March 18, 2013 at 10:02 PM ET
After weeks of grueling workouts, "The Biggest Loser" has crowned its season 14 champ: Danni Allen! The 26-year-old advertising account coordinator beat out fellow contestants Jeff Nichols and Jackson Carter to take the $250,000 grand prize. She lost a 121 pounds -- an impressive 46.9 percent of her starting body weight -- to become only the fifth female champ out of the show's 14 seasons.
Even before the final weigh-in, Danni said, "I feel amazing. No one can take this away from me."
Showing off her toned, svelte figure, she added triumphantly, "I've worked so hard, and at the end of the day ... look at me!"
Danni -- who played soccer and participated in swimming and water polo during high school -- was practically a team of one since the beginning of the season, while the rest of trainer Jillian Michaels' players were quickly picked off.
"I just want to give (Jillian) a hug," Danni told host Alison Sweeney before leaving the stage to change into her workout gear. But the fitness guru said she'd have to wait.
"I've been picturing this moment for months now and I'm not ready yet," said a beaming Jillian. "It's gonna be when everybody comes down. ... You promised me, I'm the first hug."
Danni kept her word, making a beeline for her mentor after raising her muscular arms in victory.
Jeff lost 181 pounds and 46.6 percent of his body weight to become the runner-up. There may not be a cash prize for finishing second, but he found a prize of his own anyway: love with fellow contestant Francelina Morillo.
"For the first time in a long time, I am proud (of myself)," Jeff said. "I used to hide behind the jokes, hide behind the laughter and pretend I was proud. (Now I) mean it."
His trainer, Bob Harper, summoned the spirit of Jeff's father, who passed away when the contestant was 17. "I know wherever your father is right now, he is so proud of you and looking at you with the biggest smile on his face -- because I sure am."
Also sporting a huge grin was third-place finisher Jackson, "Biggest Loser's" first openly gay contestant. The 22-year-old volunteer coordinator for an LGBT resource center in Utah lost 138 pounds and 42 percent of his body weight. The young man had beaten out Joe Ostaszewski for the third and final spot in the finale.
Now he's gunning for another spot on "The Biggest Loser" -- trainer Dolvett Quince's job!
"Oh D, you know what's up, buddy," he joked with his trainer. "Season 15, whoever's hiring -- let me know!"
Perhaps not so surprisingly, the at-home champ was 47-year-old attorney Gina McDonald, who was eliminated the week before the finale, when she lost only 2 pounds after being a contender throughout the season. (Hmm ... strategy at play?) She dropped 113 pounds -- 46.1 percent of her body weight -- to claim the $100,000 prize. The lawyer kept the level of drama high throughout the season with her various threats to quit.
When asked whether she first believed she was capable of such an achievement, Gina paid tribute to her trainer, Bob: "I didn't know it, but he knew it."
The finale also celebrated the triumphs of its three younger participants: Lindsay, Biingo and Sunny.
Lindsay, who quit cheerleading after being teased about her weight, showed off her 47-pound weight loss by performing with her cheer squad in a special "Biggest Loser" uniform.
"I was saying (Lindsay) was an athlete from the very beginning," praised Dolvett, calling the 13-year-old, who is no longer pre-diabetic, "an inspiration."
Aspiring baseball player Biingo, 13 -- whose family together lost 200 pounds -- received a special surprise on stage: His local baseball coach handed him a team jersey and hat, and offered him a spot on the team!
Sixteen-year-old Sunny, who dropped 51 pounds and four dress sizes, dazzled in a sparkling party frock and even brighter smile.
"I feel like I have a fresh start and a new beginning, and I'm so excited for the future," she said. "All it takes is a step in the right direction and a lot of perseverance."
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