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Erik Chopin wins NBC's 'The Biggest Loser 3' by losing 214 pounds


By Reality TV World staff, 12/14/2006 

With a final weight loss figure that represented more than half his original body weight, Erik Chopin, a 36-year-old from West Islip, New York, was crowned The Biggest Loser's third season winner during last night's live finale broadcast of the NBC reality show.

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Erik, a married Long Island deli owner and father of two, had begun the competition weighing 407 pounds. After losing 124 pounds during his stay at The Biggest Loser ranch (an all-time The Biggest Loser record), Erik lost another 90 pounds after returning home, giving him a total weight loss of 214 pounds and a finale weigh-in weight of 193 pounds -- a 52.58% weight loss percentage.

As The Biggest Loser 3's "biggest loser," Erik won a $250,000 cash prize. Although they didn't win the show's grand prize, Kai Hibbard and Mark "Wylie" Wylie, the two other The Biggest Loser 3 finalists who participated in the finale's Final 4 finalists weigh-in, also received cash prizes.

As the show's runner-up, Kai, a 27-year-old from Eagle River, Alaska, received $50,000. Kai had started the competition at 262 pounds and lost 77 pounds -- an all-time female The Biggest Loser contestant record -- while at the ranch. She lost another 41 pounds after returning home, giving her a total weight loss of 118 pounds (another all-time female The Biggest Loser contestant record) and a finale weigh-in weight of 144 pounds -- a 45.04% weight loss percentage.

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Wylie, a 40-year-old from Miami Beach, Florida, received $25,000 for finishing third. Wylie had begun the competition at 307 pounds and lost 90 pounds during his stay at the ranch. He lost another 39 pounds after returning home, giving him a total weight loss of 129 pounds and a finale weigh-in of 178 pounds -- a 42.02% weight loss percentage.

Heather Hansen, The Biggest Loser 3's fourth Final 4 finalist, did not participate in the finale weigh-in. Shortly after returning home, the 36-year-old West Bountiful, Utah resident became pregnant with her second child. She received a "dream nursery" consolation prize instead.

Prior to The Biggest Loser 3's Final 4 weight-in, the show's twelve previously eliminated finalists and thirty-four "at-home" semi-finalists that each represented one of the rest of the United States' fifty states participated in a pair of weigh-ins of their own.


Trainer Bob Harper celebrates with Erik Chopin after his The Biggest Loser 3 victory is announced (photo credit NBC/Chris Haston.)
Brian Starkey, a 33-year-old stay-at-home from Valley Village, California, won the weigh-in of the seasons's twelve previously eliminated contestants. After beginning the competition at 308 pounds and losing 68 pounds during his seven week stay at the ranch, Brian lost another 88 pounds after returning home and weighed 152 pounds during his final weigh-in -- a 50.65% weight loss percentage. Interestingly, had Brian been allowed to compete in the finale finalist weigh-in, his weight loss percentage would have placed him just behind Erik for second place so perhaps it was aptly fitting that Brian's $100,000 prize was double the $50,000 Final 4 finalist runner-up prize that Kai received.

Just behind Brian in the previously eliminated contestant weigh-in was Jaron Tate, a 27-year-old from Hot Springs, Arkansas. After weighing 323 pounds when he visited The Biggest Loser ranch for the finalists selection process and wasn't picked to be one of the season's fourteen initial finalists, Jaron earned his way back onto the ranch by losing 75 pounds and ranking as the male "at home" semi-finalist who achieved the greatest percentage of independent weight loss. Jaron weighed 163 pounds during his finale weigh-in, a 49.54% weight loss percentage that left him three pounds behind Brian percentage-wise. Unlike the finale finalists runner-up, Jaron didn't receive a consolation prize for his near victory.

Poppi Kramer, a 34-year-old from River Edge, New Jersey, defeated Matthew McNutt, a 31-year-old from Boothbay, Maine, in a weigh-in faceoff between the two "at home" semi-finalists who had achieved the greatest percentage of weight loss. Kramer, who had weighed 232 pounds when she visited The Biggest Loser ranch for the finalists selection process, weighed in at 115 pounds (a 50.43% weight loss percentage) during the finale. McNutt, who had weighed 366 pounds during the finals selection process, weighed in at 190 pounds (a 48.09% weight loss percentage) during the finale. As the season's biggest "at home" loser, Kramer won $50,000.

According to The Biggest Loser host Caroline Rhea, nine of the thirty-four "at-home" semi-finalists lost over 100 pounds during the competition. Collectively, The Biggest Loser 3's fifty participants lost 4,281 pounds, a nearly 86 pound average.

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