David Griffin the eighth contestant eliminated from 'The Biggest Loser'
By Christopher Rocchio, 10/31/2007
David Griffin wanted to see his family and thought he could continue to lose weight at home. The 31-year-old from Cedar Hill, TN received that opportunity as he became the eighth contestant cut from The Biggest Loser's fourth season during last night's broadcast of the NBC reality weight-loss competition series.
"My time on campus has really been good. It's going to be tough to be away from here," said David following his ouster. "But I feel like I've obtained the knowledge to get it done when I get home, and I'm not scared of what's outside these walls. I've got a beautiful, loving wife at home and four kids that I miss more than anything in the world. I'm here for them, and I go home for them."
The Biggest Loser 4's eighth episode began following the previous elimination of Jez Luckett, which was the result of Neil Tejwani, a 25-year-old from Marblehead, MA, throwing the weigh-in and actually gaining 17 pounds. Neil said he's not a "bad guy" or "malicious person" and explained the weight-gain was part of his strategy to eliminate some of the stronger competitors.
However some of the other remaining contestants didn't take too kindly to what Neil had done. Isabeau Miller, a 21-year-old from Franklin, TN, thought Neil "maliciously" sent Jez home by throwing the weigh-in, and David also commented Neil "needs to know he did something wrong."
In addition -- despite Neil's claim at the previous elimination ceremony to the contrary -- David said he was unaware that Neil had thrown the challenge. David added it would have changed his vote to eliminate Jez had he known.
"A person who doesn't deserve to be here? I'm going to make sure that person goes home," commented Julie Hadden, a 34-year-old from Jacksonville, FL and former Black Team member with Jez. "And when they do, when I write that name on that card, I'm going to do it for Jez. I'm not going to feel sorry for doing it."
Neil further explained that throwing the weigh-in wasn't a "personal thing" against Jez, and instead commented how he saw it "as an opportunity as far as game play goes" and took advantage of it. Hollie Self, a 28-year-old from Phoenix, AZ, said she was surprised Neil's fellow former Blue Team member Kae Whang, a 27-year-old from Clark, NJ, decided to back Neil's decision since he wouldn't do the same for her.
Kae was feeling awful about her decision and cried as she thought about what had happened and her role in it.
"Everything has changed after that elimination," commented Kae, questioning if she even wants to still be on The Biggest Loser campus. "It's not worth it... I'm so sick of playing this game... I'll be honest, I'm packing my things and I'm going. I think I'm done."
Blue Team trainer Bob Harper expressed surprise when he learned Neil hadn't been eliminated. Neil's fellow former Blue Team member Nicole Michalik, a 26-year-old from Philadelphia, PA, commented how she wouldn't just turn her back on Neil after he threw the weigh-in since they've been close on campus for the last two months. Kae then explained to Bob that she "almost went home" because she "just felt bad" due to the way Neil had played the game. Bob calmed Kae down and told her to focus on losing weight.
While he wouldn't be surprised if he wasn't trusted again, Neil wanted the opportunity to redeem himself. He would have to start with Isabeau, who was the other member of Neil's duo since their trio fell apart during last week's broadcast when Jez was ousted. She was suffering from a sore foot, and told Neil she was relying on him to post a big number this week at the weigh-in.
Red Team trainer Kim Lyons said she was glad David and Bryan Washington, a 29-year-old from Riverdale, GA, weren't really involved in the drama, while Black Team trainer Jillian Michaels had to tell her squad to pull it together.
Amy Zimmer, a 28-year-old from Rochester, NY who was a member of the Red Team but fought with Kim and began training with Jillian, sat on the outside of the Black Team's circle as they held a little meeting. It looked like Amy had something on her mind, which she apparently did, as she told Jillian that the reason she didn't lose any weight the previous week was because she was "pressured" by Neil to also throw the weigh-in.
Amy is in a trio with former Black Team members Julie and Bill Germanakos, a 40-year-old from Long Island, NY. Amy explained to Jillian that Neil told her the former Red and Blue Teams needed to form an alliance to eliminate former Black Team members as frequently as possible. Jillian consoled Amy and told her to focus on losing weight.
"Get out of the game!" Jillian yelled at Amy, instructing her to stop thinking strategically.
The 11 remaining contestants than met for the episode's reward challenge, and host Alison Sweeney explained the rules. She said each of the four teams would be seated on a platform suspended above water and would have to hold their own weight via a rope. The team that hung on the longest before falling into the water would be awarded with a "very valuable" reward that Alison said would give them "the power to affect the course of the game this week."
Despite being the only team with two members instead of three, Neil and Isabeau were the first to fall into the water. They were followed shortly thereafter by David, Kae and Hollie. Bill did his best to hold his trio's weight, however he eventually fell into the water with Julie and Amy.
The trio of Bryan; Nicole and Ryan Rodriguez, a 29-year-old from Jackson Heights, NY, won the reward challenge. For their reward, each member of their trio would receive a single vote at the upcoming elimination ceremony instead of voting as a trio. However the reward would be void if they were the trio with the lowest percentage of weight-loss at the weigh-in, an added incentive for them to lose weight during the week. Hollie realized the power the reward gave the trio of Bryan, Nicole and Ryan.
"No matter what happens, if they all decide to unite, they're going to have the majority vote," explained Hollie. "So to me that's terrifying because obviously I don't want to go home yet."
The contestants than participated in their last-chance workouts, with Bob pushing Neil extremely hard because he had so much extra weight to lose. Bob also told Kae to "lighten up" and not worry about the pressure she has on her for being seen as one of the biggest threats remaining in the competition.
The Biggest Loser 4's eighth weigh-in then commenced, and the trio (or duo) with the lowest percentage of weight-loss would be up for elimination.
Neil and Isabeau were the first to get on the scale. Neil started at 372 and lost 33 pounds.
"Normally when somebody comes up here and loses 33 pounds, they'd be ecstatic," said a somber Neil. "But I had a lot of time to think this week about what happened last week. Playing the game and throwing the weigh-in, I really realized the whole thing was a mistake and I'm really not proud of what I did at all. There's only one way now that I can right the ship, and that's just trying to beat the scale."
It was good Neil lost so much weight, because Isabeau followed through with her previous comments, beginning the week at 255 pounds and losing no weight. Alison said that Neil's numbers meant he now had the "duel distinction of being the greatest loser in one week and the greatest gainer in one week." Neil and Isabeau lost a total of 33 pounds for a 5.26% weight-loss percentage.
The second team to weigh-in consisted of the reward challenge winners. Nicole started at 244 and lost nine pounds; Bryan began at 297 and shed eight pounds; while Ryan started at 321 and lost 13 pounds. The trio lost a total of 30 pounds for a 3.48% weight-loss percentage.
The third team to weigh-in consisted of Amy, Bill and Julie. Amy started at 265 and lost 11 pounds; Bill began at 261 and shed 10 pounds; and Julie started at 192 and lost six pounds. The trio lost a total of 27 pounds for a 3.76% weight-loss percentage.
The final team to weigh-in consisted of Hollie, Kae and David. Hollie started at 223 and lost five pounds; Kae began at 174 and shed six pounds; and David started at 315 and lost three pounds. The trio lost a total of 14 pounds for a 1.97% weight-loss percentage, meaning they would be up for elimination this week.
"It sucks," said David. "Being a big competitor in a game like this, you've got to be able to bring big numbers to the table every week... When you put forth that effort and you get through that pain and everything else -- and you're still not getting the numbers -- it's hard. It's like pissing in the wind. I work a little harder every week. I just can't seem to break that high-low trend."
All of the contestants were unsure how the elimination vote would turn out, however some commented how Kae was the biggest threat since she's already lost more than 25% of her original weight when the competition started. Amy was the most vocal in wanting to get Kae out of the competition, apparently not taking Jillian's advice and focusing on herself instead of strategy.
"I'm so sick and irritated with how stupid people are!" screamed Amy when she was told the former Blue Team members wouldn't be voting for Kae. "I can't take it!... It's stupid! Mine as well give her the f**king money right now!"
David, Hollie and Kae thought they were all vulnerable at the elimination ceremony.
"I don't want to go home," said David. "But I know at this point that if I have to leave here, I can do it. It's an opportunity for a new challenge. You've got to be able to face those challenges with your chest up and your head up and give them all you've got... I'm not leaving with my head down. I've got too much to be proud of."
The contestants than gathered for the elimination ceremony. The duo of Neil and Isabeau voted for David, as did the trio of Bill, Julie and Amy. However Bryan -- a former Red Team member with David -- cast his single vote to eliminate Kae. But Nicole cast her individual vote for David, and Ryan's vote didn't matter as David was cut from the competition by a 3-1 margin.
"I really do miss my family a lot," said David once his elimination was revealed. "I'm not scared to go home. I'm not scared of what's outside this campus. I want you to know that there'll never be one hard feeling from me because at the end of the day, it's just a game. We're all much bigger than anything that's happened here... I came here to do something, and it wasn't to win a game, it was to win my life back. I've done that, and everybody in this room played a part in that."