Nicole Michalik the thirteenth contestant cut from 'The Biggest Loser 4'
By Christopher Rocchio, 12/05/2007
Nicole Michalik hit her weight-loss wall during crunch-time on The Biggest Loser campus, causing the 26-year-old from Philadelphia, PA to become the thirteenth contestant cut from The Biggest Loser 4 during last night's broadcast of the NBC reality competition series.
"I feel sad. I was so close to the finals, I could taste it," said Nicole following her ouster.
"I learned that I could push myself beyond my wildest potential. I've dealt with amazing obstacles and overcame them all to come this far, and I'm just proud to be a part of this opportunity. I always said I was a skinny girl trapped inside a fat girl's body because I always wanted it so bad. I knew as long as I pushed myself -- as long as I had the right opportunity to do it -- I could do it. This was the opportunity to finally let me be the person I always knew I could be."
The Biggest Loser 4's thirteenth episode began with the six remaining contestants -- four of whom are original Black Team members -- discussing the previous elimination of Bryan Washington, who was the last Red Team member left in the competition. With Bryan's ouster in the books, the contestants pondered what would happen to Red Team trainer Kim Lyons.
"I'm assuming Kim doesn't come in anymore? It's going to be kind of weird isn't it?" wondered Nicole's fellow Blue Team member Neil Tejwani, a 25-year-old from Marblehead, MA. "It's basically Blue versus Black at this point. The Black team has the deck stacked in their favor... It's us versus the world really, and you have to have that mentality. If anyone I think has the capability to pick them off, it's Nicole and I."
As Kim walked down the campus hallway to the Red Team's dorm, she said she "knew" Bryan wasn't going to be there, and she was right. She then watched an emotional farewell video Bryan made for her, which caused her to cry.
"It felt good and bad to walk out of that room," said Kim. "It did feel a little bit incomplete. But at the same time, a lot of lives were changed in that room and I'm never going to forget that."
Blue Team trainer Bob Harper and Black Team trainer Jillian Michaels then woke-up the remaining contestants early the next morning and told them they were about to learn what it's going be like when they're trying to keep the weight off in the real world.
Following an early-morning workout, the contestants packed a healthy lunch and embarked for a day of work at Stone Fire Pizza, Co. With the aroma of freshly baked pizza constantly in the air, the majority of the contestants thought it was a cruel joke as they completed various tasks such as washing dishes, cleaning the bathrooms, serving tables and preparing pizzas.
"Working in the pizzeria has been a bit overwhelming," said Julie Hadden, a 34-year-old from Jacksonville, FL. "Yes, it's hard to get up and workout four hours a day and to be on campus and to be away from your family. But being in the mix of real life and have to do this, it's going to be hard as well."
Back on campus, the contestants participated in some boxing-themed training before arriving at the gym for a boxing-themed Reward Challenge.
Host Alison Sweeney explained each contestant would be placed on a trampoline with a punching bag suspended above their head. During each three-minute round, the contestants had to hit the punching bag as many times as possible. The punching bag would be raised higher and higher after each round. The contestant with the least amount of hits at the end of each round was eliminated and the contestant left standing at the end would receive a one-pound pass for the next weigh-in.
Despite knowing that they could use all of the help they could get at the next weigh-in, Nicole and Neil were eliminated in the first and second rounds, respectively. Bill Germanakos, a 40-year-old from Long Island, NY, had the least amount of hits in the third round and was ousted. Julie faced-off against fellow Black Team members Isabeau Miller, a 21-year-old from Franklin, TN, and Hollie Self, a 28-year-old from Phoenix, AZ, in the final round. Hollie won the challenge with 71 hits in the final round.
"The one-pound pass offers me a little bit of comfort," said Hollie, who had been experiencing problems with her ankle and found herself in the bottom two last week. "Compared to everyone else here, I don't lose weight as fast -- I never have, everyone knows that -- so I'm hoping that one-pound pass will be enough."
The six remaining contestants then participated in their last-chance workouts before The Biggest Loser 4's thirteenth and penultimate 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.
"I never feel confident going in [to a weigh-in]," said Nicole. "You just really hope that your hard work reflects on the scale. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. That's the scariest part."
Hollie started the week at 201 and lost five pounds -- plus the one-pound pass she won at the Reward Challenge -- for a total loss of six pounds or a 2.99% weight-loss percentage. Julie began at 171 and shed three pounds for a 1.75% weight-loss percentage.
"I was hoping for more," said Julie. "At this point in the game, I just feel like it's not just a battle with the scale, it's a battle to stay here."
Bill started at 222 and dropped nine pounds for a 4.05% weight-loss percentage. Neil started at 298 and lost 10 pounds for a 3.36% weight-loss percentage. Neil has lost a total of 133 pounds since arriving on The Biggest Loser campus, beating third-season champ Eric Chopin's weight-loss record of 124 pounds at the ranch.
Isabeau started the week at 230 and lost five pounds for a 2.17% weight-loss percentage. Nicole began at 212 and dropped only one pound for a 0.47% weight-loss percentage.
Julie and Nicole were the two contestants with the lowest percentage of weight-loss, and thus would be up for elimination.
"I worked my butt of this week. Sometimes the scale doesn't reflect it," opined Nicole. "I feel kind of in shock, kind of disgusted. You wonder why... How come? But I don't have an answer. I don't know if there is an answer. You just kind of have to deal with it."
The next morning, Nicole didn't waste any time in telling Bob that she was up for elimination.
"I had a real bad feeling," said Bob.
Nicole said she was doing "horrible," presumably because she knew her time on campus was coming to a close since the four original Black Team members would surely oust her instead of Julie. Bob said he wasn't totally surprised by Nicole's one pound weight-loss number.
"She has been losing so much weight on a consistent basis now, the body just kind of went like this, 'Hold up!' Unfortunately, it was at the worst possible time," explained Bob.
Neil thought it didn't seem "fair" or "right" that Nicole was going to be booted when she works so hard and the Black Team members would get to stick around when they're "just squeaking by." Neil knew he should be happy due to his own weight-loss, but said it was "bittersweet" because of Nicole.
"I have been harder on Nicole than any other contestant on any other show I've worked on," said Bob. "I saw something in that girl that was running through the desert. I have seen what she's become, and it warms my heart and it fills my soul."
Julie and Jillian also discussed the weigh-in, and Jillian offered Julie the same explanation Bob gave Nicole as to why her number wasn't higher. While Julie was nervous because she was unsure if she could "trust" her fellow Black Team members, Jillian told her not to be scared.
The contestants then gathered for the elimination ceremony. Neil tried to make a statement by voting to boot Julie, but both Isabeau and Hollie voted for Nicole, eliminating her from the competition.
"I've loved every second I've been here," said a tearful Nicole. "The thing about my experience here has been that I never wanted to go home and I just wanted to be here to lose the most weight that I can -- and in turn -- I formed amazing friendships with people. Looking at Neil and Bob and how much of an impact they've had on my life is unbelievable, along with the rest of the people I've met here. It's been the best time of my life. I would have loved to be here another week, but it wasn't in the cards."
The Biggest Loser 4's penultimate episode will air Tuesday, December 11 at 9PM ET/PT on NBC.
(Photo credit NBC)
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