Phil Parham gets eliminated from NBC's 'The Biggest Loser: Families'
By John Bracchitta, 10/29/2008
The aftereffects of the elimination of his wife and his Black team outsider status proved to be too much for Phil Parham, a 41-year-old real estate agent from Greer, SC, to overcome, resulting in him becoming the fifth individual contestant eliminated from The Biggest Loser: Families during last night's broadcast on NBC.
"I realized so many great things about myself. I can make it and I can do it. I'm a survivor," Phil said following his elimination. "There's so many times in the gym that I wanted to quit so bad and I just decided I'm not gonna quit."
"I just wanna take all of the things I learned here and go home and be a better father and be a better husband," he added.
The Biggest Loser: Families' eighth episode began with Phil rethinking his actions of the last week while adjusting to life on The Biggest Loser ranch without his wife Amy, who had been eliminated from the Blue team after the competition's most recent weigh-in.
"I do feel in some way that the Blue team's decision to eliminate my wife was, in a small part, based on myself. It makes me feel sad because my wife could do nothing to control that situation," Phil said. "I feel really isolated because, as of today, I don't know where I stand. It's tough because you feel like you just don't know who you can trust.
The next day, Blue team trainer Bob Harper met with team and learned of Amy P.'s elimination. However, his sadness for losing Amy C. quickly turned to suspicion as he asked to speak to Brady Vilcan, a 36-year-old pharmacist from Houma, LA, and his wife Vicky Vilcan, a 37-year-old anesthetist, privately.
Bob credited Brady's hard work in the gym, but told the couple that Brady's low three pound weight-loss at the last weigh-in didn't "add up" and he didn't believe that the weight loss was genuine. In addition, Bob also said he felt Vicky may have been the mastermind of a plan to have Brady sabotage his weight and throw the challenge.
"Vicky is the biggest game player that's ever waked into this house, I really believe that," Bob later said.
After repeatedly insisting that nothing had happened, Vicky eventually told a still-skeptical Bob that Brady hadn't been eating every four hours like he was supposed to.
"If I'm not hungry, I'm not eating," Brady said, angering Bob.
Bob lectured Brady and told him that he needed to eat regularly to keep his body working appropriately. He added that if Brady continued to ignore his diet that he would not last much longer in the competition.
"If you don't [eat correctly] then you're gonna lose three pounds again and one of you is gonna go home. Do you want to go home!? Is it time for you to go home!?" Bob asked Brady angrily.
Brady agreed to resume his previously assigned eating schedule, which Bob said he and Vicky would monitor to make sure he did not stop it a second time.
Later, the team The Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney for their next challenge. Dubbed "This or That," the challenge required the members of each team to take turns trying to guess which of two meals was the healthier choice. Each correct answer would a team a point, and the first team to guess five healthy meals would receive a 40-pound advantage at the teams' next challenge.
"I know you don't know what that means right now, but I guarantee you it is something you will want to have because it has something to do with gameplay," Alison hinted.
Both teams guessed the first two dishes correctly, however the Blue team jumped out to a 3-2 lead on the third round and ended up winning by a 5-3 score two rounds later.
"You've definitely studied nutrition on campus, your trainer will be very proud," Alison told the Blue team as she congratulated them on their win.
After a kitchen incident in which Heba Salama, a 30-year-old pharmaceutical sales representative from Raleigh, NC, and her Blue team teammates publicly confronted Phil about her belief that he had continued to be unnecessarily negative towards her, the team's met Alison for their next challenge.
The challenge required each team to strap themselves into a group harness that would be raised high into the air. Once in the air, each member of each team would have to hold onto a rope and support their whole team's collective weight.
The team that could hold onto at least one of their ropes the longest without losing their grip would win the challenge. As their reward, the winner would receive the ability to have one opposing team member's weight not count in the upcoming weigh-in.
The Black team also learned that the "40 pound advantage" the Blue team won at their earlier challenge would mean that the Black team would have to support an extra 40 pounds in addition to the 878 lbs. that they already weighed collectively.
The Blue team -- without any extra weights -- had to support their collective 932 lbs.
"This was a must win situation for the Blue team because we need Brady's number at this weigh in," Vicky said. "He pulled two weeks of low numbers and the other team is strong and consistently holding numbers."
Twenty-five minutes into the challenge none of either team's members had lost the grip of their rope yet, prompting the announcement of a rule that one member of each team would have to let go of their rope after 30 minutes had passed.
While the Blue team was able to handle the additional load when Vicky chose to release her rope, the Black team was not as fortunate when Michelle Aguilar, a 26-year-old assistant director from Ft. Worth, TX, let go of her rope. Michelle's exit immediately put the weight she had been holding on Phil's rope and eventually forced him to also release his rope.
The Black team was able to hold on for another twenty minutes as the Blue team began to struggle with the grips on their ropes, but they never recovered fully and ended up losing to the Blue team.
"Come hell or high water we were gonna win that challenge," Heba said following the challenge. "Fifty minutes was long but it coulda been a lot worse. We were just psyched to walk away with the win and the upper hand at the weigh-in."
Alison told the Blue team that they did not need to reveal which Black team member's weight loss they didn't want to have count until they arrived at the weigh-in.
Following another round of last chance workouts for each team, they met Alison for that week's weigh-in, which began with Vicky announcing that the Blue team had chosen to have Michelle's weight loss not count for the Black team. Heba added that the decision had been made strictly by calculating each Black team member's weight-loss history.
After weighing Michelle and revealing that she had lost two pounds, Alison said that -- like last week -- the team with the lower percentage of weight loss would be forced to eliminate a member but the most successful member on the losing team would receive immunity.
With Michelle's weight not factoring in, the Black team collectively lost eight pounds, which gave them a collective weight-loss percentage of 1.18%. Renee and Phil each lost 3 lbs., while Coleen Skeabeck, a 23-year-old receptionist from Cleveland, OH, lost 2 lbs.
Although the Blue team needed to only lose 11 lbs. to win that week's challenge, Brady made The Biggest Loser history when he became the first contestant to single-handedly beat an opposing team's entire weigh-in result by losing 13 lbs.
Afterward, Michelle noted that Brady's extreme weight loss made his previous week's weigh-in all the more suspicious.
"There's a good chance Brady's been playing some weight loss games with us and when we see that 13 we realize we got played last week and now this week its showing up huge on scale," Michelle said after the weigh-in.
The Blue team went on to collectively lose 27 lbs. for a weight-loss percentage of 2.9% to win the weigh-in. In addition to Brady's 13 lbs., Vicky lost 2 lbs. while Heba and Amy Cremen, 26-year-old purchasing department representative from Auburn Hills, MI, each lost 6 lbs.
Renee was granted immunity for losing the most weight on the Black team, which was given an hour to retreat to their rooms and decide which member to send home.
Because Renee received immunity, she and her daughter Michelle were effectively able to determine whether Coleen or Phil should go home on their own. While Renee initially pushed for Phil's departure, Michelle responded that not only did he have better weight loss potential than Coleen, but losing Phil would also mean that the team had no men left.
Coleen and Phil both joined Renee and Michelle to plead their cases, with Coleen saying that it was her "dream" to be at the ranch. Phil acknowledged that he had let the team down with his low weight loss at the weigh-in, but said that he had been distracted by the elimination of his wife and would have a "heck of a week next week."
"I feel like I can tough it out and be here. Do I want to lose weight? Absolutely, 100%. Do I want to change my life? 100% I kinda feel disappointed that we are in this position right now, but it is what it is," Phil said.
However, when the Black team met with Alison to reveal their choices, both Renee and Michelle cited their long-standing alliance with Coleen as the reason that they had chosen to vote for Phil.
Following Phil's vote for Michelle, Coleen revealed her deciding vote for Phil, eliminating him from the competition.
Prior to leaving, Phil urged his teammates to stay strong and not repeat his mistake of getting dragged into drama with the Blue team.
"Do not get beat by the Blue team," Phil said. "Do not let them get inside your heads. You're too good. Just do not give up at all, you're so tough."
In a post-show update, Phil returned home and reunited with his wife Amy on their 20th wedding anniversary at the place he had proposed to her. Upon reuniting, Phil surprised Amy with a diamond ring and asked her to recommit their vows together. She accepted.
"Twenty years is a long time to be married to somebody. For him to surprise me here, it's just huge. It's great," Amy said.
The update also stated that Phil had lost 106 lbs. since he had arrived at The Biggest Loser ranch and has set a goal weight of 175 lbs.
Due to next Tuesday's elections, The Biggest Loser: Families' next episode will air on November 11 at 8PM ET/PT on NBC.
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