Allen Smith said he was "a little surprised" when Amanda Arlauskas cast the deciding vote against him during last night's The Biggest Loser elimination ceremony since he knows she's a strategic player like himself.

"I know Amanda is somewhat of a game player and I was thinking that she would want to look at going for [$250,000 grand prize]. So I was just a little surprised," he told reporters during a Wednesday conference call.

"But when you're on The Biggest Loser and you get down to that few of contestants, really nothing comes as a big, big surprise."

The 44-year-old firefighter/EMT from Columbus, IN became the twelfth contestant eliminated from The Biggest Loser's eighth season during last night's broadcast of the NBC reality competition after Arlauskas decided to instead keep Liz Smith since they had become good friends during the competition.

Smith's own strategic thinking was noticed by Bob Harper during last week's episode, as the trainer called him out on purposely not winning challenges to keep a low profile.

"I do not regret that at all," Smith told reporters about his game-play decision.

"That was just something that I saw towards the end that I was going to have to do to try and get that focus of the target off of my back and maybe get it on somebody else."

Smith also made a strategic decision at the beginning of the competition when he selected Abby Rike -- whose husband and children were killed in a 2006 car accident -- as his Green team partner.

"The No. 1 reason I picked Abby was because going through what she had to go through just showed me how much emotionally and mentally strong she was going to be. I knew no matter who I matched myself up with that physically I would be able to get us through just about anything. I needed someone who was going to be able to be there and be strong emotionally," he explained. "That was one strength that I recognized that really stood out about her."

In addition, Smith said Rike taught him a valuable life lesson.

"What I learned from Abby is you don't give up," he said. "Life is going to throw you some curveballs. Life is going to kick you when you are already down. But you just stand back up, you dust yourself off and you say, 'Here I am.' That's probably the one thing that I learned from Abby -- you don't give up, you just keep going."

Since he's returned home from filming, Smith said he's realized that participating in The Biggest Loser has really helped him in his work as a firefighter and EMT.
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"My confidence level here at the fire department and when I'm out on the fire scene has definitely elevated back up to what it used to be when I first came on," he said. "I don't have those doubts. I don't feel like I'm putting my fellow firefighters at unnecessary risk anymore. My performance is a lot better."

In addition, Smith said he's getting the support he needs from his family.

"My wife has been on board and is doing phenomenal," he told reporters.

"We had to make it a whole-family lifestyle change. If we did not, then I could possibly end up being a failure -- and that's something I don't want and something my family doesn't want either. I obviously want my family to be just as healthy as I am and it has that longevity that we're walking towards."

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, Smith also offered some advice on how to celebrate the holiday without overindulging.

"Thanksgiving is that one meal where you just go all out -- you just eat and eat and then you rest and then you go back and you eat some more. What I would suggest to people is that you still practice portion control. We're talking about stuffing the turkey, not stuffing ourselves. That's something we need to keep in mind," he said.

"Food does not always have to be the main thing around gatherings and celebrations. It can be just celebrating being together."