Renee Wilson gets eliminated from 'The Biggest Loser: Families'
By John Bracchitta, 12/03/2008
After not speaking to each other for nearly six years, Renee Wilson, a 46-year-old event manager from Ft. Worth, TX, and her daughter Michelle Aguilar, a 26-year-old assistant director from Ft. Worth, TX as well, not only formed a bond on The Biggest Loser: Families, but also managed to become the only team maintain both of it's members through the competition.
However, their run on the show together came to an end during last night's broadcast as Renee became the eighth individual contestant to be eliminated from the NBC weight loss reality show.
"I feel like I'm the most blessed woman on the earth," Renee said following her elimination. "Before The Biggest Loser I started at 267 lbs. and I didn't love the woman I saw in the mirror. I didn't know who she was. I think since being on The Biggest Loser, I've learned to believe in myself , I've learned to be proud of myself, and I think I've learned that I can do pretty much anything I set my mind to."
The Biggest Loser: Families' twelfth episode began immediately following the previous week's elimination of Amy Cremen with The Biggest Loser: Families host Alison Sweeney telling the five remaining contestants that they would be heading to New York City for "a whirlwind makeover" before revealing their new look on The Tyra Banks Show.
"I'm so excited that we're going to New York," Michelle said after learning of the week's activities. "Finally we're doing something that doesn't have to do with nature and dirt. I feel like it's something I can relate to."
After arriving in New York, the contestants were driven through Manhattan in a limo as they took in the scenery and basked in the fact that they had made it so far in the competition.
"All the way across the country to get a makeover, how lucky are we?" said Heba Salama, a 30-year-old pharmaceutical sales representative from Raleigh, NC. " We're the Final 5 and we can't believe it. New York City, and we made it to the makeover show! This is it!"
The contestants were eventually dropped off at the Stuart Hirsch Salon where they mat with Stuart and Brandon Martinez. After being welcomed to New York, each contestant received their makeovers, which included such drastic changes as adding highlights to the hair of Ed Brantley, a 31-year-old chef from Raleigh, NC, and dying the hair of Vicky Vilcan, as 37-year-old anesthetist from Houma, LA, from brown to red.
Following their makeovers, the contestants where then whisked to Macy's where they met with fourth-season Project RunwaychampionChristian Siriano to pick out their outfits for their appearance on The Tyra Banks Show.
With their makeovers complete, the contestants traveled to the set of The Tyra Banks Show and, with Tyra and her "Glam Squad" looking on, each got to walk down a runway and display their new looks before speaking with Tyra.
"The doors opened, lights are going like 'twinkle, twinkle, twinkle,' [there's] applause, there are faces everywhere, it's like you don't know were your eyes should stop. Like, I'm on the Tyra Banks catwalk! Shut up, this is so cool!" said an excited Michelle, who was the first contestant to get her chance on the catwalk.
After each contestant took their walk and spoke with Tyra, they were also each surprised by one of their family members onstage, with Michelle seeing her father, Renee being surprised by her husband, Vicky being surprised by her sister, Heba seeing her brother, and Ed seeing his father.
Following their emotional reunions, the contestants gathered backstage with Christian where they learned that they each had received a $1,000 gift card to Macys.
Later that day while celebrating together in Times Square, the contestants received a second surprise when their trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels appeared on one of the landmark's large screens and told them that they would have the next day to either exercise at the gym or by utilizing parts of New York to work out as they prepared to return to the ranch.
"The scale is waiting for you guys," Bob warned them.
The following day, each contestant went to the gym for their workouts. However, some contestants and their loved ones did branch out into the city for their workouts, with Renee and her husband running back and forth on the Brooklyn Bridge while Michelle and her father sprinted on the steps of Bethesda Fountain in Central Park.
"New York City, it's just like the perfect end to the perfect story," an apparently prophetic Renee said before she and the other contestants left to return to The Biggest Loser ranch in California.
Once back at the ranch, Renee and Michelle met with Jillian and were eager to tell her about their makeovers, but were met with relative indifference from their trainer.
"I don't want these distractions," Jillian said later. "I don't care about makeovers, I don't care about your family, I don't care about anything. All I care about is that you're ass gets smaller, that's all that I care about now."
Following their meeting, Michelle acknowledged that she and Renee still had a great deal of work ahead of them if they wanted to remain safe from elimination due to their continued numbers disadvantage compared to the three remaining Blue team members.
Once they'd reacclimated to the ranch, the five remaining contestants met with Alison and were told that, for their next challenge, they would have to wedge themselves in glass cubes with no bottoms and use their legs to keep them from falling as they hung 15 feet over a pool. They were also told that the winner of the challenge would receive a two-week trip to the Fitness Ridge Resort and Spa in St. George, UT.
While excited about the prospect of winning the trip to St. George, Vicky was the first contestant to loose her grip in the cube. However, instead of falling into the water, she sat on a beam next to the cube and worried about taking the fall into the water.
Heba became annoyed at Vicky's complaining about the drop and eventually became the second person to drop out of the challenge as she fell into the water. Ed soon followed suit, leaving Renee and Michelle as the last two contestants remaining.
"No mom, I will not buy you another designer handbag," Michelle teased as she referred to a prior challenge in which she offered to buy her mother a handbag if she allowed her to win the challenge and dropped out.
However, Michelle was able to win the challenge anyway, as Renee soon lost her grip and fell into the water.
After Michelle celebrated the focus shifted back to Vicky, who had to be coaxed into the water by Ed after he jumped into the water to tell her where to jump.
The following day, Vicky and Bob discussed the incident when the Blue team met prior to their last chance workouts.
"I'm not usually afraid of heights, so I'm not exactly sure why I couldn't jump," Vicky told Bob.
"You needed to have someone there that you trusted," Bob responded, referring to her ability to jump only after Ed came to her aid. "The person that you can trust the most, at the end of the day, when all is said and done, is you."
As the last chance workouts got underway, Jillian stressed that she would do "whatever it takes" to keep Renee and Michelle out of the bottom two weigh-in slots that would be eligible for elimination, while Bob made the theme of his workout "sweat" as he attempted to work out some emotional problems he sensed with his Blue team members.
"My contestants are swimming in a pool of cancerous self doubt," Bob said. "It is my job to take care of Vicky and Heba and Ed. If not there'll definitely be two Blue team members below the yellow line again, absolutely."
Following the workout, the contestants arrived at the weigh-in that evening and were told that the two contestants with the lowest percentage of weight loss would fall below the yellow line and be subject to elimination voting from the other contestants.
Heba came in first place at the weigh-in, losing 7 lbs. for a weight loss percentage of 3.13%.
Michelle followed in second place, losing 5 lbs. for a percentage of 2.84%.
Vicky came in third place, losing 4 lbs. for a percentage of 2.22%.
Renee came in fourth place, losing 4 lbs. for a percentage of 2.01% -- which left her below the yellow line with Ed, who lost 3 lbs. for a percentage of 1.19%.
"The thought of losing my mom means I'm all alone," a saddened Michelle said following the weigh-in. "That's very scary for me."
"I'm pretty freaked out about elimination because Vicky knows the game front and back, back and forth," Ed said before the contestants went to the elimination room to deliberate. "I'm a bigger threat than Renee, so to give herself an even better chance she could vote me off."
Once in the elimination room, Alison gave Ed and Renee one minute to plead their cases to stay at the ranch to the remaining contestants before the votes were cast.
"I fought really hard to get back to the ranch, and Heba, ever since the day we met we've done something together, whether it's talking on the phone or doing something every single day since the day we met," Ed said. "She's everything for me, and that's what's important, is for me to be here with her and to be a support system for her."
"I think for Michelle and I, it's been a journey of a lifetime," Renee said in her statement. "Both of us started together and we wanted to finish together. It's been a dream come true. It's just hard to think of that dream coming to an end."
The contestants then cast their votes and revealed them, with Heba voting for Renee, Michelle voting for Ed, and quickly casting her deciding vote for Renee as well to eliminate her.
However, after voting for Renee, Vicky took a moment to praise Renee for what she had done during the competition.
"I just want you to know that I think you're a beautiful woman and I feel blessed for having been able to know you, you are so competitive and compassionate," Vicky told Renee. The one thing that makes this a little bit easier for me is just watching how much you glowed in New York with your husband and knowing that you're gonna be with him very soon. It was really an honor to be able to compete again you."
In the post-show update, it was revealed that Renee has lost 95 lbs. and dropped her dress size from a size 22 to a size 8. She hopes to be at a size 6 by the show's finale.