Shanon Thomas talks about her time on 'The Biggest Loser: Couples'
By John Bracchitta, 02/18/2009
Similar to Blaine Cotter before her, Shanon Thomas told her fellow The Biggest Loser: Couples contestants that she wanted to be the Pink team member voted out of the competition after she and her mother finished last at the show's seventh elimination weigh-in.
However, the 29-year-old massage therapist from Centerline, MI admits that despite Cotter's experience one week earlier, she still was uncertain that her wish to go home would be granted.
"I actually had doubts in the back of my mind. I mean, I wasn't sure that they were going to listen to me," Thomas told Reality TV World during a media conference call the day after her elimination aired on NBC's Tuesday night broadcast of The Biggest Loser: Couples.
"[A lot] of them thought that I had to be there just as bad as [my mom Helen Phillips], and [they also wanted to keep me] with me being the younger Pink team member. I wasn't confident that they were going to go through with it. I really was unsure until that last [vote] plate was opened."
Thomas -- who arrived at The Biggest Loser: Couples ranch weighing 283 lbs and lost much of her weight when she spent 30 days working out at home as part of the season's initial twist -- added later that while her mother, a 47-year-old retired retail manager from Sterling Heights, MI, was more than willing to go home, that she saw no reason to break from a formula that had already proven to work.
"She's my mom so of course she wants what's best for me and would sacrifice anything for me. I just kept telling her why would we mess with this when I already went home and pulled great amounts of weight loss... and we're trying to get her off of those cigarettes for good for the rest of her life," Thomas told reporters.
Thomas also clarified the Tuesday night broadcast's comments in which she was shown saying that she was going to complete the episode's Pop Challenge competition at her own pace.
Although the broadcast made it appear as though Thomas made the comments at the beginning of the challenge, Thomas said she actually made them partway through after she began thinking about the upside to not winning the challenge and being forced to stay away from The Biggest Loser ranch's gym for the week.
"I did jog, and then I said to my mom probably on my fourth of fifth lap, I said 'I wouldn't mind getting out of the gym for a week," because me and my mom love to go up north, we love to go walking, we love to be outside," Thomas told Reality TV World. "My mom and I were climbing that mountain for fun every day and we loved getting out there... I [said] that because I would love to be outside for the week."
"But I got the key anyway, didn't I?" she added with a laugh.
However, Thomas also said that while winning the challenge and having the gym almost all to yourself would sound like an ideal situation in a weight-loss competition, she quickly grew to miss the camaraderie and motivation of the other contestants.
"In order to have an awesome gym you've gotta have people in there, because you feed off those people," Thomas told reporters. "It felt so empty in that gym without everybody."
Thomas said that the Pink team's prize of sharing the gym with only the Brown team for the week also got interrupted when some nearby wildfires kept the gym out of service to everyone for a couple of days.
"We weren't even allowed in the gym for two days! They didn't show that," Thomas told reporters. "It was a crazy, turned upside down week, but we got over it."
As far as the makeshift lounge she and her mother created on trainer Jillian Michaels' side of the gym, Thomas said the decision had been her mom's attempt at a "good laugh."
"It was after we had done all of our homework the night before, and my mom said 'Let's just do this, it'll be funny, it'll be cute,'" she told reporters.
Thomas added that although trainer Bob Harper had initially been somewhat taken aback by the lounge, he had grown to accept it by the end of the week.
"At first [Harper] was like 'What'd you girls do?' But then one morning he's like 'Well you girls got all those snacks over there, so go over there and get lunch... and then get back on the treadmill.' So it actually ended up coming in handy, our little lounge," she told reporters.
Thomas also told reporters that it had been her mother's idea that they audition for The Biggest Loserand she had made the suggestion while Thomas was cooking Easter dinner.
"I didn't even know there were auditions! It was Easter weekend and I was having Easter dinner and I called her because I bought the wrong ham -- how ironic right?" Thomas told reporters. "I heard all the noise in the background and [asked where she was] and she's like 'I'm at The Biggest Loser auditions, come down here."
After auditioning for last fall's The Biggest Loser:Families edition and failing to make the season's final casting, Thomas said they were subsequently approached to participate in the show's Couples edition instead.
Now at home and weighing 194 lbs., Thomas elaborated on last night's broadcast's post-elimination update video in which she said she's joined a local roller derby team.
"I love roller derby! I used to skate when I was younger and we started skating again and found out about the roller derby. I went on The Biggest Loser and then I came back and was like 'You know, this is perfect, this fits, I'm gonna keep going,'" Thomas told reporters. "It's a tough competitive sport and [all these girls] take it very, very seriously. We work out five-nights-a-week for two-to-three hours a night so it's definitely a great source of exercise for me."
Although she didn't comment on it directly, Thomas also seemed to touch on her January arrest in which she was charged with domestic violence for a December incident in which she allegedly threw flour in the face and eyes of a tenant.
"I just roll with the punches," Thomas told reporters. "Anything can happen to anybody at anytime and you just gotta try to handle everything as gracefully as you can and that's what we're doing."
Thomas also said that similar to Cotter, she isn't focusing her weight-loss goals on winning the $100,000 prize that one of the show's previously eliminated contestants will receive at the season finale's consolation weigh-in in May.
"This is about changing my life, and I feel like I've changed my life. If I win some at-home prize sweet, awesome, great," Thomas told Reality TV World. "I'm just keeping up, I'm making a life change and I wanna see what I can stick to, and I wanna be healthy and happy. That's what I'm focused on."