‘The Biggest Loser’: A risky gamble pays off for John Rhode

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‘Biggest Loser’ competitors and fans alike thought John was crazy. Turns out he’s crazy like a fox.

Just a few weeks ago, John Rhode practically handed former NFL player Antone Davis a ticket to the finale. That move came during an earlier elimination, and it was up to John to decide whether to eliminate Antone from the game, or send home another player who was unlikely to pose a threat at the final weigh in. Jaws dropped when John voted to keep Antone around. John explained his reasoning: He’d work out harder and longer and adhere to his diet knowing that Antone would be waiting for him at the finale.


Well played, John. He takes home a $250,000 payday and the title of the Season 12 winner of ‘The Biggest Loser.’ He started at 445 pounds, and now weighs 225 pounds. He lost 220 pounds, or 49.44% of his body weight. (Once again, it seems winners need to hover around that 50% loss mark in order to take home the title.) John also fulfills Bob Harper’s oft-quoted remark: ‘John won’t be happy until he’s pulling confetti out of his hair at the finale.’

PHOTOS: ‘Biggest Loser’ Season 12 contestants

Meanwhile, Bob Harper’s stalker -- a.k.a. Jennifer Rumple -- won the $100,000 at-home prize. But her big reward? A giant bouquet of flowers -- and a few more hugs -- delivered by Bob. Rumple started at 330 pounds, and now weights 185 pounds. She lost 145 pounds, or 43.94% of her body weight.

Bob said he predicted John’s win because of the competitor’s relentless drive and determination. But Bob also predicted something else: That John was at risk for gaining back every single pound lost if he continued to focus so heavily on transforming the outside without doing the work to transform the inside -- and come to grips with what caused him to gain the weight in the first place.

John will address the media later this morning during a conference call -- we’ll do our best to get him to address that prediction.

In the battle for the ages, it turns out that a combo of youth + wisdom = win. Let’s hear it for the middle-agers.


This season was one of change. Change in trainers. Change in theme song.

And a change in the weigh-ins at the finale.

What did you think about the shake-up? For the first time ever, all the contestants did not weigh in. At first, I was like ‘Hey! Rip-off!’ but I actually think it worked out well. I mean, do we really need to see Debbie weigh in? She lost 33 pounds. Not sure there’s that much of a visual transformation there. (No disrespect to Debbie! That is still a move in the right direction.)

The switcheroo meant Ali got to spend more time chatting up the contestants. And we also got that lovely letter from Ramone’s mom. (Speaking of Ali: She deserves heaps of credit for always managing to keep these live finales on track without being rude, or cutting people off like some live finale hosts...)

One of the funniest moments of the night? Dolvett in Vinny’s overalls, proving that Dolvett looks good in absolutely anything.


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--Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch