Stephanie Anderson didn’t become the Biggest Loser — she was sent home after Koli convinced her friends that she was manipulating them — but she did change her life and find love with contestant Sam Poueu. Stephanie has been weighing in on life at the ranch from a new perspective, and this week she’s joined by Sam, who was eliminated in last night’s episode. “I wanted to be a part of the final four because I worked hard every day and I deserved to be a part of it. But my body couldn’t drop any more weight, and that wasn’t conducive to the game show,” Sam tells In Touch. Still, he goes home Stephanie, whom he called his own “at-home prize” every day — and he won in another way, too: He’s the first contestant ever to reach his goal weight at the ranch. “Bob has such high regard for Sam because he’s the healthiest person ever to leave. Jillian tweeted that if she ever has a son, she would want him to be like Sam,” she tells In Touch. “He could have gotten as skinny as possible, but he wants to keep the weight off and feel good. That’s why he built all those muscles. That’s what it’s about: You can’t base your worth on winning, and Sam is a great example of doing this the right way for the right reason.”
For more with the happy couple, click here.
Sam, what was your favorite part of the makeover?
Sam: Definitely just seeing the reactions of my mom and dad. That and the goatee. I had never rocked a goatee before, and I thought it was an edgy look and something different. It was funny, though, because my mom hates facial hair. So even though I had lost the weight and she hadn’t seen me since the at-home episode, she still was like, “What is that on your face?” I said, “Can I get a hug or an ‘I love you?'” But the first thing she said was, “We’ve got to get rid of it.” I was ready for it. Jonathan Antin was awesome. He’s a phenomenal dude, and he does great work.
What did you think of your cousin Koli?
Sam: We call that the “Kid Cudi Look.” Geeky glasses even though you don’t need them! It’s actually a predominant Bay Area look, so we’re familiar with it.
What about the Jacob’s Ladder challenge?
Stephanie: I laughed out loud at Ashley’s comments about it being “the Jacob’s Ladder to hell.” I wasn’t afraid of it, but would I have been able to stay on it for two and a half hours? No! It moves based on your body weight. The faster you pull up, the faster it moves. If you have a strong, muscular guy like Sam, it’s going to move faster, which will wipe him out quicker. Props to Daris and Koli for doing the Jacob’s Ladder for that long without stopping.
Sam: It was a pretty amazing sight. I was happy, but I was falling asleep! This was a late, late challenge. But it was an epic moment for Koli and a great battle to see.
Stephanie: And I really think it’s important to see Daris talk about why he gave up. That resonated with me as well. Viewers might think life is great for all the contestants because they’re losing so much weight and they could win all this money, but it’s also a battle. Their bodies are changing so rapidly that it’s hard for their minds to keep up. Daris is not a quitter, and to hear him talk to Bob about it put it in perspective. Mentally, he’s just trying to catch up with his body.
Sam, what did you expect from the vote?
Sam: Koli’s was the one vote I knew I could count on. I meant what I said: “I didn’t have any plans of being the Biggest Loser.” Looking at past winners, some of them look too thin. With my frame, I pack on a lot of muscle, and I didn’t want to do that to my body. So I told them, “If I make it to the final four, you have a one in three chance.” I worked to hard to be sent home, and that’s what you want to get to: the final four. But ultimately, I was ready to be home either way.
Stephanie: As much as I genuinely have respect for Michael and what he’s done, he still has more than 100 pounds to lose, and that could add up to a loss of 50-60 percent of body weight. So I was thinking, “Did they just hand him a quarter of a million dollars?” I respect their choice, and I got Sam back, but in terms of the game, was that the smartest move for them?
Watching the season, what do you think about how everything went down?
Sam: Overall, it was pretty good. You get surprised by some things that went on, that some people were having the struggles they were. You get to know people on a personal level, but not everyone is going to put everything out there. It’s an incredible journey for everybody.
What about how Stephanie went home, basically because of Koli?
Sam: I’m not going to lie, here I am sitting next to my love and having to confront that was obviously tough. Koli and I are family, and we love each other. There’s nothing we can’t get past. It was a struggle at first, but we’re definitely making progress.
Stephanie: And Sam didn’t know.
Sam: That was the toughest part. Not knowing until you see it on TV.
Stephanie: Koli is making efforts, and he has apologized. Sam loves Koli very much, and I shared an incredible experience with him. So I have affection for Koli, regardless of what happened. It’s important that we sit down face-to-face and have the opportunity to go through everything. I know Koli and Sam are working on that daily. I want things to be resolved and I want to move forward — and I know Sam does, too.
Sam, what’s next for you — will you stay in LA near Stephanie?
Sam: I truly feel like the world is in my hands now. LA is conducive to a lot of things I want to do. I want to give myself at least a year to make something of myself here in LA. We’ll see where we go from there. I’m ready for the finale! It’s like graduation day. I’m ready to take my cap off and throw it and celebrate.