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'The Biggest Loser: Couples' eliminates contestant Arthur Wornum


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/02/2011 

The Biggest Loser: Couples eliminated Arthur Wornum, a 34-year-old stay-at-home-dad and day care provider from Portland, OR, during Tuesday night's broadcast of the NBC reality weight-loss series.

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Arthur became the ninth contestant ousted from the competition's eleventh season after he was forced to change teams following the week's challenge and as a result, was voted out by his Red team after they posted a lower weight-loss percentage than the Black team for the third time in four weigh-ins.

"The biggest difference between the Arthur that arrived and Arthur that's leaving is that the Arthur that's leaving is not using his size for any excuse anymore... No longer am I too big to do anything. Those days are over with. I think what I've proven to the folks out there who are my size, 650-hundred pounders, that it can be done," Arthur said following his ouster.

"What I'm going to take away from [trainers Bob Harper] and [Jillian Michaels] is really a ton of knowledge. Jillian's science to this is on point and what I take from Bob is he pushes you, but more importantly, he knows when you need that little pick me up. This has truly, truly changed my life."

The Biggest Loser: Couples' ninth eleventh-season episode began following the elimination of Denise "Deni" Hill, a 59-year-old administrative assistant from Bountiful, UT, and Arthur's father Jesse Wornum, a 61-year-old insurance agent from Portland, OR. 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 line.

Jesse was voted out of the competition after his Black team -- who are the contestants training with veteran trainers Bob and Jillian -- posted a lower weight-loss percentage than the Red team for the first time at the eighth week's weigh-in. The Red team members -- who are the contestants training with new trainers Brett Hoebel and Cara Castronuova, originally labeled "the unknowns" -- then joined the Black team and The Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney in the voting room.

Alison explained all the teams would be going home for two weeks to see their friends and family, but would be tempted by the food and lifestyle that originally brought them to the ranch. However, after the two weeks were up, they would have to return to the ranch and compete in a 5K race that was similar to the initial challenge they participated in when they first arrived on-campus.

Alison then revealed another twist in how the game would be played, in which seven of the 14 remaining contestants would be training with Brett and Cara and the other seven would be working out with Bob and Jillian. The contestants would get to determine who they wanted their trainers to be based on their performance in the week's challenge, and their decisions would either allow the Red and Black teams to stay the same or create an opportunity to switch up the teams and trainers once again.

The challenge required each member of both teams to run a total of 5K on treadmills, in which the order they finished would determine the order they would be allowed to pick their trainers. Once a set of trainer's seven slots were filled and the team was established, the remaining contestants would then be put into the other group by default.

After spending their time at home, the contestants returned to the ranch and participated in the 5K treadmill competition.  Justin Pope, a 39-year-old business owner, city worker and bounty hunter from Logan, UT, finished the race first within 32 minutes, winning the ability to choose first which trainers he desired to work with. He was then followed by Rulon Gardner, a 39-year-old gym owner and motivational speaker from Logan, UT, in second place; Kaylee Kinikini, a 20-year-old student also from Shelley, ID, in third; and Jennifer Jacobs, a 28-year-old digital media entrepreneur from Long Branch, NJ, in fourth place.

Following Jen was Austin Andrews, a 21-year-old radio board operator from Pasadena, CA, in fifth place; Marci Crozier, a 49-year-old health club manager and restaurant owner also from Valparaiso, IN, in sixth; and Olivia Ward, a 35-year-old opera singer and plastic surgery office manager from New York, NY, in seventh place. Hannah Curlee, a 32-year-old human resources representative from Nashville, TN, was next to finish and was followed by Moses Kinikini, a 47-year-old garage door installer from Shelley, ID; and Irene Alvarado, a 26-year-old student also from Portland, OR.

After Irene, Courtney Crozier, a 22-year-old student and restaurant manager from Valparaiso, IN, finished and was followed by Ken Andrews, a 49-year-old pastor from Pasadena, CA; Sarah Nitta, a 27-year-old college admissions counselor from Las Vegas, NV; and finally Arthur, who finished in last place and no longer had his fate in his own hands.

Sarah was considering throwing the challenge in order to save Arthur from coming in last, but she decided against it to protect herself. Arthur's Black team then began to worry that if he got sent over to the Red team and they lost the subsequent weigh-in, he would definitely be voted out, as he would be the newest player to join an already developed alliance. They knew he needed to stay in the competition the most because he had been deemed the most obese player to ever compete on The Biggest Loser

Justin, Rulon, and Kaylee chose to stay with Brett and Cara. Jen chose to leave the Red team and go back with Bob and Jillian -- who she initially trained with -- after she was forced to join Brett and Cara's group as a result of Arthur's previous decision to send her and her father Jay Jacobs, a 53-year-old entrepreneur from West Orange, NJ, to the unknowns after winning a prior challenge.

Arthur had exchanged Jen and Jay, his Black team's strongest players, for who he believed was the opposing Red team's weakest players -- Sarah and her mother Denise "Deni" Hill, a 59-year-old administrative assistant from Bountiful, UT -- in hopes his team would vote them out immediately at the next weigh-in if they lost before he or any of his favorite team members would be sent home.  

Austin chose to stay with Brett and Cara, while Marci, Olivia, and Hannah then chose to train with Bob and Jillian. Moses wanted to stay with Brett and Cara, and Irene and Courtney chose to stay with Bob and Jillian. Ken chose Brett and Cara, then Sarah opted to switch over to training with Bob and Jillian, leaving Arthur to cross over to the Red team without a choice in the matter.

Later on, The Biggest Loser: Couples' fourth Red vs. Black weigh-in and ninth elimination weigh-in -- but only the fifth elimination weigh-in the unknowns had participated in -- commenced. Alison explained that the team with the lowest weight-loss percentage would have to send one of their own players home, but the player who lost the most weight on the losing team would receive immunity. 

The Black team members were the first to step on the scale.

Jen started off the week weighing 211 pounds but dropped to 197 pounds after she lost 14 pounds, and Irene fell from 195 pounds to 185 pounds after shedding 10 pounds. Hannah lost 11 pounds after she dropped from 193 pounds to 182 pounds.

Olivia began the week at 202 pounds and shed 12 pounds, falling to 190 pounds, while Courtney fell from 256 pounds to 246 pounds after losing 10 pounds. In addition, Marci started off the week weighing 181 pounds and dropped to 167 pounds after she lost 14 pounds, and Sarah lost a total of 10 pounds after she fell to 194 pounds from 204 pounds.

The Black team lost a combined total of 81 pounds and posted a 5.62% weight-loss percentage.

The Red team then stepped on the scale.

Rulon started off the week weighing 367 pounds but dropped to 350 pounds after he lost 17 pounds, and Austin fell from 299 pounds to 289 pounds after shedding 10 pounds. Austin's father Ken lost only five pounds after he dropped from 291 pounds to 286 pounds.

Moses began the week weighing 322 pounds and shed only five pounds as well, falling to 317 pounds, while his daughter Kaylee fell from 180 pounds to 179 pounds after losing only one pound over a two-week period. In addition, Justin started off the week weighing 270 pounds and dropped to 262 pounds after he lost eight pounds.

Arthur needed to lose more than 18 pounds in order to win immunity for his Red team, and therefore, would be safe from elimination. However, he only could manage to lose 16 pounds as he dropped from 406 pounds to 390 pounds.

The Red team lost of a total of 62 pounds which was not enough, and as a result, the Black team would then be forced to vote one of their own members out of the competition.

However, before the Red team deliberated who they should vote for, Bob and Jillian each spoke their minds. While Jillian urged Arthur to not accept his Red team fate and fight to stay, Bob tried to convince the team not to vote for Arthur because not only did he deserve to stay in the competition, he needed to. He hoped they would overlook their alliance and realize the true reason every contestant originally participated in The Biggest Loser: Couples.

"No! Don't sit there and say I'm going home -- I'm doing this. I'm doing that -- fight, please! Would you please!? Because you know what, we have fought for you to be here. Can you do that for me, because I'd appreciate it," Jillian yelled.

"I just want to say something. I get this game. I've been in this house since season one and I understand alliances, I understand numbers, I understand so much of this house, but when I look at Arthur, who is the unhealthiest person that has ever been on The Biggest Loser, and I see that man standing up there after losing that much weight and has so much further to go, this is the kind of person that this house was built on," Bob pleaded.

"It should not be about a game at this point. It should be about a matter of life or death. This is his life here and it kills me to see this man that's going to go home just because he's not part of an alliance. That's just bull---t to me. That is bull---t!"

"I need to be here. What more can I say!?" Arthur cried.

After deliberating, the Red team arrived for their ninth elimination ceremony.

Justin, Rulon, Kaylee and Moses all voted to oust Arthur from The Biggest Loser: Couples. Arthur voted for Ken, while Ken and Austin did not have to reveal their votes because Arthur had enough votes to constitute for his elimination.

In a post-elimination update, Arthur -- who started The Biggest Loser: Couples weighing 507 pounds-- said he now weighs 345 pounds. He said he incorporated walking into his daily routine and is working to win the grand prize, not what is money but the ability to get his life back. Arthur explained how he can now control what he eats and wants to lose much more weight for the show's finale.   

(Photo credit NBC)


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