'The Biggest Loser' sees two contestants quit and eliminates another
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/18/2012
The Biggest Loser's thirteenth season lost three contestants during Tuesday night's broadcast of the NBC reality weight-loss competition's sixteenth episode, with two contestants quitting the show and a third being automatically eliminated at the weigh-in.
Allen "Buddy" Shuh, a 42-year-old pastor from Wayne, MI, and Mark Cornelison, a 43-year-old youth pastor from Magnolia, TX, both decided to quit and leave The Biggest Loser ranch after they learned of an upcoming twist in which a thirteenth-season previously eliminated contestant would be allowed to return to the show and resume competing for the $250,000 grand prize.
"For anybody out there that sees this, they may just think I blew this opportunity and threw this away. I didn't throw away anything. I'm 11 pounds from what I considered my life-goal weight. That's huge, but you know what? I'm just at a point where I'm done. I'm done with the twists and turns and all that. I gotta stand for what I feel like is right. I know it's not going to be popular, but it's my decision. It's what I had to do," Mark said before his departure.
"I'm following my heart right now and I'm doing what I feel is the right thing to do. There's a part of me that's upset because I didn't ever see it ending this way. I just don't like one of the games' rules, and for that, I won't play that week's game. I just feel real strong that I have to take a stand for this thing that I just feel like shouldn't be. I don't feel like a quitter though I'm quitting the show," Buddy explained prior to his exit.
In addition, Jeremy Britt, a 22-year-old banker from Rockford, MI, was subsequently ousted from the competition after he fell below the red weigh-in line for finishing with the lowest weight-loss percentage at the week's weigh-in, which featured the three remaining contestants weighing-in individually as singles with the hopes of guaranteeing themselves one of two spots in the finale.
The Biggest Loser's sixteenth thirteenth-season episode began with the remaining five contestants determining whether they should quit the show after learning the producers were planning to, as they did last season, allow a previously eliminated contestant earn the chance to return to the game and compete in the competition's finale weigh-in -- a move the five contestants felt would allow an "undeserving" person to take a spot that belonged to them.
Mark, Buddy, Jeremy, Kim Nielsen, a 38-year-old former professional wrestler from Roswell, GA, and Conda Britt, a 24-year-old nutrition health services technician from Rockford, MI, believed the situation was very unfair since they had all worked so hard to get to where they were in the competition.
"I really wish the five well that they're going to bring back," Mark said to his fellow contestants.
The Biggest Loser's cameramen and producers then told veteran trainer Bob Harper the news that the contestants were refusing to participate in the show's events. He was shocked and thought the contestants were acting crazy, because he acknowledged the factThe Biggest Loser has incorporated a similar twist in nearly all of its prior seasons.
When Bob shared his knowledge with fellow trainer Dolvett Quince, who was only participating in his second The Biggest Loser season, Dolvett was equally surprised.
Bob and Dolvett then attempted to talk to Kim, Buddy, Mark, Conda, and Jeremy together. Bob was expecting to walk into a crowd of anger, but the contestants clearly weren't mad. Buddy told the trainers they all respected The Biggest Loser and their decisions, but they just simply didn't want to go along with the rules any longer. He claimed it was a choice he needed to make for himself and it was time for the players to "own" themselves.
"I own me. I decide if I want to go workout with you -- first time I ever said no," Buddy said.
"This is not about you two. This is not about us attacking y'all. This is a bigger thing. You've got five people who worked their rears off to be in this place and now you're saying, "Hey, one of you will potentially be sent home and we're bringing back somebody that has lost. And I've watched Biggest Loser for years," Mark told his trainers.
"I've never seen in the last week something like this happen. I've seen the last five. They get to celebrate and enjoy being with one another, and this is like, "We're going to give this to somebody who could've been home for 14 weeks. That just doesn't seem right. At some point, we've got to stand."
"There's always a twist. There's always a turn. These guys do not like this twist and turn at the one-yard line," Bob explained.
Afterward, The Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney met with the contestants and asked them to explain their final decision to the show's lawyer one-on-one.
The lawyer explained to the players that the situation regarding the returning eliminated contestant was written in The Biggest Loser rulebook for them all to read upfront. The lawyer insisted it was unfair to the show that the contestants had all signed the series' rules before the show started and then ended up threatening to quit.
Jeremy claimed the situation was spelled out in the contract as a possibility, not a definite. The lawyer disagreed and showed him the copy Jeremy had signed, disapproving Jeremy's theory. All the contestants continued to voice their concerns. Kim explained she wasn't afraid to compete against anyone, it was just that she wanted to compete against those players who deserved to be there.
"It's sort of the deal you make. You could get this opportunity that millions of people want and audition for and you come to this place and you commit your time and your energy and your effort, and there's a crew and there's food and you get this place to live and trainers and people who care about you, but the exchange is that you help us inspire people at home and that's the trade-out. And now it seems like you're not willing to keep up your end of the bargain," Alison told Mark during their private discussion.
"Okay, and if that's the way you see it, I can't change that. It's just, I can't make the trade-off anymore even though it's two weeks," Mark replied.
After speaking with Alison and The Biggest Loser's lawyer, the contestants were very torn over what move to make.
"Right now, competitor part in me is like, 'Continue to fight,' but the side of me that's my morals and what I believe in is telling me that I shouldn't continue to do something that isn't making me happy right now," Conda said.
In the end, Conda felt the best choice for her was to stay because she wanted to make every day count. Jeremy opted to stay in the competition as well because he didn't want to miss out on the great opportunity he had been given and refused to see someone else take his place when he had worked so hard. In addition, Kim chose to remain on the ranch because she convinced herself to focus on her own journey and the fact she was on the show for herself and her children.
Conda, Kim and Jeremy then met with Alison again, and Alison told them she was glad they would see things through.
"It feels weird moving forward without Mark and Buddy. I mean, they've been there since Day 1. Jeremy hadn't even been there with me since Day 1 on Dolvett's team. But I'm not in control of the decisions that people make and I still have a competition to win," Kim explained.
Alison told the remaining three contestants that the player to post the highest percentage of weight-loss at the upcoming weigh-in would win a brand new 2013 Ford Escape, adding that there would also be a red line in which the person to post the lowest weight-loss percentage would automatically be sent home. The two people above the red line would be guaranteed a place in The Biggest Loser's thirteenth-season finale.
Afterward, the contestants participated in their last chance workouts with Bob and Dolvett. Conda pulled an SUV with Bob sitting inside, while Dolvett pushed Kim and Jeremy hard in the gym. The contestants then got to see videos of themselves and their journeys on the show up to that point. They were all emotionally affected by the message and knew they weren't finished with their transformations yet.
Later on, The Biggest Loser's thirteenth-season's fifteenth elimination weigh-in commenced. Alison reiterated the rules of the weigh-in and reminded the contestants there would not be a vote.
Conda was then the first player to step on the scale and she learned she had lost 10 pounds. She posted a 4.88% weight-loss percentage after falling from 205 to 195 pounds.
Kim dropped from 162 to 147 pounds, losing 15 pounds total and posting a 9.26% weight-loss percentage.
Lastly, Jeremy only posted a 4.02% weight-loss percentage after shedding 10 pounds. He fell from 249 pounds to 239 pounds.
"I feel like that's unfair. I feel like it should be Jeremy in there and not me. I feel like it should be Jeremy there and not Kim. Jeremy works his ass off. He has never had a bad number. He gives it everything every single week. If someone deserves to be in the finals, it's Jeremy. That's wrong!" Conda yelled out in tears.
"That's the way it is man. It's fine. I have to face it. I didn't lose what I needed to lose and it's nobody's fault that I'm in this position. I'm not going home because I don't workout. I'm not going home because I'm a quitter. I'm not going home because I didn't do the work. I lost 10 frickin pounds. Sometimes, it doesn't always pan out at the right time for you," Jeremy explained. "I'm not the Biggest Loser."
Jeremy, who lost 150 pounds during his time on the show, was eliminated. Conda and Kim will be two of the players in the show's upcoming finale episode and have the chance to win the grand prize. Kim also won the new SUV vehicle.
The episode then ended in a cliffhanger, with Alison about to explain what the challenge will be for the previously eliminated contestants to be featured in next week's episode.
(Photo credit NBC)
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