James Crutchfield gets eliminated from 'The Biggest Loser: Couples'
By Christopher Rocchio, 01/06/2010
James Crutchfield, a 30-year-old human resources director from Orlando, FL, became the first contestant eliminated from The Biggest Loser: Couples during last night's ninth-season premiere of the NBC reality weight-loss series.
"Even though I've only been here for a week, I learned a lifetime full of lessons," said James after his ouster.
"I can say it was the hardest thing I ever, ever did -- but I survived. The James before The Biggest Loser would have sat at home gnawing on a block of cheese watching TV and would have been too afraid to get up and exercise. But that's not James anymore."
The Biggest Loser: Couples' premiere episode began with the 11 teams of two each stepping on the scale in front of family members and friends in their respective hometowns before leaving for the ranch.
Daris George, a 25-year-old salesman/deliveryman from Ardmore, OK, weighed in at 346 lbs., while his mom Cheryl George, a 50-year-old store owner also from Ardmore, weighed in at 227 lbs..In ,
Patti Anderson, a 55-year-old business owner from Lafayette, CA, weighed in at 243 lbs., while her daughter Stephanie Anderson, a 29-year-old radio sales executive from West Hollywood, CA, weighed in at 264 lbs..
John Crutchfield, a 30-year-old senior marketing manager from Orlando, weighed in at 477 lbs., while James, his twin brother, weighed in at 485 lbs..
Ashley Johnston, a 27-year-old manager/esthetician from Knoxville, TN, weighed in at 374 lbs., while her mom Sherry Johnston, a 51-year-old non-profit administrator also from Knoxville, weighed in at 218 lbs..
Darrell Hough, a 46-year-old press operator/mechanic from Ann Arbor, MI, weighed in at 413 lbs., while his daughter Andrea Hough, a 24-year-old executive assistant also from Ann Arbor, weighed in at 298 lbs..
Cherita Andrews, a 50-year-old homemaker from Houston, TX, weighed in at 277 lbs., and her daughter Vicky Andrews, a 22-year-old student also from Houston, weighed in at 358 lbs..
Miggy Cancel, a 48-year-old chef from Pemberton, NJ, weighed in at 240 lbs., and her daughter Migdalia Sebren, a 28-year-old homemaker from Sanford, NC, weighed in at 265 lbs..
Melissa Morgan, a 39-year-old attorney from Aspermont, TX, weighed in at 233 lbs., and her husband Lance Morgan, a 38-year-old rancher also from Aspermont, weighed in at 365 lbs..
Sam Poueu, a 24-year-old youth football coach and security guard from Rohnert Park, CA, weighed in at 372 lbs., while his cousin Koli Palu, a 29-year-old football coach and head of security also from Rohnert Park, weighed in at 403 lbs..
O'Neal Hampton, Jr., a 51-year-old U.S. Postal Service station manager from Minneapolis, MN, weighed in at 389 lbs., and his daughter SunShine Hampton, a 24-year-old restaurant server also from Minneapolis, weighed in at 275 lbs..
Maria Ventrella, a 51-year-old corporate travel agent from Chicago, weighed in at 281 lbs., and her son Michael Ventrella, a 30-year-old deejay also from Chicago, weighed in at 526 lbs. -- the show's heaviest contestant ever.
The 11 teams then traveled to the ranch where they were met by host Alison Sweeney, who explained the rule for their first challenge. Instead of running a marathon -- which had been the first challenge for the past two seasons -- the contestants would have to cover 26.2 miles on a stationary bike in The Biggest Loser gym.
The first nine teams to finish would earn a spot in the house, while the two teams that finished last would be asked to leave immediately. In addition, Alison revealed that the team that finished first would receive immunity at the season's first weigh-in.
The competition commenced and the Green Team of Migdalia and Miggy finished the bike ride first, winning immunity. They were followed the Gray Team of Sam and Koli, Black Team Darrell and Andrea, and Orange Team Cheryl and Daris.
Around the 15-mile mark, Blue Team member Cherita began to experience cramping and was tended to by Dr. Rob Huizenga. While she was determined to stay on the bike, Dr. H wouldn't allow it.
"When I heard him say, 'It's over. You're off the bike,' I couldn't believe it," opined Cherita.
"In the moment that they took my mother off the bike, she was catching cramps the whole time, all of me wanted to stop and help her," said Victoria. "I knew that she was going to be okay, and I knew that I had to finish this race for the both of us."
The Pink Team of Ashley and Sherry was the next to finish the 26.2 miles, followed by Red Team Lance and Melissa, White Team Maria and Michael, and Brown Team James and John.
With only two spots left in the house, it was down to Cherita and Victoria, Yellow Team O'Neal and SunShine, and Purple Team Patti and Stephanie. The Purple Team was the next to finish, sending the Yellow and Blue teams packing.
On their limousine rides, the Yellow Team was stopped by Bob Harper and the Blue Team was stopped by Jillian Michaels -- and both trainers explained to the teams that they'd be going home for 30 days before returning to the ranch to weigh-in. The team with the highest weight-loss percentage would be allowed back in the competition.
"You'll see us in 30 days, and we will be back on the ranch," boasted O'Neal.
"The game is on. We're in the fight of our lives," said Cherita. "We're going to do everything we can to come back to the ranch."
The next day the nine remaining teams began their workouts -- and Bob and Jillian were surprised at how heavy the cast was.
"We have the biggest group I've ever seen," said Bob.
"The cast just gets bigger and bigger every year," added Jillian. "It's not a good thing. This is the first time I feel a little overwhelmed. We have our work cut out for us."
Similar to last season, Bob and Jillian also revealed that they'd initially be working together with the contestants in the gym.
After a few days of difficult work in the gym, the teams participated in their last-chance workouts. James told Bob he felt "disadvantaged" due to a previous knee injury he suffered from high school football.
"The majority of the teams are busting their butts. Unfortunately I'm limited in what I can do," he said in a confessional. "I can do a bike, and that's actually about it right now as far as cardio in there."
Bob called James a "mess" and knew he had to keep him "focused," so he sent him John to the pool for some extra exercise.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said James. "I'll be damned if I'm going to give up that opportunity.
The Biggest Loser: Couples' first weigh-in then commenced. Alison explained that the team with the lowest weight-loss percentage would fall below the yellow line, and one member would subsequently be eliminated based on votes cast by the other contestants -- who would vote as teams and not individuals.
Since they had immunity, Migdalia and Miggy went first. Migdalia started at 265 and lost 16 while Miggy started at 240 and lost 13 for a combined weight-loss percentage of 5.74%.
The Gray Team went next. Sam started at 372 and lost 18 while Koli began at 403 and dropped 29 for a combined weight-loss percentage of 6.06%. They were followed by the Orange Team, as Cheryl started at 227 and lost 14 while Daris began at 346 and shed 29 for a combined weight-loss percentage of 7.50%.
The Black Team was next to go, as Andrea started at 298 and dropped 14 while Darrell began at 413 and lost 30 for a combined weight-loss percentage of 6.19%. They were followed by the Brown Team, as James started at 485 and lost 23 while John began at 484 and also lost 23 for a combined weight-loss percentage of 4.75%.
They were followed by the Red Team, as Melissa started at 233 and shed 19 while Lance began at 365 and dropped 21 for a combined weight-loss percentage of 6.69%.
The Purple Team was the next to step on the scale. Patti started at 243 and lost 23 pounds while Stephanie began at 264 and dropped 18 for a combined weight-loss percentage of 8.09%. In addition, Patti lost the highest amount of weight in one week of any female contestant ever on the show.
The Pink Team went next. Ashley started at 374 and lost 21 while Sherry began at 218 and dropped 17 for a combined weight-loss percentage of 6.42%.
The White Team was the last to weigh-in. Maria started at 281 and lost 13 while Michael began at 526 and dropped 34 for a combined weight-loss percentage of 5.82%. Michael also lost more weight in one week than any other contestant in The Biggest Loser history.
John and James fell below the yellow line, meaning a member of the Brown Team would be going home. The twin brothers pled their case to the other contestants.
"His knee is really, really bad," said John. "But my thinking is there's no better place in the world for him than right here. He can do the pool. So I guess I'm sacrificing myself."
In a confessional, John admitted he didn't want to go home but didn't think his brother could lose the weight at home.
"There's no other choice in my mind," he added.
James pointed out to the other contestants that he does have a swimming pool at home.
"I know you're self-sacrificing and we both were going to do that for each other, but you can go farther and you know it," he told John.
John said he has good support at home but also has a baby and would probably have to go back to work right away, while James said he'd have the ability to focus on nothing but his health and not have to worry about work and a baby at home.
"I don't know which way they're going to go," said James in a confessional. "If they go from a game-play perspective, they're going to keep me here and their going to send John home. Or they could go the total other way."
The contestants then arrived for the first elimination ceremony. The Green Team voted to oust John, however the Black, Pink, Purple, Red and White teams all voted for James -- who was eliminated without the Orange or Gray teams' votes being revealed.
"I'm not only going to do it, I'm going to win the at-home prize," boasted James. "I know John doesn't understand it now, but it was the best decision. You've been handed a gift to stay here."
In a post-elimination update, James revealed he has lost 100 lbs. in the two months since leaving the ranch and has also inspired his wife to lose 24 lbs..
The Biggest Loser: Couples' next episode will air Tuesday, January 12 at 8PM ET/PT on NBC.
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