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'The Biggest Loser': Who are you voting for, Daris or Koli?

May 19, 2010 |  9:14 am

The Daris gained two pounds.

He was sent home for 30 days, a month during which his goal was to train for and run a marathon and lose enough weight to secure a spot in the finale, and he gained two pounds.

This episode managed to encapsulates this season of "The Biggest Loser." This season has been like no other in that the core group of players formed and maintained a tight-knit, collegial group that served to inspire each other to greatness, rather than tear each other down in an effort to win the grand prize of $250,000 and the title of this season's "Biggest Loser." There were the roller-coaster highs and lows, as the game served up its owns twists and turns at the players. And we watched players ignore Soothsayer Bob at their own peril: If you play to win the game, you will ultimately lose.

Oracle Jillian's words came to ring true: Just do what you need to do, and let the rest will take care of itself.

And it was proof that losing 150 pounds won't change your life and solve all your problems. It just means that there's less of you to show up and face your problems.

That's how Michael and Ashley slipped past Daris and Koli and landed two secure berths in next week's finale. And now you -- America, the audience -- must choose whether Daris or Koli will be the one to join them.

As always, "The Biggest Loser" is a numbers game -- who has the ability to lose the largest percentage of body weight. And if seasons past are an indicator, that person needs to come close to that benchmark of losing nearly 50% of his or her starting weight. By that simple measure, Daris and Koli -- who have lost a considerable amount of weight, and do not have all that much more to lose -- would have had the easier time hitting that mark.

But of course there are a few other things at work. Those last few pounds are among the hardest to lose. And that can -- and did -- give an edge to Ashley and Michael, who both have plenty of weight to lose despite already setting weight loss records while at the ranch. He was the first player to lose 200 pounds at the ranch, and she set a record for the woman who lost the most weight while at the ranch, over 140 pounds.

Finally, there is the mental aspect of the game. While Daris and Koli have been among the toughest -- mentally speaking -- players to ever tackle the game, they began to crumble at home. Koli seemed so fixated on winning the game -- he temporarily relocated to Las Vegas to train with an MMA coach and unwittingly ended up living in a hovel with a bunch of pizza-and-fast-food-chowing guys -- that he appears to have completely stressed himself out. It probably did not help matters that he went home and revisited the first weigh-in by promising friends and family that he would win this thing. Way to put pressure on yourself, Koli.

Daris, meanwhile, seems to have learned nothing at the ranch. The stress of being back at home and facing life -- what to do, how to live, having a real dating life for the first time ever -- triggered spells of late-night eating that ultimately showed up on the scale.

Michael and Ashley, meanwhile, got back to basics. At home, they incorporated the lessons learned at the ranch: Making their favorite meals using lo-cal substitutes, and shunning late nights out with friends, and turning to each other for support.

Well, it paid off.

Who are you voting for? Daris, or Koli?

--Rene Lynch
On Twitter @renelynch

Photo credit: The players at the marathon starting line. NBC Universal

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