Mark Kruger the thirteenth contestant cut from 'The Biggest Loser'
By Christopher Rocchio, 02/27/2008
The Blue Team went to Las Vegas and won a trip to Puerto Rico but was unable to conquer the scale.
As a result Mark Kruger, a 35-year-old aerial device sales representative from Dartmouth, MA, became the thirteenth contestant cut from The Biggest Loser: Couples during last night's broadcast of the NBC reality show's fifth season.
"What I'm going to miss most about this place is being here without [my brother] Jay," said Mark following his ouster. "I'm going to miss being side-by-side working out with him, we've been together the last 10 weeks. That's going to be the most difficult thing about not being here. I'm planning on 100% sticking to the exercise plan and the diet when I get home... I feel better than I can ever remember feeling in my life, and I'm going to win that at-home The Biggest Loser prize."
The Black Team was feeling especially disheartened since the Blue Team had been performing so well in both the Reward Challenges and weigh-ins, with the all-male squad's future weight-loss potential also being better.
As The Biggest Loser player-of-the-week at the previous weigh-in, Jay ascended the hill to receive his reward and was hoping to select the game play option. However all three envelopes he was met by contained question marks. He chose the third envelope, which revealed a card that read, "Vegas, baby, Vegas." Host Allison Sweeney then emerged and revealed the entire Blue Team would be heading to Vegas for a brief vacation.
"It's like Disney Land for adults," said Jay in describing Sin City.
Jay returned to the campus and revealed his entire team would be joining him in Vegas, which was joyous until they had to tell trainer Bob Harper. Not surprisingly, Bob was concerned and immediately set the ground rules of "no buffets, restaurants or drinking." Roger Shultz was still hell-bent on having fun, especially since it would be 21-year-old Dan Evans first trip to Vegas.
As the Blue Team worked out before they departed, the Black Team did the same. The Blue Team decided to reveal their trip to the Black Team, who saw it as an opportunity to gain an advantage for the upcoming weigh-in since they'd be remaining on campus. Brittany was especially hoping the Blue Team would "slip up a little bit."
The Blue Team arrived in Vegas and immediately wanted to hit the casino until Mark reminded them of their "WWBD" mantra -- aka "What would Bob do?" So instead, they went to the hotel's gym before having a good time.
"I guarantee you man, I've done a lot of things in Vegas," said Roger. "Exercise ain't one of 'em."
Roger also suggested all the Blue Team members get their squad's "Pride" motto tattooed while in Vegas, and everyone seemed to like the idea. Bob also provided his boys suits before they hit the city that night for some gambling. As they dressed, the Blue Team received enough room service to feed an army, compliments of the Black Team. The Blue Team didn't take the bait and sent the food back.
While all four Blue Team members had a great time, Mark and Jay retreated to their rooms early so they could wake-up early and exercise in the morning. Roger and Dan took a different approach and stayed out until 6AM.
Mark and Jay awoke at 7AM and hit the gym, and as the time passed, Mark grew aggravated they weren't joined by Roger and Dan.
"I would have liked to have seen them up and working out with us," he commented. "They're adults. They make adult decisions, and I was hoping for the best."
After their workout the brothers returned to the suite and Mark woke-up the other two, with Roger instantly getting agitated that he wasn't told to rise and shine at 7AM.
"That's the one thing when I went to bed I was sure of. I said, 'Alright. I can go to bed here. I can pass out. But at least I know Mark and Jay -- when they go to workout -- they'll wake me up,'" he said.
But it didn't happen, and Mark and Roger argued.
"I didn't feel it was my responsibility to get him up," explained Mark. "Roger's an adult. he should have gone to bed and gotten up on his own."
Roger went to the gym and Dan slept for another three hours. Once everyone was awake the Blue Team stopped at a tattoo parlor and got inked up, with Mark, Jay and Roger all having the word "Pride" incorporated into their tattoos. Dan's was more elaborate, a guardian angel holding a guitar on his forearm.
The Blue Team returned to the campus, and Maggie King thought the "Pride" tattoos were "stupid."
The two teams then met Allison for a Reward Challenge, and she explained the rules. Each team would have to navigate a The Biggest Loser obstacle course, and the first squad to have all of its members cross the finish line would win an all-expense paid trip to Puerto Rico for them and a loved one. The Blue Team was immediately confident due to their strength.
The challenge commenced, with the first obstacle being to flip a 200 pound tractor tire 10 times. The Blue Team easily completed it and moved onto the next obstacle -- moving one ton of sand bags. The Blue Team was now starting to leave the Black Team in their dust as they moved onto the penultimate obstacle, maneuvering 12 medicine balls while crawling under ropes.
The Blue Team quickly finished the task and completed the final leg of the course, which was a sprint to the finish line. The Black Team still finished the course as a sign on unity.
The Blue Team boasted about their latest victory while enjoying a snack with the Black Team before they had to meet with Bob and discuss what happened in Vegas. Dan said the team "might have slacked a little bit," but it was in a confessional and not to Bob's face.
"I was wicked upset about Dan and Roger sleeping in because I would have liked to seen them up and working out with us," said Mark. "But I wasn't going to throw them under the bus with Bob."
"What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas," said Roger, as the team didn't tell Bob much of anything before revealing they had just won trips to Puerto Rico. Bob was hoping somebody would take him along.
"Bob I would absolutely bring you... If Allison backs out," joked Dan.
Both teams then had their last-chance workouts, with trainer Jillian Michaels pushing the Black team so they'd avoid losing another weigh-in and Bob pushing the Blue Team since they were on vacation for some of the week.
The Biggest Loser: Couples' ninth weigh-in then commenced. The team with the highest weight-loss percentage would be safe from elimination, while the losing squad would have to eliminate one of their members.
"I hate to say it, but I almost feel unstoppable in this game," boasted Dan.
The Black Team was the first to step on the scale. Kelly Fields started the week at 218 and lost six pounds; Maggie began at 198 and dropped eight pounds; Brittany started at 185 and shed six pounds; and Bernie began at 211 and lost 10 pounds. The Black Team's combined weight loss following their fifth week competing as a team was a 30 pounds, or a 3.69% weight-loss percentage.
"The Blue Team pulled huge numbers last week," commented Dan, not so boastfully. "It's really tough to come back and try to see double digits again after seeing such big numbers last week. This could potentially be the downfall of the Blue Team."
The Blue Team would have to lose more than a combined 34 pounds to overtake the Black Team. Dan started the week at 226 and lost seven pounds; Roger began at 276 and dropped eight pounds; Jay started at 228 and shed seven pounds; and Mark began at 202 and lost only one pound -- by far his lowest weight-loss total of the competition.
The Blue Team's combined weight loss following their fifth week competing as a team was 23 pounds or a 2.47% weight-loss percentage. Since Dan had the highest percentage of weight loss for the Blue Team, he was safe from elimination.
"I definitely see this as justice being served," said Bernie.
The Blue Team retreated to their rooms to discuss the impending elimination, and Dan asked Mark if he'd be voting for Roger or Jay.
"Well obviously I'm not going to vote for my brother Danny," said Mark.
By default, that meant it looked as though Roger would be booted. However when Roger's partner Trent Patterson was ousted from the Blue Team two weeks ago, Mark had commented "basically it's going to come down to one of us is going to have to take the bullet. I'll be ready to take the bullet when it happens."
"I just want Mark to be a man of his word," said Roger. "If I said I would go I would go. But I didn't make that promise, Mark did."
However Mark backtracked, saying he'd only volunteer to be booted if he didn't have any weight left to lose -- which seemed to be the case -- although he apparently didn't see it that way and fought with Roger.
"This was a lousy time for me to hit a wall," said Mark. "The biggest reason I don't want to go home is because I didn't get under 200 pounds here on campus."
Roger tried to rationally and logically explain that if he were to stay, he'd be able to continually post better numbers for the Blue Team since he had more weight to lose. Mark wouldn't budge, and Roger left the room angrily.
"I'm obviously the odd man out," said Roger. "Dan won immunity, and the brothers aren't going to vote for each other. So I'm heading home."
As Mark and Jay packed, Mark got really emotional and was starting to feel the pressure of having to stand-up to his promise and step down. Jay comforted and consoled his big brother. Mark explained his largest concerns were not being there anymore for Jay and staying on campus without posting anymore big numbers -- basically robbing Roger of an opportunity to be The Biggest Loser.
The reality of the situation finally sank in for Mark, and he sobbed almost uncontrollably as he basically told Jay he was going to be leaving the competition.
"You take care of my brother like he's your brother!" Mark emotionally instructed Roger, who agreed to do just that. The entire Blue Team then convened and Mark sang his swan song.
"It's not fair to you for me to stay here and lose another five pounds the next week because I can't run," said Mark, referencing a foot injury that's been nagging him throughout the competition. "I don't know why I hit a wall... You all need to vote for me -- including you Jay -- you need to vote for me. Roger voted for Trent, you need to vote for me. We can't have this go for a tie. We're like brothers. I love you all!"
The Blue Team then gathered to cast their elimination votes, with both Dan and Roger following Mark's instructions before Jay said goodbye to his big brother.
"I was hoping I'd never have to do anything like this," he began tearfully. "You always have people in your life that you look up to and respect. This person has always been my hero and the person I looked up to for so long. This experience has been so great because I think it's brought us so much closer together. Not only is he my brother and my hero, but he's become my best friend. I just love him so much, and everyday on [campus] there has been nobody that has out-worked this man, and his body's broken down because of it and he's going to go home because of it. I've got to step-up everyday and work as hard as he's worked."
Mark was sent packing, but not before saying farewell to his teammates.
The Biggest Loser: Couples' next episode will air Tuesday, March 4 at 8PM ET/PT on NBC.
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