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updated 4/7/2010 9:06:59 AM ET 2010-04-07T13:06:59

On “The Biggest Loser,” contestants routinely lose more weight in one week than the average dieter will comfortably lose in one month. However, in week 12, immunity was offered to the first player who lost 2 percent of their body weight. “It’s a race to see how fast you can lose that weight,” said Ashley. And it was a race that everyone wanted to win.

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Melissa and cousins Koli and Sam — the most competitive individuals in the house — were the most determined to win the challenge. In the course of one night, all three of them sneaked in extra workouts while the other players were fast asleep. But it was Sam who beat the other two to the scale the next morning. He officially needed to lose 6 pounds to win the challenge, but ended up losing 10 pounds — a whopping 3.82 percent of his total body weight — in just four days. He won the challenge and received immunity at the week’s weigh-in.

In the second challenge of the episode, the players were asked to retrieve 100 1-pound weights from the bottom of the ranch’s outdoor pool. The player who completed the challenge the fastest would win a two-week trip to the Biggest Loser Resort. The loser of the challenge would receive a 1-pound penalty at the weigh-in.

From the start, the Yellow team’s Sunshine took command and easily completed the challenge first, besting Sam by a few minutes. Trainer Jillian Michaels said that Sunshine could be the ultimate winner this season — and it’s definitely looking possible. Keep an eye on Sunshine!

In an unusual twist, players who completed the task were allowed to remain in the pool and help another player complete the game. O’Neal, the oldest remaining player, and Michael, still the heaviest, were the beneficiaries of the other players’ aid. Melissa, whose competitive streak irked many of her housemates, did not receive any help from anyone. She came in last and received the 1-pound penalty.

At the weigh-in, Vicky, who recently returned to the ranch, was the week’s Biggest Loser. She dropped an impressive 11 pounds. Daris and Koli posted middling losses of 4 and 5 pounds respectively, but it was Andrea, who lost just 2 pounds and Melissa, who dropped only 3, who fell below the yellow line. Host Alison Sweeney pointed out that even if Melissa had not received the 1-pound penalty, dropping just 3 pounds would have still put her up for elimination.

“I worked out harder this week than I have ever worked out my entire life,” Melissa said. Still, it wasn’t enough. The house unanimously voted to send their most competitive player back home.

Weigh in: Were the other players smart to send Melissa home?

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