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Photos: 'Biggest Loser 11' before and after

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  1. Olivia Ward

    Starting weight: 261 lbs.
    Finale weight: 132 lbs.
    Lost: 129 lbs., 49.43 percent

    This season's "Biggest Loser" and winner of the $250,000 grand prize is 35-year-old opera singer Olivia. (NBC) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Hannah Curlee

    Starting weight: 248 lbs.
    Finale weight: 128 lbs.
    Lost: 120 lbs., 48.39 percent

    Olivia's sister and teammate Hannah placed second. (NBC) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Irene Alvarado

    Starting weight: 255 lbs.
    Finale weight: 139 lbs.
    Lost: 116 lbs., 45.49 percent

    Portland, Ore., student Irene came in third place. America voted for the 27-year-old to continue in the competition over Jay. (NBC) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Denise Hill

    Starting weight: 256 lbs.
    Finale weight: 131 lbs.
    Lost: 125 lbs., 48.83 percent

    The 59-year-old mother of eight was season 11's at-home winner. She was eliminated from the game on Feb. 22. (NBC) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Justin Pope

    Starting weight: 365 lbs.
    Finale weight: 192 lbs.
    Lost: 173 lbs., 47.4 percent
    (NBC) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Jay Jacobs

    Starting weight: 400 lbs.
    Finale weight: 219 lbs.
    Lost: 181 lbs., 45.25 percent
    (NBC) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Austin Andrews

    Starting weight: 396 lbs.
    Finale weight: 222 lbs.
    Lost: 174 lbs., 43.94 percent
    (NBC) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Dan Evans

    Starting weight: 287 lbs.
    Finale weight: 163 lbs.
    Lost: 124 lbs., 43.21 percent
    (NBC) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Ana Alvarado

    Starting weight: 255 lbs.
    Finale weight: 146 lbs.
    Lost: 109 lbs., 42.75 percent
    (NBC) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Don Evans

    Starting weight: 309 lbs.
    Finale weight: 179 lbs.
    Lost: 130 lbs., 42.07 percent
    (NBC) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Ken Andrews

    Starting weight: 377 lbs.
    Finale weight: 219 lbs.
    Lost: 158 lbs., 41.91 percent
    (NBC) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Jennifer Jacobs

    Starting weight: 278 lbs.
    Finale weight: 164 lbs.
    Lost: 114 lbs., 41.01 percent
    (NBC) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Sarah Nitta

    Starting weight: 261 lbs.
    Finale weight: 155 lbs.
    Lost: 106 lbs., 40.61 percent
    (NBC) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Marci Crozier

    Starting weight: 238 lbs.
    Finale weight: 152 lbs.
    Lost: 86 lbs., 36.13 percent
    (NBC) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Moses Kinikini

    Starting weight: 440 lbs.
    Finale weight: 287 lbs.
    Lost: 153 lbs., 34.77 percent
    (NBC) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Courtney Crozier

    Starting weight: 323 lbs.
    Finale weight: 213 lbs.
    Lost: 110 lbs., 34.06 percent
    (NBC) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Arthur Wornum

    Starting weight: 507 lbs.
    Finale weight: 344 lbs.
    Lost: 163 lbs., 32.15 percent
    (NBC) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Jesse Wornum

    Starting weight: 293 lbs.
    Finale weight: 210 lbs.
    Lost: 83 lbs., 28.33 percent
    (NBC) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Larialmy Allen

    Starting weight: 301 lbs.
    Finale weight: 217 lbs.
    Lost: 84 lbs., 27.91 percent
    (NBC) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Kaylee Kinikini

    Starting weight: 233 lbs.
    Finale weight: 179 lbs.
    Lost: 54 lbs., 23.18 percent
    (NBC) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Joquin Allen

    Starting weight: 437 lbs.
    Finale weight: 344 lbs.
    Lost: 93 lbs., 21.28 percent
    (NBC) Back to slideshow navigation
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Image: Olivia Ward of "The Biggest Loser"
NBC
Olivia Ward lost 129 pounds (49.43 percent of her body weight) to win season 11.
By
TODAY contributor
updated 5/24/2011 10:42:51 PM ET 2011-05-25T02:42:51
recap

After countless challenges and tears, not to mention more than 2,700 collective pounds lost, the 11th season of “The Biggest Loser” came to a climactic finish. In the end, Olivia stood tall as this season’s big “Loser,” $250,000 check in hand. As many people expected, it was her sister Hannah who Olivia beat out for the top prize.

Olivia began the competition at 261 pounds. She clocked in at 132 pounds in her final weight-in, down nearly half her weight and just enough to edge out her sister. The 35-year-old opera singer had talked earlier in the two-hour live broadcast about how much her time on the ranch had changed her life.

“I’m so excited because a whole frontier of roles is in front of me. Now, the sky’s the limit and I’m so excited,” Olivia said.

'Loser' gains chance to start family with loss
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“I just don’t think you understand how proud I am of you, how proud these people are of you,” said Hannah just before her sister’s final weigh-in. “You have always been beautiful to me, but finally you’re beautiful to yourself.”

In one of the night’s sweetest moments, Olivia also acknowledged her husband Ben’s weight loss. Ben dropped more than 100 pounds at home. He worked out on the treadmill as a way to stay linked to his wife during the long months apart.

The live finale began with the revelation of who would join sisters Olivia and Hannah as one of the three finalists.

Jay, 53 years old and 181 pounds lighter than when he first walked on to the ranch, appeared onstage with a fresh tattoo that said, “What you’re for strengthens you.” Talk about living on the edge. Jay had already been voted off earlier in the season, but earned his way back on to the ranch. He had teetered on elimination several times, but always managed to survive somehow, someway.

But America voted for Irene, who was the biggest weight-loser in the house this season. Her final weigh-in had her at 139 pounds, down from her initial weight of 255 pounds.

It was the first all-female trio of finalists in “Biggest Loser” history, and it demonstrated just what a life-changing experience the show could be. Hannah, Irene and Olivia were unrecognizable standing next to the hologram “before” versions of themselves that are a trademark of “Biggest Loser” season-enders.

Slideshow: 'Biggest Loser 11' before and after (on this page)

Hannah, 32, weighed 248 pounds at the beginning. Her final weigh-in revealed her new weight to be 128 pounds, a mammoth 48.39 percent weight loss. Even her hair is different; she’s styling blonde locks these days.

The grand prize wasn’t all that was up for grabs. The $100,000 at-home prize was also decided.

The various highlight videos helped us retrace the journeys the contestants have taken. There was Dan, one of the twins, recounting how he was motivated to lose weight to honor the memory of his late son. We remembered how far Justin came during his time on the show, turning into a leader who rallied the others during those moments when they thought of throwing in the towel.

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One notable absence from tonight’s big finale: Olympic gold medal winner Rulon Gardner. He was nowhere in sight, and his absence was not mentioned at all. Gardner quit the show at the end of April, despite having dropped 188 pounds during his time on the program and being considered a favorite to win the whole thing.

Story: Meet the season 11 'Biggest Loser' hopefuls

In the end, the at-home winner was Deni, who won out by losing an incredible 125 pounds. She dropped more than 48 percent of her beginning weight to edge out Austin for the $100,000 prize. The 59-year old mother of eight, who was the seventh person voted off, showed her determination by sticking with the program once she left the ranch. The oldest woman on campus praised the newbie trainers for helping her stay on track.

“Cara taught me that I could do this,” said the Utah native, who began the season weighing 256 pounds. “And Brett, he’s been with me the whole way. Even at home, he would call me.”

Video: ‘Loser’ winner sheds 129 pounds, regains fertility (on this page)

The judges are always as much a part of “The Biggest Loser” story line as the contestants. Bob, Jillian, Cara and Brett joined host Alison Sweeney onstage and shared what they learned this season. Jillian, who’s exiting the show, seemed genuinely touched by the standing ovation she received from the audience.

Video: Jillian Michaels 'so excited for the future' (on this page)

The night’s other big news was the announcement of who will replace Jillian in season 12: former pro tennis star Anna Kournikova. She told Sweeney onstage that she looks forward to sharing her experience as an athlete with next season’s contestants.

Michael Avila is a regular contributor to TODAY.com.

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

Video: ‘Loser’ winner sheds 129 pounds, regains fertility

  1. Closed captioning of: ‘Loser’ winner sheds 129 pounds, regains fertility

    >> her. first, this is "today" on nbc.

    >>> we're back at 8:37. this morning on "get fit today" the newly crowned winner of "the biggest loser couples" the scales tipped in favor of olivia ward. she lost an impressive 129 pounds to become the fourth woman to win the title. good morning. congratulations.

    >> good morning. thank you so much.

    >> after all the hard work you have been through over the last several months you're supposed to sit in a comfy chair and relax, but you jump on a plane. you have flown all night to be here. how do you feel?

    >> fantastic. if i could literally bottle this feeling and put it in my back pocket i would be fine for life.

    >> you started out this journey at 261 pounds. you were sitting across from me right now at 132. half of your body weight . i know you have struggled to lose weight for a long time. you have tried losing weight with varying degrees of success. why was this time different?

    >> i think this time for me i really worked from the inside out. i realized that weight loss happens in the mind and inside first. if you're faithful then with the exercise and diet that part is science. the body will follow. for me i had to grind my body into the ground with exercise and diet without thinking really about what was going on in the inside.

    >> because you started from the inside and worked your way out is this something you are confident you can now maintain that you won't suffer a bounceback that so many people suffer once they have lost a lot of weight?

    >> absolutely. i think it's something that i have to keep before me at all times. i will struggle with that every day. but because i made the change on the inside, i know that's the rock i can lean back on.

    >> let's talk about some of the issues you dealt with in the past because of weight related directly or indirectly. you were diagnosed with -- help me how to say it. polycystic ovarian syndrome .

    >> yes.

    >> there was a high likelihood you would not have children.

    >> correct.

    >> have you been re-evaluated after this?

    >> yes. i'm happy to say dr. hyzenga gave me a clean bill of health and hopefully with the new body and all my systems back in order my husband and i will hopefully have children.

    >> what better benefit could you reap from this effort?

    >> i mazing.

    >> your husband ben also lost a lot of weight.

    >> 113.

    >> that's a family effort. it continues because your sister -- you were the first sisterers to get this far. how much did she lose?

    >> off the top of my head, i don't know. i believe it was in the 120s. i think 126, maybe. i think we were really close.

    >> this is a new way of life . there are thousands if not hundredses of thousands of people watching now who are struggling wildly with their health and their weight. is there a piece of advice you would offer them this morning?

    >> i think the biggest thing is that you just don't look at the whole entire journey all in one bite. it takes baby steps. you didn't get this way overnight. it won't come off overnight. make one good decision a day, an hour, a minute, until you get to your goal.

    >> you're an opera singer . you have lost jobs in the past because of weight. do you think it will change?

    >> i hope so. i'm so ready to play the roles i have always wanted to. carmen, omnaris, ebole. i'm ready to take on the women of opera.

    >> thank you for making the effort to fly across country this morning.

    >> of course.

    >> we appreciate it.

Gallery: Meet the 'The Biggest Loser' hopefuls

TODAYshow.com | Link |

Discuss: Whose weight loss were you most impressed by? How do you think Anna Kournikova will do as a trainer?

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