Tracey Yukich "knew" 'The Biggest Loser' choices would lead to exit
By Christopher Rocchio, 11/06/2009
Tracey Yukich knew that her aggressive gameplay on The Biggest Loser would lead to her downfall.
"I was not surprised that I was sent home once I fell below the yellow line. I kind of always knew that, 'Okay if I ever fall below I am definitely going to be on the chopping block because of the choices that I did make in the beginning when I got to the ranch,'" she told reporters during a Wednesday conference call.
"But how many people can go through this experience that I went through? There's a lot of people that have gone home that wished that they didn't go home and maybe had that feeling of maybe I should have done this or maybe I could have done more. And I never felt that way. I knew that every day that I was there that I gave it my all. I did what I had to do to stay there. And that is my decent from Day 1. And I'm proud of myself for what I did; not a lot of people can say that."
While Yukich told The Biggest Loser host Allison Sweeney that she did have regrets about her gameplay decisions following her ouster, she has since thought about her experience and now has none.
"After I got home and really thought about what I said I don't have any regrets because from Day 1 I felt like things were out of control for me because of me going to the hospital and me not being there with everyone else," she explained.
"I truly felt once I got home and like really looked at the situation I'm like I really did everything that I had to do to make sure I stayed there as long as I could."
Yukich was taken to the hospital during The Biggest Loser's eighth-season premiere after she suffered heat stroke.
"Dr. Huizenga calls it the perfect storm," said Yukich.
"There was a lot of factors. I hadn't eaten enough, drank enough. It was very hot outside. Adrenaline was going. And the fifth one, believe it or not from what Dr. Huizenga said was being on your period is like another perfect storm for having a heat stroke."
Yukich added those five factors brought her core temperature to about 104 degrees.
"I started losing mobility in my legs. I was confused. And I went to the hospital. And I was scared that I wasn't going to be able to go back onto the show," she told reporters.
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"I mean to be honest with you when I'm laying in the hospital crying my eyes thinking I can't believe that this has happened because for one I'm very competitive and I think everyone that watches television that saw me on the show knows that."
While in the hospital, Yukich said she received a visit from The Biggest Loser executive producer Todd Lubin.
"He said, 'Tracey do you want your husband and kids to come because they want to come visit you, your husband is extremely worried about you,'" recalled Yukich.
"I looked at him and I was apprehensive. I had apprehension and I said, 'You know what Todd, if my husband comes here and sees me he's going to make me go home. I need to stay here. So if I get out of this bed and I start fighting to walk will you let me back on the show?'"
Yukich said Lubin told her that they'd simply have to "see how things play out." While she recovered and returned, Yukich attributed her aggressive gameplay to that stay in the hospital.
"I swore to myself laying in that hospital bed within those four white walls and no one there and sitting there by myself, I swore to myself if I get out of this bed and I make it onto this show after three times of trying out, after standing in the rain for 14 hours, after being a contestant 1 of 16 out of 500,000 all over the country, if I make it on this show I promise you - meaning I'm promising myself - that I will do everything and anything I can to stay there as long as I can," she said.
"And that's where the gameplay came in."
Despite being criticized by her fellow contestants for her gameplay, Yukich said she has "amazing, great relationships" with them.
"I actually spent a lot of my time talking to them [Tuesday] night after the show as over," she explained.
"I have great relationships with them and I know that that's the next question that's going to be coming up, because a lot of people think that I don't, but I really do. Because what you all see is what you see on TV but when people know me, people know who I am and know where my heart is and I have a huge heart."
Since most viewers don't know her personally, Tracey said she isn't surprised that she's received some nasty comments online.
"It's okay because those people only see the Tracey that they see on television," she said. "They don't get to see me everyday, with my friends or my husband and my children -- they know exactly who I really am and where I'm coming from."
Yukich said she would preview each The Biggest Loser episode before letting her children watch because she had "reservations" about the way she'd be portrayed.
"I would watch it first and then let my kids watch it because I do have little kids and I'm the mom. And I'm their superhero in their eyes. So when they see someone on TV that maybe wasn't completely myself and how others were talking about me, it kind of did hurt their feelings," she explained.
"So I really did go back and watch those shows separately and then I let them watch it just because I wanted to make sure that it was going to be kid friendly for my own children."
Yukich declined to reveal her current weight for reporters, citing the fact the The Biggest Loser's live eighth-season finale is slightly more than a month away as her reason.
"America is going to see that so I am keeping my weight on the down-low so to say," she said.
"I just would urge you all to watch and wait and see because don't discount Tracey out. Even though she was gone from The Biggest Loser doesn't mean that I'm not already a finalist for the at home prize."
Yukich said participating in The Biggest Loser is the first time in her life she's started something she intends to finish.
"If that means that I get to take home that prize then I'm gunning for it," she said.