'Biggest Loser's' Cowboy Jay: My hat doesn't smell, I promise

Jay Sheets and his ever-present black cowboy hat were eliminated this week on "The Biggest Loser" in what he called a "dumb move" on his competitors' part.

Jay, of Farmington, Mo., was eliminated after gaining (!) one pound on the weight-loss reality show, a shocker that only underscored just how close he was to his goal weight, and how little weight he had left to lose. He fell below the dreaded yellow line with Bobby, who gained (!!) two pounds and still has plenty of weight to lose.

In a bid to evade elimination, the two men made their case to stay to their fellow competitors. And viewers got a glimpse of how persuasive Bobby (a lawyer) can be when he argued that Jay was one of the most successful people in the house, and therefore posed a threat at the looming finale and its $250,000 payday.


But Jay, speaking to the media during a conference call Wednesday morning, said the smarter move would have been to eliminate Bobby, who -- despite this week's showing -- can still post reliable weight-loss numbers that can keep him in the game.

"I'd say there was probably a little bit of game play involved in it," Jay said of Bobby's plea to the competitors, noteworthy because until this point the players have been a close-knit group. "I was no threat to anyone ... it was kind of a dumb move on their part to vote me off ... I really can't win, I don't have enough weight to lose."

But enough about such machinations!

Let's get to the cowboy hat.

Jay has worn his black cowboy hat at the ranch nonstop. Literally. Nonstop. He wore it while lifting weights. He wore it while running stairs. He wore it on the scale. And he wore it while racing at the Olympic training center in Salt Lake City, where the players traveled this week for a nice little tie in with NBC's upcoming Olympics coverage next month.

"The cowboy hat is sort of my trademark," Jay explained during the conference call. "It speaks about who I am and what I have done with my life. It's a part of my everyday life."

So. Um. At the risk of sounding like a no-nothing city slicker, we had to ask: Does it get sweaty? Or stinky?

Jay laughed, and took the question in stride.

"The cowboy hat has a leather band inside of it," he explained. "It doesn't soak up sweat ... I wipe it out a lot. It doesn't smell, I promise."

Jay has been one of the most likable people at the ranch this season, which is saying a lot considering that there's not a Heba in this bunch. He said that his goal in joining the show was to get back in the rodeo ring and prove to his two young sons that it's never too late to change your life.

During the course of the season, Jay was forced to explore some of his inner sorrows, including his parents' divorce after 40 years, and the devastation he felt when his childhood home burned to the ground.

"I got sidetracked in life ... I kind of got lost for a while," he said. He gained so much weight that he had to give up one of his passions: riding horses, team roping and competing on the professional rodeo circuit. He started the show at 297 pounds, and now weighs his goal weight, 185 pounds, and is currently training to compete again in the ring come spring.

"When you have a goal or a dream you've got to go for it, don't ever give up on that kind of stuff, it doesn't matter how old you are or how young you are," he said.

Jay offered up these predictions about who will win: "I look at this from a mathematics standpoint ... David should win, hands down."

He said he didn't have any more weight to lose, and as a result doesn't believe he will be a contender for the at home-prize of $100,000. "I don't anticipate that I have a shot there ... I don't think I'll be a contender for that," he said.

What do you think about the decision to eliminate Jay instead of Bobby? Dumb move?

Here's to seeing Jay's cowboy hat at the finale, and his sleek new rodeo physique. And next week, makeovers!