Carla Triplett and Joelle Gwynn cut from 'The Biggest Loser: Couples'
By John Bracchitta, 02/04/2009
The Silver team of Carla Triplett, a 36-year-old assistant bank manager, and her best friend Joelle Gwynn, a 41-year-old non-profit founder, from Southfield, MI, came to The Biggest Loser: Couples to lose weight, but ended up losing a friendship instead.
Despite a strong showing from Carla in her return to the competition after spending 30 days attempting to lose weight on her own at home, Joelle's continued ineptitude and nonchalance on the Biggest Loser ranch led to the couple's elimination during Tuesday night's broadcast of the NBC reality series.
"I knew coming into this that I would have to put my best foot forward, and I would say since I've been here that what I've been doing," an angry Carla said following her elimination. "There's no quick fix, there's no instant magic pill to lose the weight, you have to put in the hard work and the dedication, the blood, the sweat, the tears."
"I think the hardest thing was the two of us working together as a team," Joelle added. "I mean we both wanna come back for the finale and look great, so these challenges that we have, they still have to be worked through."
"Joelle, I hope with you going home that you're able to focus on the things that you need to do and you don't let outside distractions deter you, and you have to stop saying you're going to try and do it and start saying you will do it," Carla shot back at her.
The Biggest Loser: Couples' fifth episode began with the newly reconvened teams of couples meeting with trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels, who both warned the returning contestants that they would need to work hard to get back into their groove on the ranch and also support their partners.
"This week is all about proving why you are back in this house," Bob told his team.
"The at-home contestants are walking right into the thick of things, like literally right out of the frying pan in to the fire," Jillian added later.
The contestants then met with The Biggest Loser: Couples host Alison Sweeney so the returning at-home contestants could weigh-in for the first time since their weigh-in at the end of the season's first week.
However before the weigh-in began, Alison revealed that the contestant who lost the most weight while at home would win immunity for their newly reunited team at competition's next elimination weigh-in.
"Now it's one person's chance to repay their partner for all their hard work and getting them back here," Alison said before the weigh-in began.
Blue team member Sione Fa -- a 28-year-old landscape company owner from Maricopa, AZ who went home while his cousin Filipe Fam, a 26-year-old lube technician from Mesa, AZ, remained on the ranch -- was the most successful at-home contestant and won the challenge, losing 25 lbs. for a weight loss percentage of 7.16%.
"I'm the guy who said 'I don't have time today.' I work 10 hours, for me, and I'd always make so many excuses why I was too busy to work out," Sione said following his win. "It's just funny to me that I got three hours of television in every day, so I don't care what anybody says."
Pink team member Shanon Thomas, -- a 29-year-old massage therapist from Centerline, MI who went home while her mother Helen Phillips, 47-year-old retired retail manager from Sterling Heights, MI remained on the ranch -- came in second place losing 15 lbs. for a weight-loss percentage of 5.56%.
Silver team member Carla came in third, dropping 20 lbs. for a weight loss percentage of 5.43%.
Purple team member Cathy Skell -- a 48-year-old title sales closing agent from Shiocton, WI who went home while her daughter Kristin Steede, a 28-year-old business owner from Greenville, WI remained on the ranch -- followed in fourth, losing 8 lbs. for a weight-loss percentage of 2.85.
Green team member Laura Denoux -- a 24-year-old sales director and former model from Miami, FL who went home while her friend Tara Costa, a 23-year-old finance manager and former model from New York, NY remained on the ranch -- came in fifth, losing 7 lbs. for a percentage of 2.57%.
Yellow team member Aubrey Cheney -- a 28-year-old information and education specialist from Gooding, ID who went home while her sister Amanda Kramer, a 30-year-old cosmetologist from Boise, ID stayed on the ranch -- came in last, losing only 2 lbs. for a .85% loss. While she attempted to explain her lack of weight loss by saying she had gained muscle instead of losing weight, Jillian was quick to dismiss her claim.
"No, that's bulls--t, she lost two pounds," Jillian said. "That's all she lost. That's okay, you've got five kids. You need to lose 100 pounds, that's what we're gonna do."
Following the weigh-in, the contestants were welcomed back to campus by Alison and ushered off to the gym to begin their workouts.
"The good news is you're back on campus. The bad news is you're back on campus. It's time to work out, I leave to you to Bob and Jillian," she added.
As the contestants started working out, Bob immediately saw a great improvement in Sione's workout and was impressed by what his potential could grow into as the competition continued.
"Sione lost 25 lbs in 30 days , off campus!" Bob said. "There's nothing this guy can't do, and guess what, he's immune this week!"
However, while Sione's workout ethic had improved markedly, Joelle's continual laziness in the gym was noticed by Carla immediately after they began their workout.
"I haven't seen her push as hard as she can, and we need to make sure we stay on top, no matter what is going on in our lives right now," she said.
Following their workouts, the contestants met with Alison at a dam for that week's challenge. The contestants were told that they and their partner would be tied to a long rope that had been wrapped around a large beam. After each team cart wheeled over the beam enough times to unwrap what they felt was the appropriate amount of lag in the rope, the first team to be able to run from the beam to the finish line would win the challenge. However, if the team did not unwrap enough rope to get to the finish line, they would have to return to the beam and cartwheel over the beam some more.
Alison added that the first team to cross the finish line would be given the choice between a $5,000 cash prize or a two-pound advantage at the upcoming weigh-in.
"Two pounds is huge here," said Brown team member Mike Morelli, an 18-year-old student from South Lyon, MI. "In so many weigh-ins it comes down to someone going under the yellow line by just [one] pound. That two pounds is the difference between staying here and going home."
While the Green team was first to think that they had unraveled enough rope to get to the finish line, they soon discovered that they had not as the Yellow and Blue teams surpassed them on the way to the finish line.
Although the Yellow team almost lost their lead over the Blue team when their rope ran out of slack just prior to the finish line, they were able to pull the tope enough to just barely make it across the finish line to win the challenge.
"On my gosh, I cannot believe we just won! I'm totally excited," Aubrey said following the win." I needed it because I needed to show everybody that I'm here, I'm 100 percent dedicated, [and] that I'm gonna give it 100 percent and I can do it."
Following the Yellow team's win, Alison informed them that they would need to decide on whether to take the $5,000 or the two pound advantage before the upcoming weigh-in.
As the teams trained during their last chance workouts, all of the teams training with Bob took notice of Joelle as she once again failed to show much persistence in the gym and often wandered around aimlessly as Carla exercised.
"What you put into this workout is what you get out of it," Filipe said. "So if Joelle falls below the yellow line this week I wouldn't be surprised."
"My hands are tied, I can't want it for her," added Bob. "I can help her any way possible if she wants the help. In this last chance workout, now Carla's gonna have to work 10 times harder to overcompensate for Joelle not working hard enough."
The contestants then gathered with Alison for their weigh-in. Prior to having the first team approach the scales, the Yellow team announced that they had chosen to take the two pound advantage over the $5,000 cash prize.
Because they had won immunity at the at-home contestant weigh-in earlier in the week, the Blue team of Sione (who lost 8 lbs.) and Filipe (who lost 3 lbs.) weighed in first, recording a weight-loss percentage of 1.73%.
The Green team of Laura (13 lbs.) and Tara (12 lbs.) won the weigh-in for the week with a weight-loss percentage of 4.84%.
The Yellow team of Aubrey (10 lbs.) and Mandi ( 6 lbs.) followed in second with a percentage of 3.9%.
"We shoulda taken the $5,000," joked Mandi after seeing her team's weight loss for the week.
The Pink team came in third place, with Helen (9 lbs.) and Shanon (9 lbs.) combining for a 3.75% loss.
The Black team of Blain (9 lbs.) and Dane (11 lbs.) followed in fourth, combining for a 3.04% loss.
The Purple team of Kristin (11 lbs.) and Cathy (5 lbs.) came in fifth with a percentage of 2.74%.
The Brown team of Mike (9 lbs,) and his father Ron Morelli (4 lbs.), a 54-year-old city councilman and retired food distributor, combined for only a 1.83% loss and fell below the Yellow Line for the second straight week.
The Silver team easily had the most emotional weigh-in of the week when they fell below the Yellow Line after Carla managed to lose 9 lbs. but Joelle did not lose any weight at all, giving the team a percentage loss of 1.44%.
"When I saw Joelle's zero, I just I couldn't even think about anything," a livid Carla said later. "It's like here's another example of her letting me down."
After the other contestants applauded for Carla and ignored Joelle, a teary-eyed Aubrey took a shot at her by saying that Carla "works her ass off" and had been the first person in the gym every day.
"It's a shame, it's a definite shame that she doesn't have a partner that has the same interest," Aubrey added.
As Joelle responded that she had given her "highest intensity" to her workouts that week, Bob responded with a face of disbelief.
"Look, there is a bottom line," Bob shot back. "When it comes to this house working with teams, you guys have to be in such sync at all time. One person does not make a team, and that's obvious right here."
Following the weigh-in as the teams prepared to gather and decide which team to eliminate, Carla admitted that she didn't think they were facing a very difficult decision.
"I'm thinking wow, it's not really gonna be a hard decision, because the house has given Joelle so many opportunities to prove herself, and we're in Week 6... and she still hasn't," Carla said through tears.
The tension between Joelle and the other contestants -- and particularly Carla -- escalated even further after Joelle failed to clearly answer whether or not she really wanted to be on the ranch.
"Joelle! I wanna be here I don't know about you!" Carla screamed at her as the other contestants looked on. "I have to suffer because of you, because of your incapability, because you can't focus, 'Oh woe is me and I need my pity party!?'"
"Would I like to be here and fight more? Yes," Joelle said after another round of arguing between the two. "Do I want to impact [Carla]? No, and that hurts me greatly."
"I'm sorry, I really want to be here," Carla responded as she broke into tears. "This is the second time that I've put my faith in your hands, and twice you've failed me. Twice!"
Joelle once again argued that she had gained insight on the ranch and grown physically strong, but it fell on deaf ears.
"Joelle opens her mouth and it's like she's not even on this planet," Shanon said later. "The light switch is off and it's the same old song and dance every week. People get sick of it."
Before the teams cast their fairly obvious choice as to who they wanted to eliminate, Mike reiterated that "words are cheap in this house and actions speak," while Ron added that "100 percent of this team wants to be here."
The contestants then met in the elimination room to reveal who they had voted for, with each of the first four teams voting for Joelle and Carla, but many of them emphasizing Joelle's name on the card while apologizing next to Carla's name.
During the elimination ceremony, Joelle lashed out at the teams for misrepresenting what she had done on the ranch.
"I don't want to get things twisted up here that I have not worked, that I have not learned, that I have not pushed, that I have not persevered," Joelle said angrily. "Even this week. And I am offended. I know what I did. It's hard for me to sit up there looking at a 0 myself and justify it, but when I leave here I am proud of the work that I have done, I am proud of the accomplishments."
Following their elimination, all of the contestants hugged and apologized to Carla, while Joelle was ignored as she walked off alone.
During the post show update, it was revealed that Joelle and Carla's update meeting was the first time they had spoken since leaving the ranch several months ago. Although the meeting started with a brief exchange of pleasantries, it quickly went downhill and the women quickly began bickering once again.
"Could you understand why I reacted the way I did?" asked Carla.
"I'm not sure what you're speaking of," responded Joelle.
"I didn't feel as if you were giving it your all, or even cared about me. it felt like you were there for yourself," Carla said back to her.
"I brought you back, but for me right now I am focusing more with me," Joelle attempted to explain. "And to go around in a repetitive circle..."
"We're not..." Carla interrupted.
"Yes we are," Joelle shot back.
"I have a lot more that I have to get off my chest with you, and you don't want to hear it." a more angry Carla stated. we're [supposed to be] friends!"
"No, we're not," Joelle responded before getting up and walking away from the meeting.
"I do feel that because of her selfishness I was cheated out of the opportunity of a lietime," a tearful Carla said after Joelle had left.
The update also revealed that Joelle had lost 57 lbs. since arriving on the ranch, while Carla had dropped 87 lbs.