'The Biggest Loser's Hannah Curlee and Olivia Ward make finale
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/18/2011
Hannah Curlee and Olivia Ward were revealed to be two of The Biggest Loser: Couples' three finalists during Tuesday night's penultimate broadcast of the NBC reality weight-loss competition.
Home viewers will now decide which one of the season's two other remaining contestants -- Jay Jacobs, a 53-year-old entrepreneur from West Orange, NJ, or Irene Alvarado, a 26-year-old student from Portland, OR -- will become the show's third finalist.
Immediately following the conclusion of last night's episode, home viewers could begin voting via NBC's website or text message for either Jay or Irene.
The contestant who receives the most votes will be revealed during The Biggest Loser: Couples' live finale on Tuesday, May 24 at 8PM ET/PT.
The Biggest Loser's penultimate eleventh-season episode began on Week 20 following the elimination of Austin Andrews, a 21-year-old radio board operator from Pasadena, CA, after he finished with the lowest weight-loss percentage at the nineteenth week's weigh-in, which featured the five remaining contestants weighing-in individually, and was subsequently voted off by the rest of the season's cast.
Austin's elimination left Hannah, a 32-year-old human resources representative from Nashville, TN; Olivia, a 35-year-old opera singer and plastic surgery office manager from New York, NY; Jay and Irene as the competition's final four contestants.
The next day, the contestants participated in their workouts with veteran trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels and new trainers Brett Hoebel and Cara Castronuova in preparation for their last weigh-in on the ranch, which would determine the two finalists to automatically advance to The Biggest Loser: Couples' finale broadcast.
Afterward, the final four met with The Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney and learned they would be competing in a Pop Challenge. Alison explained the contestants would be required to make their own version of a turkey burger to feed more than 50 kids.
The winner would receive $5,000 and be rewarded the opportunity to send a guest of their choice to the The Biggest Loser resort at Fitness Ridge where he or she would stay for two weeks and reap the health, exercise and spa benefits.
Hannah had 22 children vote for her "cheesy turkey burger," while Jay had 31 kids on his side who preferred his "volcano burger" over the other options. Jay, as a result, won the challenge and was excited to give the prize to his wife so she could start her own new life of better health.
The following day, the contestants met Alison again and learned they would be competing in their final challenge on the ranch. Alison explained the rules and brought in The Biggest Loser's Season 10 winner Patrick House to help inspire the final four.
The challenge was all about putting the weight back on. Each person was required to carry around a golf bag filled with weighted numbered flags, representing how much weight each contestant had lost at the corresponding week's weigh-in. Their job was to drop one symbolically weighted flag at each hole throughout a golf course, and the first person to finish the golf course and drop all their weight would win the challenge.
Hannah had to carry 98 pounds in flags because she lost a total of 98 pounds during her Biggest Loser journey at that point in time. Jay had to to handle 154 pounds, Irene had to manage 108 pounds, and Olivia had to carry 108 pounds.
Hannah ended up finishing in first place and won the challenge, and she received a home gym valued at $15,000. Irene came in second place, and she was then followed by Olivia and Jay. Alison then told all the contestants that The Biggest Loser would be providing each person a personal trainer at home to get them ready for the finale.
The next day, the final four participated in their last chance workouts and knew the progress they made would determine their fate in the competition's finale.
Alison explained that the two individuals with the highest percentage of weight-loss would guarantee themselves a spot in the live finale and a chance to win the title of The Biggest Loser and a quarter of a million dollars. The two people to fall below the yellow line would be forced to ask America to vote for them to be the third finalist, which would be revealed during next Tuesday night's live broadcast.
The fourth person, who would not make it into the final three based on home-viewer votes, must resume their weight-loss journey at home in attempt to win the $100,000 consolation prize.
Irene was then the first contestant to step on the scale. She started off the week weighing 147 pounds and dropped to 144 pounds after she lost three pounds and posted a 2.04% weight-loss percentage.
Jay lost a total of four pounds, posting a 1.63% weight-loss percentage. He fell from 246 to 242 pounds.
Olivia was the next person to weigh-in. She shed four pounds after dropping from 153 pounds to 149 pounds, posting a 2.61% weight-loss percentage. She became one of the two contestants to automatically make it into the finale, while Jay realized he had definitely fallen below the yellow line and would later have to plead his case to America.
Hannah then stepped on the scale. She started off the week weighing 150 pounds and fell to 146 pounds after she lost four pounds and posted a 2.67% weight-loss percentage. Hannah became the third woman oncampus during The Biggest Loser: Couples season to lose 100 pounds or more, which set a new Biggest Loser record.
Sisters Hannah and Olivia were then announced to be the two finalists who would face off in The Biggest Loser: Couples last episode, becoming the first all-female team ever to make it to the final four together in the show's history. Hannah posted the highest percentage of weight loss at the weigh-in.
After learning that they'd finished as the two contestants with the lowest weight-loss percentages, Jay and Irene -- who would be leaving the ranch as The Biggest Loser oncampus -- each got a chance to record a video and plead their cases to home viewers.
"I got to the ranch so broken and so shut down, and in the last 20 weeks, I have finally gotten my life back. America, I am asking for your support. Please vote for me and send me to the final three," Irene said during her video.
Jay then recorded a heart-felt plea, telling home viewers how much he believed he deserved to remain in the competition.
"I'd love to be able to be one of the finalists. I think I deserve to be a finalist and I hope that you'll vote for me, because I want to be one of those examples of somebody that can overcome many obstacles and odds and make it to the very end. So, I hope that you feel the same way too. Thank you very much," Jay said.
The next day, the four contestants got sent home to finish their weight-loss transformation with their family and friends.
(Photo credit NBC)
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