Amy Parham eliminated from NBC's 'The Biggest Loser: Families'
By John Bracchitta, 10/22/2008
The lack of any established alliances on the Blue team and the controversial actions of her Black team husband proved to be too much for Amy Parham, a 40-year-old real estate agent from Greer, SC, to overcome, resulting in her becoming the fourth individual contestant eliminated from The Biggest Loser: Families during last night's broadcast on NBC.
"When I came here, I couldn't even walk on a treadmill for five minutes and now I'm running and walking on treadmills for hours a day and I've been able to be positive under every circumstance," Amy P. said following her elimination. "I think there a couple of different people in the world. I think there are people that always see the glass half-empty and people that always see the glass half-full. I just happened to be a half-full person stuck on half-empty team."
The Biggest Loser: Families' seventh episode began with Blue team member Amy Cremen, a 26-year-old purchasing department representative from Auburn Hills, MI, discovering that the Black team had voted her mother Shelley Cremen out of the competition at the conclusion of last week's broadcast.
"I felt that like a little piece of me had left," Amy C. said in between tears. "I wasn't even the one who wanted to come here and she pushed and pushed for me to get on the bandwagon with her and I'm so glad she did because this has completely changed both of our lives and I'm just really happy that I got to come here with her."
After learning of the elimination the following day, Black team trainer Jillian Michaels was also saddened by Shellay's departure but also understood the decision by her team.
"Losing Shellay, that was pretty tough. But as the Black team as a whole, if we had a man to carry us to the next weigh in, it would give us a better shot at the next weigh in rather than if we had four girls who were pretty much the same weight."
In an attempt to "re-energize" their teams, Jillian brought the Black team to a ropes course while trainer Bob Harper brought his Blue team to an assailant defense class.
Jillian focused on having her team members overcome their fears by having had Renee Wilson, a 46-year-old event manager from Ft. Worth, TX, and her estranged daughter Michelle Aguilar, a 26-year-old assistant director, balance with each other on a log placed high up in the air and meet in the middle to symbolize Michelle's need to begin accepting her.
She also had Coleen Skeabeck, a 23-year-old receptionist from Cleveland, OH, admit to having a fear of heights and climb to the top of a pole and then jump down. After crying as she slowly made her way up the pole, Coleen eventually made it successfully and jumped down where she received congratulations from Jillian.
"Now that I faced my fear of heights, it really does show me that I can face anything in life, no matter what's thrown at me," Coleen said. "That I can handle it no matter what."
Afterwards, the contestants met with The Biggest Loser physician Dr. Wayne Huizenga, who gave them updates on how their health had changed since starting on the show. After getting each contestant into a "bod pod" that measured their body fat percentage and determined how much fat surrounded their muscle and bones, Dr. Huizenga met with each contestant.
Renee and Michelle were both relieved to hear that they had significantly improved their bodies' health since starting on the show.
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After initially being told that her poor health had resulted in her 26-year-old body operating at a biological age of 41, Michelle was told that she had lowered her biological age to 34.
Similarly, Renee was told that she lowered her biological age from 66 to 44.
Brady Vilcan, a 36-year-old pharmacist from Houma, LA was glad to hear that he had significantly lowered his biological age from 72 to 43, while his wife Vicky Vilcan, a 37-year-old anesthetist, had lost 38 lbs. of hydrated fat during her six weeks on the show while gaining 2 lbs. of muscle.
"When I started out here I could barely walk the treadmill on 2.5 with a slight incline, and now and now I can jog at 6.0 for 30 minutes, so you can definitely see the difference," Brady said following the meeting with Dr. Huizenga.
Amy P.was told by Dr. Huizenga that she had lowered her biological age from 47 down to 34, while her husband Phil Parham, a 41-year-old real estate agent from Greer, SC, had lost 47% of his body fat.
Coleen was told that she lowered her biological age from 55 to 30, while Amy Cremen, 26-year-old purchasing department representative from Auburn Hills, MI learned that she had lost 20% of her abdominal volume.
Heba Salama, a 30-year-old pharmaceutical sales representative from Raleigh, NC, was told that she had lost 52% -- or 38 lbs. -- of her body fat.
After meeting with Dr. Huizenga, the teams were brought to Universal Studios where they met The Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney at a large water tank that contained two circular balance beams with an arch on each one.
The teams were told that their challenge for the week would require each team's members -- with the exception of the Blue team's Amy C. who sat out to even out the teams -- to balance themselves on the beams and circle them without falling into the water. Each team would receive a point for every time a team member passed through the arch on the beam. If a team member fell into the water they would be eliminated from the challenge unless all the members of the other team fell into the water as well, allowing each team's members to re-enter the challenge. The first team to earn 25 points would win videos from home.
"The only way to maintain your balance is an unwavering focus. The only way to do that is to take it one step at a time," Alison told the teams before the challenge began.
Although both team's initially struggled to find their balance, the Blue team was eventually left completely helpless when their whole team was eliminated before scoring even one point.
While the Black team also struggled at the beginning, however Michelle, Renee and Phil were able to maintain their balance and leap out to a 15-0 lead before Michelle lost her balance.
After Phil lost his balance one point later, the Blue team hoped that they would get a second chance at the challenge if Renee lost her balance as well. However, Renee maintained her stability and scored the Black team's nine remaining points all by herself, resulting in the Black team winning by a 25-0 score.
"I have no idea what came over my Mom," a surprised Michelle said following the challenge. "I knew she could do it enough to get through a couple of laps, but to see her keep going and going and going and leading us to victory? That I didn't expect at all."
"The fact that my team scored nothing and the Black team wiped the floor with them. I was really upset," Bob said the following day after meeting with his team and taking issue with Vicky's assertion that she hadn't cared about the challenge and the prize hadn't been worth risking an injury for.
"No matter what you need to put in your full force effort. Try your hardest," Bob told her.
Afterward, the Black team was surprised and delighted to learn that the "videos from home" were actually live video camera feeds that allowed them to speak with their families.
"Being able to talk to my husband and seeing him after so long was worth more than any money or prize," Renee said. "It made my day."
During the teams' last chance workouts, Amy P. realized the delicate situation she was in because of her recent separation from Phil and her lack of any solid Blue team alliances.
"I'm in a precarious position on my team," she said. "I know that there are other people that have alliances each other that I don't have, so my only option is just to be the top. I have to be 'The Biggest Loser' this week."
Both Bob and Jillian made it a priority to push their teams as much as they could, with Bob forcing Brady to attempt to press 670 lbs -- which he succeeded in doing -- and Jillian making Phil run until he had to run outside to throw up.
"I don't even think I could press 670 lbs on the leg press," an impressed Bob said following Brady's workout.
Prior to the weigh in, Brady and Vicky -- who had been close friends with Heba since the competition began -- informed Heba that Phil had approached them about forming an alliance with his wife Amy P. in an attempt to get rid of her.
Heba said that Phil had "hate in his heart" and suspected that Amy P. might have had a hand in the request and told Brady and Vicky that they should eliminate her if the Blue team lost the upcoming weigh-in.
"Amy P. is a threat in this game," Heba said following the conversation. "Her husband could win the whole damn thing and he is a lot stronger with her here."
Once the teams arrived for the weigh-in, Alison told them that like last week, the team with the lower percentage of weight loss would be forced to eliminate a member, but that the most successful member on the losing team would receive immunity.
The Black team collectively lost 29 lbs., which gave them a combined weight-loss percentage of 3.2%. Coleen lost 8 lbs while Renee, Michelle and Phil each lost 7 lbs.
The Blue team was not as fortunate and lost only 24 lbs., which gave them a collective weight-loss percentage of only 2.09%. Vicky lost 8 lbs., Amy C. lost 6 lbs. and Heba lost 5 lbs., however Brady only lost 3 lbs. and Amy P. lost only 2 lbs.
Following the weigh-in, Amy P. tried to talk her way out of being eliminated by claiming that she had nothing to do with Phil's request and saying Brady had not lost enough weight in the last three weeks and should be considered for elimination as well.
However, Brady corrected her, saying that he had last six pounds in the previous week's weigh-in and nine pounds in the weigh-in before that.
Heba also weighed in and was adamant in saying that because she was married to Phil -- who had been outspoken in his dislike for Heba -- Amy P. was automatically a threat to her.
"If it comes between [Phil] and me, he's gone. I'm competing for me," Amy P. responded.
"He's screwing you by not shutting his f---ing mouth," Heba shot back.
"But I am not him, I am not him!" Amy P. shouted back
Prior to reconvening with Alison to reveal the elimination, Amy P. added that she felt she had not been given a fair chance on her team.
"I feel like my work in the gym doesn't mean anything because no matter what happened tonight I was gonna be at a disadvantage," she said, referring to her lack of an alliance with anyone in her team.
After reconvening with Alison, both Vicki and Brady voted for Amy P.'s elimination, citing their desire to weaken Phil on the other team.
However, Amy C. and Amy P. voted for Brady, saying that he had not lost enough weight in the most recent weigh-in.
Heba was left with the deciding vote, and after admitting that the decision had turned out to be harder than she had expected it to be, revealed her vote for Amy P., eliminating her from the show.
"I'm really sad to be leaving Philip behind, but you know I really kind disagree with Brady and Vicky's theory that [my elimination is] gonna hurt him," Amy P. told Alison after her elimination was revealed. "I think it's gonna fuel him, so I'm worried for the Blue team. My team."
In a post-show update, Amy P. revealed that she had dropped her dress size from a size 20 to a size 8 and that her weight loss had made her a much better mother, even allowing her to feel comfortable enough to ride horses with her autistic son. She hoped to get down to a size 6 by the show's finale.