Stephanie Anderson started this season of The Biggest Loser with her mom, Patti, but the team was split up in week two when Patti was sent home. But Stephanie wasn’t on her own for long: She and Sam are in love! Thankfully, the couple got to stay together when Michael won the chance to split the players into Blue and Black teams during this episode. His decision to stack the deck heavily in his favor has turned the show into a David vs. Goliath battle, earning Jillian’s wrath. “Jillian lost her marbles. She went bananas when she saw the teams,” Stephanie tells In Touch. “What they didn’t show was that she called Michael a name, and said he was like a cartoon joker. She was genuinely upset with him, and that scared the living daylights out of me. Then, instead of ‘This really sucks,’ it turned to ‘I’m going home.’” The Black Team beat the odds and won the weigh-in (sealing Miggy’s fate), but their luck ran out the next week. As Daris rejoiced in the Blue Team’s win, the Black Team sent home his mom, Cheryl.
Read on as Stephanie gives intouchweekly.com readers the exclusive behind-the-scenes dish about the dramatic past two weeks.
Were you worried about not being on a team with Sam?
Yeah, for a split second, but just like Koli said about him and Sam supporting each other no matter what, Sam and I had the same talk. Regardless of what color shirt we were wearing, we were going to continue to spend that time together and be there for each other.
You must have been relieved, though.
It was nice, but when Michael gave me the shirt, he said, “I know that you want to be with Sam.” That bothered me because I found out later that that’s not the reason he put me on that team. It was him trying to look like a good guy: “Here, I’m putting you with your honey.” But as much as I was digging Sam, I wasn’t there for Sam, I was there for me.
Did you agree that the teams were unfairly chosen?
Here you’ve got the smallest women, the two mamas … I was shocked that he picked Sunshine over Ashley, but I think at that point he was still trying to win over Sunshine and O’Neal. When it was happening, I thought, “Is it really going to be all of these guys against all of us girls and Sam?” Sam is a beast. He is so powerful that out of all the guys, he’s the guy to have, hands-down. At the same time, he had been losing so much weight. You can see how ripped he’s looking! He was gaining muscle naturally, and that’s not conducive to trying to have the highest percentage of weight loss each week. So it was totally stacked. It did freak me out. That’s where that talk with Ashley came from. I know she talked about an alliance, but we didn’t have any options. We weren’t able to vote anyone off! There’s no one on our team that we don’t need or want. We needed to win.
And you triumphed in the end.
Jillian is amazing. Besides being a great trainer, she really took the time to find what was going on inside of us to bring out the best in us and help motivate us. Not just the physicality, but the emotional and mental part. Our team was united. We worked out every day together, we ate together. Jillian would talk with us for hours. She spent her off-camera time with us, too. She called me “Peanut” or “Monkey” and said, “What’s going on in your head? Don’t stress out. Here’s what we’re going to do.” That’s true dedication and passion, for wanting to not only help the underdogs that we were, but because she genuinely cared about each one of us. But it was bittersweet. Seeing that eight, I nearly lost it. But then walking back to my team, even though I was so elated, I was thinking, “Crap. If I lost eight pounds, I’m only going to lose two or three pounds next week.”
The next week, your team had to pull an 18-wheeler truck. Did you think you had a shot?
We always wanted to believe that we had a chance. We weren’t going to let the Blue Team mentally defeat us. Just because we’re women and we’re smaller, it doesn’t mean we aren’t capable. That’s something I learned early on.
It’s amazing how they come up with these challenges and know that you’re going to be able to do them.
They do test every challenge and report everything. Sometimes it’s funny — for instance, the pull-up challenge from the prior week, they said, “You guys finished it faster than we thought.” Sometimes they don’t realize that we’re actually stronger than their testers. We’re athletes at this point.
Speaking of that, Sam is really stepping up as the leader of the Black Team. Was everyone happy that he’s taking charge?
Yeah, Sam is amazing and such a focused, driven, intelligent player. He used to play football, and he knows about the art of winning a game — and this is a game. Sam definitely became our leader. We all looked to him because we wanted to work cohesively together as a unit. He would yell, “One on me, black on three. One, two, three… ” and we’d yell “Black!” He’s like the glue that brought us all together and helped us realize that anything is possible with our team.
How did you feel going into the weigh-in?
There were six of us, and we wanted to keep all six, period. But we knew about averages. A lot of the Blue Team didn’t have great weeks last week. They were due. My three pounds was definitely a disappointment, but I lost eight last week, and that’s 11 in two weeks. I can’t fault my body for that. Sam’s four pounds was disappointing, but Jillian looked at me and said, “This sucks, but thank God he didn’t lose nine and then we lost anyway.” If he lost a bigger number but not enough, then we’d really be in trouble for next week.
In his interview, Daris said, “I feel bad for Stephanie… no, I don’t.” How did you feel about that?
He actually told me he said that. I think he felt kind of bad. He’s so chill. But watching it sucks. It is definitely how things happen, but there’s a lot that isn’t shown. That’s why I love the bonus scenes on nbc.com, but as an audience member, I would think, “Wow, Daris is really mean.” Which he’s not. Or “Wow, what did Stephanie do to Daris to get him upset?” Because they haven’t shown any interaction between us, so there’s no way to know that he was messing around.
Someone might also think you voted for Cheryl to punish him.
I didn’t think about that! We had a talk about the team, and we couldn’t get rid of Sam. He’s our only male. To lose him for challenge purposes purely would be a detriment. We need Ashley for her weight loss. She can lose double digits. Drea is still 30, 40 pounds heavier than me, she’s good at challenges, and she’s consistent. I’m one of the strongest runners on our team. Sherry had immunity. There was no good choice. There was no one we didn’t need. That’s why it was so hard for us.