Jay Kruger the sixteenth contestant cut from 'The Biggest Loser'
By Christopher Rocchio, 04/02/2008
After brothers Mark and Jay Kruger both found themselves with the week's lowest weight-loss percentages, Jay offered himself up for elimination.
His chivalrous wish was granted, as the 31-year-old aerial device account manager from Bedford, MA became the sixteenth contestant cut from The Biggest Loser: Couples during last night's broadcast of the NBC reality weight-loss series' fifth season.
"I've been overweight my whole life, and I can't say I have my life back because I never had one," said Jay after his ouster.
"I lost 91-pounds after today, I've conquered a fear of heights that I've had since I was little, I made great friends... I'm so happy I've had this opportunity to basically save my life. I got to do it with my brother and it's something that we're going to share for the rest of our lives and look back on it and smile and say, 'That's the moment we changed our lives forever.'"
The Biggest Loser: Couples fourteenth episode began following the previous ouster of Dan Evans, with the five remaining contestants still in the elimination room. Host Allison Sweeney revealed they'd be traveling to Sydney, Australia the next day for a week of exercise and healthy eating down under.
In addition, Allison said The Biggest Loser trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels -- who also work as trainers on The Biggest Loser's Australian edition -- were already in Sydney awaiting their arrival.
Prior to leaving, Alison Vincent said she had formed an alliance with Mark and Jay as well as Kelly Fields in an effort to eliminate Roger Schultz at the upcoming weigh-in if he were to fall below the yellow line.
"Roger and I have really been through a lot together," commented Mark. "But he's probably the biggest threat in the house."
Mark made snack packs for his fellow contestants to eat on the plane and they were whisked away to Sydney, where they were met by Allison, Bob and Jillian. Bob immediately realized Dan had been booted and was sad while Jillian found it as a relief that the two women were still in the competition. The contestants were then treated to a traditional Aboriginal ceremony.
During their time in Sydney, the contestants would be staying at The Biggest Loser Australia's "white house," which Kelly described as a "palatial estate" complete with everything from a pool table and hot tub to a chandelier and impressive gym.
Because it was a "short week" since they spent a whole day traveling from the States to Sydney, the contestants immediately hit the gym and began to workout extra hard.
"My biggest fear is I fall below the yellow line with either Mark or Jay. Then I know I'm history," opined Roger. "The girls will vote for me because they know I'm a big threat. Jay or Mark's not going to vote for Jay or Mark, so toodle-oo."
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The five remaining contestants then went out for a night of dinner and dancing in Sydney -- Bob and Jillian's treat -- before meeting The Biggest LoserAustralia's first-season champ Adriano "Adro" Sarnelli, who showed them some of the city's sights and shared some insight with them.
The contestants then met Allison at the top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge for their next Reward Challenge. After ascending the 440-foot bridge -- which required Mark and Jay to conquer their fear of bridges and heights, respectively -- Allison explained the rules.
The challenge would begin with the contestants riding in a jet boat, and when Allison gave the signal, they'd each have to jump out and swim 300 meters across open water. Once they reached the shore, they'd have to run up a set of stairs to a bicycle before having to bike along a marked path through a botanical garden. They'd eventually reach a 44-story building, the stairs of which they'd have to climb.
The first contestant to the top of the building would win a sunset trip on a sea plane and brunch for his or her self and a guest.
The challenge commenced and since Ali is a strong swimmer, she jumped out to an early lead in the water and was followed by Mark, Jay, Kelly and Roger. Mark was almost able to pass Ali at the top of the stairs, however she was still the first to hop on her bike and start to make her way through the botanical garden. Mark waited for the opportune time to pass Ali on the bike, and when he found it he took it and never relented his lead. However once at the top of the 44-story building, Mark decided to wait for Ali and the two crossed the finish line together.
"I learned that I didn't have to be the competitive, crazy person everybody expects me to be," explained Mark. "It was a lot more enjoyable standing up there on that building afterwards knowing that I shared that victory in a fun way with Ali."
Jay finished third, Roger finished fourth and Kelly came in last with the aid of some encouragement from the other contestants. Allison then revealed that as part of Mark and Ali's reward, each would be able to make a call home.
After Mark and Ali took their sea plane ride, enjoyed brunch and made their calls home, the five remaining contestants participated in their last-chance workouts.
The Biggest Loser: Couples' fourteenth weigh-in commenced, and the two contestants with the lowest weight-loss percentage would find themselves below the yellow line and thus be up for elimination.
"Anything that takes you out of your normal routine can totally screw-up your body," said Mark. "So I have no confidence at all that this is going to be anything but a bloodletting tonight."
He was right, as Jay started the week at 201 and gained a pound for a negative 0.50% weight-loss percentage.
"My first reaction when I saw the plus-one was, 'What awful timing,'" opined Jay. "I mean we're almost to the end here and I pull my first plus number of the whole game... It's not a good feeling. Right now I'm just kind of in shock over the number."
Ali began the week at 149 and dropped three pounds for a 2.01% weight-loss percentage; Roger started at 236 and shed two pounds for a 0.85% weight-loss percentage; and Kelly began at 192 and lost one pound for a 0.52% weight-loss percentage.
"Mark going up, like he said he just had to lose a pound," commented Jay. "I'm thinking, 'I should be okay.' Even in Mark's worst week he's lost just a pound. He works so hard that I'm feeling pretty good right now."
However Mark started at 181 and -- just like his brother -- gained a pound for a negative 0.55% weight-loss percentage. Jay and Mark were both below the yellow and would be up for elimination.
"No surprise to me whatsoever," said Mark. "I weigh 182 pounds now. I did a triathlon... It is what it is. It's going to put me below with my brother, but I feel good. Bob has given me my life. I got to do this just about the entire way with Jay... I'm a better man today than I was when I started."
With only an hour to decide which brother would be booted, Jay offered himself up similar to the way Mark had done it only five weeks earlier.
"You fell on the sword your last time, you fought your way back and I'm not going to let you do that again," said Jay though sobs. "He deserves to stay here, so I'm going to make this easy on you guys. I want you to write my name down and eliminate me and have Mark stay. It's what I have to do. It's my time to do it this time. I don't want to put you in a situation where you have to choose between us. I know we love you all -- and I hope you feel the same way about us."
"I was more than ready to let myself be eliminated again -- I know what it feels like to be eliminated. It's awful, and I don't want [Jay] to experience it. I want to protect him from it," commented Mark. "But he wants to make this decision, he wants to do it. So I'm going to respect his wishes."
Ali and Roger both voted to boot Jay, who was emotionally eliminated from the competition.
"Over these last 15 weeks, it has been my honor and privilege to share this with you," said Mark to Jay. "If you asked me who do you want to do this with, I would pick him every time. I love him so much... You're my brother and my best friend and my everything. I love you so much."
Jay then shared an embrace with Mark and said goodbye before Allison revealed that -- while the four remaining contestants would be returning to The Biggest Loser campus, they'd be doing so without Bob and Jillian, meaning they'd have to train by themselves during the upcoming week.
The Biggest Loser: Couples' penultimate episode broadcast will air Tuesday, April 8 at 8PM ET/PT on NBC.