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Review: The Biggest Loser - Live Finale (season finale)

by Jason Hughes, posted Dec 9th 2009 1:47AM
The Biggest Loser 8
And then there were four. Well, three. And then one. But another one, too. As promised, Alison quickly revealed which of the ladies would face off against Rudy and Danny for the quarter-of-a-million prize. But the exciting thing about these finales is seeing the amazing transformations all the contestants have gone through.

This season certainly provided plenty of "S/He looks amazing!" moments throughout. It also offered us two awesome surprises, and neither of them have to do with the winner of the show, and the $100,000 "At Home" prize.

The big challenge for Amanda and Liz was if either one of them could really compete with the guys in this finale. Last week, at their last weigh-in on the Ranch, neither of them came anywhere near what the men were able to do. I certainly didn't expect it to matter which one America chose. Rudy and Danny were going to take this.

I would love to know how close the vote was between Liz and Amanda. I think Liz may have alienated some of the viewers through the season with her attitude, while Amanda was a constant underperformer on the scale. But America voted for Amanda once (to put her into this season), and they did it again.

What was disappointing for me, though, was seeing Amanda and Liz on that stage. They just didn't look that dramatically different from the last time we saw them. Remembering Helen and some of the other winners in years past, these were not the bodies of people who were going to be able to take this title away from Danny or Randy.

Before they got to the final results, though, we had to sift through all the former contestants to see how their efforts at home worked. The one among them with the highest percentage of weight loss was looking at the $100,000 "At Home" prize. Just looking at them file through, it became obvious that it was going to come down to Julio, Rebecca or Tracey.

All three showed astonishing weight loss, with only Tracey looking too thin. I think she looked much healthier and better in the video package they showed of her doing that marathon from her elimination package. It looks like she may have pushed herself a bit too aggressively for the top prize.

Rebecca, though, was the one who took the top prize of the eliminated contestants; she dropped 139 total pounds for a 49.82% weight loss on the season.

As expected, Amanda didn't come close to this, nor did Liz. Both were in the 34% weight loss range, so it did indeed come down to Rudy and Danny. After competing all season against one another, it was the slimmest of margins that decided the winner. Rudy dropped 234 pounds while Danny shed 239. But Danny started smaller, so his percentage was higher. Danny shed 55.58% of his total body weight, ending the season at 191 pounds. The final tally for Rudy is 208 pounds, or 52.94% weight loss.

Both of them looked amazing, and the sheer joy on their faces at how much they've changed the course of their lives was almost worth more than the prize. I do wonder, though, if Rudy gets a prize for second place; he still lost more than Rebecca.

The night offered a few more surprises, though. We already knew that Antoine and Alexandra had hooked up since their elimination from the Ranch. In tonight's live finale, Antoine took center stage and proposed to her. Don't worry. She accepted.

The other surprise came for Shay, who followed Daniel's path almost exactly. Last season, Daniel went from 454 pounds to 312 by the start of Season 8. He wound up at 201 pounds, finally having achieved a healthy weight. At 476 pounds, it was unrealistic to expect Shay to drop all that weight in one season (despite what Rudy and Danny managed to accomplish). Instead, she went from 474 to 304, which is a great loss for her.

I thought for a minute, when Alison brought her back onto the stage, that she was going to get an invite into the new season, but I guess since it's a "Couples" edition, that wouldn't be too easy. Still, she got a hell of a consolation prize, and we get the promise of getting to see her journey continue. Subway set up a deal with her. If she comes back at the Season 9 finale and weighs in again, she will get $1,000 for every pound she loses. Her vow was to get to 204 by then, but she can do even better. Talk about killer incentive!

[To re-live the season, check out clips and full episodes of The Biggest Loser at SlashControl.]

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They definitely play to the big mometns and cast some returnees aside (Coach Mo) for that. I agree with Danny being the purest of the competitors though Rudy was my favorite.

December 09 2009 at 5:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why was Rebecca mute? She was like a muppet! No talking. Squealing quietly. TOO weird, given how vocal she normally is.

They are all standing with their hands on their hips. After a while, it was hilarious.

December 09 2009 at 4:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What happened to Eric's weigh in? Or is it for 2010 (Season 9)??

December 09 2009 at 2:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Maria's comment

Everyone keeps asking about Eric's weigh in, he was not set to weigh in last night. They said he would be on season 9's finale. I can't wait to see it though. He was my favorite that season and I was so shocked to see him put it all back on!

December 09 2009 at 2:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Am I the only person that gets rubbed the wrong way by these " On National TV proposals? " - eck.

I can only hope that they got talked into doing it for the ratings and that it was not actually his intent to basically say "Now that you've changed I'll marry you".

December 09 2009 at 2:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i thought Amanda looked great! she looked healthy and beautiful. Helen, last season, looked scarily thin... like she hadn't eaten for a few days prior.

i think Rudy's prize came in the form of watching Rebecca, whom he unjustly sent home, win the $100K prize. maybe players should really rethink their tactics.

i think the right guy won. Danny was genuine and true to the end. i'm glad to see he reclaimed some of his rockstar sparkle.

December 09 2009 at 10:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sarah's comment

I agree. I think Amanda looked healthy and beautiful. She obviously reached her ideal weight and didn't push it just to win a cash prize. :)

December 09 2009 at 11:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Elephant in the room:

When she was on Leno after being eliminated, Rebecca announced that she was dating Daniel. She even used the word "love."

Last night, there was no mention of it. And when Rebecca won the $100K, she didn't hug Daniel or even acknowledge him.

Pretty sure that relationship didn't end well...

December 09 2009 at 9:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Barkin's comment

i actually paid close attention to the couples on stage. it seemed as if, pressed for time, Alison glossed over a few people. thats what happens in a live event. but i think she highlighted Antoine and Alex's relationship because she knew of the proposal, which i could smell from the start of the show.

anywho, since i was paying close attention, i saw Rebecca and Danny peeking love glances at one another and right before he went to weigh in, she was caressing his back and stroking his hair a bit.

December 09 2009 at 10:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was shocked by the poor production values last night, especially the sound. Many times you could not hear the first 10 seconds of what anyone was saying.

December 09 2009 at 9:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rednail64's comment

Welcome to the Biggest Loser finale - it's like that EVERY YEAR. They always leave Ali's mic up and you can hear it smash when she hugs the contestants. They need to pre-record her introductions "Here's Rebecca!" and turn her mic off. It's a running joke with my friends every finale, how poor the production values are.

December 09 2009 at 12:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

it's not a "man-bra" --- it's a "bro"!!

December 09 2009 at 8:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It definitely didn't come down to the "slimmest of margins" with Rudy and Danny - Danny killed it by more than a few pounds, if I remember correctly. I think he won by more than 10 pounds. In the past I believe there have been a couple finals where the winner won by a pound or two - THAT would be the slimmest of margins.

December 09 2009 at 7:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree that Amanda and Liz didn't seem very different from last week's episode, filmed two months ago. If I calculated correctly, Amanda only lost 7 pounds during that 2-month time frame. It left me feeling a little disappointed. I was puzzled by how her calves looked so drastically different despite losing only 7 pounds.

Tracy's weight loss seemed very weird to me. It wasn't that long ago that she was on "Today" (the week she was eliminated). She now looks drastically different in a very short period of time. I'm not sure if it's a "too thin" thing or if it's the way her face and body seem to have taken on the hard look of a female athlete on banned substances.

Having never followed "The Biggest Loser" before, I found myself feeling very suspicious after the finale. How much of what I saw was real? How much was contrived? For instance, do their bodies really look the way they appear to look or are there body wraps and Spanx holding everything together? And did anyone have lipo to spot reduce certain areas of the body?

December 09 2009 at 6:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to MH's comment
Inadequate Wife

According to previous contestants, it is against the rules to have any liposuction or skin removal prior to the finale. A few past contestants who had skin removal had to maintain their weight for a year or longer - at least that's what reputable plastic surgeons require.

As far as starvation and dehydration, I'd speculate that all contestants were using those strategies to their advantage.

Someone on another board mentioned seeing Rudy's "man-bra" through the armhole of his t-shirt during the weigh in. So yes, everyone, male and female, are tightly wrapped in Spanx and whatever other undergarments help control the sagging boobs and bellies.

December 09 2009 at 6:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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