LDS Utahn saves team from elimination, sees new baby on 'The Biggest Loser'

Published: Thursday, Oct. 24 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

Hap Holmstead, center, competes in "The Biggest Loser" on NBC during a challenge during Tuesday's episode.. The competitors include, from left, Chelsea Arthurs, Holley Mangold, Hap Holmstead, Matt Hooper, Bobby Saleem. They narrowly beat the Red Team.

Trae Patton, NBC

Utahn Hap Holmstead lost 13 pounds this week — the most of any of the five Blue Team members on week two of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser: Second Chances” and saving his team from elimination — and he also got to see his new baby son.

His wife was 8½ months pregnant when he left for “The Biggest Loser,” and she had their third child, a baby boy, while he was away. He made a video call during the episode to see his wife, newborn son and two young daughters, who adorably blew kisses to their father and showed off their baby brother.

“It’s very emotional. It’s very hard,” Pleasant Grove resident Holmstead said of being away from them and at times wanting to give up. “I’m here for a purpose and for a reason so I can be there for them forever.”

Holmstead is on trainer Bob Harper’s Blue Team, which also includes Holley Mangold, 24, an Olympic weightlifter; Chelsea Arthurs, 26; Bobby Saleem, 28, an attorney; and Matt Hooper, 38, who postponed his wedding to come to the ranch.

“Hap has come into this Last Chance Workout ready to fight,” Harper said of Holmstead, noting his new baby and new determination.

“There’s so much strength in you. You’ve been holding yourself back,” Harper told Holmstead before he sent the Blue Team to walk/run a mile. “You’re a champion.”

Holmstead said Harper’s words sunk in deep.

“I can’t do anything about the past,” Holmstead said, adding that he “could do something about today, tomorrow and the next day and become a champion for not only my new son, but to become the champion I know I can be.”

Holmstead played baseball for American Fork High School and competed in powerlifting. He also served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ohio and his family lives in the Garden 5th Ward, Pleasant Grove Utah Garden Stake.

The second week can be challenging.

“I don’t like to give power to the week two curse,” Harper said. “But, when you lose a lot of weight the first in the week, your body has a way of balancing it out. And that’s what happens in week two.”

At this week’s weigh-in, only the weight from one person on each team counted and determined which team had a member who would be eliminated.

Each trainer rolled an oversize die with photos of each of the contestants to see which one represented their teams for elimination. And the prize at this week’s challenge was a second die to roll.

The challenge included the teams hauling buckets of water over a hill to fill a tank. All five team members were tied together and rolled an oversized die to determine how many buckets they could bring.

Holmstead’s Blue Team rolled a 1, then a 6, then a 5 on the third run. On the fourth run, Mangold rolled a 5, and they were practically tied with the Red Team.

“It was just the hill standing between us and the prize,” Holmstead said.

They rolled a 5 and the Red Team rolled a 1, and the Blue Team made it to its tank before the Red Team did.

It gave Harper two dice to roll at the weigh-in.

Dolvet Quince of the Red Team rolled Tanya Winfield, 41, of Plainfield, Ill., who is a restaurant franchise chief operating officer, and White Team trainer Jillian Michaels rolled Fernanda Abarca, 32, of Montrose, Calif., who is a 3-D animation artist and cake sugar artist.

Harper rolled Arthurs and Holmstead's pictures and picked Holmstead to represent the Blue Team.

“I told everyone last week that I was going to prove that I could work hard and that I was supposed to be here,” Holmstead said. “And that’s what I’ve done. I can’t wait to get on the scale.”

He lost 13 pounds this week, the most of anyone on his team, putting his weight from 386 pounds to 373 pounds and a loss of 3.37 percent. He came to the show at 403 pounds and lost 17 pounds the first week.

Abarca lost 2 pounds, putting her at 236, down from 238, and 0.84 percent. “This, to me, is classic week two,” Michaels said.

Winfield lost 4 pounds, putting her at 242 from 246 and a 1.63 percent weight loss.

Both women lost the least on their teams. Abarca had to say goodbye.

Each trainer has a trainer save this season, and Michaels used hers last week to save 29-year-old Craig Arrington.

The eliminated contestants are eligible for an at-home prize of $100,000 for who loses the most after leaving the show.

Also during Tuesday’s episode, “American Idol” winner Ruben Studdard, 35, of Birmingham, Ala., was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

His starting weight was 462 pounds and he has lost 31 pounds while on the show, including 10 pounds on the second week.

The Biggest Loser: Second Chances” airs Tuesday evenings on NBC.

Email: rappleye@deseretnews.com Twitter: CTRappleye

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