'Biggest Loser's' Ken Andrews of Pasadena dishes on Rulon and more
Rulon Gardner has been seen as a contender for the Season 11 win -- and how could he not be, considering his Olympic background. And this week, we got the sharpest sense yet that everyone is just waiting for Rulon to slip up so they can send him on his way. Clearly, the big man hasn't been making any friends. Olivia was dead set on beating him in the board challenge, and she did. Irene had an "anyone but Rulon" attitude as well. And even affable Ken Andrews, the pastor from Pasadena, said that he wished he'd been on the chopping block Tuesday night with Rulon -- because he knew the rest of the players would have sent Rulon home.
Does this mean Season 11 -- which appeared so close knit up to now -- has its villain?
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Andrews said in a media conference call that he and his son Austin had a falling out a while ago with Rulon over Rulon's treatment of others. Ken declined to elaborate except to say, "It had to do with [Rulon's] attitude and the way he treated others, and it wasn't something that we wanted to support or be a part of." Ken said that he and Austin formally told Rulon that they would no longer be part of an alliance with Rulon, and that if given the chance they would vote him off the island. I mean the ranch. He said Rulon became "angry, very angry."
What do you think about Rulon?
Ken said he had no ill will toward Hannah, even though he was eliminated over her (and even though she is closer to her goal weight than he is.)
Did you notice when Austin remarked that he was grateful to "The Biggest Loser" for helping his dad deal with certain "memories" and other issues, and putting him on track to better health? Well, Ken explained a heartbreaking incident that took place when he was just a young child, about 4. It was an incident that Ken had all but forced himself to forget. And he ate to cover it up. The deep psychological work that the contestants do at the ranch helped him unearth the painful memory.
"I witnessed my mother being raped, and it was a brutal attack," Ken said. Ken, who was also beaten by the assailant, said the attack took place on a military base, when his father was stationed overseas. The assailant remarked that the father was not there -- which makes Ken think that the attacker was a military man. Ken said the attack sent his mother into a deep depression, and she never spoken of the incident again. Ken added that he is no longer willing to keep such things secret. When something is bothering him, or he is troubled by a memory, he is going to talk about.
One thing he will not talk about: Rumors that Austin may have found romance on the ranch. Hmmm. Who could it be? Kaylee? Irene? Hannah? Well, we'll have to continue speculating because Ken was as quiet as a clam.
He did say he is grateful to the show for many things, but especially for helping him create a stronger bond with his son, one that did not involve enabling each other with food or other unhealthy behaviors.
Ken, thanks for shedding a light on how such traumas can haunt people for years and encouraging them to confront those issues head-on. We're looking forward to seeing (less of) you at the finale.
So glad to see Brett's return, so he gets quote of the week: "Front line, it's varsity time, I'm back."
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Photo: Ken Andrews: NBC