Interview: Aubrey Cheney talks about her time on 'The Biggest Loser'
By John Bracchitta, 03/26/2009
Prior to her elimination on Tuesday's broadcast, The Biggest Loser: Couples contestant Aubrey Cheney had received her share of second chances from her Blue team members. Not that she saw any of them coming beforehand.
During a Wednesday media conference call, Cheney, a 28-year-old information and education specialist from Gooding, ID told Reality TV World that she was completely caught off guard by her sister Amanda "Mandi" Kramer's earlier decision to forego a tie vote and get herself eliminated in order to avoid a situation that would have likely sent home Cheney instead.
"I had no idea whatsoever. She kept crying during the elimination... and I was like 'It's okay,' and I told her that I would be okay at home and I could do it and I couldn't understand why she kept crying because she's been there by herself for 30 days already, and I know that she'd be bummed out if I left again," Cheney told Reality TV World.
"But there was just something that wasn't right, so I kept looking at her and I was like 'You didn't vote for yourself, did you?'... and she said no. So I was like okay, but then when [The Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney] said 'Mandi what did you choose?' and she just looked at me and started crying and as soon as she [did] I was devastated, I couldn't even believe."
"It really, really scared me because I was completely in the mentality that I was going home and I was getting prepared for it... and it hit me like a ton of bricks when she said 'You're staying here and it's time for me to step up and be the bigger sister and show you that this is what you need,'" she added. "It really hit me and I got really scared for the first time on the ranch I was gonna be there by myself."
Not to be outdone, one week later Cheney was once again saved unexpectedly after Cathy Skell put herself up for elimination ahead of her, despite the fact that Skell's daughter Kristin Steede, a 28-year-old business owner from Greenville, WI, was also still competing on the ranch.
"That really, really surprised me as well.... I tried to step back and say 'Would I have sacrificed myself for somebody else on the ranch if Mandi were still there,' and I don't know. I think the only person I would've possibly done that for is Kristin," Cheney told Reality TV World. For Cathy to do that, I didn't know that she was gonna do that, until we had discussed right before elimination, and I couldn't believe it."
"Cathy is an amazing person and she's the most selfless person I've ever met," she added. She's amazing and I thought that was really, really special."
When Cheney found herself up for elimination once again -- this time against Filipe Fam, a 26-year-old lube technician from Mesa, AZ, on Tuesday's episode -- she told Reality TV World that while she was not sure how the other contestants would cast their votes, she'd had a feeling that she would be the odd one out due to Fam's connections with those still on the ranch.
"I did figure in my own mind, not by doing the statistics or anything like that, I figured because [Filipe's cousin Sione Fa, a 28-year-old landscape company owner from Maricopa, AZ] was still on the ranch people would respect that and leave Filipe there and vote me home, so I kinda had a good idea that I was gonna be the one going," Cheney told Reality TV World.
After returning home, Cheney had a tougher time adjusting to her time away from the ranch, gaining nine pounds after having trouble splitting her workout schedule with her duties as a mother.
"When I saw I gained that nine pounds I really had to sit down and evaluate what was wrong with me as far as why can't I not grasp this whole concept at home? Why is this so hard for me?" Cheney told reporters. "What I came up with is I need to set a schedule, and the schedule is what really saved my life."
Cheney added that after scheduling out her day she realized that she could shift some daily tasks such as doing laundry to later in the day while she was also cooking or helping out with homework, freeing up more time during the day for her to get the time needed to get her workouts in.
After adopting the new workout schedule, she has been able to trim off the nine pounds she had gained plus some more, dropping her current weight down to 176 pounds.
Cheney told Reality TV World that while her scheduling changes have had some effect on her children she feels that they, if anything, have enjoyed the changes.
"I think they appreciated the change because they're not just sitting at home with me anymore. If it's something that I decide they're gonna be involved with I'll put them in the stroller and jog or I'll put them in the stroller and walk with them and that's something that they really enjoy," she told Reality TV World.
"If it's that I chose t go to the gym, then they get to go somewhere else and play rather than stay home and play, and I think they've really taken a liking to it."
As for the letter that she was shown writing out before her elimination, Cheney said that it had been written for Steede as encouragement to continue working hard on the ranch, despite any gameplay that may occur on the ranch as the competition intensified.
"During that time things were getting a little bit rough, it was down to eight people and game play was definitely trying to shove its way in through the door and we were all trying to just keep our heads on straight," Cheney told Reality TV World.
"But it's really, really hard and I just wanted to write something down that she could have and look at when she felt that she was getting caught up un any sort of mess or drama. I wanted to let her know that [Cathy and I] are out here at home still rooting for her and pushing for her to continue to be honest and play as minimal games as possible and just be there to be healthy."
However, Cheney also talked about a second reason for her rooting on of Steede. Well aware of trainer Jillian Michaels' recent dominance when it came to training eventual champions of the show, Cheney said she is hoping to see Bob Harper -- whom she called "the best [trainer], hands down" -- emerge as the trainer of the season's champion.
"I definitely hope that this is Bob's year," Cheney told reporters. "I hope that he's got people on his team... I hope Kristin wins obviously. But she's being trained by Bob, she definitely has the numbers, she definitely has the percentage to be able to lose that much, and I hope he takes her all the way to the end. Not just for her, but for him too because he is a phenomenal trainer."