Jez Luckett the seventh contestant cut from 'The Biggest Loser'
By Christopher Rocchio, 10/24/2007
Jez Luckett had control of the game before it was ripped away by a competitor he thought was a teammate, and as a result, the 24-year-old from Garden City, KS became the seventh contestant cut from The Biggest Loser's fourth season during last night's broadcast of the NBC reality weight-loss competition series.
"I realize that this isn't a failure. I have nothing to be ashamed of," said Jez following his ouster. "I'm so much stronger than I ever could have possibly imagined. The health and the happiness that I'm going to have are going to be a constant reminder 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years down the road."
The Biggest Loser 4's seventh episode began with host Alison Sweeney meeting the Red, Blue and Black Teams in the campus' kitchen, where poker tables were arranged with various fatty foods serving as "chips." Alison informed the 12 remaining contestants that the teams would be dissolved and instead they would be divided into trios.
The 12 contestants then participated in one hand of High-Low, betting their "chips" if they believed the card they were dealt would trump their competitors' cards. The catch was that the "chips" -- or calories -- that were wagered would have to be eaten by the person doing the bidding. The contestant who won the card game would have the opportunity to divide the group into four teams of three.
Kae Whang, a 27-year-old from Clark, NJ, was the only contestant who didn't pay the two-chip ante, explaining it wasn't worth eating all those calories if she lost. As the number of calories being wagered grew larger and larger, more and more contestants folded with the same thinking as Kae. Eventually Amy Zimmer, a 28-year-old former Red Team member from Rochester, NY, went all-in -- a total of 1,7500 calories -- and Jez followed. Amy revealed she had a nine, which was bested by Jez' ace.
"I had a premonition that Amy was bluffing," said Jez. "I think really she just wanted to get a couple peanut-butter cups down."
Alison said Jez had one hour to divide the contestants into four teams of three, and he received feedback from everybody about what they thought he should do in terms of strategy.
"This decision is going to be more difficult than I signed up for," commented Jez. "You start wondering where your allegiances lie, and there's a lot of factors that go into it."
Kae was teamed with former Red Team member David Griffin, a 31-year-old from Cedar Hill, TN, and former Black Team member Hollie Self, a 28-year-old from Phoenix, AZ. Former Black Team members Bill Germanakos, a 40-year-old from Long Island, NY, and Julie Hadden, a 34-year-old from Jacksonville, FL, were paired with Amy.
Former Blue Team members Nicole Michalik, a 26-year-old from Philadelphia, PA, and Ryan Rodriguez, a 29-year-old from Jackson Heights, NY, were teamed with former Red Team member Bryan Washington, a 29-year-old from Riverdale, GA.
As for his own trio, Jez paired himself with former Blue Team member Neil Tejwani, a 25-year-old from Marblehead, MA, as well as former Black Team member Isabeau Miller, a 21-year-old from Franklin, TN. While Jez explained that he made the trios "even," he added he also "took some personal game into consideration." Julie thought Jez chose Neil and Isabeau for his own trio because their the biggest male and female threats in the competition, thus removing a target from himself.
Despite the new trios, Alison informed the contestants that they were allowed to workout with whichever of the three trainers they wanted to. The trio with the lowest percentage of weight-loss at the next weigh-in would be up for elimination, with the other contestants voting as trios.
The trainers -- Kim Lyons, Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels -- then met the contestants and learned what had happened. Amy then dropped the bomb that she no longer wanted to train with Kim because she felt like she was "thrown under the bus" by the Red Team trainer the previous week. Kim had suggested the Red Team vote to eliminate Amy, but they didn't listen to her advice and instead there was a tie, and the Blue Team instead chose to boot Phil Hawk.
Amy was the only contestant who chose not to work with his or her original trainer, instead opting to train with Jillian, who assured her better results on the scale. Kim confronted Amy -- claiming she felt "disrespected" -- and Amy said she felt the same way.
"I think if you had your way I would have went home," said Amy to Kim.
"It hurts me so bad when you look at me and act like I don't care if you're here," Kim responded.
"That's how I feel," Amy fired back.
"I would never wish you off this campus... Ever," said Kim, adding she's been training Amy long-term so she can sustain it once filming for the show ends or she's eliminated, whichever comes first. Amy said her decision was made and she was training with Jillian, but didn't want Kim to take it "personally." Too late for that.
"I'm hurt. I'm hurt by what she's done to me," said Kim. "I feel like with Amy, I built this amazing foundation. And now, somebody else is going to build that sky rise on my foundation that I spent so much time working on."
Amy then began to train with Jillian and commented howshe feels "kind of lost" with her new trainer. She added it's a "hard transition," but is "hoping for the best." Isabeau wasn't happy Amy was training with the former Black Team, claiming Amy's causing "a ton of drama" and adding it's "hard to workout in that environment." Hollie also felt Amy had "infringed" on the former Black Team's time with Jillian.
The trios then met Alison for The Biggest Loser's next reward challenge. She explained a member of each trio would have to push a heavy metal arm in a circle while the other two members of the team stood on it, increasing the weight. Trio members could switch roles as frequently as possible. The first trio to complete 75 revolutions would see each of its members win a new home gym.
Bill's strategy was to grab an early lead for his trio -- and it went perfectly -- as he, Julie and Amy only lost the lead for a few revolutions before quickly regaining it and winning the challenge.
"I was really happy, not only for myself but for my teammates as well," said Bill.
As the trios participated in their last-chance workouts before the weigh-in, Jillian commented how she felt Kim didn't push Amy hard enough and as a result stopped her from reaching her potential.
The Biggest Loser 4's seventh weigh-in then commenced, and the trio with the lowest percentage of weight-loss would be up for elimination.
Bill's trio went first. He started the week at 268 and lost seven pounds; Julie began at 195 and lost three pounds; while Amy started at 265 and didn't shed anything. The trio lost a total of 10 pounds for a 1.37% weight-loss percentage.
"I feel awful to go from Kim to Jillian... and the fact that I lost nothing?" said Amy. "I'm just really disappointed right now."
The second trio to weigh in consisted of Bryan, Ryan and Nicole. Bryan started the week at 304 and lost seven pounds; Nicole began at 248 and lost four pounds; and Ryan started at 320 and actually gained a pound. The trio lost a total of 10 pounds for a 1.15% weight-loss percentage.
The third trio to weigh in consisted of Kae, Hollie and David. Kae began the week at 178 and lost four pounds; David started at 325 and shed eight pounds; and Hollie started at 225 and lost two pounds. The trio lost a total of 14 pounds for a 1.93% weight-loss percentage. Despite only dropping two pounds, Hollie was still pleased considering she was away from The Biggest Loser campus for a few days due to her mother passing away.
"I'm so relieved. I didn't think I was going to lose any weight," said an emotional Hollie. "That two feels like 10 to me, so I'm really happy with it considering what happened last week... losing my mom, it was really hard... I'm just happy there's some progress being made.
Jez' trio was the last to get on the scale. Jez started at 295 and lost six pounds and Isabeau began at 259 and dropped four pounds. Neil had to lose only one pound to assure his trio wouldn't face elimination, but like Ryan he gained weight... 17 POUNDS worth of weight. Needless to say, everyone was absolutely stunned as the trio gained seven pounds and had a weight-GAIN percentage of 0.77%.
"My heart dropped. I couldn't believe it," said Neil. "I let my team down. That's what makes this so hard... I don't know what else to say."
With the weigh-in in the books, Neil headed straight for bed. However the other contestants gathered in the kitchen, and Isabeau commented how there's "no human way that you can gain 17 pounds in a week," and openly wondered if it was some sort of strategy. With everyone expecting an explanation, David told Neil he had to come back downstairs and say what happened. Julie served as the groups' spokesperson.
"I know it sounds bad Neil -- and it's just being a devil's advocate here -- but it is hard to believe that someone can gain 17 pounds without game play," she said.
Neil said he was aware of how it looked, but assured them he "would never" throw a weigh-in.
"I couldn't gain 17 pounds in a week if I wanted to!" he added. Most of the other contestants weren't buying what Neil was selling, and he eventually fessed up to what happened in a confessional.
"It wasn't supposed to be that obvious," he whispered. "F**k! I promised my Blue Team before we even broke-up that my goal was to keep myself here and I'd do everything in my power to try and keep everyone of them here. So I made a conscious decision that I was going to throw the weigh-in... I knew I had to start playing the game."
Jez was probably the least happy out of everyone since he saddled his trio with Neil.
"You try to be fair and honest in shaping these teams, and try to give yourself a little bit of an advantage, and that's what I felt like I did," he said. "For it to blow up in my face like this, it just doesn't make sense."
Neil then had to tell Bob about the 17 pounds he gained and described his demeanor as "terrified."
"Are you kidding me?!" said a baffled Bob when Neil told him. "Seventeen f**king pounds! Are you f**king kidding me?!"
No joke Bob, and while Neil apologized, his trainer was still disappointed and called it a "slap in the face."
"I'm so f**king mad that I can't even see straight right now," he told Neil.
Jillian discussed what happened with her former Black Team, and supposed it was Neil's attempt to have either Isabeau or Jez booted. Jillian confronted Neil about it, but he just laughed her off. Jez couldn't even work-out before the elimination ceremony.
"It threw me for such a loop," he commented. "Just the deception and the idea that I actually could go home. Just for a short period of time it brought back all those fears of failure."
The contestants than gathered for the elimination ceremony, and Alison noticed it was a "somber" room because of what Neil had done.
"Everyone knows exactly what I did and the game is on," he responded.
Julie, Bill and Amy voted to eliminate Neil. However Ryan, Bryan and Nicole as well as David, Kae and Hollie voted to oust Jez, who looked despondent when he realized he was going home.
"I leave with my character intact and my integrity... and some raging triceps," said Jez. "I didn't see this coming."