Contestants have left the Biggest Loser in the past. But never like this.
“We had gotten word that contestants were going to be given the chance to come back and it felt like a dagger to our hearts,” contestant Jeremy Britt told reporters Wednesday of why he and the four other remaining finalists threatened to quit.
Bringing back former contestants is nothing new on the show, but – as Britt pointed out – never this far along in the competition, unless it was explicitly explained earlier in the season.
“The timing of it seemed wrong,” Britt said. “Everyone would want another chance but that doesn’t necessarily mean they need another chance that other people didn’t get.”
After trainers Bob Harper and Dolvett Quince failed to persuade the five to stay, host Alison Sweeny was brought in with a producer armed with the contestants’ contracts that explicitly stated contestants would be given the chance to return.
“I felt like they made me out to look a little dumb,” Britt said of this meeting. “I did read the contract but I wasn’t there to argue contracts, I was there to say, ‘It’s a matter of right and wrong and this is wrong.’ ”
And so the final five had a decision to make.
“We came together and thought about it, but we let everybody make their own decision,” Britt said. “I was really torn.”
In the end, Britt, his sister Conda and Kim Nielsen chose to remain on the Ranch and face the impending twist in the game.
“The people that I was trying to affect by walking away were not [going to be] affected,” Britt explained. “I made it a point to stay so I could go to my interviews and speak my side. If I had left there was no chance to do that.”
Mark Cornelison and Buddy Shuh ultimately chose to leave the competition but there were no hard feelings between the finalists.
“We got to say goodbye and wish them the best,” Britt said. “Both Buddy and Mark came to me as they were leaving and said, ‘You are doing the right thing by staying. That’s what’s right for you and I hope the best for you and hope you win.'”
But unfortunately Britt fell below the red line at the final three’s weigh-in and was eliminated, becoming one of the very contestants given a second chance that he had been protesting earlier in the episode.
“The fact that I am one of the people that get to compete [to come back] doesn’t matter,” Britt said. “It doesn’t change my perspective at all. Kim and Conda only got one chance in the whole game – they did good and got to be finalists.”
Britt and 14 other returning contestants will battle it out on Tuesday for a spot in the finale. Cornelison, Shuh and Joe Messina – who quit the show earlier in the season to spend more time with his family – were not included in the opportunity.