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December 18, 2014

'Biggest Loser' Season 8 Winner Is Danny Cahill

by Jason Hughes, posted Dec 8th 2009 11:00PM
Danny Cahill, The Biggest LoserIt was a long season, with a lot of work, and even more weight lost. But in the end, there could only be one winner of 'The Biggest Loser' season 8.

Just as he stormed to the lead at their last weigh-in at the Biggest Loser Ranch, Danny Cahill surged ahead of Rudy Pauls to take the season 8 title and $250,000 grand prize.

The third spot in the finals was down to America's vote between Liz and Amanda, which went to Amanda. Ultimately, it didn't matter, though, as neither of them came remotely close to the men. In fact, among all contestants, Liz and Amanda were toward the bottom half of the pack in their total weight losses.Danny Cahill, The Biggest LoserIt was a long season, with a lot of work, and even more weight lost. But in the end, there could only be one winner of 'The Biggest Loser' season 8.

Just as he stormed to the lead at their last weigh-in at the Biggest Loser Ranch, Danny Cahill surged ahead of Rudy Pauls to take the season 8 title and $250,000 grand prize.

The third spot in the finals was down to America's vote between Liz and Amanda, which went to Amanda. Ultimately, it didn't matter, though, as neither of them came remotely close to the men. In fact, among all contestants, Liz and Amanda were toward the bottom half of the pack in their total weight losses.

Read our full recap here.

Danny spoke to the press via a conference call this afternoon. Here's what he had to say.

On seeing Rudy at the finale:
They kept us sequestered, the final four; we did not see anyone. When I walked out and saw Rudy, I was amazed. I was worried, [too]. I left the marathon up about 4 percent [body weight loss] on him, over 16 pounds. He was going to have to lose a lot more weight than I was to win, so I felt confident. When I saw him last night, it was scary. He looked at me and smiled, and I asked, "Did you beat me?" He just smiled at me. After he weighed in, I had a good feeling that I was going to beat him, but I hadn't weighed [myself] in a couple of weeks. I decided that I knew what I needed to do and I was going to focus on getting the work done. [I wasn't] going to worry about what I weighed, because if I hit my number, I might slow down. I'm just going to run to the finish. I knew there was a chance he could beat me, but I did feel confident once he was weighed in that I might have it. Still, that pit in my stomach looking at Rudy; the guy looks amazing! I never thought he could get down that much. That surprised me.

On making friends with his competitors:
Sean lives 15 minutes from me, which is really strange. We were sitting in the van that first day -- I didn't know who he was -- and we figured out we lived so close to each other and we flipped out. And we both have a lot in common. I told Rudy before the finale, "Get ready, because I want my family to come visit your family at your home when this is over. I want to get to know your family." I've made a great friend in Liz for sure; that was obvious. She's like a big sister to me, and she told me that I was like her brother. We will definitely be in touch for the rest of our lives. There wasn't a person on the show that I didn't genuinely love. I hope I showed that because it was important to me to go there and to love everyone the way that I would want to be loved by them, and it works. I think they all genuinely loved me back and that was great. I'm going to be genuine friends with all 15 of them.

On describing his experience in a few words:
I think that my words would be "self-found." I found myself. I had lost myself years ago, and I wasn't even sure why I lost myself or what I did. I decided that it was time to put away my dreams, and it was time to start a family and raise a family, and I didn't realize I could do that and still dream at the same time. But I was wrong about that. Through 'The Biggest Loser,' Bob and Jillian are incredible at getting in your head and saying, "Why don't you look at yourself and see why you're 430 pounds?" They asked me that question over and over again. "Why are you 430 pounds?" I had to do a lot of soul-searching to find out. Through that process, and those three months on the Ranch, I found myself; I found Danny again. I found out that I can still have my dreams and I provide for my family, and be great dad and a great husband. I don't have to believe the lie that you have to do something just to provide for your family. I think you can do what you dream and provide for your family. The words that sum me up are "self-found," because that's what it's all about.; that's what the Ranch is all about. It's not just about going there and dropping pounds, it's about going there and getting the experience and finding yourself.

On whether he could have accomplished this without 'The Biggest Loser,' given his spirit and drive:
Yes, I could have. I asked myself that question. I got a little frustrated with myself about halfway through the show, when I started noticing the body changes I had and really noticing myself looking and feeling better and being able to do more ... When I came home, I would get emails on my Facebook that said, "You've inspired me. I'm going to try out for 'The Biggest Loser.'" I thought, that's not what I meant to do. I didn't mean to inspire everyone to try out for 'The Biggest Loser.' I want to inspire people to do it on their own. It got me to thinking: "Why, Danny, did you wait 15 years? Why did it take 'The Biggest Loser' to do this?" I got a little frustrated with myself. I don't understand why i didn't [do it on my own]. I look back now at all those years wasted; [but] at the same time, thank god for 'The Biggest Loser,' because without them I might still be 430 pounds putting it off for another day. And that goes to show, you have to begin now. You can't say, "I'm going to start my diet on Monday." That never works. Start this minute. This minute!


On what he plans to do with the $250,000 prize:
I have two pieces of carry-on luggage with me, full of all my clothes. I have no clothes because [of] losing weight that quick. I came home and bought three or four different outfits. My wife got all excited because we could actually shop somewhere other than the big and tall store and said, "Look, we can buy all these clothes." We spent a couple hundred dollars, and I was out of them in two weeks. So maybe that wasn't the best idea. Now that I'm in the 190s, I'm not going any further down and I definitely don't plan on gaining the weight back. So when we get home, were going shopping. I'm going to get a new wardrobe started.

On what he can do now that he couldn't do when he was heavier:
There are so many things. One of my goals was to come home and start a martial arts class with my son, David. He always wanted to take karate. I thought that would be a great way to maintain keeping in shape and do something with my son, because [in] all these years that have gone by, the only thing I could ever do with my son was play video games. I could never go hiking, fishing or hunting, or any of those things [with him]. Since I've been back and in shape, we've gone paintballing, crawling through the woods, camping, and rock-climbing. It's really fun to be able to do those physical things that I haven't been able to do. That makes it all worthwhile. I can't wait to go fishing in a pond, in a boat again, or in an inner-tube. I used to do that kind of stuff all the time. I tried to put my inner-tube on before I went on 'The Biggest Loser' and I couldn't even get it around my waist. I'm excited to do all those things I couldn't do. Whenever Christmas time comes, my wife [always had] to get on the ladder to put the lights up on the house, because they don't make a ladder that handles 450 pounds, and I couldn't do it. Well, this year I'm putting the lights up.

On his future in music:
That's definitely in my plans. The song, 'Second Chance,' that i wrote [and performed on the show], I've recorded it. I'm excited to get it out. I want to write more music. I have actually written a few songs since I've been home. My creative juices are flowing again. I went years and years without writing anything and it's like I've found that fire again. That want to do what i love to do, and that's music. It's definitely going to be a large part of my life from here on out. So be looking for Danny Cahill. I'm definitely going to have some music out there.

Watch the Winning Moment



On what's next for Danny Cahill:
I'm looking forward to taking what I've learned on 'The Biggest Loser' and giving it to others. As many people [as there are] who watch 'The Biggest Loser,' there are so many people who don't. I didn't even watch it for the first few seasons because I thought it was a show that made fun of fat people. I didn't know what it was about. I was saying, "How dare them! How dare they do that!" I didn't know what it was, and there are a lot of people like that out there who need help and information and knowledge on how to correct their lives and weight. So for me, to take the information that was so generously given to me and this chance that I was given and hoard it -- I want to sow that seed. You know what happens when you sow a seed? You reap a harvest. That's what I want to be. I want to be Farmer Danny reaping a harvest of weight loss across the nation.

On his plans to do more public speaking:
I am going to do public speaking. That's going to be a way I inspire. I've actually already written some different speaking points -- one about dreams, because I gave up my dreams. I spell out what "DREAMS" means, starting with "D: Don't give up" and "R: Reach for you goals" -- not only in weight loss, but in life there are so many people who've given up so many things. I gave up my music, [which] led to my weight gain. I want to teach people how to set goals and reach those. Before I started 'The Biggest Loser,' on one of my audition tapes, I looked right into the camera and said, "If you put me on your show, not only will I be the biggest loser, I will be the biggest loser ever!" Then, last night I stood on that scale and heard those words. "You've just lost 239 pounds, more than anyone in the history of the show." I achieved almost the impossible goal. Not only getting on the show, but doing what I said I was going to do: winning and becoming the biggest loser ever. It goes to show that any goal is achievable and I want to help people achieve their goals. I'm so excited to get out there and start talking to people.

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