Jim Germanakos the fifth contestant cut from 'The Biggest Loser 4'
By Christopher Rocchio, 10/10/2007
The formerly secret Black Team finally lost its first weigh-in, and as a result Jim Germanakos, a 40-year-old from Long Island, NY who was competing alongside his twin brother Bill, became the fifth contestant cut from The Biggest Loser's fourth season during last night's broadcast of the NBC reality weight-loss competition series.
"I really did value the whole experience here and I'm very appreciative for every minute of it," said Jim once his elimination was revealed. "I guess the thing I'm probably most proud of about the whole thing is that I was able to dedicate everything to this. To leave the comforts of home, to leave the kids and wife, to be able to come in here and do this for myself and make my life greater."
The Biggest Loser 4's fifth episode began with host Alison Sweeney informing the 14 remaining contestants that The Biggest Loser camps would be shutting down for a week, so they'd be taking a trip to Jamaica. However since trainers Kim Lyons, Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels would be going too, it couldn't be completely viewed as a vacation. Bob said the trip would also reveal if the contestants were capable of making the "right choices" in the outside world.
As the teams arrived in Jamaica, the Red Team was without Bryan Washington, a 29-year-old from Riverdale, GA, who was sent to a Los Angeles hospital to see a doctor because he experienced chest pains 10 minutes into his most recent workout. Kim told Bryan's Red teammates she was not sure when they could expect him to arrive.
After overcoming some obstacles at the resort's buffet, Alison shared some of her own weight-loss struggles with the contestants. An argument also erupted between Jillian and Black Team member Jez Luckett, a 24-year-old from Garden City, KS, who wanted to have an alcoholic beverage, much to his trainer's chagrin.
"I can understand the desire to let loose," said Jillian. "But the thing of it is the desire to let loose has brought them here. if they can't show some restraint and some discipline for one week, what kind of discipline and restraint are they going to have for the rest of their lives?"
Kim organized some fun aquatic workouts for the Red Team in the resort's pool; Bob conducted a yoga class with his Blue Team; and Jillian trained her Black Team hard on the beach.
"We're pretty used to the sand," said Jillian, a reference to the Black Team's first few days in the competition when they remained secretive and exercised in the dessert rather than at The Biggest Loser campus.
The three teams then met for the reward challenge at the beach. Alison explained the rules, with four members of each team having to stand on one of three platforms in the water. A team member would have to use balance to stand on an inflatable raft and pull themselves to shore via a rope before sending the raft back out and pulling in the rest of their team. The first team with all members off the raft and on the beach won an afternoon of pampering.
Prior to the challenge starting, Bryan returned and joined his Red Team, saying he was medically cleared to compete after feeling some "stress" in his chest.
"It was good to see everyone," he said. "It was almost like coming home to a small family reunion. It was a good feeling, but I was ready to spank the Black and Blue Teams on the challenge."
The reward challenge then commenced. Phil Hawk, a 27-year-old from Powell, OH, was the first on the rafter for the Red Team; Ryan Rodriguez, a 29-year-old from Jackson Heights, NY, was the first for the Blue Team; and Bill was the first for the Black Team.
While all three had trouble with their balance, Bill eventually got the hang of it and pulled himself ashore. He was able to pull Julie Hadden, a 34-year-old from Jacksonville, FL; his brother Jim; and Jez across and onto the beach before Phil and Ryan even made it for their teams. The Black Team won the reward challenge, breaking the Red Team's previously undefeated 4 and 0 mark.
The three teams than participated in their last-chance workouts in Jamaica -- and the Black Team received their reward -- before boarding a plane and flying back to the States for the next weigh-in.
The Biggest Loser 4's fifth weigh-in then commenced, with the two squads having the greatest percentage of weight loss following the fifth week being safe while the other would have to eliminate a member.
The Black Team was the first to be weighed in. Isabeau Miller, a 21-year-old from Franklin, TN, started at 272 and lost eight pounds; Bill began at 285 and shed six pounds; Jez started at 308 and dropped six pounds; Julie began at 203 and lost four pounds; Jim started at 314 and dropped seven pounds; and Hollie Self, a 28-year-old from Phoenix, AZ, began at 236 and shed eight pounds.
The Black Team's total weight loss following the fifth week was 39 pounds, a 2.41% weight-loss percentage.
The Red Team was the second to be weighed in. David Griffin, a 31-year-old from Cedar Hill, TN, started at 337 and lost nine pounds; Bryan began at 319 and despite missing a few days still shed 11 pounds; Amy Zimmer, a 28-year-old from Rochester, NY, started at 278 and dropped 10 pounds; and Phil began at 358 and lost 12 pounds.
The Red Team's total weight loss following the fifth week was 42 pounds, a 3.25% weight-loss percentage.
With the Red Team already safe from elimination, the Blue Team was the last to be weighed in. Ryan started at 341 and lost 10 pounds; Nicole Michalik, a 26-year-old from Philadelphia, PA, began at 258 and dropped six pounds; Kae Whang, a 27-year-old from Clark, NJ, started at 191 and shed seven pounds; and Neil Tejwani, a 25-year-old from Marblehead, MA, began at 375 and lost 10 pounds.
The Blue Team's total weight loss following the fifth week was 33 pounds -- a 2.83% weight-loss percentage -- meaning they had bested the Black Team, which would have to participate in its first elimination ceremony. Hollie couldn't be booted because she had the highest percentage of weight loss for the Black Team at the weigh-in.
For the first time in the competition, the Black Team was forced to strategize. Isabeau said she and Hollie "clicked" and the two discussed wanting to see a woman win The Biggest Loser for the first time in the show's history. They approached Julie about voting out either Bill or Jim, but she was unsure who she was voting for.
Jim noticed the girls discussing their options and strategized with his brother, as the two knew they would never cast a vote against one another. Julie approached Jez and asked what he wanted to do, and they contemplated causing a tie, which would mean the Red Team would determine which member of the Black Team was eliminated. However Julie said "the scariest thing of all" is going to a tie because you "never want to give someone else the power."
"I want to stay here as long as I can," said Jim prior to the elimination ceremony. "I'm not in this to win any money, I'm in this to win the battle for my health and my safety of my life."
Isabeau, Hollie, Julie and Jez all voted for Jim -- who voted for Isabeau with Bill -- and by a 4 to 2 margin, Jim's The Biggest Loser 4 journey came to an end.
"It's a game... It's a game," said Jim after his ouster was revealed. "I am shocked. Very disappointed. We'll see what happens. The next chapter shall still be written."