Ed Brantley eliminated from 'The Biggest Loser: Families'
By John Bracchitta, 10/09/2008
After failing to drop any weight at The Biggest Loser: Families' fourth week weigh-in, Orange Team member Ed Brantley, a 31-year-old cook from Raleigh, NC, became the second individual contestant eliminated from reality weight-loss show during last night's broadcast of the conclusion of this week's special two-part fourth episode.
"When I arrived at The Biggest Loser campus I weighted 335 lbs. and now I weigh 299 lbs. The Biggest Loser has changed my life in so many ways," Ed said of his time on the show. "My biggest accomplishment here was acknowledging and realizing my addiction to food and knowing that it's always gonna be there with me. What I have taken away from this experience is the fact that nothing can stop me. I'm just a locomotive on the track."
"So America, the next time you see me I'm gonna be about 180bs. I know I look good now, but wait 'till you see me then," he promised following his ouster.
Tuesday night's broadcast of the first part of The Biggest Loser: Families' fourth episode began with Yellow Team member Coleen Skeabeck, a 23-year-old receptionist from Cleveland, OH, coming to grips with the fact that she was alone in the competition after her father -- Jerry Skeabeck, a 51-year-old police sergeant from Cleveland, OH -- had been eliminated at the show's third-week weigh-in.
"I'm the only family team now on this ranch without my other family member and it really, it stings," Coleen said before noting that her father had also served as her support system.
The next day, trainer Jillian Michaels took some time to meet one-on-one with Coleen and make sure she didn't feel any guilty or responsibility for her father's elimination.
"It's not that I feel responsible," Coleen responded. "It's just that I wish I could have helped my dad more."
"The only person that's gonna be able to help your dad is your dad," Jillian said reassuringly. "It's time for you to focus on you."
Although initially scared by the notion of only focusing on herself, Coleen eventually took Jillian's advice and realized the sacrifice her dad had made for her.
"My dad's given me the golden opportunity by letting me be the one to stay here," she said following her discussion with Jillian. "I mean I could not have asked for a better gift."
While speaking with trainer Bob Harper about a series of knee injuries she had been dealing with while working out, Brown team member Vicky Vilcan, a 37-year-old anesthetist from Houma, LA, admitted that she had felt her husband Brady Vilcan, a 36-year-old pharmacist from Houma, LA, had been holding her back at the gym in recent weeks.
"Because [Brady] can run and he can burn his calories in half the time that I can, I have to stay out later and exercise. But I start getting mad and he starts getting rude and I just end up giving in and [leaving the gym early].
Bob noted that married couples are often enablers of each other's bad habits and told Vicky she needed to talk to Brady and make it clear that she needed to work on her own schedule.
"I know what I need to do and I can't let anybody get in my way, not even my husband," Vicky said.
After Vicky confronted Brady on the issue, he agreed to do whatever he could to stop short-circuiting her progress.
Later, both the Purple Team -- consisting of Shellay Cremen, a 51-year-old stay-at-home mom from Royal Oak, MI, and her daughter Amy, a 26-year-old purchasing department representative from Auburn Hills, MI. -- and the Red Team -- consisting of Phillip Parham, a 41-year-old real estate agent, and his wife Amy, a 40-year-old real estate agent, who both live in Greer, SC -- got the chance to cash in the rewards they had earned at The Biggest Loser's initial Week 1 challenge.
Having won a 24-hour trip home, Amy and Phillip went back to Greer, SC where they surprised their sons and began showing them how The Biggest Loser had changed their unhealthy habits. After going on a hike and playing with their kids, Amy and Philip both got emotional when they had to say goodbye and return to the ranch.
"It makes you realize how precious time is, and how quickly life can pass you by if you don't pay," said Amy.
"Words can't express what it's like to see my kids," added Phil.
Having won 24 hours alone with their trainer, Amy and Shellay were surprised when Jillian decided that the day would be spent at a local gym instead of out on the town.
"Shellay and Amy are thinking like they're getting manicures and pedicures and they're gonna see a movie and we're gonna be 'ladies that lunch,'" Jillian said. "Suckers!"
However, while Amy worked out on her own, Jillian spent part of the day focusing on Shellay and trying to eliminate the excuses she had been using to avoid fully committing to her workouts.
After Shellay broke down and cried, Jillian was able to get her to admit that she had been putting up a facade in order look strong.
"You're one breath away from being anything you wanna be. That one breath is a choice, choose it!" Jillian told Shellay, who committed to try and work harder.
That night, the teams went to a Universal Studios backlot where they met The Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney at a giant water tank that had handle and foot bars attached to chains hanging into the water.
Sweeney told the teams that, after balancing themselves on the bars, the water surrounding them would slowly drain out and force each contestant to balance themselves on their own.
The winners, she continued, would receive a package from home as well as VIP passes for their family to the Universal Studios theme park.
After balancing on the bars for 105 minutes and watching the water drain down to their feet, only the Brown Team's Vicky and the Purple Team's Amy remained.
"I wanted it really bad. I really miss my kids and I would do anything to hear from them right now," Vicky said.
"The game was definitely a game of mental toughness, and I wasn't giving up no matter how bad my feet hurt or no matte how bad my arms felt. I wanted to win," added Amy.
However, after 107 minutes, Amy's foot slipped and she fell into the water, winning the challenge for Vicky.
When given the chance to let a second team receive a package from home, Vicky immediately chose the Purple Team and credited Amy for trying her best during the challenge.
"She was second and she hung in there with me. And I know that if that bar hadn't have slipped that she'd have been up there a lot longer," Vicky said before receiving a teary thank you from Amy and Shellay.
The following day, Jillian launched into a tirade after learning that none of her teams had performed their "homework" -- extra work in the gym -- and questioned their dedication before telling the Purple Team's Amy to leave the gym after she laughed during Jillian's rant.
"You know, I'm gonna watch you go home one-by one-and be like this. Goodbye!" she screamed as she waved her hand. I can't wait until [next season], when I get someone who cares!"
Wednesday night's broadcast of the second part of The Biggest Loser: Families' fourth episode picked up where Tuesday's broadcast ended and continued with Jillian's verbal tirade.
"When someone yells at you the way Jillian did, the first instinct is 'Screw you, I can do this on my own," said Amy after she left the gym.
However, Amy soon returned to the gym and went straight to a treadmill in the corner.
"This is a good choice Amy, good choice!" Jillian said as she watched Amy resume her workout.
"It's just been a really different, kind of crazy, emotional roller coaster of a week, and I'm hoping that going through all of these experience [it's] just going to help me succeed in the upcoming weigh in," Amy said later while also admitting that Jillian's anger had been justified.
Alone in the gym that night, Coleen also seemed to take note of Jillian's words as tried to push herself harder so she could stay in the competition.
"I'm the only person on this ranch without a family member. I'm by myself. Everyone else has their partner to rely on, to lean on, to work out with, to walk with, to eat with, everything," she said sadly. "[But] what doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
Before teams participated in their last chance workouts, Bob admitted that he had been pushing his teams hard during the week.
"We have been pushing so hard this week. They are sore, they are exhausted," Bob told his teams. "We've got to focus on this last chance workout because as hard as you worked yesterday means nothing."
"The last chance workout was more like a blowout," Ed said with a smile. "Not to sound crazy, but I like it!"
Jillian was proud of how she had helped change many of her contestants' mindsets for the better, but had reservations about how her teams would perform at the week's weigh-in.
"I've been doing a lot of emotional work with these girls, but they didn't do their homework. So I don't know what gonna happen at that weigh-in," she said. "All I can hope is that the work we did in the gym was enough."
That night, the teams gathered for their weigh-in and Alison congratulated them for completing one month at The Biggest Loser ranch.
However Alison also reiterated that the elimination rules from last week had remained, and that the team with the lowest percentage of weight loss for the week -- including Coleen's "team of one" -- would have to send one of their players home.
After finishing in fifth place last week, Brown team members Brady (9 lbs) and Vicky (93 lbs) came in first place at the week's weigh in, netting a 2.3% loss.
Purple Team members Amy (5 lbs.) and Shellay (4 lbs.) followed with 2.19%.
Pink Team members Renee Wilson, a 46-year-old event manager from Fort Worth, TX, (6 lbs.) and her daughter Michelle Aguilar, a 26-year-old assistant director from Fort Worth, TX, (3 lbs.) followed with 1.95%.
Red Team couple Amy Parham (5 lbs.) and Phil Parham (3 lbs.) dropped from first place to third with a net weight loss of 1.62%.
Representing the Yellow team by herself, Colleen (3 lbs.) followed with 1.54%
Heba lost 8 lbs. -- more than her share of the 9 lbs. her Orange team needed to lose to stay above Colleen -- however Ed lost no weight, resulting in a combined 1.4% weight loss that put the team in last place and forced them to choose one member to go home.
"I can't even be happy about this. It's so bad, I'm overjoyed but it wasn't enough and I'm not sure if it's enough to keep us here and we need to be here bad," Heba said as a dejected Ed looked down at the scale following the revelation of their weights.
"I just don't know. I did the work. I ate right. I don't know. I'm sorry," Ed responded.
Ed and Heba were sent to discuss who to kick off. While Heba reasoned that it might be a better decision to keep Ed because of his greater chance for a large weight loss the following week, Ed couldn't be convinced that he should remain over his wife.
"I don't know what to do, but in the interest of your health, and our future together, [and] us wanting to have children someday, then you need to be here," Ed told Heba. "I want to do what's best for you."
When they met with the other teams to reveal their decision, Ed said they'd based their decision on the best interests of their family rather than their best chances of winning the competition.
"We didn't come here to pay any games, we came here with the intention of being healthy people," he told the teams. "We came here with the intention of starting a new future for ourselves so we can bring children into this world in a healthy way without the habits that we came here with. And that being said, we're winning the fight against all the odds and that's something that can never be taken away from me or Heba."
"We're not here to play a game, while some people may be here for a big check, we're not," Heba added before revealing that they had decided to send Ed home.
Alison congratulated the team on the 64 lbs. they had lost collectively before sending Ed home.
In the post-show update, the show revealed Ed had now lost a total of 85 lbs. since his initial The Biggest Loserweigh-in.