Shellay Cremen eliminated from 'The Biggest Loser: Families'
By John Bracchitta, 10/15/2008
After new team assigments left her apart from her daughter, Shellay Cremen, a 51-year-old stay-at-home mom from Royal Oak, MI, came up with the short end of the stick and became the third individual contestant to be eliminated from the The Biggest Loser: Families during last night broadcast on NBC.
"The Biggest Loser has changed my life," Shellay said following her elimination. "The thing that I'm most proud of is that I discovered that there are things I can do that I never thought I could do and my husband will totally be blown away because that totally has not been the person that I have been."
The Biggest Loser: Families' sixth episode began with Heba Salama, a 30-year-old pharmaceutical sales representative from Raleigh, NC, dealing with her frustration about last week's elimination of her husband Ed Brantley.
"I was just disappointed at the game and at everything else because if anyone put I those hours at the gym it was Ed, and his body just didn't cooperate," Heba said.
Afterward, the contestants were led into a room filled with piles of donut, cupcakes, bagels, brownies, and peanut butter cups. Once there, The Biggest Loser: Families host Alison Sweeney informed them that treats would serve as the focus of a temptation challenge that would allow the winner to re-divide the contestants -- which until that point, had been organized into two-person family member teams -- into two new Blue and Black teams that would compete against each other.
The winner would be determined by which contestant was willing to eat the most calories during the next ten minutes -- however there was one additional catch: the lights would be turned off and contestants would be spending the ten-minute period in complete darkness.
As soon as the lights were shut off Heba told the other contestants that she was willing to make a sacrifice and win the challange by eating a single donut, after which she would assign the teams so that each contestant still remained with their current trainer.
However, Amy Cremen, a 26-year-old purchasing department representative from Auburn Hills, MI, voiced her objection to the plan and noted that it would leave both her and her mother Shellay on a Jillian Michaels-trained all-female team while Heba would get to be on a Bob Harper-trained team that would feature the competition's last two -- and heaviest -- male contestants.
As Heba continued to pitch her plan, Phil Parham -- a 41-year-old real estate agent from Greer, SC who also resented Heba's attempt to control the game's outcome -- decided to use the darkness to his advantage and ate two peanut butter cups while his wife Amy Parham, a 40-year-old real estate agent from Greer, SC, attempted to speak on his behalf to Heba.
Heba eventually realized that Phil had been eating something and attempted to ask him directly what he had done, however Phil could not answer because his mouth was full of peanut butter.
"You guys are screwing me," Heba screamed as she waited for a response from Phil. After still not receiving an answer, Heba decided to down a second donut as a counter to Phil's move.
Meanwhile, Amy C. also decided that she wasn't comfortable letting Heba control the new team assignments and ate a brownie in an attempt to win the temptation.
Once the ten-minute period expired and the lights came back on, Alison announced that Phil had finished in third place by eating 210 calories; Amy C. had come in second by eating 340 calories; and Heba had won the right to determine the new teams and assign their trainers by eating 400 calories.
"Heba just won control of the game and I was just completely sick. You're filled up with all kinds of emotions like shoulda, coulda, woulda," Phil said after the temptation had concluded. "I lost my chance and now Heba gets to go and decide how the teams are split up and that's very frustrating."
After being sent outside to decide how to change the teams, Heba explained Phil's actions had angered her and that he would pay for it.
"It was the wrong day to mess with me. My husband left last night. If you wanted to piss me off, today was probably the wrong day, especially when it's up to me where you're going," she said.
After returning to the contestants, Heba announced that she had decided to join the Blue team and keep Bob as her trainer.
She then revealed that she'd selected Vicky Vilcan, a 37-year-old anesthetist from Houma, LA; her husband Brady Vilcan, a 36-year-old pharmacist from Houma, LA; Amy P.; and Amy C. as her Blue team teammates while Phil; Shellay; Renee Wilson, a 46-year-old event manager from Ft. Worth, TX; Michelle Aguilar, a 26-year-old assistant director from Ft. Worth, TX; and Coleen Skeabeck, a 23-year-old receptionist from Cleveland, OH would become members of the Black team that would train with Jillian.
The assignments left Phil and Amy C. as the only contestants who didn't get to remain with their original trainers.
After Heba finished revealing the new Black and Blue team rosters, the teams broke the news to Bob and Jillian. While Jillian thought the change was "kinda nice," Bob didn't take the news as well.
"Heba made a stupid decision," Bob vented to the cameras after remaining mostly calm as Heba explained her decision. "I don't have Phil anymore and it pisses me off. [Heba] was just like 'Get Phillip away from me' and that is not smart decision-making in The Biggest Loser house. If she would have been playing the game, she would have had both those boys on her team."
Afterwards, Jillian had another one-on-one conversation with Michelle, who told Jillian that she was thinking of dropping out of the competition because of the mounting guilt she had been feeling about spending time with her mother, who had left Michelle with her father after divorcing him years earlier.
While Jillian urged her to stay in the competition, Michelle remained undecided on her future at the ranch.
The next morning, Alison surprised the cast with a 6AM wake-up. After assembling the teams outside, she revealed that the teams would be participating in a 14-hour challenge that involved them climbing a large hill located right next to The Biggest Loser Ranch.
Each team's members would have the entire day to climb up and down the hill as many times as possible and earn a single point every time they reached its summit and took a picture of themselves. However, each team would also receive an additional bonus point for each trip in which they worked as one and climbed the entire hill together.
The team that won the challenge would receive a 2 lb. pass at the week's upcoming weigh-in.
While the Black team decided to walk together as a team, the Blue team decided to let Vicky and Brady compete on their own after noticing that Vicky had been slowing them down while Brady could walk and run up the hill faster than the team's other members.
"You're only as fast as your slowest person, unfortunately that's my wife today," said Brady.
After trekking up and down the mountain for hours in the day's intense heat, both teams met and agreed to take a break to cool off and avoid the day's hottest midday temperatures. Despite some doubts from Shellay and Coleen, both teams ended up deciding to honor the deal.
After resuming their climbs and continuing to scale the hill until sundown, the teams met with Alison and learned the competition's results.
Although Brady had covered more than 20 miles on his own, his performance wasn't enough to offset the rest of his team's performance and the Black team had handily won the challenge by earning 162 points to the Blue team's 147 points. Together, the teams had covered more than 160 miles.
Following some more "will she stay or will she go" drama in which Michelle discussed her feelings with both her mom and her father back home, the teams participated in their last chance workouts.
After having some issues with her earlier all-women team, Jillian was glad that Phil had joined her team and said that he would be her "secret weapon" as the weeks progressed.
That night, the teams gathered for their next weigh-in. Once there, Alison explained that each team's combined weight-loss percentage would be compared and the team with the lower weight-loss percentage would have to vote one of its members out of competition while the losing team member with the highest individual amount of weight lost would receive immunity.
The Black team collectively lost 30 lbs, which, when combined with their 2 lbs. challenge bonus, gave them a combined weight-loss of 2.84%. Phil lost 8 lbs. and Michelle lost 7 lbs. while Renee, Coleen and Shellay each lost 5 lbs.
However the Blue team lost even more weight -- 34 lbs. -- giving them a combined weight-loss of 2.96%. Amy C. lost 9 lbs. and Heba lost 8 lbs. while Vicky, Brady and Amy P. each lost 6 lbs.
After declaring the Blue team the weigh-in winner, Alison also noted that Michelle had received immunity for losing the highest percentage of weight on her Black team.
Once the Black team started discussing who to eliminate, Phil urged his teammates to keep him because of his success in past challenges and ability to lose large amounts of weight as the only man in the group.
Shellay felt that the time was right to eliminate Renee, but told the team that any decisions made regarding an elimination were strictly business and should not be taken personally.
After reconvening with Alison, Michelle and Renee both voted for Shellay's elimination while Phil and Shellay voted for Renee -- leaving the deciding vote up to Coleen.
"I know that this person will do so great at home I just cannot say enough good thing about this person," Coleen said in tears before revealing she had cast her deciding vote for Shellay.
"To be able to still love all of these people is really awesome, and it's been the best experience I have ever had and I will be fine. I'll be good at home," Shellay told her team after her elimination. "I've got a really good start and I'm excited, and I'll be really excited to see everybody again."
In a post-show update, Shellay said she has felt as "young, healthy, vibrant, and energetic" as she ever has since returning home. According to the update, she's dropped from a size 18 to a size 10 since beginning the show and hopes to be down to a size 6 by The Biggest Loser: Families' finale.