The Biggest Loser Couples: Why Tara Costa Should Win
It's no secret that Tara has been one of my favorites this season of The Biggest Loser. She drops weight left and right. Since coming onto the ranch nine weeks ago, Tara has lost a total of 117 pounds. That's over one pound per day. When other players are hoping for double-digit numbers, Tara expects them of herself.

I've compiled a list of Tara's greatest accomplishments thus far. Whether it comes to winning immunity challenges or encouraging her teammates, Tara has been a pleasure to watch this season. Although there are other solid competitors, after reading through her superstar season, there's not doubt in my mind: Tara Costa should win. So, let's take a look back a Tara's season thus far:

Episode 1:
Tara came to the ranch at 294 pounds. Within the first week, she dropped 21 pounds to help bring the green team into a second place finish. It wasn't enough to keep Laura on the ranch as only the first place finishers got to keep both members of their team. She lost the most weight out of all the other women that first week. She designated herself as a pacemaker from the very beginning.

Episode 2:
Tara wins her first immunity challenge in the race to the top of the mountain. Unfortunately, she only lost 1 pound that but her immunity kept her locked in place at the top of the pack. What's most notable about episode 2 is when Tara, Blaine, and Mandi went down the mountain to help Daniel to the top. The kindness of the act touched my heart when I saw it. After finishing the race herself, she climbs back down to help a teammate.

Episode 3:
Tara wins immunity for the second week in a row by jumping over the beam 1030 in two hours and nineteen minutes. Tara gets so sad that she won because she knows Kristin, who came in second place, deserves it just as much as she does. During the weigh-in she dropped 8 pounds.

Episode 4:
Tara doesn't get immunity but she drops 12 pounds, putting her in first place. During the elimination she voices her concern for David because he doesn't seem as if his heart is in the game. She would rather have come back the ranch to get the help he needs. Unfortunately, Daniel and David were eliminated.

Episode 5:
Laura rejoins Tara at the ranch and they come in first place for the second week in a row because Laura lost 13 pounds and Tara lost another 12. With Laura back on the ranch, Tara knows that her fate isn't in her own hands anymore. What's good to point out is that Tara responds with positive reinforcement and encourages Laura in every thing she does as opposed to the negativity we saw in Joelle and Carla, who were eliminated in this episode.

Episode 6:
Laura and Tara come in second place in the immunity challenge because Laura gives up. Although I'm sure this infuriated Tara, she did not reprimand Laura. The green team also comes in second place in the weigh-in because Laura only loses 3 pounds. Tara puts up double-digits for the third week in a row by losing 11 pounds. My favorite part of the episode was the reward pop challenge by the pool. Tara's spirit and joy during the whole thing made me smile. She has a light and fire that no one can put out.

Episode 7:
In episode 7, Tara reached her breaking point. She starts to feel the pressure of relying on Laura for her safety. Although a tantrum like hers would have been annoying if it were any other contestant, with Tara, my heart just broke for her. The drive and the spirit that keep her pushing onward day after day was starting to break. Luckily, Laura came through at the weigh-in and lost 8 pounds and Tara was just behind her, losing 7, putting them in first place for the third time.

Episode 8:
Tara shows her love for Jillian Michaels by winning the reward challenge in order to stay on Jillian's team. Her and Laura are joined on the black team by Filipe, Sione, Helen, and Mike. The black team wins their first challenge with Tara leading the pack. Tara rode the most out of everyone in the 24-hour bike challenge. She rode 58.8 miles all by herself. Although they stopped ranking team members in this weigh-in, Tara had the highest percentage of weight loss for the black team at 4.95% because she lost 11 pounds. This was her fifth week dropping 10+ pounds.

Episode 9:
Tara helps the black team win another immunity challenge. In the weigh-in, she loses 11 pounds, which is the most lost by anyone this week thus far. Mike still hasn't weighed in and he has to lose more than 9 pounds in order to keep everyone at the ranch safe. At this point in the competition, Tara has lost 94 pounds and is at an even 200.

Episode 10
Tara wins the Pop Challenge, making it her fourth individual win. She has to set up the match-ups and decides to give herself a break and she sits out. She helps lead the black team to their third win in a row. The 24-hours of luxury cause Tara to lose no weight that week, but luckily her team wins enough of the match-ups. Tara breaks down crying at the weigh in because she knows she let herself down.

Episode 11
Tara goes home to meet her family for a week. She finishes the half-marathon about a minute and a half before Sione but doesn't win the $10,000 because Helen ate a cookie to penalize her. This was the first week that the contestants started to feel really threatened by Tara and made it known.

Episode 12
Tara comforts Kristin after Cathy sacrifices herself for Aubrey. This was also the week Tara and Laura got to go back to their original colors. Laura shocks everyone when she picks Jillian as her trainer. In the reward challenge, everyone in the house gangs up on Tara to give her an extra 257 pounds for the car she has to pull. She takes it really personally at first and talks about going home but then decides to show them all up and beat them even with the extra weight. Tara's one pound short of breaking the record but has lost 99 pounds thus far.

Episode 13
This week, Nicole comes back onto the ranch and shakes Tara up because she has the second highest percentage of weight-loss to Tara. This forces Tara to really open up about her fears. Evidently, Tara gained a hundred pounds in a year and she still doesn't know why. Jillian notes that acknowledging that there are bigger forces at work is the first step. Tara comes in third place in the weigh in by losing 6 pounds. She votes Nicole out because she knows that Nicole's a bigger threat than Ron.

Episode 14
Laura wins the golden ticket and Tara knows she's safe for the week as long as they both don't fall below the yellow line. The contemplate having Tara throw the weigh-in but Tara decides that it goes against everything she's worked for. Tara wins the reward challenge, which is a race around Rose Bowl Stadium. This is her fifth personal win. Tara only loses three pounds and Jillian was convinced she threw the weigh-in although she promises she didn't.

Episode 15
Tara wins her tenth (overall: individual + team) challenge of the season when she surpasses Mike on the high wires. During the makeover reveal, Tara's mom tells her she's lost 40 pounds because Tara has inspired her so much. Laura gets hurt on the ranch and Tara doesn't know if she can go on without her. She tries to convince the other contestants to let Laura stay but Ron steamrolls the conversation.

Episode 16
Tara confronts Jillian about telling Mike to send Laura home and Jillian ends up yelling at Tara. She tells her it's time for her to be on her own and for her to focus on herself. They say I love you and hug and it's adorable. Tara wins her 11th challenge and has the opportunity to pick a 1-pound advantage or $10,000. Tara chooses the $10,000 because she says she's betting on herself. The bet paid off because Tara comes in second by losing 5 pounds in the weigh in. She now weighs 177 pounds. Tara started with 294 pounds meaning she's lost a total of 117 pounds.

Overall, Tara is an amazing competitor. Last year's winner, Michelle, went from 242 pounds to 132 pounds. Tara started this season at 294 pounds. I don't know if she can keep up the double-digits each week, but I'm confident Tara will keep dropping the weight and she'll look great in the end. She's already looking awesome. Click on one of the pictures below to check out Tara's photo gallery.

-Kim Wetter, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of NBC)