Tracey Yukich the eighth contestant ousted from 'The Biggest Loser'
By Christopher Rocchio, 11/04/2009
Tracey Yukich was accused of playing The Biggest Loser like a game rather than using it as an opportunity to lose weight -- and she eventually paid the price for it.
The 37-year-old homemaker from Allen, TX became the eighth contestant eliminated from The Biggest Loser's eighth season during Tuesday night's broadcast of the NBC reality competition.
"This has been an amazing experience. I have come so far since that first day -- leaps and bounds -- fighting every single day," said Tracey after her ouster.
"I did exactly what I had to do to stay here. I played the game, and no one likes that. Unfortunately, the choices I have made through this process have come back to bite me. But you know what? I learned a lot. That old person that was so sad, she's gone. I'm never going to see her again... I love the new me. She smiles a lot more. She's happier."
The Biggest Loser's eighth eighth-season episode began following the previous elimination of Abby Rike, as host Allison Sweeney announced the nine remaining contestants would be traveling from the show's campus to Washington, D.C. for a week.
"Obesity is an epidemic that is sweeping this nation. The statistics get worse every year," said Allison.
"You have an opportunity to help stop it. Each of you, individually. So your mission for the next week is to do just that. You will spend the next seven days doing everything you possibly can to help your fellow Americans live happier, healthier lives."
After the contestants were reunited with trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels at the Jefferson Memorial, Allison revealed they'd be visiting the White House and meeting with some Congressmen to discuss obesity.
In addition, Allison announced that the Blue and Black teams would be dissolved and the contestants would be competing as individuals.
Allison then revealed the contestants would be competing in a pop challenge that gave them 60 minutes to get as many people as possible to show up for a public workout that Bob and Jillian would be conducting at the Washington Monument.
The contestant that convinced the most people to show up and exercise would win the challenge and receive "a huge advantage at this week's challenge" and also get to take their whole group of people to dinner at Subway.
The challenge commenced and the contestants tried to get as many people as possible for the workout. Liz Smith was eventually crowned the winner, defeating Allen Smith by only one person in what Allison said was an "extremely close" result.
Bob and Jillian then led their workout before Liz got to take her people to Subway. In addition, the contestants also met with several Congressman to share their obesity stories.
Afterward, the contestants met Allison for the week's second challenge. The four-part challenge would consist of running a mile, running up and down Watergate complex steps and using their hands to fill a cylinder with pennies, balancing on a balance beam platform while holding a pilates ball over their heads, and taking 206 steps -- one for each contestant in the show's history -- on stepping platforms set up in front of White House.
The challenge's winner would receive immunity at the next weigh-in. In addition, Allison revealed that Liz's pop challenge win would allow her to skip one of the second challenge's first three stages.
Danny Cahill, Tracey and Shauntina "Shay" Sorrells were eliminated in the challenge's the first phase. Liz chose to opt out of the second phase, so she advanced with Rudy Pauls, Rebecca Meyer and Daniel Wright as Allen and Amanda Arlauskas were eliminated. Rebecca and Rudy then advanced to the final phase, which Rebecca won by completing her 206 steps as Rudy was still about 15 steps behind.
The contestants then met assistant White House chef Sam Kass for a tour of the property's vegetable garden before they ate a salad lunch -- which they helped pick and prepare -- in the kitchen.
They then participated in their last-chance workouts before The Biggest Loser's eighth eighth-season weigh-in commenced at the Lincoln Memorial, where Allison explained that the two contestants that fell below the yellow line would be up for elimination.
Since she had won immunity, Rebecca was the first to step on the scale. She started the week at 223 lbs. and lost four for a weight-loss percentage of 1.79%.
Shay went next. She started the week at 402 lbs. and shed nine for a weight-loss percentage of 2.24%. She was followed by Tracey, who started the week at 197 lbs. and dropped three for a weight-loss percentage of 1.52%.
"It's not what I wanted but hopefully it's enough to keep me above that line," said Tracey.
Daniel was the next to step on the scale, as he started the week at 272 lbs. and lost 11 for a weight-loss percentage of 4.04%. He was followed by Allen, who began the week at 262 lbs. and lost nine for a weight-loss percentage of 3.44%, and Danny, who started at 345 lbs. and shed 12 for a weight-loss percentage of 3.48%.
"Every time somebody else gets up there and loses nine and 11 and 12, my name is getting really close to the yellow line," opined Tracey. "It just keeps on dropping. I'm scared. I don't want to go home."
Rudy went next. He began the week at 341 lbs. and dropped nine for a weight-loss percentage of 2.64%. Rudy was followed by Liz, who started the week at 221 lbs. lost three for a weight-loss percentage of 1.36%.
"Somebody every week goes home, and this might be my week," lamented Liz.
Amanda had to lose more than three pounds. She began the week at 214 lbs. and lost seven for a weight-loss percentage of 3.27% -- placing Liz and Tracey below the yellow line and up for elimination.
Both Liz and Tracey pleaded their cases for why they deserved to stay -- and Tracey quickly found herself on the defensive as the other contestants questioned her desire to win rather than her wish to lose weight.
"I am so here for health and to lose weight," she said. "I need to be here and I want a chance to be here and I want a chance to keep continuing. Please keep me here... Please."
Afterward, Amanda explained she saw Tracey's plea as "an apology" but thought Liz was a "bigger threat" in the competition.
Following their deliberations, Amanda began the voting for opting to oust Tracey, while Shay voted to boot Liz. However Daniel, Danny and Rebecca all voted to eliminate Tracey -- ending her The Biggest Loser journey.
"It sounds like some of the earlier choices you made in this game came back to haunt you," said Allison.
"Oh yeah, for sure," said Tracey. "I felt like I had to play the game in order to stay. I had to do what was best for me at the time. It's definitely come back to bite me."
"Any regrets?" asked Allison.
"Sure, you always have regrets," replied Tracey. "But I have to look at it as what an amazing time I've had here... Look at how much weight I've lost, look at how much more I'm going to continue to lose and how proud my children and my husband are going to be of me when I get home."
During a post-show update, Tracey revealed that she has lost an additional 41 pounds since returning home and is now able to run a mile on the beach in about 11 minutes.
The Biggest Loser's next eighth-season episode will air Tuesday, November 10 at 8PM ET/PT on NBC.