Interview: Blaine Cotter talks about 'The Biggest Loser: Couples'
By John Bracchitta, 02/12/2009
When Black team member Blaine Cotter, a 27-year-old college counselor from Gilbert, AZ volunteered himself for elimination on The Biggest Loser: Couples in order to keep his cousin Dane Patterson, a 27-year-old real estate appraiser from Mesa, AZ in the competition, it was anything but a spur of the moment decision.
"We had discussed it before," Cotter told Reality TV World during a media conference call the day after his elimination aired on NBC's Tuesday night broadcast of The Biggest Loser: Couples. "Definitely for us [there] were a couple of things, one was my new baby at home, that was definitely a consideration that my wife would need me home if it came down to either one of us. The other thing was [Dane] definitely has more weight to lose, and that's why we were there... [We had] already decided that if it came down to the two of us, and we had the decision to make, I'd go home."
Cotter also told Reality TV World that he hadn't anticipated the severity of the backlash from members of Bob's team to Jillian's contestants' third-week decision to keep Joelle Gwynn, a 41-year-old non-profit founder from Southfield, MI, on the ranch in favor of Damien Gurganious, a 31-year-old industrial designer from Brooklyn, NY.
"I was kinda surprised by how much fallout there was," Cotter told Reality TV World. "We really didn't foresee that much [anger] coming from them... But in reality me and Dane knew that if we were ever below the yellow line it didn't really matter what happened, we would have to go home."
Cotter told reporters later that he appreciated Bob's contestants' decision to respect to his wishes despite some of their initial hesitations, and attempted to clarify that Jillian's contestants hadn't been pulling a "game play move" when they chose Gurganious over Gwynn.
"It wasn't [a game play move like everybody said]. [Gwynn's partner Carla Triplett] was the biggest threat out of [all four people] we were looking at eliminating," Cotter told reporters about Gwynn, Triplett, Gurganious and Gurganious' fiancee Nicole Brewer. "We honestly felt that Joelle and Carla needed to be there more, that that's why we made that decision."
However, Cotter also admitted that after putting up with Gwynn's continued lackadaisical behavior and dealing with her arguments with Triplett after Triplett got a chance to return to the ranch, Jillian's team members came to feel they may have made a mistake.
"I think we were all kinda happy that it wasn't 'The Joelle Show' anymore," Cotter said of the Gray team's elimination. "Our whole team definitely started to kinda second guess [like] 'Okay, well, maybe we should've let Joelle go the first time.' Joelle being there by herself was not as bad as Joelle and Carla being there. They did not get along, and that's uncomfortable if you've been around people who are really upset at each other."
Much of Cotter's time on the ranch was also spent thinking about his wife, who was back home pregnant with their fifth child. While Cotter said that he and Patterson had initially tried out for the show before he knew his wife was pregnant, he had decided to still go on the show after considering the bigger picture.
"Basically for me it was [that] I may miss the birth of my child, and that is a big deal and was definitely something I made sure my wife was okay with that and we had talked about it, it's a matter of living past his birth and to the birth of his children," he told reporters. "It was a pretty bad situation for me health wise before I went on the show, And looking back on it, it was worth the sacrifice.
Cotter also told Reality TV World that he hadn't known that he would be able to go back and see the birth of his son and had been "pleasantly surprised" to find out he would be able to. He added that his trip home was so brief and busy that he didn't encounter any temptations to stray from his diet and risk gaining weight.
"I wasn't home very long at all, it was a pretty short stay and really [was] a matter of being at the hospital the whole time," he told Reality TV World. "I just made sure [I ate well], I had friends who cooked good meals and [would] bring them to me at the hospital. The reality is that even when you're home you can make good choices. It was interesting for me to go home and be in the real world... It was a good experiment -- food wise -- for that day that I was there."
Now at home full-time and weighing 275 pounds -- 90 pounds lighter than 365 pounds he had arrived at The Biggest Loser ranch at -- Cotter told reporters that he's targeting a huge May goal. However, unlike the rest of The Biggest Loser's eliminated contestants, Cotter said his goal isn't the $100,000 consolation weigh-in that will take place at the season's May finale show.
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"I'll be honest you, no [I'm not going for the at-home prize]," Cotter told reporters. "It's not gonna happen for me, percentage-wise it's just not gonna happen. And that's not why I went on there, that's not why I'm continuing to work out."
Instead, Cotter told Reality TV World he's focusing on training for the Iron Man competition that was referenced in the update that aired at the conclusion of Tuesday's The Biggest Loser: Couples broadcast.
"It's great, my dad is way into cycling and always has been, so that's always been a desire for me to kinda be able to keep up with him and do that with him. I played water polo in high school so I'm a pretty good swimmer, and then running... Jillian made sure I was good at that," Cotter told Reality TV World.
"So it just kind of made sense. I don't wanna just run all day, so it's kind of a fun sport and I'm excited."