Our Biggest Loser correspondent, The N&O's Michelle Aldrich, gives us her recap of last night's big finale.
It was a great season and satisfying finale: jaw-dropping results, a few tears, and several commercial breaks timed for optimal suspense. (And by my count, the word "journey" was uttered 13+ times.) We'll sum it up player-by-player, with some help from my loyal sidekick Mr. TiVO.
First up, our host Alison Sweeney: "It looks like a swarm of fabric butterflies has landed in her cleavage."
Last week left the internet to decide whether Amanda or Liz would make the final three. America chose Amanda (again). So that meant Liz would be competing for the at-home prize of $100K. We'll sum up the competition in the order in which they weighed, which was also the order in which they were eliminated during the season.
They were brought out in groups of four, typically wearing outfits in their Biggest Loser team color.
Antoine from Dudley, NC: looks great.
Sean: rockin' the fauxhawk, he and his wife named their month-old baby girl "Jillian May," so naturally they're dreading the day she'll learn to talk.
Julio: looks very chiseled, but the new facial hair screams "shady car salesman" or "nightclub manager."
Coach Mo: now reminds me of Tracey Morgan's Dad.
Dina: LOVE her haircut! That should account for at LEAST three pounds.
Abby: fabulous - "If Tori Spelling ate doughnuts."
Tracey from Raleigh: to quote my friend's text, "OMG!" Her body looks amazing, but is she wearing a nightgown?
Shay: bad outfit, unfortunate hair, but the weight loss looks excellent.
Daniel from Willow Spring: looks better, but still like he has no teeth?
Rebecca: her body is SLAMMIN' but WHY did she dye her hair blonde? She also can't seem to keep her hands off Daniel. Ewwwww.)
Allen: now looks like your better-than-average, fit firefighter.
For the weigh-in, everyone appears to be wearing a Michael-Phelps-caliber-compression-garment. While the pound count is amazing, remember that the winner is determined by their percentage of weight loss.
Alexandra 91 29.45%
Antoine 152 41.42%
Sean 155 34.91%
Julio 180 44.23%
Coach Mo 92 25.92%
Dina 79 31.23%
Abby 100 40.49%
Tracey 118 47.20%
Shay 172 36.13%
Daniel 111 35.58%
Rebecca 139 49.82%
Allen 116 35.69%
Liz 91 We missed her % because Rebecca was too busy victoriously jumping into the arms of Bob and various contestants.
Ali and Bob announce a surprise incentive for Shay: she'll come back for the season 9 finale and SUBWAY will pay her $1,000 for every pound she loses between now and May. Awesome!
Antoine proposes to Alexandra. Their Moms are shown hugging in the audience. Yeah!
I should also mention the segments for the Biggest Loser's "Pound for Pound Challenge" which assists food banks across the country and General Mills' program "Wake Up to Hunger." As thousands of Americans struggle with obesity, one in six are going hungry. Wow.
So - the final three! Lots of video montages showing them throughout the season. Then as each one walked out onstage, they were accompanied by some type of CGI-special-effect-3D image of their former selves. Crazy!
Amanda: in a ruffly pink blouse, she now looks like Ali Sweeney's younger, more voluptuous sister.
Rudy: lookin' good in his New England lumberjack kinda way.
Danny: "looks like a Cabbage Patch Kid or maybe a Dapper Dan doll?" (Maybe it was the vest?)
Before the weigh-in, we're teased with a promo for next season -- starting January 5th.
Amanda 87 34.80%
Rudy 234 52.94%
Danny 239 55.58%
Amazing! We were very excited for Danny (right). Were you? He won the grand prize of $250,000. But more importantly, after a lifetime of yo-yo weight gain/loss, he seems to have conquered his underlying issues and now has the tools to maintain it. His family's on board, he was entertaining to watch, and we like how he played the game.
There's no other program like The Biggest Loser and we've enjoyed watching with you this season. Happy Holidays everyone!