Filipe Fam gets eliminated from 'The Biggest Loser: Couples'
By Steve Rogers, 04/29/2009
Filipe Fam, a 26-year-old lube technician from Mesa, AZ, became the nineteenth contestant eliminated from The Biggest Loser: Couples during last night's broadcast on NBC.
"The guy that walked in here Day 1 was an unhappy guy that was just uncomfortable with life and the Filipe that's leaving here today is a more self-motivated, driven, happier guy that enjoys life and can't wait to go out there and inspire people out there to lose the weight," Filipe said following his elimination.
"I lost 130 pounds in 17 weeks, how can I be sad?" he added. "I'm blessed that I had the opportunity to be here. I'm going to go home and inspire the people I love the most, the Samoan culture. [I'm] just excited about that fact that I get a new happier and healthier life with my family."
The Biggest Loser: Couples' sixteenth episode began with the five remaining contestants reacting to the previous episode's elimination of Kristin Steede, who had been up for elimination alongside Helen Phillips, a 47-year-old retired retail manager from Sterling Heights, MI.
Kristin's elimination had occurred because Ron Morelli, a 54-year-old city councilman and retired food distributor from South Lyon, MI, and his son Mike Morelli, an 18-year-old student, had secretly conspired to force a 2-2 vote tie that resulted in Kristin -- whom Ron and Mike had viewed as a threat to prevent Mike from being able to win the competition -- being eliminated since she had lost the least weight at the week's weigh-in.
Although Ron had actually been the one to suggest that forcing a 2-2 tie would allow him to keep an earlier promise that he'd never vote for Kristin but still result in Kristin going home, he claimed to be unaware and surprised that Mike had decided to force a tie by joining Tara in voting for Kristen's elimination.
However at least one of Ron's fellow competitors was skeptical of his claims.
"I already know what everybody is planning, I'm not stupid," Filipe told the cameras afterwards. "I just like to play dumb... 'Oh, Filipe doesn't know' -- I know. Mike's best scenario to win the game is to have Tara and Helen by his side at the finale because he can easily, easily win because he [still] has the [additional] weight to lose."
Once back in their room, Ron and Mike privately celebrated Kristin's elimination.
"How do you think that went? You just made the finale buddy," Ron told his son. "As much as I wanted to see Kristin here, it worked to our advantage today to have her gone. You know I was never going to write her name down ever."
"Ever single thing that we've both need to happen has happened to get me to the finale," Mike told the cameras afterwards. "And so far, my dad has played this game masterfully. He's playing chess [while] everyone else is playing checkers."
The next day, trainer Bob Harper was also immediately doubtful of Ron's claims when he met with Ron and Filipe and learned about Kristin's elimination.
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"I really do find it hard to believe that you didn't have a hand in this because I know that you and Mikey have always been in synch with one another and now we're at the end," Bob told Ron.
"I know you want your son to win this game, I know you do, you've said that to me, you have not held that back at all and that's why I've respected you throughout this whole process," he added.
However Ron stuck to his lie and denied Bob's allegations.
"I did not have a hand in this," Ron told Bob.
"You didn't pull Mikey aside and told him to vote for Kristin?" Bob asked directly.
"No," Ron responded. "His exact words were 'This is a selfish move on my part, you're my biggest competition, I love you to death but' and that [was] his thinking. And he's my son so I'm going to stand behind his decision."
Afterward, Bob made it clear that he hadn't believed Ron's claims.
"I get what Ron is doing -- Ron wants his son to win. But when Ron was being dishonest with me, or Ron wasn't telling me 'the entire truth,' it just really bummed me out," Bob told the cameras. "I'm like 'I've gone through way too much with Ron for him to start being dishonest with me at this point.'"
After meeting with The Biggest Loser host Allison Sweeney and watching flashback footage of their very first ranch workouts, Allison then surprised the contestants with the news that this would be their last week on The Biggest Loser campus.
"At the end of this week you are each going home," Allison said.
Following their meeting with Allison, the contestants discovered how drastically their bodies had changed by trying on their "goal outfits" and then met with The Biggest Loser doctor Rob Huizenga, who pointed how their internal health had also improved dramatically due to their weight loss.
Later, the contestants met Allison for their next challenge at a local sand and rock quarry. Once there, they learned the challenge would require them to race over 16 sand hills -- one for each week they'd been in the competition -- while also individually dragging the amount of weight they'd each lost since the competition began with them. Once at the top of each week's hill, they'd be able to remove same amount of weight they'd lost that week, reducing the amount of weight they'd have to carry for the rest of the challenge.
The winner of the challenge would get to decide whether they want to receive a one-pound advantage at the upcoming weigh-in or a $10,000 cash prize while the second-place finisher would automatically receive whichever prize the winner didn't select.
Although Tara and Mike were neck-and-neck through the Week 9 hill, Tara ended up winning the challenge handily, with Mike following in second place.
Filipe finished third and Helen followed next in fourth place. Ron finished in last place by a wide margin and was only on the Week 6 hill when Mike decided to return to the course and help he father finish. Filipe also later joined Mike and helped Ron finish.
"I'm good with either," Mike said after Allison noted he would be receiving whichever prize Tara didn't pick.
Later, the contestants finally got a chance to turn the tables on their trainers when they learned it was time for the season's "Train the Trainer" session in which the contestants would be leading the trainers through a workout.
All the contestants seemed to enjoy the session, which featured Filipe and Ron "training" Bob and Tara, Helen and Mike "training" Bob.
"How do you like me now?" Tara joked to the cameras afterwards.
"Seventeen weeks of kicking my butt and I finally get time to kick yours -- I'm definitely going to take advantage of it," Filipe told Bob with a smile.
"Ron and Filipe wiped the floor with me," Bob said afterwards. "They wiped the floor with me."
After participating in their own final last chance workouts, the contestants then met Allison for the week's weigh-in and Tara announced she had decided to keep take the one-pound advantage, giving Mike the $10,000 prize.
"Congratulations Mikey, you're $10,000 richer -- have fun with that," Tara told Mike.
"Thanks," Mike responded.
"That's the smartest decision," Mike told the cameras afterwards. "We're in Week 17. You don't want to give one pound to somebody and you want to make sure that you're absolutely safe. I may have rather had the pound but I can't complain, I get ten grand for coming in second place -- that's a year's worth of college basically."
Ron then weighed-in first. He lost 9 pounds, giving him a total loss of 141 pounds since arriving at the ranch and a Week 17 weight-loss percentage of 3.02%.
Filipe weighed-in next and discovered he'd lost 10 pounds, giving him a total loss of 130 pounds and a weekly weight-loss percentage of 4.10%.
Helen was the third contestant to weigh-in. She lost 7 pounds, giving her a total loss of 103 pounds and a Week 17 weight-loss percentage of 4.35%.
Mike followed next and learned he'd lost 11 pounds, giving him a total loss of 164 pounds and a weekly weight-loss percentage of 4.68%.
Tara was the last contestant to weigh-in. She lost 8 pounds, giving her a total loss of 125 pounds - -the most any female contestant has ever lost on The Biggest Loser campus.
Due to her additional one-pound advantage, Tara's Week 17 weight-loss percentage was calculated to be 5.08% -- which left her in first place on the week's weigh-in rankings and put Filipe and Ron below the yellow line and up for elimination.
After the weigh-in, the contestants met to discuss the upcoming elimination vote and Ron and Filipe each campaigned to be allowed to continue to the finale, with Ron saying that he'd be much less of a threat than Filipe in the finale and Filipe stating that the fact that he was the biggest threat was exactly why the other contestants should keep him.
"I'm certainly not the threat everybody else is here," Ron said. "You guys all know you're going to beat me. All three of you will beat me -- Filipe would beat me. You guys beat me every week."
"Do you want to take the easy route or the hard route?" Filipe said. "In order to be the best I feel you should beat the best."
With Mike having already having made it clear he was voting to keep his father, Helen and Tara asked for some time to discuss the situation privately.
"They both voted me off so to me, at this moment, I have no loyalties towards either one of them," Helen told Tara. "I'm looking at it completely as a game. At this point we all need to play for ourselves, because they both wouldn't hesitate -- and haven't in the past -- to take me out."
"It's up to us, just our votes," Tara replied. "Michael's vote doesn't count [for enough by itself so] it's coming down to me and you. Me and you decide the Final 4."
"Yeah, I'd like to just sit with that power for a minute," Helen joked.
When it came time for the elimination vote, Helen suck to her earlier statement and decided to "play for herself," resulting in Filipe's ouster.
"I just think that at this point in the game, I needed to play for myself and it's the first time that I'm actually thinking about what is good for Helen," she said as she revealed her vote. "The decision that I made was to eliminate Filipe. I just feel that Filipe is the bigger threat to me."
After Filipe was eliminated, Alison surprised the four remaining contestants by announcing that although they would be leaving the ranch and returning home, there would be one more weigh-in before the finale.
"All of you are going home for 30 days and then you will come back and face the scale one more time," Alison explained. "Good luck, see you in 30 days."
In the post-show update, it was revealed that although he had initially hit a plateau after leaving the ranch, Filipe has lost 13 additional pounds since returning home and has begun conducting free weekly workouts in his community.