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'The Biggest Loser's Dannielle "Danni" Allen: I don't think my mind has lost the weight yet even though my body has


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/19/2013 

The Biggest Loser crowned Dannielle "Danni" Allen its fourteenth-season champion during Monday night's live finale of the NBC reality weight-loss competition.

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Danni, a 26-year-old advertising account coordinator from Wheeling, IL, began the competition at 258 pounds and weighed-in at 137 pounds during the finale -- giving her a 121-pound weight-loss that won her the show's $250,000 grand prize.

Jeff Nichols, a 24-year-old pharmaceutical representative from Monroe, MI, finished as the runner-up, while Jackson Carter, a 21-year-old volunteer coordinator for LGBT resource center and movie theater assistant manager from Layton, UT, claimed third place.

During a Tuesday conference call with reporters, Danni talked to Reality TV World about her The Biggest Loser experience and victory and below is what she had to say. Check back with Reality TV World soon for more from her call.

Reality TV World: You obviously looked incredible last night. Leading up to the final weigh-in, were you confident you were going to win, especially taking into account what Jillian Michaels had said in the middle of the episode -- that she wanted to wait to hug you until the confetti fell?

Dannielle "Danni" Allen: In my head, I had already figured out that I didn't want to lose any moment from this regardless of a win or loss in it. So I just wanted -- I already got in my head that I already won. I was just living in that moment, and if I could win the overall prize, that would just be the cherry on top.

I kept going confident going up before that stage, but it happens every single time -- you get up on that scale, you hit that 50/50 -- "Well I know that I did everything that I could do, but was it enough?"

And Jeff looked amazing and I would have to lose more than 120 pounds. That was actually right at my goal, so I don't know if I could do it. You know, you start to question at the end and it was just a back and forth motion of, "I knew I did the work, but was it enough?" And I was just so glad I could say, "Yes, yes it was enough."

Reality TV World: When you became the last member of your White Team standing this season, could you ever imagine -- even in your wildest dreams -- that this is how things would turn out for you?

Dannielle "Danni" Allen: If you told me Week 5 when I was all by myself, crying in my bed because I had no more team and I was all by myself, I didn't know what I was going to do. I didn't think I was going to make one more week -- that I would be standing at the top with the confetti falling down and the giant check for $250,000. I would've thought you were nuts.

But I think the best thing was that week, I also did learn that it was up to me to change things. It's in my hands to change my stars and I was able to do it, and I think that's the best story for everyone out there. And we're challenging America. If I can do it, you totally can do it!

Reality TV World: When you were the only White Team member left, how bad did it get? Were you in the mindset of where you found it necessary to pack your bags every single week? Were you just expecting that moment to come of your elimination week by week?

Dannielle "Danni" Allen: Well you know, one of the mental games that the show does play is everyone does have to pack their bags before a weigh-in, so anyone is prepared to go home. And it just really plays with you mentally that this could be the time you could go. But I knew every time I was packing that bag, I was like, "I know I can't go home this week."

So I was fighting myself a lot and fighting the pain and fighting the mental break that I wasn't ready to expose my demons yet. But they're there and I know that they're there, and so with every week, it got closer and closer. But it was like a mental game that really, really played on you.

Reality TV World: Dr. Huizenga said you put on 19 pounds of muscle before leaving the ranch, which obviously surprised everyone. And you clearly looked so toned during last night's finale. Do you have any idea how much more muscle you've put on since the ranch?

Dannielle "Danni" Allen: I have no idea! I do know that Dr. Huizenga did his magic and did scan us, but we weren't allowed to know any of the details until afterwards.

So I'm really hoping to have that conversation and find out, "Did I add to that 19 pounds?" Because dang did I feel it! And wow I looked at myself in those pictures and I'm like, "Whoa, there is muscle!" (Laughs) My mind hasn't fully -- I said my body lost the weight but I don't think my mind has really lost it just yet.

Reality TV World: You seemed very close with Pam Geil this season. Could you talk a little bit about your relationship with her? Did your bond become very strong simply because you were the last two White Team members left at one point and so you had each other's backs from a competition standpoint or was it a real friendship you think will be long lasting?

Dannielle "Danni" Allen: There's no doubt in my mind that I made a friend for life with Pam Geil. She is just a truly amazing and strong person, and there was just a moment that we had when she was leaving that she just held my shoulders and looked into my eyes and goes, "Girl, you have nothing else now. You've got this. You take this home. You win it for yourself."

And she just had this moment with me that was so purely not about the fact that she was leaving but about the fact that she knew she was leaving me in good hands and that I was going to be strong. It just touched me so much that Pam is just an amazing person. I mean, from the 'Pam dance' on the stage to just the amazing personality that she is and who she is to her daughter.

And you know, she's just a great human being. The one bummer is that the one time I'm in New York, she's still back in LA, and so I can't wait to continue our friendship from here on out, because it was definitely not just for show.

Reality TV World: I saw her give you a huge hug at the end of last night's finale. Did she say anything similar to you then -- any great advice or words of wisdom?

Dannielle "Danni" Allen: She just whispered to me, "I told you so." (Laughs) It was like she believed it all along and it took me a little longer to believe it along the process. And she just said, "I told you so."

And I was just still reeling from how amazing she looked! I mean, she looked happy, she looked beautiful. She was radiating. So it was one of those [things] where I'm like -- and I just responded with, "We did it. We did it. We're here." It was just a beautiful moment and I love that woman. I do! I love her and I will always love her.

Check back with Reality TV World soon for more from Dannielle "Danni" Allen's call.



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