Biggest-ever Biggest Loser contestant Michael Ventrella wins after losing record 264 pounds

Michael Ventrella won The Biggest Loser 9 and $250,000 last night after losing 264 pounds, or 50.19 percent of his body weight. He started at 526 pounds, making him the fattest contestant ever in a season that had the three biggest contestants ever. Although he lost more weight than anyone else in the show’s history, last season’s winner, Danny, lost 55.58 percent of his body weight.

The person who lost the most weight after being voted out actually beat Michael, losing 53.35 percent of his body weight. That was Koli Palu, who wasn’t in the final three because viewers didn’t like him enough. After the finale ended, The Los Angeles Times reports that he “rocked back and forth, tears in his eyes” and told reporters, “I had it all in within my reach, and I won.” He also said that he didn’t regret his minimal at-home training, and said, “I did everything I could. It was out of my hands, I did everything that I could.”

Ashley came in second after losing 183 pounds and 48.93 percent of her body weight, while Daris George was third after losing 168 pounds and 48.55 percent of his body weight.

At the end of last season, the previous biggest-contestant-ever title-holder, Shay, was bribed by Subway to lose more weight. They offered her $1,000 per pound, and she lost only 52 pounds, going from 304 to 252. But Subway wants to keep her around so she’ll be training for a marathon with Jared, the original Subway shill.

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.