Amy Cremen eliminated from NBC's 'The Biggest Loser: Families'
By John Bracchitta, 11/26/2008
Last week's decision by Amy Cremen, a 26-year-old purchasing department representative from Auburn Hills, MI., to remain "Blue True" and save Blue team teammate Vicky Vilcan from elimination turned out to be quite a costly one.
After a contentious relationship between the two in recent rounds, Vicky, a 37-year-old anesthetist from Houma, LA, cast the deciding vote that eliminated Amy from The Biggest Loser: Families during last night's broadcast on NBC.
"The Amy who came to The Biggest Loser always put on that 'I'm funny' face for everybody, but honestly I was insecure, I didn't think I was good enough. But this experience completely changed my life," Amy said following her elimination. "I've lost 71 lbs., this is definitely a new beginning for me. Even though I'm leaving the ranch tonight, I'm leaving the old Amy."
"I'm confident and strong and it is because of this experience," she added.
The Biggest Loser: Families' eleventh episode began with Renee Wilson, a 46-year-old event manager, and her daughter Michelle Aguilar, a 26-year-old assistant director from Ft. Worth, TX., lamenting over the elimination of Black team teammate Coleen Skeabeck at the show's previous weigh-in.
With Coleen's elimination, Renee and Michelle had the odds against them as they stood as the only two remaining Black team members against four remaining Blue team members. Still, rather than focusing on their disadvantage in the competition, both Renee and Michelle were more saddened by the loss of Coleen, whom they had forged a close relationship with.
"Not only was Coleen an awesome teammate, but she was more like an adopted daughter to me, and the thought of her leaving us is just heartbreaking," Renee said.
Michelle thought that Coleen had come to the ranch "for all the right reasons," and thought that Amy -- who had cast the deciding vote to send her home over Vicky -- had made a mistake in sending her home.
The following day, Michelle's frustration over Coleen's departure continued when she and Renee met with their trainer Jillian Michaels.
"I kinda handed Vicky to them on a silver platter. It was the perfect chance," Michelle told Jillian, referring to a one pound penalty she had given to Vicky that had forced her into the bottom two. "I don't know if we'll ever get another chance to get Vicky out because she is the biggest threat in this house."
All three agreed -- correctly as it turned out -- that Vicky would not hesitate to send Amy home if given the chance.
However, now at an extreme disadvantage in numbers, Jillian urged Renee and Michelle to work hard and made it clear that she was going to be tough on them in order to keep both of them above the yellow line.
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When meeting with his Blue team members, trainer Bob Harper was glad to see that Amy and Vicky had seemingly buried the hatchet. Amy seemed to share his sentiments as well.
"What's done is done, and what happened happened. Whether it was a mistake or not, it already happened, you can't do anything about it," Amy said later. "We're just moving on, like adults."
However, Vicky seemed to have a different opinion regarding her supposed reconciliation with Amy.
"Even though Amy gave me another week here, I still don't 100% trust her and I feel like I need to keep my eye out on her," she said.
After the meetings with their trainers, the contestants met with The Biggest Loser: Families host Alison Sweeney told them they would be taking part in 'NFL Week' as part of the show's Thanksgiving celebration.
The contestants followed Alison outside where they met with former San Francisco 49ers and Super Bowl champions Jerry Rice and Steve Young and were told that they would be taking part in an NFL combine featuring drills that football players use to train.
The combine consisted of a catching drill, jumping through a rope ladder without tripping, running in between cones, doing 25 bench presses, and sprinting to the finish line in between tackle dummies.
The contestants were also told that the winner of the challenge would get $10,000 to donate to a school of their choice as a prize.
Prior to running through the course, Vicky sensed a potential twist in the challenge and warned Heba Salama, a 30-year-old pharmaceutical sales representative Raleigh, NC, to not run through the course too quickly.
Sure enough, after each competitor had run through the combine, Steve and Jerry told them that they would be running through the course a second time, with the $10,000 going to the contestant who improved upon their first time the most.
"I think Vicky maybe had a little bit of intuition about us doing it a second time, the first time she ran through the course I knew she had more in her. She saved a little bit of energy, she has plenty of room to improve on her score and she'll do it," a suspicious, and disappointed, Michelle said following the challenge.
Because of her foresight, Vicky was able to improve her second run by 22 seconds, which beat out Renee's 17 second improvement and won the challenge.
"Vicky is gaming us all, and we should have gotten rid of her at last week's elimination," a frustrated Renee said.
In the gym after the challenge, both Bob and Ed Brantley, a 31-year-old chef from Raleigh, NC, noticed that Ed had become something of an underdog because of the strong performances from the five remaining women in the competition.
"These girls are tough," Ed said. "I mean these girls can do what a lot of men in this country can't do right now." ed
"I'm absolutely concerned about Ed," Bob said. "I think Ed has a got a lot of work to do. Look at the women in this house, my three girls are still forging ahead and Ed is just getting beat up."
NFL Week continued at the ranch when the contestants met with Alison on a football field for their second challenge. After starting on one end of the field, contestants were told that they would have to track down footballs being launched at them from the opposite end zone and run them back to put in racks with opposing players names on them.
Once a player received 10 balls in their rack, they would be eliminated. The last contestant standing would win a 2009 NFL Pro Bowl ticket package to Honolulu, HI.
As an added twist, Alison told them that for every ball they were able to catch, they would receive a $500 cash bonus.
As the competition got underway, Vicky outlined the Blue team's plan very clearly to Amy.
"Take out Black," she whispered.
The plan worked well, as Michelle was the first contestant eliminated and Renee followed next.
After outlasting Ed and Amy, the challenge came down to Vicky and Heba. After jumping out to a two-ball lead, Heba conceded as she walked in with Vicky, who put the 10th ball in Heba's rack to win the challenge.
"Once again Vicky's got everybody fooled," Michelle said, referencing the Blue team's continued insistence on letting Vicky guide them. "The Blue team's not seeing it, it's kinda sad."
After learning of how the challenge transpired the following day, Jillian told Renee and Michelle that Bob's Blue team had a history in the competition of ganging up on their opponents.
After gathering in the dining room, the contestants were treated to more Thanksgiving-related activities as they were surprised by celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito, who taught them healthy alternatives to the high-calories holiday foods that often occupy the Thanksgiving table. After sitting down and enjoying their healthy meal together, Rocco revealed that each contestant would also be able to view a Thanksgiving video message from their families.
Following the meal, Renee and Michelle prepared for their last chance workout well aware that either of them faltering would almost certainly result in their elimination. However, they took solace in the fact that their team had faced adversity before had been able to survive so long in the competition.
"Michelle and I are the only team from Day 1 who've stayed here the entire time. We've been through every challenge, every last chance workout, every happy moment, every sad moment," Renee said. "It's not the Black team, it's Michelle, my daughter. That's way more important than just a Black team member, and I don't want us to go home."
Both Bob and Jillian worked their teams hard during their respective last chance workouts, with Jillian holding nothing back as she hoped to keep Michelle and Renee out of the bottom two while Bob worked Ed hard with the hopes of working towards an all Blue team finale.
Following the workout, the contestants arrived at the weigh-in that evening and were told that the two contestants with the lowest percentage of weight loss would fall below the yellow line and be subject to elimination voting from the other contestants.
Michelle came in first place at the weigh in, losing 10 lbs. for a weight loss percentage of 5.38%.
Renee followed in second place and guaranteed that neither she nor Michelle would be in the bottom two by losing 8 lbs. for a percentage 3.86%.
Vicky followed in third place, losing 7 lbs. for a percentage of 3.74%.
Ed came in fourth place, losing 9 lbs. for a percentage of 3.44%.
Heba came in fifth place, losing 7 lbs. for a percentage of 3.03%, putting her alongside Amy , who lost 5 lbs for a percentage of 2.89%, in the bottom two.
"Good for Michelle, she lost 10 lbs. Good for Renee, she lost 8 lbs," Heba said following the weigh-in. "They saved themselves once again. Amy and I fell and it sucks."
Amy was shocked to be in the bottom two, especially given all her prior success on the ranch.
"To go from being the 'Biggest Loser' in the house week after week to falling below the yellow line is just kind of a surreal thing," she said. "I needed to blink a couple times, is this real?"
Both Heba and Amy also expressed similar hopes that Vicky would follow through on promises she had made to each of them to save them if they fell below the yellow line.
Prior to the contestants voting, both Amy or Heba plead their cases as to why they should stay on the ranch.
"I'm not ready to go, I don't wanna be split from my husband, I wanna be here with him and I wanna try to at least get to 200 lbs. before I have t leave the ranch," Heba told the other contestants. "I know that's gonna be hard , but I want that same opportunity that now every woman in the house has gotten."
"What can I say? I love every single one of those people over there, and you've gotta do what you've gotta do," Amy said in between tears. "I'm driven, I'm focused, and I wanna stay at the ranch and do what I came to do. I wanna finish it, and if you have it in your heart and that's what you feel you need to do, than don't keep me here. I just love you all and I respect whatever decision you make."
Alison added that a tie vote between the four contestants would result in Amy's departure because she had a lower weight loss percentage than Heba.
After Michelle and Renee voted for Heba while Ed voted for Amy, the deciding vote came down to Vicky.
"It's really hard for me. I think that they can both beat me in this game, and I'm a game player and I always pick out numbers and I think that Amy has the highest percentage in the house, and that Heba has a lot of weight to lose and she's still also a big threat in this game. And I made promises to both of then," Vicky reasoned before revealing that she had voted for Amy's elimination.
"It's been an absolute pleasure to be in this house with every single one of you, I've just learned so much and grown so much as a person. I will never go back to weigh 235 lbs ever," Amy said before leaving.
Following Amy's departure, Alison told the remaining competitors that they would be packing their bags and traveling to New York City for a "whirlwind makeover."
In the post-show update, it was revealed that Amy had dropped her dress size from a 22 to a size 8 since joining the show. Amy added that she had been training with her mother at the Michigan State University gym and hoped to get her weight down to 125 lbs. by the finale.