'The Biggest Loser' eliminates contestant Deborah "Debbie" Lounds
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/21/2011
The Biggest Loser's twelfth season eliminated Deborah "Debbie" Lounds during Tuesday night's broadcast of the NBC reality weight-loss competition's premiere episode.
Debbie, a 60-year-old senior administrative assistant from Ann Arbor, MI, became the first contestant ousted from the competition's twelfth season after her Blue team lost the first week's weigh-in by posting a lower total weight-loss percentage than the Black and Red teams -- which then forced the Blue team's remaining contestants to vote off one of their own members.
"It's very difficult to be the first person to leave, but I'm not the same person that arrived here on Day 1. Being here with no distractions and only myself, it made me realize that it's okay for me to think about myself -- that I can have my life too. I struggled this week. I had a difficult time, but I want to start training for that marathon. I want to come back and compete," Debbie said following her ouster.
"I may be the first one to leave, but I'm going to be the last one standing."
The Biggest Loser's first twelfth-season episode began with the competition's 15 contestants traveling to a California desert just outside of Death Valley. Upon their arrival, they were greeted by The Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney who asked them to line up by the numbers on their shirt from youngest to oldest -- numbers that represented their ages.
Alison then revealed the season would be taking on a "Battle of the Ages" format in which the 15 contestants would be divided into three teams of five people: Contestants ages 30 and under, 50 years and over, and the people in between. She also explained each team would receive one trainer who would be responsible for them throughout the season, and two of the three trainers were new.
The contestants then learned they would be participating in their first The Biggest Loserchallenge, which required them to walk or run one mile down the desert to reach the three trainers who would be waiting for them on the other end. Each team would have to get every member to the finish as a unit, and once that was achieved, the winning team would be able to pick their trainer first.
The second-place team would be afforded the chance to pick the second trainer of their choice, while the third-place team would not have an option as to who they would be training with. The middle team, which consisted of contestants between the ages of 31 and 49, ran to and selected veteran The Biggest Loser trainer Bob Harper first.
Bob was not surprised by his team's decision because he realized they would choose what was most familiar to them by watching previous seasons of the show. The young team then arrived and chose new trainer Dolvett Quince, while the oldest team finished last and were placed under the leadership of new trainer Anna Kournikova.
Once all the teams were established with their trainers, Alison explained a new game-changing twist. All the contestants would return to the same spot in the desert at the end of the season before the final three contestants were chosen and compete in a 26.2-mile marathon whether or not they had already been eliminated at the time.
The winner of the marathon would be automatically guaranteed a spot in the finale -- a format The Biggest Loser had never introduced before in the show's history.
Bob's Black team, Anna's Blue team and Dolvett's Red team then arrived at The Biggest Loser ranch and got settled. Later that week after much training, they participated in their last chance workouts.
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Afterward, The Biggest Loser's twelfth-season's first elimination weigh-in commenced.
Alison explained the team with the lowest weight-loss percentage would lose the weigh-in and be put up for elimination. She said the person who achieved the highest weight-loss percentage on the losing team would receive immunity, but all the team's contestants must then vote off one of its other members.
Alison told everyone each team would be weighing-in starting with its oldest member and moving downward.
John "Johnny" Forger, a 65-year-old realty company owner from Canton, MA, was the first member on Anna's Blue team to step on the scale. He started off the week weighing 328 pounds and dropped to 311 pounds after he lost 17 pounds.
Bonnie Griffin, a 63-year-old retired payroll supervisor from Picayune, MS, fell from 254 pounds to 250 pounds after she shed four pounds, while Mike Danley, a 62-year-old high school teacher and football coach from Spencerville, IN, lost 12 pounds after dropping from 309 to 297 pounds.
Debbie then weighed-in on behalf of Anna's team and fell from 239 pounds to 233 pounds after she lost six pounds.
Rebecca "Becky" Comet, a 51-year-old math teacher from Benton, AR -- who had to go home for a few days during the week because her father had passed away but returned to the ranch seemingly stronger than before -- surprisingly lost 10 pounds. Becky dropped from 238 pounds to 228 pounds.
Anna's Blue team lost a total of 49 pounds and posted a 3.58% weight-loss percentage.
It was then time for Bob's Black team to weigh-in, and Joe Mitchell, a 46-year-old home health therapist from Knoxville, TN, was the first to step on the scale.
Joe shed 22 pounds after falling from 348 to 326 pounds. Antone Davis, a 44-year-old restaurant manager and former NFL player from Knoxville, TN, dropped from 447 to 415 pounds after losing 32 pounds.
Sunny Sinclair, a 41-year-old fifth grade teacher from Frisco, TX, started off the week weighing 277 pounds and dropped to 261 pounds, losing 16 pounds. With only three contestants having weighed-in, Bob's team had already beaten Anna's Blue team.
John Rhode, a 40-year-old special education teacher and football coach from Mesa, AZ, then stepped on the scale and lost a total of 37 pounds. He fell from 445 to 408 pounds, while Jennifer Rumple, a 39-year-old television producer from Alameda, CA, dropped from 330 pounds to 311 pounds after shedding 19 pounds.
Bob's Black team lost a total of 126 pounds and posted a 6.82% weight-loss percentage.
Dolvett's Red team was the last team to weigh-in.
Vencent "Vinny" Hickerson, a 27-year-old songwriter and entertainer from Nashville, TN, fell from 426 pounds to 405 pounds, losing 21 pounds over the course of the week. Ramon Medeiros, a 27-year-old tattoo artist from Florence, CO, shed 17 pounds after dropping from 355 pounds to 338 pounds.
Courtney Rainville, a 24-year-old internet marketing specialist from Scottsdale, AZ, lost 16 pounds over the course of the week after she fell from 270 pounds to 254 pounds.
Jessica Limpert, a 26-year-old travel nurse from San Francisco, CA, started off the week weighing 254 pounds and fell to 239 pounds after she lost 15 pounds, while Patrick Ferrari, a 26-year-old mental health adult foster care worker from Albany, OR, lost 20 pounds after falling from 387 pounds to 367 pounds.
Dolvett's Red team lost a total of 89 pounds and posted a 5.26% weight-loss percentage.
Alison then announced Anna's Blue team would face elimination, but Johnny received immunity for posting the highest weight-loss percentage on his team.
All the Blue team contestants were then given time to deliberate, and Bonnie -- who had lost the least amount of weight -- told the group she wanted to stay onThe Biggest Loser very badly because it was important to her and she needed the help in order to continue her weight-loss journey successfully.
Debbie, however, didn't have much to say on her own behalf but chose to call Bonnie out on her constant crying instead, suggesting she was "annoyingly" searching for sympathy votes.
The contestants then revealed their votes. Becky, Bonnie and Mike voted to oust Debbie from The Biggest Loser's twelfth season, while Debbie and Johnny voted for Bonnie. Debbie, by majority, was eliminated.
In a post-elimination update, Debbie, who started The Biggest Loser weighing 239 pounds, currently weighs 215 pounds. Debbie said she now works out 4-5 days a week and has become much stronger. She tried to become more active by taking dance classes with her son and grandchildren and set a goal of weighing 160 pounds by the finale.