Tom Desrochers Sr. and L.T. Desrochers cut from 'The Biggest Loser'
By John Bracchitta, 09/24/2008
The potential for success seen in the father-son team of Tom Desrochers Sr. and Tom "L.T." Desrochers Jr. proved to be enough for their ouster from last night's broadcast of The Biggest Loser: Families on NBC.
The Everett, MA cab drivers became the second team to be eliminated from the competition after netting a 0% weight loss at ths show's second weigh-in -- with Tom losing only three pounds while L.T. gained three pounds.
"I lost 27 pounds in two weeks and that's an incredible number," said Tom Sr., the 42-year-old father who made up half of the Gray team along with his 22-year-old son, said after the pair's elimination. "I think that's awesome. I'm not disappointed. I Mean it would've been nice to stay here, but it just wasn't meant to be. The Biggest Loser has saved my life. When I came to the ranch I was on 9 pills. Now they're all gone. I don't take any more pills, I feel great, I can breath, and it's a great feeling now that I know what I'm doing once I get home to stay off of them."
"My life is gonna change when I get back because I don't have to get up every morning and open up all ten little yellow jars and take those pills," he added.
"Next week I'm gonna just have to drop twenty [pounds,] that's what I'm gonna have to do," said L.T. "I gained three pounds! I came to fat loss show and gained three pounds! Would you be mad if you went onto a makeover show and they made you uglier?! America, the next time you see me I am gonna be $100,000 richer and the 'At-Home Biggest Loser' friggin' Champion. Period."
"America, the next time you see me I am gonna be real thin and I'm gonna be better looking than I am now," Tom Sr. added with a smile.
The Biggest Loser: Families' second episode began with the remaining teams returning to their housing area after the first elimination of the green team.
"I know it was hard for you guys to make that decision, and it really means a lot to us to get just a little more time here. Someday we really want to start a family, and I have to get healthy to do that," said 30-year-old pharmaceutical sales representative and Orange team member Heba Salama. "I know it was a hard decision."
"We appreciate it, and we promise that we wont let you down," added Ed Brantley, Heba's 31-year-old husband and fellow Orange team member. "You made the right choice. We owe you a debt of gratitude."
The Orange team comments seemed to strike a chord with L.T., who later told the cameras that given his team had been the one that cast the deciding vote in the elimination vote that kept the Orange team in the competition, he hoped that they would "have my back" and if his Gray team fell into the bottom two at show's second weigh-in.
The following day, trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Harper both met with their teams and warned them that The Biggest Loser's second week is notorious for disappointing weight loss totals due to the body's adjustment to the stresses of eating healthy and working out.
However prior to beginning her teams' next workout, Jillian also had to address another problem concerning 26-year-old Ft. Worth, Texas assistant director and Pink team member Michelle Aguilar's struggle to adjust to living with her previously estranged mother, 46-year-old event manager Renee Wilson.
"For five-and-a-half-years we didn't speak. Now being at the ranch and spending 24 hours a day 7 days a week with her... my brain was just overwhelmed," she said about her mother, who divorced Michelle's father when she was a child.
"The truth of the matter is that you need to take care of you," Jillian told Michelle after stating that her mother had done what she needed to make herself happy.
Meanwhile, alone with married-couple teams in the gym, Bob decided to motivate his team by tearing up the big yellow line that split the gym between Jillian and himself.
"I decided to rip up the yellow line, and I liked it," Bob said. [The gym is] a positive place, and the yellow line is not a positive thing. So it's gonna be one big happy family in the gym. Bob AND Jillian's gym."
Following the first workout, 51-year-old Cleveland, OH police sergeant and Yellow team member Jerry Skeabeck said that he had already noticed a significant change in his body while at The Biggest Loser Ranch.
"The difference between this week and last week are like night and day," he said happily. "When I started here I truly felt like dying. It felt good to not have someone taking my blood pressure every half hour. I'm not one-hundred percent but I'm getting there. Besides the aches and the pains I feel actually pretty good."
The following morning, the teams met with The Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney, who led the teams into a room with ping-pong paddles colored with each team's color.
"You all have much to be proud of, but you are all about to face the dreaded week-two plateau. In five seasons of The Biggest Loser the average percentage of weight loss during the second week was approximately two-percent," she warned the teams.
Alison then told the teams that one team would have a chance to win $10,000 if they successfully bid on the percentage of weight loss that their own team would lose that week. If the team successfully matched their bid, Sweeney said they would win the money. However if the team failed to match the percentage, they would automatically be placed below the yellow line at that week's weigh-in.
"So it all comes down to how confident you feel about how much weight you can lose," Sweeney said before starting the bidding at one percent. "I think its time to put your money where your mouth is."
After fifteen bids between the Gray, Red, Yellow and Purple teams, 23-year-old receptionist and Yellow Team member Coleen Skeabeck won the bidding -- at the urging of her father Jerry -- at 2.4 percent, meaning her team would have to lose 14 collective pounds of their body weight that week.
"Ten-thousand dollars would be a beautiful thing in my life. I understand what the goal is. what the mission is. Now its time to get dirty and let's do it," said Jerry.
"I don't know what they were thinking," said Jillian upon learning of the team's bold decision. "I need Coleen and Jerry to see that there are consequences in the choices that they make in life. So I'm gonna beat the crap out of them... physically and emotionally."
For the remaining days leading up to the weigh in, both Coleen and Jerry wore yellow shirts with a giant "14" on them to symbolize the amount of combined weight they needed to lose to win the money and stay safe in the competition.
For the episode's challenge, the seven teams were lead out to hill and given their own water slide. Called "Sprint and Slide," each team member rotated turns as they slid down the slide and then ran back up the hill to hit a buzzer before time expired. The rounds would repeat until only one team remained.
Alison added that the winner of the challenge would be awarded a phone call home.
Like last week, Yellow team member Jerry and Gray team member Tom did not participate in the challenge because of health concerns, leaving Coleen and L.T. to take part in the challenge alone.
Following nineteen rounds of sliding, the Orange team prevailed, and as a bonus Ed and Heba were given the opportunity to allow a second team a phone call home as well. Both Ed and Heba agreed to give the call to the Red team -- which consisted of 41-year-old Phillip Parham and his wife, 40-year-old Amy -- because of their desire to speak to their autistic son.
The following morning, as the teams ate breakfast they were met by celebrity chef -- and current Dancing with the Stars participant -- Rocco DiSpirito. After fooling the teams into revealing the weaker cook on each team, Rocco took the less experienced contestants to a supermarket and taught them each how to cook a healthy meal that cost seven dollars or less per-serving.
"To be honest, I don't mind going anywhere with Rocco, but it was a little intimidating," said Red Team member Amy with a smile.
After gathering the ingredients for their recipes, each team member was told to prepare the healthy meal recipe given to them for a tasting by the team's other members. The dish voted the most popular at the tasting would be given $8,500 to pay for their groceries for one year.
After tallying the scores of each dish on their scorecard, Rocco revealed that 26-year-old Auburn Hills, MI purchasing department representative and Purple Team member Amy Cremen had won for her tiny turkey meatballs and chickpea soup.
"I'm really proud of what she did today, Amy's 51-year-old mother Shellay said. "It was just a couple of days ago that Amy was chopping up a zucchini thinking it was a cucumber. To know that she cooked something that was voted number one was really great."
Following the teams' last chance workout, where Jillian continually hounded both Yellow Team members to work hard enough to meet their goal, the teams met in the gym for their second weigh in.
After calling the second week of events "easily one of the hardest weeks you will experience," Alison brought the teams up one by one to find out which two groups would find their way below the yellow line.
Red Team couple Amy Parham (4 lbs.) and Phil Parham (8 lbs.) followed up their week one 6.96% drop in weight by leading the percentage of weight lost in week two with 2.3%.
Brown Team couple Brady (7 lbs.) and Vicky (4 lbs.) came in second with 2.04%.
Orange Team couple Ed (9 lbs.) and Heba (2 lbs.) followed with 1.83%.
Pink Team members Renee (5 lbs.) and Michelle (2 lbs.) were next with 1.46%.
Purple Team members Shellay (3 lbs.) and Amy (3 lbs.) followed with 1.41%.
While Gray Team member Tom was able to shed three pounds for the week, L.T. was the only contestant who gained weight -- adding three pounds to his frame -- which forced his team below the yellow line with a zero-percent net loss.
"When I was standing on the scale and the numbers were flipping back and forth and it landed on '+3,' I went from real happy to real pissed off like real quick," an agitated L.T. said. "I wanted to put my foot through the screen with the '+3.'"
While the Yellow Team worked hard to achieve their 2.4% goal, they fell well short as Coleen lost only six pounds while Jerry only dropped five for a net 1.93% loss and putting them below the yellow line as well.
"No we didn't get $10,000. Yes, we went below the line. But in the long run we lost 11 pounds together, and money can't buy that," Jerry said.
"Two of my teams are below the line. Both are equally dire with their need to get healthy," a dejected Jillian said following the weigh-in. "It's a lose-lose situation. Welcome to The Biggest Loser."
As the teams above the yellow line deliberated about which team to eliminate, Ed seemingly made up his mind immediately as to which team his Orange Team wanted to stay.
"The Gray Team kept me here another week," he announced to the teams. "And where I come from, when your somebody's friend you don't screw 'em over."
However, Vicky predicted that L.T. could be a threat to lose significant weight and urged other teams to boot him from the show.
When the teams reconvened to reveal their vote, Shellay began by casting the Purple Team's elimination vote for the Gray Team.
The Orange Team followed with their vote, which Heba announced as a frustrated Ed stood behind her.
"I want both dads to stay. [But] sometimes when you want to be loyal and you realize that it's not gonna make a difference in the end you, just have to kind of go with your team" she said as she began to cry. "So it's with very heavy hearts that Ed and I are voting for the Gray team."
Visibly shocked by the Orange Team's choice, L.T. looked on as the Red Team -- citing the Gray Team's potential to be a bigger threat as the competition continues -- cast the deciding vote and eliminated him and his father.
Following the Gray Team's departure from the room, Alison told the remaining teams about a change of scenery for the their upcoming challenges.
"Nothing says a family trip much like a road trip," she teased. "You all are going on a road trip to the Grand Canyon!"
In the update following the show, Tom proudly stated that his high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes had all disappeared since returning home from the show and maintaining his dieting and workout schedule.
L.T. cited the family's hiring of a fitness trainer and a change in his eating habits as the driving forces behind his continued drop in weight.
According to the update, L.T. has 81 lbs. since the beginning of the competition, while Tom has dropped 65 lbs. and said he hoped to be down to 214 lbs. by the show's finale.