Home viewers to once again decide 'The Biggest Loser's third finalist
By Steve Rogers and John Bracchitta, 12/03/2008
Although The Biggest Losertrainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels objected to it last season, NBC has announced that home viewers will once again get to decide the third finalist that will be eligible to participate in the weigh-in that will determine the $250,000 winner of this fall's The Biggest Loser: Families edition.
The Biggest Loser: Families' remaining four contestants -- Michelle Aguilar, a 26-year-old assistant director from Ft. Worth, TX; Heba Salama, a 30-year-old pharmaceutical sales representative from Raleigh, NC; Ed Brantley, a 31-year-old chef from Raleigh, NC; and Vicky Vilcan, a 37-year-old anesthetist from Houma, LA -- will all weigh-in on next week's penultimate episode and the two contestants that post the week's highest weight-loss percentage will automatically advance to the grand prize weigh-in.
However rather than following the show's usual format and letting those two contestants vote to determine which of the week's bottom two weight losers will get eliminated from the competition and which one would get to join them in the grand prize weigh-in, The Biggest Loserhost Alison Sweeney will reveal that home viewer votes will determine which one gets to be the weigh-in's third finalist.
The contestant who receives the most home viewer votes will then be revealed during the The Biggest Loser: Families' live finale broadcast on Tuesday, December 16 at 8PM ET/PT on NBC.
After the identity of the third finalist is revealed, the three remaining finalists will then participate in the grand prize weigh-in and the contestant that posts the highest weight-loss percentage since the start of the competition will claim the show's $250,000 grand prize.
Like last season, the Final 4 contestant that doesn't get to advance to the grand prize weigh-in will still be eligible to participate in The Biggest Loser: Families' "at home" weigh-in that will determine which previously eliminated contestant will win a $100,000 consolation prize.
Last season, The Biggest Loser: Couples contestant Roger Schultz became the season's third finalist after he won the show's first-ever home viewer vote by less than 100,000 votes.
Harper and Michaels had expressed disapproval about the decision to give the show's viewers a voice and argued that it shifted the competition's focus from the contestants' weight-loss numbers to their popularity with viewers.
"I was disappointed because The Biggest Loser's not a popularity contest. It's about numbers," Michaels said at the time. "I was just disappointed."
"I think that it's a really tricky thing because America hasn't seen everything that all these four contestants have gone through," Harper added. "I'm kind of uncomfortable about it because they don't have all the information. I think we all talk about needing information, and it's just if they get all what they've seen on the show, it's just still so much more than that."