Category: The Biggest Loser

'Biggest Loser' kicks off Season 14 tryouts in L.A. on June 16

"The Biggest Loser"

Be careful what you wish for! If you've always dreamed of trying out for "The Biggest Loser," here's your chance. Soon, you too could be working out with trainer Bob Harper until you puke up your low-calorie lunch at the "Biggest Loser" ranch.

The NBC weight-loss reality show has announced a new slate of tryout dates for Season 14, starting with Los Angeles on June 16. The L.A. casting call will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club in Venice.

The 13-city search for new contestants will then move on to Atlanta; Chicago; Miami; Detroit; Kansas City, Kan.; Phoenix; Philadelphia; Raleigh, N.C.; Salt Lake City; Cleveland; Dallas; and San Diego. For more details, including how to submit a video if you cannot attend an audition, go to www.thebiggestlosercasting.com.

Season 14 is scheduled to start airing in January 2013. Casting producers say they are looking for "charismatic individuals" who are at least 18 years old, are at least 85 pounds overweight and would like a sweet shot at a grand prize of $250,000 for the person who loses the largest percentage of his or her body weight.

Potential competitors must also be willing to do whatever Harper tells them to do.

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Photo: Bob Harper gives a hand to Megan, a Season 13 competitor, on the beach in Hawaii. Photo credit: NBC

Jillian Michaels: New mom to two talks motherhood, her partner

Jillian-MichaelsJillian Michaels has never had a workout like this: She's a new mom to a toddler and a newborn.

Michaels has taken to the cover of the new issue of People magazine to announce that she's adopted a 2-year-old girl from Haiti named Lukensia following a lengthy adoption process that was fraught with peril.

But that's not all. The adoption was finalized in early May, the same week that Michaels' longtime partner, Heidi Rhoades, gave birth to a son, Phoenix, People reports.

They make quite a photogenic quad. Scroll down on this People.com version of the story and check out the video of the foursome in action. The full story is in the June 4 issue of the magazine.

Michaels, dubbed TV's toughest trainer following her stint on NBC's "The Biggest Loser," has said for years that she wanted children. That was one of the reasons she left the weight-loss reality show, to give her more time to focus on family.

Michaels, 38, told People that having two young ones at home has helped her re-prioritize, "I don’t even answer email. I don’t have time to care about anything else," she said. "I want to be really present and enjoy all the nuances of their growth and development. I don’t want to rush any of it."

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'The Biggest Loser': Jeremy fears gaining back all the weight

Jeremy BrittJeremy Britt is the winner of Season 13 of "The Biggest Loser" after shedding 199 pounds -- more than half of his body weight. But on Wednesday, he admitted that he worries about gaining it back.

"Absolutely," Britt said. "You're an idiot not to worry about that."

Britt, 23, of Rockford, Michigan, said he is only too well aware that weight loss can be temporary.

He said he spent Tuesday night partying after the finale. His voice was hoarse, and he sounded exhausted. But with that out of the way, he's ready to get back to the gym, the active lifestyle, and the strict eating plan that helped him lose weight in the first place.

In fact, he said he's scheduled to be on the golf course precisely one hour after his flight home lands. (Presumably, he will be lugging his clubs along, not taking the golf cart.)

He said that he understands that maintaining the weight loss will be a challenge, calling it "a battle I'm happy to take on." Speaking during a media conference call, he added: "I'm gonna give it everything I have," he said.

Other highlights from the conference call:

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'The Biggest Loser' recap: The Jeremy-inator wins Season 13

NUP_149782_1139In the end, Jeremy Britt just had more to lose. And to win. The 23-year-old banker from Rockford, Mich., is $250,000 richer after winning the Season 13 title of "The Biggest Loser."

"It feels incredible," a giddy Britt said after he picked the confetti out of his hair following the taping of the finale. Asked what he planned to do with his win money, Britt said first up is a debt he owes Buddy. Britt said that Buddy talked constantly (off camera) about how desperately he needed a van for his family, and hoped that somehow there would be a competition that would award a new vehicle, as has been done in the past.

"I told him that if I win I'd buy him a van," Britt said. "So that's first." (You know how Britt spent much of the season trying to find a girlfriend? Well, ladies, you should have acted faster. He's got one now.)

Britt started the competition at 389 pounds and finished it at 190. His 199-pound weight loss meant that he lost 51.16% of his overall body weight. He easily took the victory from second-place Kim, who started the competition at 252 pounds and ended it at 134. Her 118-pound weight loss meant that she lost 46.83% of her body weight.

Kim, 38, was the "Biggest Loser" for much of the season, but in the end Jeremy just had more weight to lose. Kim is at her fighting weight. "I don't know what's next for me," Kim said after the finale, adding that she was considering a career in fitness and public speaking but for now is just enjoying the moment. "I'm just going to put it all out there and see what happens." Kim also won the Michelle Obama gym challenge, earning $30,000 of fitness equipment for a community center in her hometown of Roswell, Ga.

One of the most jaw-dropping transformations of the night belonged to Mike, 41, of Oakland. He won the $100,000 at home prize, and was virtually unrecognizable (although he filled out a suit almost as well as Dolvett Quince, Jeremy's trainer). Mike was eliminated early in the season after crossing paths with the misunderstood Ana-Conda, but he used that termination to fuel his determination. "I said, 'What if I can do it all at home?'" He stopped short of calling it a vindication, however, because he stressed that he did this for himself, and no one else.

He started the competition at 358 pounds and finished at 198. That 160-pound weight loss meant that he lost 44.69% of his overall body weight. Turns out that failing to get back into the house was a blessing in disguise. That "failure" paved the way for the at-home victory. Mike said he wants to start a weight-loss clinic in Northern California. He said his brother, Joe, who quit the show, is doing well. But Mike didn't add much more than that.

Britt's feat was all the more remarkable because he nearly lost his focus right at the end, when a poisonous attitude crept through the house after the final five players decided that, suddenly, they didn't like how the game was being played. It led two of the competitors, Mark and Buddy, to pack up their marbles and go home, and nearly undermined Jeremy when he found himself battling for that last berth in the final three.

Quince said he wants audiences look at Jeremy's turnaround -- he attacked it like he was the Terminator -- and gain inspiration from it. "I am a proud papa tonight, absolutely." He said he believed Jeremy had an opportunity to inspire other young adults to tackle their weight problem once and for all. "He will change lives," Quince predicted.

Ana-Conda finished third. She started the competition at 294 pounds, and finished at 179. Her 115-pound weight loss was equal to 39.12% of her starting weight. BTW, Conda said after the finale that she was completely misunderstood during the course of the show, and was conveniently edited so that she'd appear as the villian. "America has the wrong impression of me," she said.

Host Alison Sweeney said she felt a bit disappointed by the finale. On screen, Sweeney has the dirty job of reigning over eliminations and handing out diabolical challenges. Off screen, she is like a mother hen to each new crop of contestants and befriends many of them. She says she uses their inspirational stories to help her stick to her own health-and-fitness goals.

"I wish everyone were here weighing in," she said of the three competitors -- Mark, Buddy and Joe -- who chose to quit the show instead of compete. "Of course, we want to know what happens to everyone."

Each finale sees dramatic transformations, of course, but she said that several of the players looked unrecognizable even beyond their astonishing weight loss. She mentioned Cassandra and Lauren in particular. In addition to great new hairstyles, they seem to have blossomed into confident young women ready to take on the world.

Each "Biggest Loser" finale is like a reunion and past competitors are invited to take a seat in the audience. There, they catch up with old friends and show off how they've been able to keep the weight off.

Season 10 winner Patrick House looked trim and terrific, and Season 12 winner John Rhodes was there as well. He has gained some of the weight back, a mild paunch, but otherwise looks like he is doing a good job maintaining. When I saw him, he was walking alone (his wife following along behind.) Tracey from Season 8 was there, looking good.

Also in the audience: Newlyweds Stephanie and Sam who met on Season 9, and married this past weekend. The ceremony had an added poignancy. Last year, Sam toppled fell 54 feet from a rooftop deck and suffered a number of serious injuries, including a broken pelvis and brain damage. His recovery continues and we wish him all the best.

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Photo: Season 13 winner Jeremy Britt. Credit: NBC

'The Biggest Loser' recap: Dolvett unleashes the Jeremy-inator

Jeremy on the Biggest_Loser
So all that for...nothing? After much drama, weigh ins, and challenges, "The Biggest Loser" final three stands at this: Kim, Jeremy and -- say it with me, ugh! -- "Ana-Conda."

As we look down the barrel of the Season 13 finale, it all feels a little clipped. The turmoil unleashed from the entitled Final Five still feels unresolved. Were the players really pouting and protesting that it "wasn't fair" that eliminated players -- including Mark's son, Chism and Buddy's brother Ben -- had a shot to win their way back into the house, like they do every season? Ingrates!

And even when all 14 of the eliminated players got that shot in a thrilling three-part challenge, the inevitability of it all quickly became clear. Like the Terminator, Jeremy was going to stop at nothing -- absolutely nothing -- to seize back that berth in the final three.

It could have been a snooze-fest, were it not for the Jeremy-inator. But perhaps more interesting: There would be no Jeremy-inator without Dolvett.

Before we get to that, though, let's remark on the amazing transformations so far for so many of the players, particularly the ones that had been been dogged by controversy. Ben, who volunteered to go home early in the competition, is close to losing three digits. Santa Claus seems to be steering his sleigh away from the Christmas cookies (not sure I would have predicted that one.)

And then there's Mike. He had the tough-guy looks and demeanor but in the end was no match for Ana-Conda, who drove him out of the house for supposedly not working hard enough. That wasn't true, of course. But when faced with elimination, Mike said he had two choices: to give up, or prove that just a few short days on the ranch were enough to get him back on the path of eating right and exercising. Congrats, Mike.

Mike might have even had a shot at winning that third birth in the finals were it not for Dolvett. Because it was Dolvett's pep talk that gave Jeremy the much-needed kick in the gym shorts to get him back in the game.

We're accustomed to plenty of motivational speeches on the ranch. But I'd argue that this one goes into the books as one of the best in "Biggest Loser" history. "Do the work," Dolvett told Jeremy, "Shake it off."

"Don't fall in love with a result. Fall in love with this," Dolvett said, referring to Jeremy's internal and external transformation, "and make this your life." (I even considered sliding off the couch and doing some sit-ups. Luckily, the urge passed.)

It was at that moment, though, that the Jeremy-inator was born.

Jeremy said he could use his anger over his earlier elimination as either a curse or a motivator to win his way back into the game. He did just that at the insane pole challenge. Once Jeremy was fired up, I have no doubt that he would have stood on that pole for nearly four days instead of nearly four hours to win his way back into the final 3. Well done, Jeremy.

Random thought: Do you think Bob is fuming that Dolvett borrowed his "trust the process" mantra along with some of his favorite exercises?

Another random thought: Will next week's finale play out like this week's weigh-in? That seems kinda boring. I miss seeing the competitors trying to plug back into their home environment, as well as a grand challenge like the marathon. Thanks again Buddy and Mark, for mucking things up?

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Photo credit: A glum Jeremy at last week's elimination. But it set the stage for his triumphant return to the final three this week. (NBC)

'The Biggest Loser' or 'The Biggest Crybabies'? Two players quit

"The Biggest Loser" holds itself out to be a reality weight loss show. But as fans of the show -- now in its 13th season -- know, "Loser" is as much about surviving the mental and emotional curveballs that the producers hurl at the contestants each week as it is surviving the weekly weigh-ins.

But the final five players either failed to watch the show before joining the cast or failed to read the multi-page contract they signed before walking on camera that apparently told them, in black and white, that they would be subjected to such twists and turns, all in the name of entertainment.

Thus we arrived at walkout week, the much-rumored showdown when the final five contestants threatened to quit en masse after learning that the past-eliminated contestants would compete for a spot at the finale.

At first, the producers pulled in trainers Bob and Dolvett to try to scuttle the protest. The clan stood firm, with seeming ringleaders Buddy and Mark insisting it wasn't personal, but they'd just had enough of the machinations. It was just too late in the game to switch things up, they said.

Even though Bob and Dolvett have plenty of muscle between them, it was clear the producers needed to bring in the big guns to put an end to this group protest. Enter host Alison Sweeney, a.k.a. the Grim Reaper. Each week, the blond specter of game-show death has become the symbol of the most grueling elements of the competition, including the challenges, weigh-ins and eliminations.

Apparently, the only thing scarier than Ali is Ali Lawyering Up.

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'The Biggest Loser': Makeovers + First Lady Michelle Obama

Chris gets a makeoverWe're used to seeing "The Biggest Loser" contestants roll back the pounds. This week, they rolled back the years.

Several of the six finalists earned makeovers that made them look younger, none more so than Chris, shown at right.

With her gray bob and round middle, Chris used to play the part of Mrs. Claus each holiday season. But Mrs. Claus is going to need a wig and a pillow if she wants to pull off that gray, dowdy look this Christmas.

The makeovers were courtesy of celebrity stylist Ken Paves and fashionista Jeannie Mai, but the stakes were higher than ever. These were not just any makeovers. These were White House-worthy makeovers, as that's exactly where the contestants ended up for their big reveal.

"I've always said I love my job, but today I love it a little bit more," said trainer Bob Harper.

He and co-trainer Quince Dolvett joined the six finalists at the White House at the invitation of First Lady Michelle Obama, who made a leggy appearance in the final seconds of this week's episode, the first of a two-parter. (Is it me, or did she look buffer than usual in the tiny glimpse we had of her? Guess I'd be working out too if I had a double date to work out with Bob and Quince, which is coming next week.)

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'The Biggest Loser's' newest trainee? First Lady Michelle Obama

Michelle_Obama
First Lady Michelle Obama is throwing open the doors of the White House to "The Biggest Loser" with a two-part makeover episode that promises to see trainers Bob Harper and Quince Dolvett putting the first lady through a workout alongside the remaining Season 13 contestants.

As grueling as a Bob-and-Quince workout will be, we suspect the first lady won't have a problem keeping up. (Basing that on how she smoked Ellen DeGeneres during a recent push-up competition, as well as the sneak peek photo above.)

"The Biggest Loser" makeovers are always the most hotly anticipated shows of the season -- save the finale. But they've grown a little stale of late as the show tries to tinker with the formula, and outdo themselves season after season. So they are pulling out all the stops this time.

In part one, celebrity stylist Ken Paves and fashionista Jeannie Mai return to give the final six competitors their makeovers. The competitors learn they have a special message awaiting them: a video invitation from the first lady. But first, there are emotional reunions with family members...

In part two, competitors meet the first lady, who will use the encounter to promote her own initiative to combat childhood obesity, "Let’s Move!" From the press release: "The First Lady talks to the contestants about how adult behavior impacts kid behavior, congratulates the contestants on being good examples of health and fitness, and visits with each player and their family members."

Then, the moment we're all waiting for: Bob and Dolvette lead the first lady, the contestants and their families through a White House workout.

The first lady also uses the platform to talk about the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award, a six-week pledge to get adults and children more active. Mrs. Obama then challenges the players to see who can get the most people to pledge -- with the winner earning $30,000 worth of gym equipment donated to their respective communities by Planet Fitness. The winner will be announced at the finale.

Despite such heady environs and scenic workouts around the nation's capital, the episode will nonetheless end with another player heading home.

This week's eliminated player, Megan Stone, 21, of Dittmer, Mo., followed her mom's elimination one week earlier.

Megan said she was disappointed to be sent home, especially when she worked so hard this past week carrying out Bob's marching orders and losing a respectable four pounds at the finale. She was asked whether her elimination was fair when the other person on the chopping block -- Mark -- didn't lose any weight.

"I would say it was a judgment on overall performance, not just the weigh in," she said of the vote. No one doubts how hard Mark has been working while at the ranch. Megan herself admitted that she slacked off much of the time when Bob wasn't around.

Megan said she is focused on continuing to lose weight in advance of the finale. But after that? She's going "gung-ho" planning her wedding. She declined to predict who will be the last competitor standing when the confetti falls. Right now, Kim holds the title for the highest percentage of weight loss.

"I'm happy for whoever gets it," she said.

Parting thought: If we put together a list of "funniest ever" moments in "Biggest Loser" history, I nominate Buddy's fist-pumping, Zumba-licious turn.

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Photo: First Lady Michelle Obama looks like she can do those crunches all day long. Credit: NBC

'The Biggest Loser's' Kimmy Stone: Sacrificing self was 'no-brainer'

Kimmy_Stone
"The Biggest Loser's" elimination this week was a foregone conclusion. (Which is probably why they went right to the vote instead of giving the competitors time to thrash about.) The remaining contestants had to choose between Kimmy Stone and her daughter Megan. And Kimmy, no surprise, begged them to let her daughter stay.

"I am asking you to let me go home and Megan stay," she pleaded.

During Wednesday's weekly media conference call with the eliminated player, Kimmy said she had no regrets. "At that point I was already within 11 pounds of my goal and I felt like I had such a good grasp on things that I was going to be OK," she said.

Moreover, she was happy to sacrifice on behalf of her daughter.

"I wanted Megan to have more time to spend on the ranch to continue to lose weight and to continue with her fitness program. And as a parent you know you always want the best for your child. That's a natural instinct, and I had the feeling that sacrificing my position on the show in order for Megan to stay was a no-brainer for me. It was very easy. It was a sacrifice that I was more than willing to make."

She said she is happy to be home and talked about how her weight loss and new approach to living has led her husband to lose 45 pounds on his own and has rejuvenated their love life. Although she and her husband have been married for 27 years, she sounded like a lovey dovey newlywed as she went on and on about how much they are enjoying their lives together.

"I think we have a new appreciation for the time that we do have together, and we want to make every minute count, and we just want to do all the things that we kept saying we're going to do and never quite got to," said Kimmy, who referred to her husband as her soul mate. "We want to do all those things together. We've made our relationship a big priority."

She also said that eating right and staying active at home was like "war."

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'Biggest Loser's' Emily Joy: New York roomies with Cassandra?

EmilyHere's what viewers did not see during this week's episode of "The Biggest Loser": Emily Joy standing on the scale, dumbstruck, knowing that her elimination was a foregone conclusion after she failed to lose enough weight to keep her above the dreaded yellow line.

"There was like literally three minutes of me not speaking," Emily said during Wednesday's media conference call. "Because I couldn’t believe it. My heart just broke. At first I had to figure out that it was actually five pounds. I thought it was a joke in the beginning. But I just knew right then and there that I was going home."

In a way, elimination has provided a bit of relief for Emily, 29, of Huntersville, N.C. It has allowed her to jump-start the rest of her life, which she hopes will soar to operatic heights.

The self-confidence and courage she gained at "The Biggest Loser" ranch has encouraged her to give opera singing a try. (Note to producers: How about a scale-top aria at the finale?)

Pursuing that dream and a love of New York City seemed like a far-fetched scheme until Emily arrived at the ranch and bonded instantly with fellow New Yorker-in-training, the recently eliminated Cassandra. Emily said the two women spent their down time at the ranch chattering about the Big Apple. The pair are even talking about becoming roommates in New York City after the finale.

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'The Biggest Loser': Contestants threaten to quit at new 'twist'

"The Biggest Loser"

"The Biggest Loser" is turning into The Biggest Backlash: Season 13 competitors have reportedly banded together and threatened to quit the show after learning that producers were planning a new twist that would allow eliminated players back in the game.

A spokeswoman for the NBC weight-loss show declined comment Wednesday, and there was no immediate comment from show producers. TMZ reported that its sources said tensions reached such a fever pitch this week that the remaining competitors walked off set in the middle of shooting. As a result, TMZ also reported, production on the popular show has been temporarily stalled.

Competitors reportedly felt it was unjust to bring back past competitors who had been eliminated, and give them a chance at the $250,000 pay day for the player that loses the highest percentage of his or her weight.

"The Biggest Loser" is known for its twists, turns and diabolical challenges. But the twists so far this season have amped up tension like never before. That, combined with the chemistry of the players, has made for dramatic TV watching even as it leaves the players raw with emotion.

To begin with, most of the competitors were cast for Season 13 along with a relative, and assumed they'd compete as partners. Wrong. Shortly after arriving at "The Biggest Loser" ranch outside Los Angeles, teams were promptly divided in two. Relatives immediately became rivals.

Several players eliminated so far have talked about the anguish they felt knowing that if they succeeded, and their teams won the weekly weigh in, it could lead to the elimination of their loved one on the rival team.

In another heart-breaking twist, one team was eliminated right at the start. But, unbeknownst to the rest of the players, that brother-sister team was told they could rejoin the cast if they spent the first month at home working out and dieting on their own and managed to lose more than 50 pounds combined. They did, but their reintroduction to the rest of the players was disastrous.

They were eliminated within weeks of their return, partly due to their own ham-handed machinations, and also because the rest of the players had already formed tight-knit groups.

The sister end of that team, Daphne, was eliminated this week in a move that might earn its way into the history books as The Biggest Backfire in show history.

Daphne was slowly earning the trust and confidence of her teammates, and had even saved them from elimination one week earlier. While there had been some hard feelings because players had earlier eliminated Daphne's brother, Adrian, from the game, it seemed like maybe they were all ready to put it  behind them.

Then, Daphne did something that had many viewers scratching their heads. Daphne ate nearly 2,000 calories during a temptation challenge in a bid to gain the ability to completely revise the teams as she saw fit. (That in and of itself seemed like a risky gambit -- Michael did that previously in Season 9, and it helped him with the grand prize, but still, you just ate 2,000 calories and there's a weigh-in around the corner.)

But instead of, say, putting herself on a team with all the men so that they could win all the challenges and lose the most weight week after week, she made just one move: She swapped teammate Jeremy for his sister and her arch rival, Conda.

Daphne then thought she'd be able to keep it all secret. But there's no keeping a secret like this, and it was soon Daphne versus everyone else in "The Biggest Loser" house. And when she gained two pounds at the weigh in (remember all those calories?) it was a done deal that she would be eliminated.

During Wednesday's weekly media conference call, Daphne did not shed much light on the situation. She claimed during the show that she made the move because she wanted to stay with Bob, but that didn't make much sense. On Wednesday, during the media call, she admitted it was actually to take her revenge. But she said her target was Jeremy, not Conda. She refused repeated requests to get her to clarify.

"That's a very good question that maybe he can answer one day," is about all she would say.

Daphne also claimed not to have any information about the reported mutiny on the set, either. But then, it's doubtful any of the players are talking to her anyway.

So, for those keeping track at home: 13 seasons in and players sill haven't learned that temptations are almost never worth it. The goal of the game is to stay above the yellow line.

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Photo: Daphne, far right, and other members of the black team at this week's temptation challenge. Credit: NBC

'Biggest Loser's' Adrian: Not the least bit apologetic

"Biggest Loser's" Adrian Dortch and Dolvett

You might expect Adrian Dortch to regret his no-holds-barred demeanor after earning his way back onto "The Biggest Loser" with his monster weight loss at home.

He and his sister, Daphne, managed to lose a combined total of 50 pounds at home on their own, a feat befitting this season of no excuses. That accomplishment, combined with 14-hour workouts, positioned the two as potential front-runners in the race for the $250,000 grand prize.

But instead of "playing nice" upon their return, the pair immediately ruffled feathers. And Adrian just Would. Not. Shut. Up. Even after his teammates told him to button it. Even after Dolvett told him to shut his pie hole if he wanted to avoid elimination. He even gave Conda a run for her mouth.

So it was no surprise that Adrian was booted this week when he fell below the dreaded yellow line. But you know what is surprising? Adrian says he knew exactly what he was doing at the time, and he'd do it ALL over again.

In a media conference call Wednesday, Adrian said, "I wouldn’t change a thing" about his time on the ranch. He said he felt the vibe in the house and realized that he would probably be eliminated if his teammates had the chance. So he wasn't going to kowtow to anyone -- he was just going to be himself.

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