Last week, the nation was shocked to see one of the strongest teams on The Biggest Loser fall below the yellow line. After weeks and weeks of shedding double-digit pounds, the Black Team hit their plateau and wound up in last place. The teams were then told they’d have to vote of one of the two members of the Black Team; either Dane or Blaine.
Due to his requests, the cast eliminated Blaine from The Biggest Loser ranch. His wife had just had a baby and he wanted to be home with his family. I was able to chat with Blaine about his Biggest Loser experiences and his life after the ranch. He gives us the low-down on the much-debated Joelle/Damian elimination and his hopes for the outcome of the show.
What were your original reasons for joining The Biggest Loser?
Well, besides being 365 pounds, most of the reasons were just that I was pretty unhealthy. More than looks for me, it was definitely about how I felt.
How many pills are you down to now? You started with what? Seven?
I started with eight. I went on the show with eight and I’m on zero now. I don’t take anything.
When did you stop taking them completely?
Before I left the ranch I was on one. Or I should say that when I left the ranch, I was on one. Since then, I’ve stopped taking that one.
How much do you think it helped you to have Dane there the whole time?
You know, as I said on the show, having Dane there was huge. Me and Dane get along really really well. We were friends before, pretty close, obviously cousins, but really we became best friends on the show. Being there with him and motivating each other – that’s what made you happy, just hanging out with Dane. We had a good time.
Do you think he’ll struggle without you on the ranch?
Dane pushes himself really hard. I think that I would struggle more without him than he would without me just because he’s so motivated and he really knows how to push himself really hard. But at the same time, it’ll be hard. When I left for a couple days when I had the baby, I got back and everybody’s like, “Dane really missed you.” And I said, “Good. I’m glad he needs me to.” But he’ll do just fine without me.
You said it yourself, you really only had about 50 pounds to go after you left the ranch, so maybe he had more of a reason to stay there?
I mean, definitely. That’s the way we felt. And I probably had more reason to go home. Definitely with my wife just having a baby. That was a sacrifice for my wife more than for me. If it was going to be one of us, I really had more reasons to go home and he had more reasons to stay.
That must have been incredibly difficult for you to experience the birth of your child and then to have to go back to the ranch right away. Was it hard to get back into the mindset?
You know, not really. I was really afraid of getting back and having it be hard to not be home and that that would kind of slow me down. I think it just motivated me more to learn that’s why I needed to be there. That’s why I was there. I’ve said, I went to the ranch with four reasons (my three kids and my wife) to do this and I went back to the ranch after my baby was born with five reasons.
How much has your daily routine changed since The Biggest Loser?
It’s a lot different now than it was before I went to the ranch. I probably exercise as much as I ate before. Instead of eating, I exercise now. That’s the change. You know, I exercise more than I think a normal person probably needs to or should right now because of the show and the finale. Mainly, I want to get to the finale and not have any more to lose. I don’t ever want to have to lose weight again. I just want to maintain. That’s a goal that I have a good timeline to complete.
Has everyone at home been supportive? I know it must be difficult to go back home and have a job and you have, obviously, a lot less free time back at home than you did at the ranch.
Yeah, I mean losing weight at home and then losing weight on the ranch is just absolutely, completely two different things. It’s easy to lose weight on the ranch. It’s easy. Here, it’s difficult, especially because I have a normal job. I work 8 to 5 every single day. I sit at my desk all day. There are different changes you make so that it becomes more possible. It’s working out but it’s a lot more difficult at home.
You obviously spent a lot of time with everyone at the ranch. Besides Dane, who were you closest to in the house?
Definitely Mandi and Tara. I think you could probably see that on the episode. It was emotional to leave those two. The four of us got close when all the partners went home. Dan went home and Jerry went home and it was just the four of us with Jillian. We got really close. That’s definitely who I’ll miss the most.
There definitely was a similar competitive spirit between you and Tara. I would say the two of you seemed most competitive on Jillian’s side at least.
Definitely. We both are very competitive. It bugged me every single time she’d ever, you know…especially that second challenge where she beat me up the mountain. I always wanted a rematch. I never really got a chance to. It was always a healthy competitiveness between us. It was funny, me and Dane, we met Tara and Laura just for a second. They keep you pretty separated before you start the show. We met them actually just to go to the grocery store once and we’re like, “If they make it, they’re going to be game players. We better keep them on our team.” It ended up that our impression of them was completely different from who they really were. That’s why we had picked them to be on our team. We figured that we should keep our enemies close. But, you know what? They were nothing but friends.
How hard is it, because not a lot of people talk about this, but to balance the competitive side of the game, especially with eliminations and things like that, as compared to the moral side, which I guess came through in your elimination when everyone sent you home because it was really the right thing to do?
It’s a game and you have to play it. You want to stay as long as you can because that gives you the most advantages. There is a balance. Definitely, I would say the show makes it looks like… I’m sure the gameplay, even last season it was talked about a lot with Nicky and Hubba and all the gameplay. For instance, this season, with us sending Damian home, that’s when the game play started. We definitely made some enemies sending Damian home. Really, the choice on TV, watching the show seemed much clearer that we should have sent Joelle home but, you know, actually being there in the moment and in the situation. You know, Damian wasn’t that big of a threat.
The biggest threat if you look at the four players who could be a big threat, it was definitely Carla, being the biggest woman ever on the show, we should have eliminated them if we were going to play the game, but really the choice to send Damian home was a choice that, you know what, he had Nicole at home, we knew that Nicole, from that one week being there, there was no way that they weren’t going to do it at home and we felt sorry for Joelle. We thought that she…we didn’t want to make it about popularity rather than about compassion, so that’s why we made that vote. So, things like that are definitely – it’s more interesting, it makes for controversy, it was shown the other way…that’s fun. You know what you’re getting into when you get into this show. There’s a balance there. At the same time, everybody, it’s a game. You’re forced into that situation. And you’re forced to play or you have to go home. But, you’re right – there’s a balance there.
And not only that, but it helps to have someone else, it really seems like in order to have success, you have to have someone else there, someone supportive. It feels like Joelle probably had the least amount of support. How important is the support of the other people around you?
It’s big. The support of everyone is really important. That’s a good lesson for people at home trying to lose weight as well. Having good support is critical. The problem, and I felt sorry for Joelle, she doesn’t have that at home. She didn’t have that on the ranch and she didn’t even have that with a good partner. Carla’s influence was definitely destructive rather than uplifting. And i felt sorry for Joelle that way too. You’re right, a lot of it was self-inflicted, but that’s sometimes what we do. We all have problems. Everybody there has issues if you’re that obese. There’s issues there, whether you want to admit it to yourself or not. But, some are more visual or more more apparent. Joelle’s was by far the most flamboyant of anyone else’s there and that caused her some hardship, but I guess that’s life.
What was the biggest thing that you took away from the ranch, the biggest lesson that you learned?
Biggest thing was a mental change that took place. I learned a lot about myself. Jillian is excellent at doing that, at not just physically training you, but mentally training you. And we had some good conversations about why I was in that situation and why I wasn’t healthy. All between the ears is really the biggest change that took place. I have no doubt that I will lose the weight. It will never come back, and it was because …not because of the physical change that has taken place inside, but my mental change. I’m a much better person for knowing one Jillian Michaels for sure.
And just to sort of wrap up. Who do you think will win, and who do you want to win?
I think Dane will win for sure (laughs). I hope Dane obviously wins. Of course, he’s my partner. Definitely Mandy or Tara besides him. Everybody goes “You’re not really in teams and things get split up, you go to to individuals, you’re not black and blue at the beginning, you’re couples.” You work out with people seven hours a day, twelve days a week you are working out with these people. You’re seeing the toil, struggle, being in pain. You don’t always get to see the other team. You’re definitely close to your team and from day one, you protect each other and so that is obviously anybody from Jillian’s team I would like to see go on and finish. But, you know what, I was never there for the money. Still, I’m not even going for the hundred thousand, the percentage I had to lose, being 6’8″, it was just never going to happen to me compared to everybody else. It’s not why I was there, and that’s not why really…I will say that about every single person there. Nobody was there for the money. They made sure of that this season. Everybody was there for the right reasons and anybody, any one of us, deserves…if we change our life that much and do that well, deserves the money.
Awesome. Hey, Blaine I’m really forward to seeing you looking like a stud on the final and wish you the best of luck.
Hey I appreciate it.
-Interview Conducted by Kimberly Wetter
(Image Courtesy of NBC)