia Sass, a nutrition director from Prevention magazine, taught the contestants -- including Ed in his new blue shirt -- about healthy alternatives to some of the foods each contestant had admitted to eating regularly before joining The Biggest Loser.
Following the lessons, each contestant was also awarded $5,000 to spend on groceries once they had returned home.
Before beginning their last chance workout, trainer Jillian Michaels was very frank with her former Black team members about their need to step it up in order to survive.
"We're in a situation, again, of having two huge guys against you. Five against three," she told them. "The problems is if any of you fall below [the yellow line] we don't have the votes to save you. The way it works is Bob is like 'You're not allowed to vote each other off if you're wearing a blue shirt.'"
Following the workout and prior to their weigh-in, Michelle and Renee celebrated their one year anniversary of reconnecting with each other after not talking following Renee's divorce from Michelle's father. They both expressed hope to each other that they would both make it through the weigh-in and not fall victim to the Blue team's majority in numbers.
The contestants arrived at the weigh-in that evening and were told that the two contestants with the lowest percentage of weight loss would fall below the yellow line and be subject to elimination from votes by the other contestants.
Ed lost 4 lbs. after returning to the ranch. however his percentage was not calculated because he had received immunity for the week as part of his return.
Vicky came in first at the weigh-in, losing 8 lbs. for a weight loss percentage of 3.98%.
Colleen followed in second, losing 7 lbs. for a percentage of 3.95%.
Heba followed in third, losing 9 lbs. for a percentage of 3.64%.
Amy finished in fourth, losing 6 lbs. for a percentage of 3.21%.
Renee followed in fifth, losing 7 lbs. for a percentage of 3.15%.
Michelle -- who lost 6 lbs. for a percentage of 3.00% -- and Brady -- who lost 6 lbs. for a percentage of 2.22% -- were revealed to be the two contestants with the lowest percentage, leaving both below the yellow line.
However, before the contestants were able to leave and deliberate on who to eliminate, Alison revealed that -- for the first time in The Biggest Loser history -- they would not be receiving their normal hour of deliberation time and would instead head straight to the elimination room and vote after a brief discussion.
"Walking to the elimination room, all I could think of was 'Well, we all said [that] we need one Black team member to fall and then we'll stay five blue strong," said Vicky.
However, not all of the Blue team members were still on board with the plan, as Amy began having second thoughts after receiving advice from her mother to act in her best interests instead of what others wanted of her.
"We've always said if a Black and Blue fell, we'd vote Black," Amy explained afterwards. "I just really have second thoughts and I've started thinking maybe I wanted to change my mind."
In the elimination room, Alison told the contestants that in the event of a tie vote of 3-3, the contestant with the lower weight loss percentage -- which in this case was Brady -- would be sent home.
When Alison asked Vicky what she would base her vote on, she responded that her vote was being cast strictly because of numbers.
"We're singles but were five blue strong and that's what's gonna get us to the end of this game and that's what needs to count tonight," she told Alison.
After having each contestant vote in secret, Alison had them reveal their choice one-by-one.
The first five votes were split down team lines, with Vicky, Ed and Heba voting for Michelle while Renee and Coleen voted for Brady.
With the deciding vote in her hands, Amy acknowledged that the vote had been "by far the toughest decision I've had to make in this house."
However, as her Blue teammates looked on, Amy broke from her alliance and, after stressing a need to "think about myself," revealed her vote for Brady, eliminating him from the competition.
"Lose plenty of weight, and party at the finale," Brady said before saying goodbye to Vicky and leaving the elimination room.
In the post-show update, it was revealed that Brady had lost 100 lbs. since going on The Biggest Loser, had dropped his pants size from a 48 to a 34, and hoped to lose 30 more pounds before the show's finale.
"Now I can see myself walking [my daughter Lucy] down the aisle one day because I know what I learned from the ranch is gonna stay with me forever," he said.
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