Amanda Kramer: I knew my 'The Biggest Loser' ouster was coming
By John Bracchitta, 03/11/2009
While Amanda Kramer's elimination on Tuesday's episode of The Biggest Loser: Couples may have been something of a surprise to some, Kramer says she had seen coming for weeks.
"I knew the minute that [Dane Patterson] went home that it was going to be either [my sister Aubrey Cheney] or I that went home next unless we could really get inside [Kristin Steede] and [Cathy Skell's] heads that [Ron Morelli] was kind of the weakest link and he needed to go home," the 30-year-old cosmetologist from Boise, ID told Reality TV World during a media conference call the day after her elimination aired on NBC's Tuesday night broadcast of The Biggest Loser: Couples.
"I thought I had, but when it came down to elimination and Kristin pretty much just said 'You're going home,' it hurt," she added. "But there was no way I could get them to change their minds."
After performing very well in both challenges, Kramer said that the Blue team's immediate decision to single her out for elimination had nothing to do with how she -- or anyone else on the team -- had performed on the ranch and instead had simply boiled down to alliances.
"It really just came down to Bob's old team wanting to stay together and keep themselves there. I don't think they were looking at the big picture of what team is gonna keep [them there] the longest. They were really not even thinking about that. Looking back I'm sure they're thinking 'Maybe we should've thought about what's gonna keep our team in tact the longest so we can all stay here.'... [but] I knew the minute that we got rid of [Dane Patterson] that things weren't gonna go good for me."
Kramer added that she felt the only reason Morelli, a 54-year-old city councilman and retired food distributor from South Lyon, MI, had remained in the competition -- aside from his alliance with Skell, a 48-year-old title sales closing agent from Shiocton, WI, and her daughter Steede, a 28-year-old business owner from Greenville, WI -- was due to his gift of gab.
"Honestly... I think [Ron's] really good at making people feel sorry for him," Kramer told reporters. "He has done all these surgeries to help him lose weight and nothing has worked. And he's a good person don't get me wrong, but he's definitely got the 'Feel sorry for me, I need this for my boys.' And he's a good person, and so I think he made a lot of friends. He's good with getting people to keep him there."
When it came to her decision to forego forcing a tie vote that would have likely sent her sister, a 28-year-old information and education specialist from Gooding, ID, home instead, Kramer said that she had made her decision after feeling that Cheney wasn't prepared to leave the ranch just yet.
"I knew I could go home and work my butt off... I knew that I had the willpower inside to go home and do it. I didn't see that from Aubrey yet," she told reporters. "I was still getting her up out of bed in the morning and leading her to the gym with me and really trying to motivate her, and she didn't have that on her own yet and I just thought the longer she could stay there the more it would just develop in her brain that she needs to work out every day and push herself."
Kramer's decision may have also come, in part, due to a new level assertiveness that she developed while Cheney spent 30 days working out alone at home during the competition's opening twist. She also added that it taken time for Cheney to adjust to Kramer's bolder attitude when she had returned to the ranch.
"I was the older sister, but she always acted like the older sister," Kramer told reporters. "When she came back [to the ranch] we had quite a few arguments because she wasn't used to me being on-the-go all the time and kind of being my own being, because I relied on her a lot for support and everything else."
"When she came back I was kind of turning into a different person and more of a strong independent person. So that put some struggles on our relationship, but overall looking back on it, us being able to go through this and really figure out who we are as individuals made us bond more as sisters."
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Kramer also told Reality TV World that she'd had mixed feelings when two of her Black team opponents -- Sione Fa, a 28-year-old landscape company owner from Maricopa, AZ, and Filipe Fam, a 26-year-old lube technician from Mesa, AZ -- entered the gym and began working out with her trainer Bob Harper during their last chance workout.
While she told Reality TV World that their presence and attitude in the gym had kept her working hard, she also admitted she'd felt a bit slighted that her opponents had interrupted in on her time with Bob.
"It was difficult because I did want Bob's full attention on me, and now he had to kind of split it up between Sione and I," she told Reality TV World. "That was kind of hard for me."
Still, as one of the few contestants that was able to train extensively with both Bob and fellow trainer Jillian Michaels, Kramer told Reality TV World that she "definitely" understood Fa and Fam's frustration with Michaels' and her attitude.
"Jillian, I love her to death, but she definitely has the [mind set] of you work hard for her so she doesn't break your fingers," Kramer told Reality TV World. "With Bob you work hard for him because you wanna work hard with yourself."
Kramer added later that she thought the rift between Fam and Michaels -- which led to the cousins returning to Bob and training with him for their last chance workouts -- had developed before Michaels didn't work out Fam when they were shown in the gym together on Tuesday's broadcast. She added that conversations with Black team member Tara Costa, a 23-year-old finance manager and former model from New York, NY, had revealed that there was so much bad blood between the two that Michaels may have had an ulterior motive for not personally working Fam out in the gym.
"I think she did it intentionally, and that's only because that whole week and that week before, I used to talk with Tara and Jillian [said] at some point that she wanted to get rid of Filipe," Kramer told reporters. "And so I think [Filipe] heard word of that and that's what made him so mad in the first place."
"If anyone there's playing a game it's Jillian the most, and I think that it sucks to say that, but she really made him feel like an outsider," she added.
Kramer also said that while she did not know if Fam had done anything specifically to upset Michaels, she suggested did have a tendency to have "her favorites" and go to greater lengths to help them succeed.
"I really think she wanted Tara to be [there] for the long haul and she was just trying to eliminate anyone that was going to get in her way."
Kramer said that Michaels' hard-nosed style was why she had ultimately preferred training with Harper.
"I definitely think my relationship with Jillian worked because I was an athlete and I needed a coach, and I [was used to] an athlete-coach relationship in my life and she's really good at that 'push, push, push' because you wanna do good for her. But as far as really connecting with really trying to find out who I was and making myself push for me, I would definitely go back and pick Bob as my favorite trainer," Kramer told reporters. "He really works on the fact that you're not doing this for me, your doing this for yourself. That's something that I'd never done before."
As for her two-pound weight gain at her final weigh-in before she was eliminated, Kramer admitted she still isn't sure how it occurred, but told reporters that Harper had told her that high stress causes higher cortisol levels, which in turn hold fat in the body and cause the body to "bloat up a little" and not get rid of everything that it needs to.
Kramer explained that the stress she had been feeling had been a combination of dealing with the Blue team's inability to best the Black team in a challenge and facing the daunting task of going head to head against Fa, one of the stronger contestants left on the ranch.
"I think it [was] a combination of things," she told Reality TV World about what had been causing her to worry while on the ranch. "I think for one I was always scared in the back of my head that I'd be the next one going home. And then going up against Sione, it was a hard mountain to climb."
With her weight loss now up to 90 lbs., Mandi told reporters that she likes her chances of winning the $100,000 at-home consolation prize that will be handed out at The Biggest Loser's finale.
"I am gonna try and go for it. I really think I have a pretty good chance. I think if I can work super hard for these next few weeks and I think I'm good," she said.