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Moses of 'The Biggest Loser' talks sacrifice, walking in his father's footsteps, and why Cara rules

April 15, 2011 | 11:38 am

Moses Moses threw it all away this week on "The Biggest Loser."

He had a solid shot at making the final four, both because of the amount of weight he had left to lose and the close, fatherly relationship he struck up with the remaining players who would be loathe to eliminate him. If he made it to the final four, Moses also had a shot at winning the Season 11 title of "The Biggest Loser" along with the $250,000 prize and the lucrative promotional opportunites that come along with it.

Instead, he threw it all away this week when he volunteered — insisted — that he be sent home to allow Olivia at least one more week.

Do you think he did the right thing? Do you think Olivia was being a bit manipulative by playing the pregnancy card.

Well, Moses is the final word on this one, and in an interview this week he said has absolutely no regrets:

"The money, to me, does not mean anything ... the real winners are those who are able to take off the weight and figure out the right lifestyle that they can live for the rest of their lives," Moses said during a media conference call after his elimination. "I was at peace with everything," he later added.

It was one of the most poignant and moving eliminations ever in "The Biggest Loser" history, right up there with Abby's departure in Season 8. Moses and Olivia ended up on the chopping block at an emotionally exhilarting and whirlwind trip down under to New Zealand, where the remaining competetitors literally had the chance to leap into their new lives. (Well, all those who pass the weight limit for jumping off the sky tower.)

But travel does not equal weight loss, as fans of the show know. Many of the numbers at the weigh-in were depressing. (One exception was Ken, and that's only because Cara did everything short of sneak into Ken's room at night and beat the fat off him as he slept, and come to think of it maybe she did that too. He lost 6 pounds.)
Olivia admitted she was conflicted to be arguing for herself — because it meant arguing against the beloved Moses — but that didn't keep her from making a plaintive pregnancy plea that had everyone in tears: "I've been married for 13 years. I'm 35 years old. And I want children more than anything. And I just don't have much more time left.... I'm not where I need to be yet [weight-loss wise] for that to happen."

One thing Moses did regret: Ken's run-in with Cara. He said he did not appreciate Ken publicly questioning Cara's abilities. Moses defended Cara as being an outstanding trainer who put her all into her underlings and built workout regimens around their strengths, weaknesses and desires. She tried to make exercise fun — and something they would do for the rest of their lives.

"I didn't agree with Ken.... To hear Ken say that, I was a little disappointed," Moses said.

Moses said he was in awe of Bob and Jillian and learned much from them. But of course, he was paired with Brett and Cara from the beginning and if forced to choose ... "My favorites are obviously going to be Brett and Cara." And if he could only choose one of them? "It would be Cara.... Cara is truly the very best for me."

The New Zealand episode was particularly emotional for Moses and Kaylee because Moses' father was sent to New Zealand as a boy to further his education. Later, as a young man, he moved to America and pave the way for Moses, Kaylee and the rest of the Tongan clan.

With all this in mind, I was heartbroken watching Moses go home. To my view, Moses was leaving on a somewhat defeated note from the very place where his father set out in victory.

I could not have been more mistaken.

In fact, it was the perfect moment for Moses to depart the game. In fact, he was fathering precisely in his father's footsteps — and in victory.

Just as Moses' father left New Zealand for America to fight for his family, so was Moses. (Tearing up as I write this....)

"I left New Zealand just like my father," Moses said. The trip allowed him to realize his father's courage and sacrifices and his own and make a connection that will help him stay on track the rest of his life. "To realize what I just had gone through, I liken my life to what he went through. If there is one thing I wanted [it would be for] the world to look back at me and think that I was just like my dad.... Nothing would make me more proud for my children to look for me and think I am like my dad."

Done and done, Moses.

It was quite a personal victory for a man who was looking at a projected 2025 death date, as delivered by Dr. H. Regardless of how long Moses lives — and may it be long — he is a completely new father and husband. And boxer.

He said he has no regrets about leaving. In acknowledging that Olivia has already lost a significant amount of weight, he said that did not matter. He was willing to do whatever it took to help her get closer to her goal of becoming a mom, just as he would sacrifice anything to help his daughter get closer to her goal. (A compete and utter aside: Kaylee is struggling big time. She gained 4 pounds this week, which Moses blamed on water retention because of travel. We shall see.)

"Reaching the end wasn't my goal," Moses said. "I felt all along that I got everything that I needed to get out of this show." Regarding Olivia: "I wanted to give her every way possible to reach that dream of hers.... One of the greatest blessings in the world is to have a child, I wanted her to have that. She didn't make me feel guilty, because I thought of it even before she said it. It was a no-brainer."

He is eating 1,600 calories a day, working out like a madman, and has this goal for the finale: "I want to come back ripped!"

— Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch

Photo: Moses looking slim and trim. Credit: NBC.