Damien Gurganious talks about 'The Biggest Loser: Couples
By John Bracchitta, 01/21/2009
Damien Gurganious knew he wasn't guaranteed a free pass into The Biggest Loser: Couples' next round after falling below the yellow line during last night's broadcast on NBC. Still, the 31-year-old industrial designer from Brooklyn, NY, liked his chances.
"It's a show about competition and weight loss, and there's a prize at the end, so you don't put anything past anyone," Gurganious told Reality TV World in a media conference call the day after his The Biggest Loserelimination aired on Tuesday night's broadcast. "But then on the other token, I felt I was gonna probably stay because the person I was up against who didn't wanna be there in the first place."
"You're thinking 'Maybe I will stay,' and then you go 'Well, this is an opportunity here for the competition,'" he added. "So you're hoping thing go your way, but in my case it didn't go."
While he said he was unsure why the contestants had decided to keep Joelle Gwynn, a 41-year-old non-profit founder from Southfield, MI, and vote him off instead, Gurganious speculated it may have been because the other contestants felt he was a bigger threat than Joelle.
Gurganious also added that he didn't feel the show's broadcasts had portrayed Gwynn's behavior inaccurately, and didn't dismiss the idea that the contestants that were being trained by Jillian Michaels had eliminated him in order to force Bob Harper's contestants to have to continue dealing with Joelle's disruptive influence.
"You've all seen the show and sometimes it comes down to who plays the game the best and maybe that was a part of it," Gurganious told Reality TV World. "There's no way of telling what they were thinking, but it could've been [a reason for my elimination]."
While the first episode twist that sent nine of The Biggest Loser: Couples' contestants home to continue their workouts on their own was met with mixed reactions from the show's cast, Gurganious told Reality TV World he felt it was a "great thing" because it forced the contestants to commit to losing the weight.
"You actually get rid of your enabler, the person that you spend the most time eating with and hanging out and practicing bad habits with. It puts you to your own devices," he told Reality TV World. "It's just you, without your partner, and you gotta figure out how to do it on your own. No more turning to someone else, you [have to] look internally to find out that you have the power to do stuff. And I thought it was great."
He added that the decision to have him remain on the ranch while his fiancee Nicole Brewer, a 37-year-old wardrobe stylist, went home to Brooklyn to workout on her own was made by her based on their different body types.
"Nicole figured that with me and my size, and the weight I had to lose, that it would be easier for me to stay, because I have more weight to lose and that would give us a stronghold towards staying in the game," he told Reality TV World.
While Brewer's plan didn't pan out, Gurganious told reporters that they have both been able to commit to a workout regimen that includes 90 minutes of cardio twice-a-day, six-days-a-week since returning home.
"I'm one of the fortunate ones, because me and Nicole both run our own businesses. So when I came home it allowed me to kinda just take some time off and not have to work every day," Gurganious told reporters. "The people that work for me still have to work a little bit, but for me I have the ability to focus me and Nicole's goals."
Ironically, while Damien's profession is helping him now, it was also what he said had led to Brewer "setting [him] up" to apply for The Biggest Loser in the first place.
"One day I had a tight deadline to do on a project... and I had to bring the project home," Gurganious told reporters. "[Nicole's] watching [The Amazing Race], and she turns to me and she goes 'Would you be up to doing a reality show?' and so she would [be quiet so I could work] I said 'Yes!' and I go back to working on this project."
"And would you believe it, the next frickin' day [Nicole sees] the [open auditions] commercial for The Biggest Loser at Rockefeller Center, and she looks at me and she said "You said yes!" and I was like 'Okay, let's go,'" he added.
However Gurganious isn't complaining. He's lost 85 lbs. since he first arrived at The Biggest Loser ranch and plans to be "a sexy [180 lbs.]" by the time he and Brewer wed in June.
"That is how I will be getting married. There will be no more 'Big & Tall' ordering suits for me," he told reporters, before adding that he had intentionally held off on finding a suit for the wedding before appearing on the show because he hadn't been impressed with the suit selections available for his pre-Loser size.
"With a size 60 waist you got three options: powder blue, big top red, or some kind of turquoise plaid. I was like 'hmm, I think I'll wait," Gurganious told reporters. "Now I can actually get an Italian designer suit that actually looks good."
Gurganious said he expected for all of The Biggest Loser: Couples contestants that had been trained by Bob to attend the wedding, and added that he already had thought of special plans for them.
"We're gonna have a giant round table cut like a pie chart with blue, pink, brown, [and they'll all be] sitting at this one table," he said. "It'll be The Biggest Loser wedding party!"
Gurganious also admitted to reporters that he felt the Blue team of Sione Fa, a 28-year-old landscape company owner from Maricopa, AZ, and his cousin Filipe Fam, a 26-year-old lube technician from Mesa, AZ, stood the best chance of going all the way and winning the competition.
"I put a lot on [Sione and Filipe] only because they have the most non-selfish story," Gurganious told reporters. "They have a whole village of Tongans who are looking to them to bring back this information to help them out because they live a lifestyle of obesity and insulin shots and medication. I think that with them, the pressure of saving their people is on their shoulders, and I think that's not to be taken lightly. I see them taking it all the way."