RALEIGH — Raleigh's own Ed Brantley won't know if a 2-pound weight gain last week will get him ousted from NBC weight-loss reality show The Biggest Loser until Tuesday's finale. But his wife Heba Salama, another BL contestant, told the N&O on Thursday that Biggest Loser viewers didn't see him receiving IV fluids in a hospital the day before the weigh-in after suffering a ruptured hernia.
"He didn't throw the weigh-in," Salama said. "He was in the hospital the day before the weigh-in and when you're having saline pumped into you it doesn't help you lose weight. [The ruptured hernia] was really bad timing. He had surgery two days after the weigh-in. They didn't show that but that's what happened."
Biggest Loser trainer Bob Harper accused Brantley of throwing the weigh-in on the show.
The North Carolina natives are two of the four final contestants on the current season of The Biggest Loser, which wraps up Tuesday in a live finale starting at 8 p.m. Both went on the chopping block following the most recent episode when Ed gained 2 pounds and Heba lost 7, though percentage-wise, it was not enough to rank above other finalists Vicky and Michelle.
After Ed stepped off the scale, Harper accused the Raleigh residents of "obvious" game-playing to get Heba into the final. "Ed is going to do whatever he needs to do to give Heba whatever she wants," Harper said.
Salama said that's not what happened, though she knew her husband would tell America to send him home and to save her during a public plea after the weigh-in. At stake is the $250,000 grand prize. Brantley, if he is voted off, can still win the $100,000 that goes to the show's "fan favorite."
"I never would have thought I would have gained weight at the weigh-in," Brantley told the N&O on Thursday. "There were things involved a couple of days before and affected how it played out. ... I'm glad to take the fall if it means Heba didn't have have to worry about it, if it gives her another shot at being above the yellow line. That's what [Biggest Loser] was about for me, about supporting each other."
Through the most recent episode, Brantley had lost 83 pounds and Heba had lost 84. Tune in to HWTV for a Q&A from Heba and Ed later today and look for a feature on the couple in The N&O on Tuesday.