Jillian Michaels puts one crying contestant in a coffin on 'Biggest Loser'

"Biggest Loser" trainer Jillian Michaels.
"Biggest Loser" trainer Jillian Michaels.Gus Ruelas / Reuters file / Today

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By Ree Hines and Ree Hines

"I don't want to die" -- it's a fairly universal sentiment, but on Monday night's "Biggest Loser," it was more of a desperate plea.

Things got scary on the ranch as the six remaining contestants were each challenged to face their biggest fears. For some, that meant learning to live without their trainers and teammates. For others, it meant swimming in the open ocean or singing before an audience. But for one "Loser," facing her fear meant facing her mortality.

Gina's had a rough run of things in recent weeks. First she got into a heated blow-up with trainer Bob Harper, and later found herself at odds with Dolvett Quince and Jillian Michaels too -- not to mention several of her fellow competitors. But none of that compared to what Jillian had in store for her this week.

After Gina confessed to a fear of closed spaces, the claustrophobe was introduced to the creepiest of cramped quarters -- a coffin.

"Do you know why I chose this for you? Because you're killing yourself," Jillian told her bluntly, referring to both Gina's weight and her attitude.  

If Gina had any doubts about that before she climbed into the coffin, she didn't afterwards.

"I don't want to die; I don't want to die," she repeated.

But after a few moments, Gina changed her thinking. Rather than focusing on her unpleasant circumstances, she thought about her bigger problems and how to fix them.

"At the core of all of this insecurity and crap, I'm such a good person," she cried, as Jillian looked on and cheered from outside the box. "And I deserve to be happy."

Once Jillian was satisfied that Gina had the right idea -- about 20 long minutes later by Gina's estimation -- she opened the lid and released her.

OK, sure, anyone would say just about anything to get out of a premature coffin, but Gina actually seemed to change her ways from that moment on -- at least until the end of the episode.

When one challenge required contestants to hold on to 40 percent of their body weight, Gina held out the longest and won immunity for the weigh-in. And when she realized her recent, pre-coffin behavior wasn't warranted, she apologized to one of her fellow players.

"That wasn't me," she told Alex, later adding, "I have a few more apologies to make in the house."

Well, it's a good thing she started her mea culpa tour with Alex. If she'd waited, she wouldn't have had the chance to say anything to her at all.

At the weigh-in, everyone dropped big numbers -- even this season's biggest loser so far, Gina, who didn't need a loss at all this week. But some numbers just weren't big enough, like Alex's 8 pounds. Alex found herself in the bottom two against Jackson, who dropped 12, and the votes didn't go her way.

Do you think the contestants learned anything by facing their fears? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

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