There have been so many times when just I wanted to stop, and I just couldn’t go any further and I just kept going. And I want you to see that, that it’s OK to struggle in life. It’s OK to admit you need help. —Scott Mitchell
But viewers won’t find out until Thursday if the 46-year-old former University of Utah and NFL quarterback lost at least 5 more pounds to make it to the finals, thanks to last week’s cliffhanger ending.
New this season, contestants who were sent home from the Biggest Loser ranch — either by being voted off or by falling below the red line — were taken to Comeback Canyon with trainer Bob Harper. There, they faced one other eliminated contestant in one-on-one weigh-ins. Harper would take the Week 15 winner back to the ranch to be in the finals for a shot at the $250,000 prize.
Mitchell was voted off on Week 11 and has won three Comeback Canyon weigh-ins in a row — more than any other contestant. During Week 14, which aired Jan. 1, Mitchell lost 9 pounds, or 3.59 percent, beating 32-year-old Jordan Alicandro, who lost 8 pounds, or 3.52 percent.
In last Thursday’s Week 15 episode, Mitchell faced the recently eliminated Howard “Woody” Carter.
“I will tell you, this week, more than any other week, it has been the most competitive,” Harper said right before they tipped the scales.
Carter and Mitchell had some fierce and heated words during their workout the previous week.
“I know you both want to go back bad,” Harper said.
Carter, who started the show at 398 pounds and was down to 291 pounds, lost 6 pounds, or 2.06 percent.
“He didn’t do what would have just absolutely crushed me, and that’s put up double digits,” Mitchell said. “There is a good shot I could win this.”
Mitchell had to lose at least 5 pounds to win the weigh-in.
Mitchell got on the scale, and the numbers bounced around as the scale beeped as it usually does on “The Biggest Loser." Harper said “wow” — without showing the results.
Then the show cut to the ranch, where the competitors had their own intense weigh-in.
Initially, there was a yellow line that required the two players above it to vote off one of the two players below it.
In one of many surprises this week, the yellow line was eliminated — to the relief of the four contestants: former Olympian Lori Harrigan-Mack, 44; Toma Dobrosavljevic, 33; Rob Guiry, 26; and Sonya Jones, 39.
And then the gym doors opened, and there was Harper.
“It’s about to get crazy in here,” he said before the episode ended.
Before the weigh-ins, Week 15 was Makeover Week for the remaining four contestants at the ranch and the two at Comeback Canyon. Thursday’s episode included their transformations.
“I think we’ve found the new James Bond,” said fashion consultant and “Project Runway” mentor Tim Gunn when Mitchell stepped out of the dressing room in a dark blue suit and white shirt. The contestants also went to celebrity stylist Ken Paves’ salon for a haircut.
There were tears and hugs all around when Mitchell's wife, Wendy, and two of their children came for a visit.
“Do you even recognize me?” he asked, and his daughter shook her head. Mitchell was in a gray suit with a blue shirt and tie.
“There have been so many times when just I wanted to stop, and I just couldn’t go any further and I just kept going. And I want you to see that, that it’s OK to struggle in life. It’s OK to admit you need help,” Mitchell said with emotion in his voice. “You can overcome things by working hard at them and not giving up. You know how much I love all of you. And this is my gift to you.”
Wendy credits the show with helping her husband battle his health challenges.
“I can put my arms around him,” she said. “I haven’t been able to do that in years. It was a person I remember 14 years ago. ... Without a doubt, ‘The Biggest Loser’ saved his life.”
“The Biggest Loser: Glory Days” features former athletes and airs Thursdays at 7 p.m. on NBC.
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