Dane Patterson gets eliminated from 'The Biggest Loser: Couples'
By John Bracchitta, 02/26/2009
Despite a record breaking stint on The Biggest Loser: Couples, Dane Patterson, a 27-year-old real estate appraiser from Mesa, AZ became the eleventh contestant be eliminated from the NBC weight-loss reality series during last night's conclusion of the show's two-night broadcast.
"In just the short time that I've been here on the ranch I've [realized] that I've learned how important it is to take care of myself and how important it is to take care of myself in taking care of my family," Dane said following his surprising elimination. "I'm proud that I'm walking away from The Biggest Loser ranch with a record, I lost 100 lbs. in eight weeks, no one in the history of the show has done that and I'm just so grateful for the opportunity that I've had to be on the show."
The Biggest Loser: Couples' eighth episode began with Helen Phillips, 47-year-old retired retail manager from Sterling Heights, MI, as she came to grips with the decision of her daughter Shanon Thomas, a 29-year-old massage therapist from Centerline, MI, to volunteer herself for elimination at the previous week's ceremony.
"I'm her mother I'm questioning myself, did I make the right decision? But I know with [trainer Bob Harper's] help that I'll be able to push through these times," she said. "I have to stay focused, I have to do this for myself as well as her. I'm just gonna have to push through it, it'll be hard because I miss her already."
However, Helen soon found out that her future with Bob would be put into question as the remaining contestants gathered with The Biggest Loser: Couples host Alison Sweeney for their third Pop Challenge and were told that they would be re-organized into Blue and Black teams that would be trained by Bob and trainer Jillian Michaels respectively.
The contestants were told that the challenge would consist of one member from each team doing one-hundred up and downs, a classic football drill in which the contestants had to jump to the ground and then stand up and tap a marker above them. The first contestant to complete the challenge would get to choose which team and trainer, while all of the other teams except the team that came in last place would have their new team decided by a coin flip.
As for the team that came in last place, Alison said that they would be punished by being forced to switch their trainer, shocking the teams.
"I was like 'Are you kidding me!? I have to stay with Bob,'" said Sione Fa, a 28-year-old landscape company owner from Maricopa, AZ. "Whatever it takes I have to stay with Bob."
Sione did his best to guarantee that he and his Blue team partner Filipe Fam, a 26-year-old lube technician from Mesa, AZ would remain with Bob, jumping out to a lead in the challenge. However midway through he was caught by Tara Costa, a 23-year-old finance manager and former model from New York, NY who was also determined to keep Jillian as her trainer.
After Sione and Tara did up-and-downs in tandem and were tied as they completed their 99th one. However, Tara was the first to complete her 100th up-and-down to win the challenge as she collapsed on the ground too tired to breathe.
"There were so many emotions that were running through my body at that point thinking 'Thank God I'm gonna get to keep Jillian," she said following her win. "I know she's gonna be able to help me change my life."
Sione finished in second place and was followed by Yellow team member Amanda "Mandi" Kramer, a 30-year-old cosmetologist from Boise, ID in third place; Dane in fourth place; Mike Morelli, an 18-year-old student from South Lyon, MI, in fifth place; and Kristin Steede, a 28-year-old business owner from Greenville, WI in sixth place -- leaving Helen as the odd woman out who was forced to switch her trainer and join the Jillian and the Black team.
"I cant imagine working out without him," Helen said later about not being able to train with Bob anymore. "He's helped so much and I couldn't have gotten this far without him."
After the decision by Tara and her Green teammate Laura Denoux, a 24-year-old sales director and former model from Miami, FL to join the Black team and remain with Jillian as their trainer, the remaining contestants each met with Alison for their coin toss to determine which team they were on.
While Filipe and Sione both wanted to remain with Bob on the Blue team, their coin flip dictated that they move to the Black team with Jillian.
"I'm pissed off," Sione said after learning his fate. "I had a chance to pick my spot, and just because it was hard I didn't come in first. wearing this black shirt is not a good feeling for me. I mean I don't feel right, and for me to have to put on this black shirt is almost like I'm betraying someone I love."
While Mandi and her Yellow team partner Aubrey Cheney, a 28-year-old information and education specialist from Gooding, ID, wanted to remain with Jillian on the Black team, they were told by Alison that if they drew the Black team on the coin flip that they would be split up. With that in mind, they were thankful when it was revealed they would both be switching to the Blue team.
The Brown team was not as lucky, as Mike and his father Ron Morelli, a 54-year-old city councilman and retired food distributor from South Lyon, MI, were forced to split up after their coin toss. While Mike declined to make a decision on what team he wanted to go on, Ron decided to move to the Black team so Mike could be on the Blue team where he felt his son would have a better chance to succeed.
Mike was joined on the Blue team Dane as well as Kristen and her Purple team partner/mother Cathy Skell, a 48-year-old title sales closing agent from Shiocton, WI, who were the last to have their new teams revealed to them.
"It doesn't feel natural to see my brothers in a black shirt like Filpe and Sione and Helen in black shirts," Kristen said. "This just doesn't feel right."
"Obviously things are changing here today," Alison said following the team reshuffling.
Following the reshuffling, the trainers both met their new teams and were equally shocked.
"Bob is gonna freak out," Jillian said upon seeing Filipe, Sione and Helen on her team. After talking with Sione about his frustrations about leaving Bob, Jillian stressed that she wanted to have open communication with her new contestants. She later added that despite the initial growing pains, switching trainers would ultimately help the contestants.
"I think the silver lining of this scenario is that they get the best of both worlds and they can learn two completely different strategies and approaches to health and wellness," she said. "I think it's an opportunity."
Bob's reaction was just as Jillian predicted after seeing her new teammates.
"Whoa, wow" he said upon seeing his new team.
"I could see Bob's heart breaking before my eyes. He'd seen all the blue shirts sitting at the table and it took a second for him to realize who was sitting there and who wasn't," Kristin added later.
Following their meeting, the newly-formed Blue and Black teams met each other outside the gym, causing many of the contestants to take the opportunity to say goodbye to their now-former trainers.
Bob also took the chance to take Filipe, Sione and Helen aside to speak to them. After hearing how disappointed they were that they could no longer train with him, Bob broke down into tears himself as he expressed how much he would miss working with them.
"This is real difficult. It's difficult seeing you standing there in that black shirt for me," Bob told them in tears. "I have to walk in there and be a trainer, and I don't wanna go in there without you guys."
"I hate it," Helen added.
"I've gotta go out there and be a trainer, I've gotta do what I do," Bob said. "This is the hardest thing that I have ever gone through on The Biggest Loser, but I've got to just trust this. It's all gonna work out, we're all gonna still lose weight."
Following each of the team's initial workouts together, the new teams met with Alison for a challenge intended to emphasize endurance. After being told that each team would have their own stationary bike, the contestants learned that the two teams would be competing against each other as they rode their bikes for the next 24 hours.
Following the 24 hours of riding -- during which each of the teams could rotate their members on the bike any way they wanted -- the teams learned that whichever team had logged the most miles on their bike would receive a three-pound advantage at the upcoming weigh-in as well as custom Trek bikes for each of the team's members.
While the Blue team took a relatively unorganized approach to how long each teammate would ride on the bike, the Black team quickly developed a riding schedule that had each teammate ride on the bike for thirty minutes and then resting for two-and-a-half-hours before riding again.
Eager to bond with her new teammates though her performance during the challenge, Tara also took initiative by going to the ranch's kitchen and gathering supplies to help her teammates make it through the day-long challenge.
As the challenge progressed -- and after realizing that their Blue team stood little chance of winning the challenge -- Mandi and Cathy both came up with the idea to offer a truce to the Black team and end the challenge early so everyone could get rest and prepare for their workout the next day. However, the idea was dropped after Sione stated that he felt ending the challenge early would only be reverting back to the negative behavior that had gotten them onto the ranch in the first place.
"In my mind it meant quitting," he said later. "I mean yeah I know I was tired, my butt hurt, and I just knew if I quit this it would just be like every other time I quit."
Following Sione's speech, even Mandi agreed that her idea would not be the right way to go about the challenge.
"I'm so thankful that Sione actually spoke up because it made me think 'You're right,' she said. "Everyone else hurts equally the same, let's just do the job that we came her to do, get it over with, and I will feel 20 times more happy for myself."
While they were incorrect about ending the challenge early, Mandi and Cathy weren't wrong about the challenge's results, as the Black team rode a combined 301.9 miles over the course of 24 hours to defeat the Blue team, who only rode 264 miles.
Alison also singled out Tara as the most successful contestant of the challenge, having ridden 58.8 miles on the bike by herself.
The following day, the contestants once again met with Alison, who this time was with Liz Vaccariello, the editor-in-chief of Prevention Magazine, and were told that they would be taking a pop quiz testing each team's knowledge on health and aging. The teams would be asked as many questions as needed by Liz until one team correctly answered three of them. They were told additionally that each member of the winning team would receive a "Fountain of Youth" vacation package for two at the Casa Monica Hotel in St. Augustine, FL.
Much like the previous challenge, the Black team dominated the quiz, winning 3 questions to 1.
The two teams then headed to the gym for their first Last Chance Workout together as their new teams. While Filipe was initially skeptical that Jillian would be able to properly motivate him, he changed his opinion of his new trainer after she had him run at a 12.0 clip on a treadmill.
"That's the great thing about the trainers here is that Jillian knows my limits and I don't," he said. "It makes me feel good, I know in the weeks to come it'll be easier of me to run that 12.0."
Over on the Blue team, Mandi admitted to being "petrified" of training with Bob, but also admitted to enjoying her workout with her new trainer.
"I like working out with Bob. He's totally different than Jillian," she said. "My heart rate is up the entire time I'm working with him. It's one thing after another, after another where you don't get a minute rest."
The teams then gathered for their first team weigh-in. Alison informed them that the team with the lowest percentage of weight loss would fall below the yellow line and have vote out one of its team members. However, the contestants also learned that the contestant on the losing team with the highest percentage of weight-loss would receive immunity.
The Blue team weighed in first, with Dane (13 lbs.), Aubrey (5 lbs.), Mandi (7 lbs.), Ron (5 lbs.), Kristin (10 lbs.) and Cathy (14 lbs.) combining to lose 54 lbs. for a combined weight loss percentage of 3.26%.
The Black team weighed in second and won the week's weigh-in, with Helen (7 lbs.), Laura (8 lbs.), Tara (11 lbs.), Mike (10 lbs.), Filipe (8 lbs.) and Sione (10 lbs.) combining to lose 57 lbs. for a combined weight-loss percentage of 3.65%.
After informing the Blue team that they would have to eliminate one of their teammates, Alison added that Cathy had won immunity because of her weight loss.
The Blue team then met to discuss who they would be voting for at the upcoming elimination ceremony. After the discussion boiled down to eliminating either Ron or Dane, both contestants plead their case to remain in the competition.
"We all need to be here. Who wants to go home? No one wants to go home. I don't wanna go, and I'm certainly not voting for myself," Ron said. "My thought is who's got support at home, and as much as I hate to say, Dane's got the support at home. Blaine's there, he's lost 100 lbs, he proved he can do it. I feel I need to be here more than Dane needs to be here."
"Looks like I'm the focus," a surprised Dane responded. "I think we all got freakin' fat and we all needed to be here in the first place. I think we're at the point now where whoever needs to be here the most is out the door. We're Black and Blue, we have to make decisions based on our team, and if you wanna say goodbye to my weight loss an you don't wanna utilize that in the upcoming weeks, send me home."
"Damn me for being successful," Dane added later after adding that he was all but certain his name being up for elimination was a game play move to eliminate a threat from the team.
After the team met with Alison to reveal whom each teammate had voted for, Dane smiled to himself as it was revealed that Kristin, Cathy and Ron had voted for him and eliminated him from the competition.
Ron came in second place, with votes from Dane and Mandi, while Aubrey cast her vote for Kristin's elimination.
In a post-show update, it was revealed that Dane had trained for and run a marathon with his wife since returning home from the ranch. It added that he had completed the marathon in three-hours-and-fifty-three minutes.
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