Sione Fa gets eliminated from NBC's 'The Biggest Loser: Couples'
By John Bracchitta, 04/08/2009
Sione Fa, a 28-year-old landscape company owner from Maricopa, AZ, became the sixteenth contestant eliminated from The Biggest Loser: Couples during last night's broadcast on NBC.
"This show changes lives. The Biggest Loser has helped me save my own life. I'm never going back to my old ways, I'm never gonna be as heavy as I ever was," Sione said following his elimination. "It's the end of the road for me here at the ranch, but now it's the time for me to get on a new road. It's time for me to go home and share everything I've learned with my family and with my community."
The Biggest Loser: Couples' thirteenth episode began with the remaining contestants reacting to the surprising decision in which Sione and his cousin Filipe Fam, a 26-year-old lube technician from Mesa, AZ, suddenly ended their alliance with Ron Morelli, a 54-year-old city councilman and retired food distributor, and his son Mike Morelli, an 18-year-old student, who are from South Lyon, MI, by attempting to get Ron voted off during the previous elimination ceremony.
"The only thing I can think about is how betrayed I feel," an angry Mike said following the elimination ceremony in which Ron was nontheless spared as Nicole Brewer was sent home instead.
However, Sione justified his vote by saying that the game had gotten to a point where the contestants had to begin looking out for themselves and cast aside alliances if necessary.
"I'm not here for Ron, I'm here for myself and I don't owe anybody anything," he said.
After Sione laid out his thoughts to Ron as the contestants met in the ranch's kitchen, Ron said that he was free to act as he pleased. However he later correctly guessed that by straying from the rest of the group Sione and Filipe were making a mistake that could end up hurting them down the road.
"Hey listen, play for yourself," Ron said. "If they're gonna leave the protection of the pack the they've gotta be ready to take what comes. They fall below the line, they're out. That's how I'll handle them from now on."
The contestants then met The Biggest Loser host Allison Sweeney in the gym and were surprised to find that the machines had been adorned with covered meal plates. Allison informed the teams that they would be taking part in a Temptation Challenge that, due to the lack of Temptations that the contestants had faced while on the ranch, would pick up the slack by offering the biggest prize ever given away in one of the challenges.
The contestants were told that a while majority of the 100 covered plates in the gym contained unhealthy snacks such as soda and cupcakes, that a select few contained healthier snacks such as gum along with a cash prize, while one tray held the grand prize for the challenge: A "golden ticket" giving whoever found it the sole vote at the next elimination ceremony.
"Something's better than immunity and it's control of the game. To have the only vote, that's a lot of power," said Sione.
Contestants would be able to search for the "golden ticket" as long as they liked, but would have to eat any snacks they found in the covered plates in the process. The challenge then began, with every contestant choosing to risk eating the unhealthy snacks to find the "golden ticket."
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After all of the contestants --save for Kristin Steede, a 28-year-old business owner from Greenville, WI, who decided that minimizing her calorie intake would keep her above the yellow line after seeing the other contestants gorge themselves -- took their fare share of attempts to find the "golden ticket" and failed, with Tara Costa, a 23-year-old finance manager and former model from New York, NY, leading the pack by ingesting 4,328 calories. However, luck eventually ran in her favor as her best friend and partner Laura Denoux, a 24-year-old sales director and former model from Miami, FL, eventually found the ticket that gave her the right to have the only elimination vote at the upcoming elimination ceremony.
"Let's see who wants to do me some favors this week, give me some back massages, cook for me, clean my room and bring me breafast in bed," an excited Laura joked later.
As she celebrated with Tara, Laura suggest that Tara intentionally fall below the yellow line for the week -- knowing she will be safe because of Laura's vote -- in order to put the pressure on the other contestants. However, Tara was not keen on the idea and warned Laura of the worst case scenario in which she would fall below the yellow line along with her, therefore negating Laura's ablilty to use the ticket to cast the only elimination vote.
"I wanna help my partner, but on the other hand falling below the yellow line on purpose doesn't sit well with me," Tara said.
As the contestants cleaned up the empty dishes from the challenge, they were surprised by trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper, who were both shocked when they learned of the exsessive eating that all of the contestants had just done with only the slight chance of winning a reward as their only motivation.
"I look to these contestants to be role models. I expect them to set the example," Jillian said. "These contestants do stupid thingks like this, it's dieappointing to me."
As Filipe and Tara both struggled and felt sick after gorging on the snacks, Bob scolded both of them and said that he hoped they would "remember this day 10 years down the road" when they thought about eating unhealthy again.
In order to get the contestants back on track, Jillian and Bob decided to join forces and train all of the contestants together and "Bust them up."
"We're literally gonna hand them off and take turns beating the crap out of them," Jillian said.
Following their workout, Jillian took her team to a local Subway restaurant where they received healthy eating tips and encouragement from former The Biggest Loser: Families contestants Jerry and Coleen Skeabeck.
All of the contestants then gathered at the Rose Bowl where they met with Allison for their challenge and were told that they would be split up into two teams with the girls versus the boys and would race by seeing who could run all of one side of the stadium's stairs. Both teams would start out on seperate sides of the stadium and race on their respective sides, with the first two people to finish the 2,156 course advancing to the final round where they would have to race the course as second time.
Allison added that the prize for the challenge would be a two week trip for four with deluxe accomodations to Fitness Ridge Resort and Spa in St. George, Utah.
Both Tara and Sione made quick work of the first round, easily finishing ahead of the rest of the pack to advance to the final round. In the final round, Sione jumped out to an early lead but lost it as he slowed down midway through the course, allowing Tara to jump inot the lead and win the challenge.
"I did it and I feel good!" Tara said following the win. "I can't breath but I'll be good."
After returning to the ranch, the contestants continued to talk about the repercussions of the recent events with Laura having the only vote at the upcoming elimination ceremony along with the rift between Ron and Mike and Filipe and Sione. Filipe became additionally worried about he and Sione's status in the game after Kristin would not confirm to him that she would not vote to elimination the cousins if one of them fell below the yellow line at future weigh-ins.
Meanwhile, Laura received warnings about her proposed idea to have Tara fall below the yellow line on purpose -- first from Helen Phillips, a 47-year-old retired retail manager from Sterling Heights, MI, and then from Jillian during a team meeting before theirlast chance workouts.
"You know me, and it's all bout having a strategy and being smart, but it's just not the thing to do ever," Jillian said of throwing the weigh-in. "Your head should not be on the game. Your head should be on yourselves, and what your dreams are, what you're passionate about. That is all we should be focusing on."
However at the last chance workouts that followed, Jillian became worried when she noticed that Tara was noticably lagging in her workout.
Meanwhile, Sione struggled with his last chance workout as he cast doubt upon himself in the wake of his challenge loss to Tara.
"I've been feeling it since the challenge that my best isn't enough," he said
The contestants then met with Allison for the week's weigh-in. Mike weighed in first, needing to lose nine pounds to break The Biggest Loser's record for weight-loss on the campus, which stood at 144 pounds. However he fell just short, losing only 5 pounds for a weight-loss percentage of 1.98%, which was good for fifth place for the week.
Laura came in first for the week, losing 8 pounds for a weight-loss percentage of 3.76%. Ron followed in second, shedding 9 pounds for a 2.84% loss, while Filipe came in third place after losing 7 pounds for a 2.7% loss.
Kristin followed in fourth place, losing 6 pounds for a 2.39% loss. Tara followed Mike in sixth place after losing 3 pounds for a 1.59% loss, leaving Sione (who lost 4 pounds for a 1.54% loss) and Helen (who lost 2 pounds for a 1.17% loss) below the yellow line and up for elimination.
Immediately following the weigh-in, Laura broke into tears as she thought about the decision she would have to make to send wither Sione or Helen home.
"This is gonna be the hardest thing I've had to do here. These are two people I don't want them to go home, I don't want either one of them to go home," she said. "That's why this is so hard. I'm 100 percent responsible for sending somenoe home."
Both contestante then met with Laura before she made her decision to have one last chance to plead their case.
"I'm asking you, straight forward, put all the friends thing out of this. Put all of who I'm closer with and who I get along with better, and vote with who you want to be here," Sione said to Laura. "It's your decision, I would hate to be in your position right now. But at the same time you can count on me every single week to help you stay here."
Helen then met with Laura and was more straighforward with her plea.
"I don't want to leave here. I'm not ready to leave here, I don't wanna leave here. I feel fortunate that I have you and Tara to do it with, because I don't have [my daughter Shanon Thomas] to do it with, and you guys are the closest thing, you really are. I consider you like my daughters, I do, I love you."
The three contestants then met with Allison where Laura revealed her decision. Laura said that despite initially being willing to do anything to have the power to decide who would be sent home, she had realized since she didn't want the responsibilty and it had become a "burden" on her.
"Helen you're like a mother to me and I look up to you, I hope that I can be a mother jsut like you are with yoru family, and I can't believe what you can do at 48-years-old and the accomplishments you've been able to achieve here. It's just amazing," Laura said. "Sione, you have been such an inspiration to me, I don't think I tell you this enough. I look at you and I see you as a brother."
"Tonight my decision was so hard because I love both of these people, I do. But I had to make this decision based on what is going to be best for me right now, and ultimately was not based on gameplay. One person here had been here truly for me the entire time I've been in this game. I love this person very much, and I'm sorry but I voted for Sione," she revealed.
In the post-show update, it was revealed that Sione had not lost a total of 137 pounds and dropped his weight to 235 pounds. Sione also explained that he had decided to switch careers and is studying to become a certified trainer.