Coleen Skeabeck talks about her 'The Biggest Loser: Families' time
By John Bracchitta, 11/19/2008
While many may have been surprised by the elimination of Coleen Skeabeck, a 23-year-old receptionist from Cleveland, OH, from last night's episode of NBC's The Biggest Loser: Families, don't count her as one of them.
"Walking into that elimination room I really felt kind of doomed," Skeabeck told Reality TV World in a media conference call the day after her elimination was broadcast on Tuesday night's The Biggest Loser: Families broadcast. "I felt that [Amy Cremen] was a little bit intimidated and actually bullied by her team to make a decision and I thought that when we had sat down at that table that she already had her mind made up to vote with the Blue team."
Skeabeck said she felt that that bullying continued right to the voting table, where Vicky Vilcan -- a 37-year-old anesthetist from Houma, LA and the other contestant below the yellow line with Skeabeck -- used her opportunity to state why she should remain in the competition to bash Skeabeck instead.
"I just felt like [Vicky] was trying to point out every reason why I shouldn't be in the game, and that's not what we were supposed to be doing," Skeabeck told Reality TV World. "We were sitting there to defend ourselves and plead our case [as to] why they should keep us. I said why I felt they should keep me, and then I thought that when it was her turn she had said why everyone should get rid of me instead of keeping her. It just made no sense to me why she was saying that.
However, while not happy with her answer at the elimination, Skeabeck wasn't critical of the strategies Vilcan used at other points in the show, instead telling reporters that the women had simply approached The Biggest Loser with different gameplans.
"She know's how to play the game, and you know what? Kudos to her," Skeabeck told reporters. "On the other hand, as much of a fan of the show [that] I am, I am not a gameplayer. I do not know how to play the game to my advantage like that and honestly i didn't even care... I just really truly wanted to get this weight off because it's been such a burden on me for my entire life."
"I can say that as the person that am I don't focus on a person's negative qualities," she added later. "Vicky has so many wonderful qualities that people are missing out on."
Skeabeck also said that, as she had been promised at her final weigh-in, she has remained in close contact with trainer Jillian Micheals since her departure from the show.
"I am still in touch with Jillian," Skeabeck said. "We exchange e-mails weekly, if not daily. She's behind me 100% and she has told me from Day 1 that she's believed in me to make some changes I needed to make."
"It's a very difficult, uphill battle losing weight, but without Jillian's support I don't know how I could've done it," she added.
Skeabeck also addressed some of the misconceptions she had realized while competing on the show after watching it on TV for so many years as a fan.
"A misconception by many is how hard it really is," Skeabeck told reporters. "You sit at home and you watch the contestants work out in the gym and in a two-hour show you don't see very much of the gym scenes. We would be there for hours and hours."
"When we walk back to the house, we don't even know how we're getting there because we're so sore," she added.
Skeabeck also went into details about how significant an accomplishment her ability to fit into the medium-sized "goal closet" tank top she had tried on during Tuesday night's broadcast had been.
"I was showing two of my friends this top that I bought that I hoped to fit into one day," she told Reality TV World. "I got it [over] of my head and got one arm in and that's as far as it would go. I couldn't even force my other arm into the other arm hole, that's how small it was on me!"
"Putting that top on [during Tuesday's show] I was like "Oh my God, I'm doing this! Things I never thought I could do.' I'm wearing a medium top! I had worn 2XL and 3XL before so I just felt so amazing and I just felt like I was shining right through."
While Skeabeck's picks for her favorites to win weren't necessarily surprising given her alliance to the Black team, she told reporters that she had not based her favorites on what team they had been on.
"I'm really pulling for [Michelle Aguilar] or [Renee Wilson], not because it's a Black team thing, but they're just amazing women and I had the opportunity to get so close to them," she told reporters. "They're fighters and they're not gonna give up."
As for her own chances, Skeabeck said that she knew she had lost over 50 lbs. since the last time she weighed herself and was somewhat optimistic regarding her chances to win the at-home prize for The Biggest Loser. However, she insisted that she was not focusing on winning any prize.
"You know, there's a great big chance that I can [win], so what I'm gonna do is just work every minute that I have until the finale. And what comes at the finale is the final product," Skeabeck told reporters. "The prizes mean nothing to me really, what I care about at that finale is standing on that stage and feeling like a superstar."