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'The Biggest Loser: Couples' cuts Denise "Deni" Hill, Jesse Wornum


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/23/2011 

The Biggest Loser: Couples eliminated Denise "Deni" Hill, a 59-year-old administrative assistant from Bountiful, UT, and Jesse Wornum, a 61-year-old insurance agent from Portland, OR, during Tuesday night's broadcast of the NBC reality weight-loss series.

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Deni and Jesse became the seventh and eighth contestants ousted from the competition's eleventh season, as Deni was automatically eliminated after she posted the lowest weight-loss percentage out of all the contestants from both teams and fell below the red weigh-in, while Jesse was voted out of the competition after his Black team posted a lower weight-loss percentage than the Red team for the first time at the eighth week's weigh-in.

"The person leaving today is so different than the person I was when I first came. I'm stronger; I feel so much better about myself. I have so much more confidence. I never thought I could do the things I'm doing now. Coming here with Sarah has brought us so much closer. We just had so many wonderful opportunities to appreciate each other, and she's what brought me here. She's who gave me this gift," Deni said following her ouster.

"I just cannot express my gratitude for The Biggest Loser for helping me to grow this much and helping me to rediscover who I am. I am so excited for the future because being here and learning the things I've learned and being able to go home and live this way will give me so many more years to live."

The Biggest Loser: Couples' eighth eleventh-season episode began following the elimination of Jay Jacobs, a 53-year-old entrepreneur from West Orange, NJ, who was voted out of the competition by his Red team members -- who are the contestants training with new trainers Brett Hoebel and Cara Castronuova, originally labeled "the unknowns" -- after they posted the lower weight-loss percentage at the seventh week's weigh-in.

The Black team -- who are the contestants training with veteran trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels -- then joined the Red team and The Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney in the voting room, who revealed two players would be eliminated. Alison explained the contestant with the lowest weight-loss percentage will fall below the red line and will be ousted immediately, while the losing team at the weigh-in would have to vote one of their own off.

The Red team then went off-campus to workout at Elite MMA where many professional athletes have trained. Rulon Gardner, a 39-year-old gym owner and motivational speaker from Logan, UT, then got to see one of his old trainers who got him ready for a wrestling event in Japan. Meanwhile, the Black team also had their workouts on the ranch in the gym.

Moses Kinikini, a 47-year-old garage door installer from Shelley, ID, worried that his daughter Kaylee Kinikini, a 20-year-old student also from Shelley, ID, would be in danger of falling below the red line at the subsequent weigh-in because she has not been able to shed much weight from week to week. Therefore, he woke her up every morning around 6AM to workout together and motivate each other to lose enough weight to keep them around another week. 

Later that day, both teams met with Alison and learned they would be competing against each other in the week's challenge. Alison then explained it would be their job as a team to get six boulder-sized rubber balls down a football field to the goal post.

The teams had to follow three rules in which they couldn't let the balls hit the ground, one player could not hit the ball twice in a row, and there would be no catching of the balls. In addition, every contestant must wear boxing gloves, making the challenge more difficult.

The first team to succeed would win a three-pound advantage at the weigh-in. The Black team had to choose to sit out two of their own players because they had extra members, so they chose to exclude Arthur Wornum, a 34-year-old stay-at-home-dad and day care provider from Portland, OR, and Deni's daughter Sarah Nitta, a 27-year-old college admissions counselor from Las Vegas, NV.

The Red team took a commanding lead early on in the challenge and ended up winning, securing their three-pound advantage. The Red team had yet to lose more total weight at the weigh-ins than the Black team, so they were thrilled they would have a leg up this time around.

Afterward, Marci Crozier, a 49-year-old health club manager and restaurant owner also from Valparaiso, IN, and Deni told their Black team they would want to go home over any of the young contestants and discussed how to protect Arthur, which meant someone may have to throw the weigh-in.

Jesse then realized he had a target on his back to possibly get voted off and got mad because even though he's a parent and "old man," he felt he deserved to stay as much or more than everyone else, even though everyone had his son's best interests at heart.

The Red team training with Brett and Cara and the Black team training with Bob and Jillian then participated in their last chance workouts.

Later on, The Biggest Loser: Couples third Red vs. Black weigh-in and eighth elimination weigh-in -- but only the fourth elimination weigh-in the unknowns had participated in -- commenced. 

Alison explained that the team with highest percentage of weight-loss would be safe from having to send one of their own players home, but would not be safe from elimination because of the chance of falling below the red line. The Red team were the first contestants to step on the scale, and hoped they would not be beaten by the Black team for the third week in a row.

Austin Andrews, a 21-year-old radio board operator from Pasadena, CA, fell from 306 pounds to 299 pounds after he lost seven pounds and posted a 2.29% weight-loss percentage, while his father Ken Andrews, a 49-year-old pastor also from Pasadena, CA, lost a total of five pounds after he went from 296 pounds to 291 pounds. Ken posted a weight-loss percentage of 1.69%.

Justin Pope, a 39-year-old business owner, city worker and bounty hunter from Logan, UT, dropped from 277 pounds to 270 pounds after shedding seven pounds and posting a 2.53% weight-loss percentage, while Rulon posted a 1.08% weight-loss percentage, losing only four pounds after he started off the week weighing 371 pounds and fell to 367 pounds.

Kaylee shed seven pounds and posted a 3.74% weight-loss percentage. She fell from 187 pounds to 180 pounds, while Moses dropped from 333 pounds to 322 pounds after losing 11 pounds, posting a 3.30% weight-loss percentage.

Jennifer Jacobs, a 28-year-old digital media entrepreneur from Long Branch, NJ, started off the week weighing 211 pounds and actually gained two pounds, rising to 213 pounds. She was surprised by her results and posted a positive 0.95% weight-loss percentage.

The Red team lost a combined total of 42 pounds, posting a 2.12% weight-loss percentage. It was then time for the Black team to step on the scale. 

Arthur dropped from 415 pounds to 406 pounds after shedding a total of nine pounds and posting a 2.17% weight-loss percentage.

Olivia Ward, a 35-year-old opera singer and plastic surgery office manager from New York, NY, dropped from 206 pounds to 202 pounds after shedding four pounds and posting a 1.94% weight-loss percentage.

Sarah fell to 204 pounds from 208 pounds after she lost four pounds and posted a 1.92% weight-loss percentage.

Irene Alvarado, a 26-year-old student from Portland, OR, shed three pounds after she fell from 198 pounds to 195 pounds, posting a 1.52% weight-loss percentage.

Olivia's friend Hannah Curlee, a 32-year-old human resources representative from Nashville, TN, lost only one pound after dropping from 194 to 193 pounds and posted a 0.52% weight-loss percentage. 

Marci's daughter Courtney Crozier, a 22-year-old student and restaurant manager from Valparaiso, IN, lost two pounds after she dropped from 258 pounds to 256 pounds. She posted a 0.78% weight-loss percentage, while Marci added one pound and posted a positive 0.55% weight-loss percentage climbing from 181 pounds to 182 pounds. Marci admitted the decision was hers to save the young contestants, which she had previously discussed with them.

Jesse also gained weight, allowing others to assume he threw the weigh-in as well to save Arthur. He added three pounds after going from 238 pounds to 241 pounds, posting a positive 1.26% weight-loss percentage.

Deni was the last to weigh-in and the pattern continued for Black team. She gained a shocking eight pounds after she went from 196 pounds to 204 pounds, posting a positive 4.08% weight-loss percentage. She, like Marci, also came clean and confessed she had thrown the weigh-in for the kids as a mom, especially for Sarah.

Deni fell below the red line and was automatically eliminated.

In addition, the Red team won the weigh-in as the Black team only lost a total of 11 pounds and posted a 0.53% weight-loss percentage. The Black team would be then be forced to vote one of their own members out of the competition.

After deliberating, the Black team arrived for their eighth elimination ceremony.

Courtney, Sarah, Olivia, Hannah, and Marci all voted to oust Jesse from The Biggest Loser: Couples. Jesse, Arthur and Irene did not have to reveal their votes because Jesse had enough votes to constitute for his elimination.

"I feel really good about the Jesse that has evolved from here. My diabetes is under control for the first time since I've been diagnosed with it. I mean I've lost 50 pounds but I have a lot more weight to lose. I want to be healthy," Jesse said following his elimination.

"For me, when it's all said and done, Arthur's the one I started this journey with. I'm happy for him every morning we wake up and he gets ready to go out there and exercise. He's just coming along so great. I am so proud of him. This is a real wonderful start to a new journey for the rest of my life, and I appreciate it."

In a post-elimination update, Jesse started The Biggest Loser: Couples weighing 293 pounds and now weighs 227 pounds. He said he began a "Walking with Jesse" program in order to reach out to others who struggle with obesity in attempt to inspire them to want to lose weight. He noted that he felt like his life has really just begun.

In Deni's post-elimination update, she started the show at 256 pounds and now weighs 170 pounds. She explained how she has found alternative desserts and snacks for herself and her grandchildren, allowing her to lose more weight and keep up with the kids. She was also thrilled she got to watch her daughter's wedding with her that she missed and that she will now live a longer life.

(Photo credit NBC)


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