Biggest Loser
Episode 18

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Cool Running

Mike wants to finish with Ashley, who is a little ways ahead of him. He decides to run and try to catch up. He has no idea where he got the energy and power to do so, but soon enough he's there. Ashley is happy to see him. She's really hurting and struggling with her knee, but she takes off with Mike by her side. At mile 25, Koli's sister waits for him. She joins him in running, and Koli starts to get emotional. He finishes strong, and crosses the finish line with a time of six hours and eight minutes. He heaves and gasps for breath and cries, and then his sister cries, and then I cry, too. Thankfully, Dr. Huizenga is there to make sure that no one dies. Koli is amazed that he's gone from not being able to run a mile to a marathon in six months. He says he's proof that anybody can do this with some hard work.

Ashley and Mike hit the final stretch. At mile 25, Ashley's brother waits for her. Mike's sister Mariastella is there, too. Ashley breaks down completely, she's so happy to see her brother, and Mike gives Mariastella a huge hug. They all take off again and cross the finish line with a time of six hours and twenty-six minutes. They really weren't far behind Koli at all! There is much celebration and hugging, and then everyone gets a giant $10,000 check!

With the running and the celebrating over, it's time for the penultimate weigh-in. The two people with the highest percentage of weight loss will be above the yellow line, and guaranteed a spot in the finals. The two people with the lowest percentage of weight lost will fall below the yellow line, and have to plead with America to vote them in the top three.

Mike is first to weigh in. He weighed 322 pounds when he left the ranch, and now weighs 299 pounds. That's a loss of 23 pounds. He definitely seems relieved, and in fact starts crying. He says that for his entire adult life he couldn't get under 300 pounds. And now here he is. Sami even gets a little teary as she congratulates him. In his month at home, Michael lost 7.14% of his weight, which Sami notes is a high standard for everyone else.

Koli is next on the scale. He was 231 pounds when he left the ranch, and now weighs 218 pounds. That's a loss of 13. He seems kind of grim about it, but says that he worked hard for that 13 pounds. He became so focused, he says, that he was totally results-oriented and didn't celebrate the small victories. He's trying to change his mentality, but it's hard. Koli really wants to feel the confetti raining down on him, but says it seems like that's slipping away right now. Koli has lost 5.63%.

Next is Ashley. To guarantee a spot in the finals, she needs to have lost more than 16 pounds. Ashley was 231 pounds when she left campus, and now weighs 213. That's a loss of 18 pounds, and she's done it! She beams and tells us that she couldn't be more proud of herself right now. Daris tells Ashley that, whether she knew it or not, she's very strong. In the first week on campus, he says with great emotion, he was impressed by how she knew exactly who she was. Daris was looking for that, and Ashley helped him to find himself as well. I think he's a little in love with her. Jillian is totally crying, and so am I! Daris says, "To see you show up like that and stay that way...you mean a lot to me, girl." SO SWEET! Ashley says that she didn't see these things in herself for the longest time, and to hear this from Daris is amazing. Ashley has lost 7.79%. That's good enough for first place, and means that she'll be competing for $250,000 and the title of The Biggest Loser. Unfortunately for Koli, it means that he's below the yellow line.

Finally, Daris steps on the scale. When he left campus, he weighed a lithe 195 pounds. To be safe and guarantee himself a spot in the final three, he needs to have lost more than 13 pounds. I'm not sure he has it to lose, really. Daris goes from 195 to 197, for a gain of two pounds. Bob looks shocked. I am not, because we saw this in the freaking previews last week. Daris says that he concentrated more on training for a marathon than he did for weight loss, and it's hard to do both. He's very proud of his marathon time, and no one can take that away. Bob is confused. He tells Daris that, in fact, you run to lose weight, so it doesn't make sense that there's a gain of two while he was training for the marathon. Jillian tells Daris that he clearly sabotaged himself, and that he can't even begin to talk about how he ran so much yet gained two pounds. Daris admits that he struggled. Jillian tells him that this is make or break time, when he needs to get real about what happened and why it happened. Going into denial about how he gained weight by running is bullshit, and Jillian knows that he knows this. We all fall down, Jillian says, but the key is to learn from it, dust yourself off, and keep going. They expect this from Daris. Aw, poor guy. Jillian tells us that it doesn't take a genius to figure out that if you're up two pounds, you've been eating too much. Daris has clearly been eating his way through the amount of exercise that he's been doing. It's a shame, she says, because he's such an amazing kid. Daris had gained 1.03%, which he looks very sad about. He's below the yellow line. Ashley and Mike, meanwhile, are for sure in the final three.

Daris and Koli are below the yellow line, and have to plead their cases before we, the people. Koli (who you can vote for by calling 1-866-492-6802 or via nbc.com) tells us that this has been a humbling experience. He's consistently stayed above the yellow line, until today. Daris (who you can vote for by calling 1-866-492-6801 or via the NBC web site) says that he's not proud of his two pound gain, and Jillian is right about him sabotaging himself. Daris then cries and totally gets my vote. I mean come on! Koli says it's hard for him to ask, but he's begging and pleading for us to give him the chance to finish what he's started. Daris continues to cry, then confesses that he'd do fine all day, but then stay up and eat. Oh God! I can't take this. Meanwhile, Koli goes the dignified route and says that if he's ever said or done anything that's touched or inspired us, he asks for our vote. Daris asks us to give him a second chance and let him finish, and let him prove to us that he can do this. Their fate is in our hands! So go out and vote!

Next week: live finale!

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