As week 17 began on the Biggest Loser campus, game play, not camaraderie, was the order of the day. Koli was still smarting that his cousin Sam was sent home, and the alliance of Daris, Ashley and Michael seemed poised to dominate the final vote. But then host Alison Sweeney showed up to put a new twist in the game.
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“This week, there is no yellow line, no vote, no alliances,” she said. Instead, Sweeney explained, the player who lost the lowest percentage of weight by the end of the week would be sent home automatically, no questions asked.
“Your entire future in this game comes down to the number on the scale,” she told the players. “There’s just one red line. The player below that red line goes home.”
But the players’ anxiety over the next weigh-in would have to wait: First there was a challenge to be conquered. Each contestant was given a bag containing weights equivalent to the number of pounds they had lost since coming to the Biggest Loser campus. The players were required to drag their heavy bag over a hilly course and deposit the amount of weight they lost each week at markers. The contestant who completed the obstacle course and got rid of all their weight fastest would win $10,000.
“This challenge is an awesome reminder of how miserable I was,” commented Michael, who started the season at 526 pounds.
In the end, the challenge was won by Daris, who opted to exchange the $10,000 prize for a 1-pound advantage at the week’s weigh-in.
The weigh-in was emotional. Michael, who had been struggling with his self-esteem, broke a Biggest Loser record by losing an astounding 204 pounds on campus. Koli and Daris, meanwhile, posted double-digit losses, ensuring them placement in the final four.
The fourth place would be claimed by one of the women — either Ashley, who’d been playing for the Pink team, or Sunshine, a fierce competitor on the Yellow team. Ashley lost 7 pounds this week, which didn’t seem like it was enough until Sunshine stepped on the scale. Unfortunately for Sunshine, she only lost 2 pounds, which was enough to put her below the red line and send her home.
© 2013 NBCNews.com Reprints