'The Biggest Loser: Couples' eliminates Lynn and Jenni Westphal
By Christopher Rocchio, 01/02/2008
Lynn Westphal decided to look a gift horse in the mouth when he expressed his desire to leave after only one week on The Biggest Loser campus.
The 60-year-old interior decorator from Elyria, OH got his wish, as he and his daughter Jenni, a 31-year-old nanny from North Ridgeville, OH, became the first team eliminated from The Biggest Loser: Couples during last night's premiere broadcast of the NBC reality show's fifth season.
"It's hard for me to go home tonight because I know Jenni doesn't want to go home," said Lynn following his ouster with his daughter. "I'm sorry we're going home. But I'm going to be there for you when we get home, and I want you to be there for me."
"I hope that when we go home, you'll stick to what you say and do your best to lose weight," answered Jenni. "Because you have to. You have no choice at this point. I really hope that you don't regret this decision to want to leave."
"No," replied Lynn. "I will never change my mind."
The Biggest Loser: Couples' first episode began with a video montage introducing viewers to the nine teams whose members already have a pre-existing bond. The nine teams then arrived at The Biggest Loser campus and were met by host Alison Sweeney, who revealed the tenth team in the competition -- Brittany Aberle and Bernardo Salazar -- are strangers who didn't meet until they were paired together.
"I feel that Bernie and I are coming into this with a little bit of an advantage because we're not coming with all the baggage that the rest of the [teams] bring," commented Brittany.
Alison then explained the rules for the first challenge, which would determine which The Biggest Loser trainer -- Bob Harper or Jillian Michaels -- each team would work with. Each team would race along a marked path to the top of a hill, where they would both touch a flag before descending. As teams complete the race, they had to line-up behind whichever trainer they wanted. Each trainer could only have five teams.
"Brothers" Mark and Jay Kruger were the first to cross the finish line and chose Jillian as their trainer. Jillian was a popular choice, as four of the next six teams to cross the finish line -- "Former Football Teammates" Roger Shultz and Trent Patterson; "Husband and Wife" Curtis and Mallory Bray; "Newlyweds" Neill and Amanda Harmer; and "Best Friends" Maggie King and Jennifer Widder -- also chose her as their trainer.
Brittany and Bernie and "Mother and Son" Jackie and Dan Evans chose Bob as their trainer, while Lynn and Jenni; "Divorced Couple" Kelly Fields and Paul Marks; and "Mother and Daughter" Bette Sue Burkland and Alison Vincent ended up with Bob since all of Jillian's spots were full.
The 10 teams then met in The Biggest Loser campus' gym, which included a scale-built-for-two, to learn their starting weight for the competition. Members from each team would step on the scale at the same time and have their combined weight taken.
Maggie weighed 239 and Jennifer weighed 254 for a combined weight of 493 pounds; Mark weighed 285 and Jay weighed 293 for a combined weight of 578 pounds; Curtis weighed 381 and Mallory weighed 217 for a combined weight of 598 pounds; Roger weighed 363 and Trent weighed 436 for a combined weight of 799 pounds; and Neill weighed 317 and Amanda weighed 204 for a combined weight of 521 pounds.
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Brittany weighed 221 and Bernie weighed 283 for a combined weight of 504 pounds; Jackie weighed 246 and Dan weighed 310 for a combined weight of 556 pounds; Lynn weighed 409 and Jenni weighed 267 for a combined weight of 676 pounds; Kelly weighed 271 and Paul weighed 303 for a combined weight of 574 pounds; and Bette Sue weighed 261 and Ali weighed 234 for a combined weight of 495 pounds.
Following the weigh-in, the teams immediately hit the gym and began to train. Neill was visibly struggling -- even falling off the treadmill at one point -- causing him to receive quite a tongue-lashing from Jillian. Neill revealed that while Amanda wanted Jillian as a trainer, he had hoped to be with Bob.
It was no walk in the park for teams training with Bob either, as Bernie threw-up; Paul passed out after getting light-headed; and Bette Sue had a hard time with Bob barking orders at her. Bette Sue -- who had hoped to have Jillian as a trainer until she finished the race last with Ali -- described Bob as a "mean little bugger" and "vicious."
The 10 teams traveled to the hospital where they were met by Dr. Robert Huizenga, who explained after seven days of examinations he's alarmed by the health of the show's fifth-season participants. He then took them to the hospital's morgue, and explained they're all statistcally on track to end up there earlier than they should if they don't start to live healthy.
Back on campus, the 10 teams gathered for The Biggest Loser: Couples' first Reward Challenge. Each team would have to drag a heavy helium-filled weather balloon around a course and complete one full lap. The team to reach the finish line first would receive a two-pound advantage at the upcoming weigh-in, while the last-place team would receive a two-pound penalty.
The race commenced, and Maggie and Jennifer immediately found themselves in last, although they explained it was part of their strategy to conserve energy. Mark and Jay were in first for much of the race and -- while Brittany and Bernie made a strong push at the end -- the brothers were able to finish first. Maggie and Jennifer finished last.
"When I'm last, and people are saying, 'You can do it! You can do it!' It kind of feels condescending to me," explained Maggie. "I know people are trying to be supportive, but it's embarassing. I was embarassed to be last."
All of the teams continued to train hard late into the night, except Lynn, the fifth season's oldest participant. As Jenni worked out, Lynn messed around on the computer and farted around the kitchen. When Jenni approached her dad about why he wasn't working out, he explained it was because he had blisters on the heels of his feet.
"These are 60-year-old feet and I'm not going to do it! They hurt!" Lynn yelled at his daughter, who at this point was in tears pleading with her dad to come workout for only 30 minutes.
"You promised me earlier that you would," replied Jenni.
"I can't," answered Lynn. "I'm sorry."
"I was very upset with him and he knew that. I told him he was disappointing me," said Jenni after Lynn went to bed early. "He's my teammate! That's why we came here together! Now is the time to deal with this. Now is the time to lose 200 pounds so you don't leave your daughter with no father. Now is the time. And what are you doing? You're sleeping."
Bernie was also having problems, as he had to go to the hospital following the Reward Challenge because he was having a hard time keeping food down. He returned during the last-chance workouts, and Bob decided to keep Bernie's load "light." Brittany said she was "very nervous" Bernie's lack of exercise would hurt them on the scale.
The Biggest Loser: Couples' first weigh-in then commenced, with the two teams who have the combined lowest weight-loss percentage finding themselves below the yellow line and thus up for elimination. In addition, Alison revealed that instead of the other contestants who are safe having the normal 24 hours to decide on who to eliminate, they'll have only one hour after the weigh-in.
Paul lost 17 and his ex-wife Kelly dropped 13 for a combined weight loss of 30 pounds or a 5.23% weight-loss percentage. Mark shed 17 and his brother Jay dropped 13 for a combined weight loss of 30 pounds -- plus their two-pound reward -- giving them a total weight loss of 32 pounds or a 5.54% weight-loss percentage.
Curtis lost 22 and his wife Mallory dropped 14 for a combined weight loss of 36 pounds or a 6.02% weight-loss percentage. Roger shed 20 and his buddy Trent dropped 29 for a combined weight loss of 49 pounds or a 6.13% weight-loss percentage. Jackie shed 15 and her son Dan lost 25 for a combined weight loss of 40 pounds or a 7.19% weight-loss percentage.
Lynn dropped 19 and his daughter Jenni lost seven for a combined weight loss of 26 pounds or a 3.85% weight-loss percentage. Amanda dropped 14 and her husband Neill shed 13 for a combined weight loss of 27 pounds or a 5.18% weight-loss percentage. Maggie shed 10 and her friend Jennifer lost 12 for a combined weight loss of 22 pounds -- minus their two-pound penalty -- giving them a total weight loss of 20 pounds or a 4.06% weight-loss percentage.
Bette Sue dropped 16 and Ali lost 19 for a combined weight loss of 35 pounds or a 7.07% weight-loss percentage. Bernie shed 17 and Brittany dropped 10 for a combined weight loss of 27 pounds or a 5.36% weight-loss percentage.
Lynn and Jenni and Maggie and Jennifer had the lowest weight-loss percentages for the first week of the competition, placing them below the yellow line and up for elimination.
As Maggie and Jennifer lobbied hard to remain in the competition, Jenni found herself having to defend her own reasoning for wanting to stay in the game since Lynn made it clear he wouldn't be upset if he was sent packing.
"I worked my butt of this week. I don't know what happened with that seven pounds," pleaded Jenni. "But I want to be here. I have been fighting for my dad to be here. Just because you think he wants to go home, torture him and make him stay with me because I want to be here more than anything else."
"Just make your decision... It doesn't matter to me," said Lynn, obviously missing the point of what his daughter just said.
"It matters to me!" she reiterated.
Lynn tried to clarify by saying if they do get sent home, he'll continue to work hard at losing the weight and also make sure his daughter does the same. Jenni wasn't buying it, and as the two packed she became even more annoyed when she detected a tinge of happiness in her father's voice, seemingly sure that he'd be on his way home.
Paul and Kelly voted to boot Maggie and Jennifer before Curtis and Mallory; Jackie and Dan; Amanda and Neill; Bette Sue and Ali; and Bernie and Brittany all voted to oust Lynn and Jenni.
"This is the awakening I needed," said Lynn. "We'll go home and do it."
The Biggest Loser: Couples next episode will air Tuesday, January 8 at 8PM ET/PT on NBC.