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updated 3/31/2010 10:31:11 AM ET 2010-03-31T14:31:11

In week 11 of “The Biggest Loser,” the nine remaining players got two surprises. The first was that instead of competing as Blue versus Black teams, as they have for weeks, they would change back into T-shirts of their original colors and begin playing as individuals. “It’s every man for himself,” said Sunshine, returning to her yellow shirt. “There’s no more riding on the coattails of your team.”

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The other surprise? The 11 previously eliminated players returned to the gym to compete for places back on campus. In previous seasons, the former contestant who lost the most weight at home was the one who got to come back. But this season, all of the eliminated players were asked to plead their case before the remaining competitors, who would then vote for one competitor to return.

In the end, that decision came down to John, who had played for the Brown team and was popular in the house, and Vicky, wearing Blue, who had been eliminated back in the very first week of play. Vicky was voted back into the house by a margin of just one vote.

But the drama wasn’t over yet: Host Alison Sweeney announced that 10 remaining ousted players would have one last chance to compete for one final slot in the house. Their challenge: to step up and down 1,000 steps. Whoever did it fastest would earn a place back on the ranch.

From the first moments, Miggy, of the Green team, and Melissa, a fierce competitor wearing Red, dominated the challenge. Although Miggy took an early lead, Melissa eventually passed her and never looked back. The other players, including Sherry, who doffed her sneakers when one of her laces came untied, never had a serious chance.

But unfortunately for Miggy, she was eventually felled by her asthma. “I felt it all just slipping away,” she said tearfully. Melissa, on the other hand, finished strong. “I was hurting, but I just kept working through the pain,” she said. “When I got to 900 steps, I knew I got this.” Victorious, Melissa earned her place back on campus.

Back on the ranch, the stress of additional players — especially Melissa, notoriously competitive — started wearing on the other contestants. Stephanie, Ashley and Drea, who had been close friends, confronted each other over rumors that Stephanie had previously thrown a weigh-in that sent Ashley’s friend Sherry home. Although Stephanie denied it, the damage was done.

At the weigh-in, former Blue teammates Sam and Stephanie, who had each dropped impressive amounts the previous week, came up short and fell below the yellow line. Sam lost just 2 pounds, or 0.76 percent of his body weight. Stephanie managed only 1 pound, for a loss of 0.5 percent. The teammates unanimously chose to send Stephanie home and spare Sam for one more week.

Weigh in: Is it fair to bring back “Biggest Loser” players who have already been eliminated? 

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