Phil Hawk the sixth contestant cut from 'The Biggest Loser 4'
By Christopher Rocchio, 10/17/2007
Phil Hawk was perceived as a threat, and as a result, the 27-year-old from Powell, OH who served as the Red Team's captain became the sixth contestant cut from The Biggest Loser's fourth season during last night's broadcast of the NBC reality weight-loss competition series.
"Being on the Red Team was a great experience," said Phil following his ouster. "To be taken in, to be respected like I was, it was probably one of the best experiences I ever had. I'm not scared to go home. I look at it as a new challenge. I'm ready for a new life, there's no turning back. To know that I have the commitment now, I'm not going to fail."
The Biggest Loser 4's sixth episode began with host Alison Sweeney meeting the Red, Blue and Black Teams on the beach for a reward challenge, which she explained would be focused on the 13 remaining contestants' "perseverance." One by one, a member of each team would carry a large, awkward frame down the beach. Once the participant dropped the frame in the sand, another member of their team would pick-up where they left off.
Following three rounds, the team to carry their frame the farthest would be rewarded with videos from their family members and friends back home. The women contestants would be carrying a frame that weighed 60% of their weight, while the men would carry a frame that weighed 75% of their weight.
The first round pit Nicole Michalik, a 26-year-old from Philadelphia, PA, for the Blue Team; Hollie Self, a 28-year-old from Phoenix, AZ, for the Black Team; and Amy Zimmer, a 28-year-old from Rochester, NY, for the Red Team against one another. Hollie dominated, carrying the Black Team's frame 150 feet compared to Nicole carrying the Blue Team's frame 49 feet and Amy carrying the Red Team's frame only 23 feet.
The second round pit Kae Whang, a 27-year-old from Clark, NJ, for the Blue Team; Jez Luckett, a 24-year-old from Garden City, KS, for the Black Team; and Bryan Washington, a 29-year-old from Riverdale, GA, for the Red Team against one another. Kae was a workhorse for the Blue Team, overtaking the Black Team by six feet. The Red Team remained in last, 60 feet behind the Blue Team.
The third and final round pit Ryan Rodriguez, a 29-year-old from Jackson Heights, NY, for the Blue Team; Bill Germanakos, a 40-year-old from Long Island, NY, for the Black Team; and Phil for the Red Team against one another. As has been the case with most of the reward challenges, Phil -- a former professional football player -- dominated and overtook both the Blue and Black Teams, claiming victory for Red. Out of the six The Biggest Loser 4 reward challenges, the Red Team has won five.
"When we won, I was so excited," said Amy, who did very little to help the Red Team be victorious. "I mean everyone is missing their family and their friends so much. To be able to watch the video and just hear their voices, I think it's going to be something that's really great for me."
As the three teams participated in their last-chance workouts before the Week 6 weigh-in, Red Team trainer Kim Lyons was concerned because her team's workouts "weren't great." She kept increasing the treadmill speed for David Griffin, a 31-year-old from Cedar Hill, TN, and he wasn't too happy about it. He eventually told Kim to "shut up," and she cursed as she continued to push him. Fed up with the situation, David walked out.
"Nobody's going to talk to me like that," said David.
Black team trainer Jillian Michaels faced a different sort of problem with Hollie. Jillian was informed that Hollie's mother was in relapse with leukemia and had the tough task of breaking the news. Hollie then left The Biggest Loser campus to be with her mother.
"I am going to go home tonight and see her, talk to her, and hopefully I'll deal with it the best way that I can," said an emotional Hollie. "I feel really bad about leaving my team, especially right before the weigh-in. But eventually everyone's got to go home, and for me it's just a little bit sooner than I anticipated and for very different reasons."
Before The Biggest Loser 4's sixth weigh-in commenced, Alison informed everybody that Hollie's mom had passed away with her daughter by her bedside.
"The thought of her in the midst of the best opportunity of her life, having to say goodbye to her mother, was just so incredibly sad," said fellow Black Team member Julie Hadden, a 34-year-old from Jacksonville, FL. "I just couldn't get it off my mind. But she's strong, and I thought, 'You know what? I'm sure that her mom died knowing she had a beautiful, strong daughter.' I think that had to give her some peace."
The weigh-in then began, with the two squads having the greatest percentage of weight loss following the sixth week being safe while the other would have to eliminate a member.
The Blue Team was the first to be weighed in. Nicole started at 252 and lost four pounds; Neil Tejwani, a 25-year-old from Marblehead, MA, began at 365 and shed 10 pounds; Kae started at 184 and dropped six pounds; and Ryan began at 331 and lost 11 pounds. The Blue Team's total weight loss following the sixth week was 31 pounds, a 2.74% weight-loss percentage.
The Red Team was the second to be weighed in. Amy started at 268 and lost three pounds; David began at 328 and shed five pounds; Bryan started at 308 and dropped four pounds; and Phil began at 346 and lost four pounds. The Red Team's total weight loss following the sixth week was 16 pounds, a 1.28% weight-loss percentage, meaning the Blue Team was safe from elimination.
"I was disappointed with the numbers this week," said Kim. "I had a bad feeling... I had a really bad feeling. Our numbers weren't hard to beat."
The Black Team was the last to be weighed in and -- despite not being physically present -- Alison said Hollie got on a scale off-location and lost three pounds. Isabeau Miller, a 21-year-old from Franklin, TN, started at 264 and lost five pounds; Julie began at 199 and shed four pounds; Jez started at 302 and dropped seven pounds; and Bill began at 279 and lost 11 pounds.
The Black Team's total weight loss following the sixth week was 30 pounds, a 2.36% weight-loss percentage. While it wasn't enough to claim first ahead of the Blue Team, the Black Team did perform well enough to send the Red Team to the elimination ceremony. David couldn't be booted because he had the highest percentage of weight loss for the Red Team at the weigh-in.
The Red Team then met with Kim to discuss their options at the upcoming elimination ceremony. Kim said Phil and Bryan were "carrying this team," and since David couldn't be ousted, Amy saw this as a personal attack from the team's trainer.
"What she's insinuating is that she thinks I should go home. I was so angry I couldn't even look at her," said Amy, who yelled at Kim. "You just threw me under the bus! Why did you do that! You just threw me under the f**king bus! I'm f**king pissed!"
Kim said she had to think about how the elimination decision would "affect the whole team" and didn't intend to make Amy feel bad.
"That's part of being a trainer," said Kim. "You can't always be a friend. You sometimes have to state the facts and it's sometimes not what they want to hear."
Kim reiterated her stance that the team can't win without Phil -- a sentiment supported by David. Kim then warned them that if the elimination vote is a tie, she'd be "so angry" since that would mean the Blue Team would determine which member of the Red Team was eliminated.
"The worst thing that I think could happen is a tie," said David. "That's when it's open game."
David and Phil voted for Amy as the team's weakest member, however she and Bryan voted for Phil because he's a threat, and Kim's worst nightmare was realized as it was a tie. The Blue Team then joined the Red Team's elimination ceremony and rendered their decision.
"This is really not an easy decision at all," explained Neil, the Blue Team's representative. "We asked ourselves is it going to be who deserves to go home the most (Amy) or is it who's the biggest threat (Phil)... We decided as a team that it's going to have to be the threat."
Somewhat ironically, the Blue Team's decision meant they were responsible for eliminating both of The Biggest Loser 4's captains, as they had previously ousted their own leader Jerry Lisenby, a 62-year-old from Peoria, IL (the Black Team doesn't have a captain).
"I'm honored that you think I'm a big threat," said Phil. "I'm going to miss each and everyone of you... If I had to have somebody call me out and send me home, I'm glad it's you guys. It's been an honor to be here... Keep plugging away, stay strong. I love you all."