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The Biggest Loser’s Sam Poueu and Stephanie Anderson tried to keep their instant attraction secret, but other contestants teased them about their “dates” on the Presidential Mile, renaming part of it Cupcake Bridge. “When you pull away from the boys to spend time with your lady, it’s called ‘cupcaking,’” Sam tells In Touch. They had their first kiss during week three, and Sam is planning to relocate to LA to be near her after the finale. “I never expected to find love while working on me,” Stephanie says. “But Sam is like no one I’ve ever met. He brings out the best in me.”
Click here for all the details about Sam and Stephanie and check out this week’s In Touch for more on why The Biggest Loser has a better track record than The Bachelor!
When did you first become friendly?
Sam: Stephanie first caught my eye when we were in finals week. My cousin Koli knew it. He said, “If she makes it to the ranch and you're there as well, I know you’re going to try to talk to her.” But I offered her a piece of gum in the van and she gave me the cold shoulder. I felt like a peasant.
Stephanie: I didn’t hear him! Finals week was all a blur for me. He did introduce himself to me and my mom on the first day when we went to the ranch. I remember thinking he was very cute and there was some flirting. My mom remembers the flirtation between us from before she left the first week, so it was very early.
Were you working out together?
Sam: Yeah, definitely, especially as the relationship grew. Here on the ranch, there’s not much else to do but work out.
Stephanie: And we ended up finding a love for a lot of similar things. We were two of the first to embrace running. I remember Sam ran for 10 minutes and I thought, “If he can do it, I can do it.” We just pushed each other and went hiking a lot and did spinning together. I think we just found a joy in spending time together and trying to include that in our workouts. Early on I think we both just wanted to say, “Hey, let’s make sure that we don’t get off track here.” We came to an agreement that if either one of us ever felt like we were jeopardizing our time that we would talk about it and make an adjustment. And that never was the case.
What attracted you to each other?
Stephanie: He stepped on the scale the first week and said he was the most confident fat guy in America. Not only did that get a laugh out of me and I thought it was endearing, but I had been known by friends and family to be confident, but I had been faking it for so long. So to see someone who genuinely is confident, it was just very attractive. His family values are huge. He’s very respectful and communicative, which is hard to find in any man. He’s patient, compassionate, handsome. Overall, he was such a wonderful man that I thought, "I really want to see what this is about."
Did you confide in anyone about him?
Steph: I talked to my mom before she left and I got the motherly “Be careful.” She just wants the best for me. After she left, Sherry was kind of my pseudo mom and she had a talk with me: “Be careful of your heart. Use your head; you’re here for you.” Which I know. I’m a smart woman, but I think you also know when you have something really unique and special, and you’re willing to risk a little bit to see what the outcome will be.
Sam: I didn’t get a talk from anyone. I was comfortable in what I was doing, and the big picture of my overall fitness was in mind. Meeting Stephanie was a blessing in its own. I was truly attracted to her. Steph’s beautiful, regardless of whether she’s overweight. I had to get to know her. The more I got to know, the more I found things about her that I really enjoyed. She is an independent woman. In past relationships, I’ve been involved with immature females who just weren’t going anywhere in life and, therefore, I wasn’t going anywhere. Stephanie is a career woman who has independently established herself. There’s nothing more beautiful than that. That’s true confidence. That’s what I want to strive for in my life. She’s also a great listener and like myself, she puts her family first.
When did it turn romantic?
Sam: It slowly moved its way into hand-holding. It was very elementary-style, especially in this environment. I at least wanted to give her a kiss goodnight and make that first move. And I got denied!
Stephanie: He leaned in and I gave him the cheek!
Sam: She just turned and walked away. I thought, “Oh, man.”
Stephanie: It was still so early. I knew that I definitely liked him, and I was spending the majority of my time with him, but I was really nervous. I did go upstairs and then I was like, “Why did I do that? Now he’s totally not going to try again!” I was really upset. The next day we went for a hike and I thought, “I’ve got to be the one to initiate now.” So officially, our first kiss was me kissing him. That was week three.
Sam, would you have made another move if she hadn’t?
Sam: Probably not, because my ego was pretty hurt after that.
Can the ranch be romantic?
Sam: You have your dark days where you’re not filming, but we would make time for ourselves. Our dates were dates on a treadmill or a hike.
Stephanie: We would realize the sunset is happening, so we would run up the mountain to watch it together. That was romantic, yet we got in that extra calorie burn. Little things. I remember I was having a really bad day and I was upset and Sam was just like, “Just go work out. I’ll make dinner.” He made me dinner! Just knowing that he was trying to help better my day was very thoughtful.
Did you try to keep it a secret?
Sam: There were times we had to hide on the Presidential Mile. It’s not like relationships are frowned upon, but there are confidentiality and contract issues. And we didn’t know if it was taboo. There were times where people would walk up and we’d disengage hands. If I’m giving her a kiss, it’s not going to be right in the eyes of everyone.
Stephanie: We’re also in a competitive game show. When people are building a relationship, that’s an implied alliance. We never had an alliance, but I care about his best interests, of course.
Did Bob and Jillian know?
Steph: Yeah, by week four or five. They did a lot of teasing. They love and adore Sam, and I think they love and adore me more, so they’re just excited for us.
What’s going to happen after the finale?
Sam: I guess that’s for me to answer.
Stephanie: I’m such a girl! I need to take this opportunity to hear you speak this.
Sam: Yeah, I’m looking forward to finding a career in Los Angeles. I’m looking forward to life after The Biggest Loser with Stephanie.
Steph: Me, too.
Stephanie: We’re both aware that it’s going to be a transition, but we’re both very optimistic, and we’re definitely both committed. I think we have a mutual respect and love for each other that is unique.
Sam: The saying that Steph and I have is, “Big pictures and bright futures.” Honestly, it feels like there’s so much promise in our future.