Viewers chose to give Amanda Arlauskas a chance to change her life during last season’s The Biggest Loser finale. Now a member of the formidable Pink Team, the 20-year-old nursing student and patient care technician will be giving InTouchWeekly.com readers all of the exclusive behind-the-scenes dish every week! After the first episode of season 8, Amanda worries that she disappointed her supporters because of a six-pound weight loss that almost sent her home. “It was frustrating, because I knew that America voted me in, and I didn’t want to let them down,” says Amanda. “I just want to clear it up that I did absolutely everything that I could that week. I was right on par with every workout, every meal. I wasn’t slacking."
Click here to read more about what you didn’t see on this week’s episode of The Biggest Loser.
There was a scary moment right away when Tracey collapsed during the mile run as you were running by. What was that like?
Amanda: Traecy was beating me in the race, and then all of a sudden, [the episode] shows me passing Tracy on the sand, and I’m like, “Are you okay?” All I saw was her fall, but I didn’t know she was injured. So I walked through to the finish line and I didn’t realize she was still in the sand because I was full of emotion myself and completely exhausted. When Rebecca came through the line, we talked for a second and she said, "We should go help Tracey." That’s when I looked back and saw her on the ground. I’m in nursing school and I work in a hospital, so I kind of stepped right in. I was by Tracey’s side the entire time. It was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever been through — to see that happen the first day after only a mile was just insane. Tracey’s life was on the line.
Then during the first workouts, we saw trainers Bob and Jillian really scream at a few people, but not you — that must mean you were doing something right.
Amanda: I wasn’t as targeted as others were, and I think it’s because they already worked with me on the finale and they knew I could handle it. I definitely had my own time. I remember Jillian saying, “Where’s the pink girl with the blond hair?” And I thought, “Oh my God, Jillian’s looking for me.” And then she got distracted and Bob took me. But I was scared of Jillian at first. You know you’re about to get pushed, but you don’t know if you can handle it.
You got the pink shirt, which has meaning at this point.
Amanda: It’s like you’re being handed more than just a pink shirt, because for the past three seasons, Pink has won the whole thing. You’re given this huge responsibility, so it’s a lot of pressure. I know that I can do it, and in making the decision of who would be my partner, I needed to make sure that they can fill that void, too, being by my side to keep the legacy of pink alive.
What made you choose Rebecca?
Amanda: In the mile, I came in third and I think she was fourth or fifth. She was right behind me, and that’s when I realized this girl was strong, she’s close to my age, we have a similar background, and I thought we meshed well. I thought, “Do I want to go against this girl or compete with her?” I never regretted for a moment having her as my partner.
Was there anyone else you felt close to?
Amanda: I was actually close with Alexandra. I felt guilty not choosing her because I almost feel like she expected it. That choice was difficult, and I know Alexandra was hurt. How do you make the decision that’s best for you without hurting someone’s feelings? Ultimately, I felt like Rebecca was stronger and would be the more competitive partner.
You seemed heartbroken when Alexandra went home.
Amanda: I was definitely really upset. To be on The Biggest Loser is an absolute dream, and to have to go home the first week is everyone’s fear. And for it to be the person I was closest with at first was difficult. If that was me, I’d be heartbroken. And I almost thought it was going to be me. During the weigh-in, you saw our names dropping, and because I only lost 6 pounds, I knew I would have been sent home.
Have you kept in touch with her?
Amanda: I have, and I know she is doing really well. Because we were so close, we’re still able to pick up where we left off. She’ll call and ask me for tips and I’ll call her and ask for advice. It’s nice to have someone to rely on.
Did you know she had a crush on somebody?
Amanda: There was somebody she was hanging around with a lot. They worked out together, they were hanging in each other’s rooms a lot, and they’d eat together. You could see some chemistry there, but I don’t think I realized it was as much as she says it is now. I thought it was more of a friendship, but good for them. They seem like a good match.
What should viewers know that they didn't see?
Amanda: It was difficult for me, because only losing 6 pounds compared to Rebecca’s 18, I felt like people were automatically going to think that I wasn’t trying hard enough. Rebecca and I were together 24/7. We did the same things and you saw the difference in the weight loss. Six pounds was all my body had to offer. I was heartbroken. But Bob and Jillian said "Amanda, if you do 6 pounds every week, you’re going to glide right through." So I thought, "That’s my new thing. I’m going to try to average six pounds a week!”