Neil Tejwani, a 25-year-old from Marblehead, MA and the only remaining non-Black Team member in the game, became the fourteenth contestant cut from The Biggest Loser 4 during last night's penultimate broadcast of the NBC reality competition series.
"Before my experience on The Biggest Loser, I was a 25-year-old guy with a lot of health problems and I was heading down a bad track," said Neil following his elimination. "Now I've changed my life for the better, and I know I'll be around a long time to enjoy it."
The Biggest Loser 4's fourteenth and penultimate broadcast began with Neil describing how he planned to "pick off every single one" of his four fellow finalists, Black Team members Bill Germanakos, a 40-year-old from Long Island, NY; Julie Hadden, a 34-year-old from Jacksonville, FL; Hollie Self, a 28-year-old from Phoenix, AZ; and Isabeau Miller, a 21-year-old from Franklin, TN.
"Now me making it to the end -- winning this game -- it's not just about me," said Neil, hoping to pay homage to his fallen Blue Team members. "I know now the finish line is right in-front of me."
The five remaining contestants met host Alison Sweeney for the fourth season's final Reward Challenge. She explained each contestant would be strapped to a large scale, which they have to drag down their designated lane. There were 13 stops in each lane -- representing the 13 weeks of the competition -- and the contestants would have to load the amount of weight they lost each week onto their scale before moving on.
Once the scale was fully-loaded, the contestants had to turn around and drag their scale back to the start before unloading their weight and dumping their scale into a hole. They would then raise a flag and dirt would be poured on their weight. First contestant to complete the challenge would win $10,000.
The challenge then commenced, with Julie, Isabeau and Bill all jumping out to an early lead. As has been the case with most challenges, Bill quickly pulled away however Isabeau stayed hot on his heels and she was the first to collect all of her weight -- 73 pounds -- and head back to the start. Bill also turned around with his 121 pounds of weight, followed closely by Julie with 50 pounds. Neil (133 pounds) and Hollie (59 pounds) brought up the rear.
Isabeau was the first one back to the start, unloaded her weight and dumped her scale in the hole, claiming victory.
"When I saw the dirt come down on all that weight, it felt like a relief," said Isabeau. "I felt like I was saying goodbye to the person that came here. No matter what happens with elimination, I feel really great about that... I cannot believe I won, and I can't believe what I've accomplished in the last few months. I'm very proud of myself."
The five remaining contestants then participated in their last last-chance workouts, with Blue Team trainer Bob Harper pushing Neil and Black Team trainer Jillian Michaels pushing her crew of former outcasts.
"I will not give the Black Team the satisfaction of having all four of them make it to the end," said Neil.
The Biggest Loser 4's fourteenth and final campus weigh-in commenced. The two contestants with the lowest percentage of weight-loss would find themselves below the yellow line and be up for elimination.
Neil was the first to step on the scale, and he started the week at 288 and lost 10 pounds for a 3.47% weight-loss percentage. Neil lost double digits in 11 of the 14 campus weigh-ins, and was confident with the number he posted.
"To see a 10-pound loss this late in the game, I was beside myself," said Neil. "You never would think for a second that 10 pounds won't be enough to keep you here, keep you above the yellow line."
Hollie began the week at 196 and lost five pounds for a 2.55% weight-loss percentage; Bill started at 213 and shed nine pounds for a 4.23% weight-loss percentage; Julie started at 168 and dropped eight pounds for a 4.76% weight-loss percentage; and Isabeau began at 225 and lost eight pounds for a 3.56% weight-loss percentage.
Neil and Hollie were the two contestants with the lowest percentage of weight-loss, and thus would be up for elimination.
"We saw one of the greatest competitors in this game -- ever -- fall below the line tonight," said Bill with amazement. "Neil lost 10 pounds and fell below the line... That is crazy."
Neil then had to break the news to Bob that he was all but ousted from the competition, but added he had "nothing to be sorry about" because he knows he did everything he could.
"We never lost sight, never lost focus of what my goal was to do here: To change my life," said Neil. "I think that I just wanted Bob to know before I say goodbye to him that he's done exactly that... He changed my life forever."
The contestants then gathered for the elimination ceremony and Neil was given the boot.
"I guess they say every dog has his day," said Neil. "For me, this has been an incredible run, an incredible experience. There's absolutely nothing more I could have asked for then to be able to make it this far. Not a single person I know at home knows me less than 400 pounds, so... There are a lot of smiling faces for me waiting at home."
The Biggest Loser 4's live, two-hour finale will air on Tuesday, December 18 at 9PM ET/PT on NBC.
All of the fourth-season contestants will return for a special reunion and a chance to weigh-in one last time and show viewers how much they've all lost since beginning their weight-loss journeys. In addition, Bill, Isabeau, Hollie or Julie will be named The Biggest Loser fourth-season champ and win the $250,000 grand prize.
(Photo credit NBC)
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