'The Biggest Loser's Daniel Wright "absolutely" knew he'd be a target
By Christopher Rocchio, 11/13/2009
Daniel Wright knew that sinceThe Biggest Loser's eighth season was his second chance to compete on the NBC weight-loss series, he "absolutely" knew he would have a target on his back.
"I did struggle with that. I knew that I could be targeted for having the opportunity beforehand and I had internal struggles with that -- struggling whether or not I deserved to be there with 15 other people who had just started a journey rather than me who had already got a head start on his," he told reporters during a Wednesday conference call.
"What I had to realize to come to the place of understanding was all of us have a journey and they're all equally important. And when you start comparing yourself with (other) people, you then rob yourself of your joy. So I had to come to terms with it. I have a journey and it's just as important as everybody else's."
The 20-year-old student from Willow Spring, NC was immediately ousted from The Biggest Loser's eighth season after he posted the weigh-in's lowest weight-loss percentage during Tuesday night's episode and fell below its special red line.
Wright told reporters that the "opportunity arose" for him to compete on The Biggest Loser's eighth season initially arose while he was still on the ranch during the show's seventh season.
"The producers approached me about doing it. They wanted to offer a second chance and do a second chance season -- and they wanted to offer it to me, and said, 'Would you be willing to go and we start filming in three days,'" he explained.
"I was like, 'Wow. First off I'd like to rest but second of all, sure, why not. I've got so much more weight to lose and I need to go, so absolutely.'"
Wright said he currently weighs 324 lbs. -- 130 lbs. less than when he arrived at the ranch for the show's seventh season.
"I think for me, coming home the second time it was really, really getting into the issues... I had to fix the problem and be perfect forever because you know it's a lifestyle and it's a life that we have to live," he told reporters.
Wright also commented on the division that viewers saw during Tuesday night's The Biggest Loser episode -- as the four older contestants and four younger contestants split and formed separate alliance.
"I don't know if it was really a division. It was kind of just after the first elimination people just started hanging out with each other and the more and more we looked at it, it wasn't really old versus young. It was more like people who had been overweight before and people who had been thin before and people who hadn't," he explained.
"[Shauntina 'Shay' Sorrells] and I always call it the 'has been' versus the 'has not.' But [Rudy Pauls] is the same age as Shay, and it was more who related and hung out with each other rather than being an age separation."
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After Wright was ousted, viewers received an update on his seventh-season "couples" edition partner David Lee -- who hasn't been doing so well in keeping the weight off.
"I don't know if it's frustrating as it is heartbreaking," Wright told reporters about his friend's regression.
"I now know how my family felt when they were talking to me before I started my journey. I now see what everyone else was trying to get me to realize before I wanted to do it for me. And the heartbreaking thing is knowing that I can never say anything to him to make him change."
Wright reiterated that if Lee wants to change, "it's going to have to be him" who makes that choice.
"Whatever happened in his life, whatever mentally clicks for him, whatever breaks his heart that makes him want to change, that's what it's going to have to be to cause it," he explained.
"And there's nothing I can do to effect that change on him and I wish I could, just because the same way my family wish they could have for me earlier before I had reached the point that I reached when I went on the show."
As for what's next, Wright said he really wants to get into a speaking career.
"My main motivation for starting Season 7 was that I really wanted to be a pastor in a ministry in some capacity," he said.
"Having two seasons from The Biggest Loser and [having been] given such an opportunity and such a gift to me of getting my life back and getting an understanding of health and fitness, I'm really looking at changing my college plans to studying for exercise science and sports nutrition and doing speaking hopefully faith-based."