On Tuesday night's live finale of The Biggest Loser
, Bernie Salazar
became The Biggest Loser At Home, winning $100,000. He beat Mark Kruger by only one pound and took down one of his biggest rivals of the season. Bernie started the season at 283 pounds and arrived at the finale 130 pounds lighter. At a current weight of 153 pounds, Bernie lost almost 46% of his total body weight. He received a large ovation from the crowd when he came out as did his partner in the game, Brittany Aberle. Yesterday, he spoke to BuddyTV about the support he received from America, what he plans to do with the money, and what he'll do now his time on The Biggest Loser
Below, you will find the complete transcript and mp3 of the interview.
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Hey everybody. This is Gina from BuddyTV, and today I'm talking to Bernie, the winner of The Biggest Loser At Home. Hey Bernie, how are you?
I'm on top of the world right now.
Can you talk a little bit about your experience last night and what the night was like for you?
Oh definitely. It was just surreal. I know that I've been working very hard to make this happen, and this really changed my life in a healthy, positive way. To actually be rewarded for it by being the actual winner is just the icing on the cake, or as I like to put it, the fat-free salad dressing on the salad. It's great.
How crazy is it that it came down to one pound?
You know what? It has been the season of the one pound battles. Finally, I came out, I didn't want to say on top, but below. Finally I came out below!
Did Mark say anything to you when you won?
Mark is a great, great person. He just said, "You know what, buddy? You deserve this." And I looked at him and I said, "You know what? We both deserve it." Everybody on the show has won and everybody deserves it, but it just so happens that there is one winner at home and there is one grand prize winner. He was just a great guy, he really is.
Do you have any plans for what you're going to do with the money?
I'll tell you what, the first thing I'm gonna do is kind of help my mom out. She needs some redoing of her basement, because unfortunately we got flooded by those floods that were happening in the Midwest. Her poor house got hit three times, and it's gotten to the point where it's just a little too much financially to continue rebuilding. So I'm going to help her out with that, and I have plans on putting a down payment on a nice little apartment for myself. That's it.
When you and Brittany came out last night, you guys got such an awesome reaction. Why do you think America was able to relate to you and get on board with you guys so much?
I think it might have been due in large part to the fact that we both really started off as strangers, and we grew to really support one another and care for one another. We just genuinely care about the health of one another. She pushed me in ways that I personally feel even the closest of family or friends wouldn't have been able to do. It was one of those things where I just didn't want to let her down, but wanted to let her know that I was on board with what she was doing. It was just so supportive all around.
What did it mean to you to hear the crowd cheering for you like crazy last night? They really went nuts for you.
Oh my God, you just reiterated the fact that they went crazy. It's just heartwarming and it's wonderful. The Biggest Loser is one of those shows that seriously everybody wins. To be applauded for changing your life in such a positive way, to me is amazing. It's nothing short of just amazing.
What was your reaction last night when you got to see all of the contestants for the first time with their new and improved bodies?
I couldn't have been happier for everybody. We all have taken this journey together, and it's just completely life changing. For me, I'm just as inspired by the people on the show as America's viewers are. I was in awe of all the contestants on there, and so proud to be part of that group.
I was wondering if you have anything that you want to say to your fans, cause you've got a lot of them at BuddyTV.
Yeah, I just want to tell all of the fans over at BuddyTV, thank you so much for the support, for the kind words, for the inspiration. I started off really not knowing what this whole thing was going to be like, and just the outpouring of support has really driven me in ways that I needed. I just want to thank everybody so, so much.
What's in the future for you? Do you have any big plans?
I have huge plans. My plans are to really share what it is that I'm doing, and what I've learned as far as health is concerned with America's future, and that's children. I'm an educator by trade, and I want to make sure that we're battling this weight epidemic with our children at an early stage, so they don't have to go through what I was going through, or deal with some of the diseases associated with being overweight. I'm hoping to get an opportunity to share that on a larger level. I would love to be part of a health program for children, whether that be on television or in my community. Any way that I can help to make sure this doesn't happen to future generations, that's what I intend to do.
Well Bernie, thank you so much for your time. Congratulations again, and I hope that we get to talk again sometime.
I would be honored, Gina. I would be honored. Thank you so much, you have a wonderful day.
You too. Bye.
- Gina Scarpa, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of NBC)