Viewers chose to give Amanda Arlauskas a chance to change her life during last season’s Biggest Loser finale. Now wearing the formidable Pink Shirt, the 20-year-old nursing student and patient care technician has given InTouchWeekly.com readers all the exclusive behind-the-scenes dish every week — and it’s time for America to vote for her again! Amanda is now competing with Liz to make it to the final three. “America gave me this opportunity in the first place, and they saw me struggle,” she tells In Touch. “They saw me at my worst and my best. I’ve only gone under the yellow line one time, compared to Liz being under a bunch of times. I feel like I’ve worked really hard to get to where I’m at, so I ask America to give me this last chance. You put me on the show, so let’s finish it off and put me into the top 3!”
Click here to read more about what you didn't see on this week's episode of The Biggest Loser.
What did you think of the final episode before the finale?
This episode made me feel the most proud that I’ve felt so far. Watching the reflections from earlier episodes and going from not being able to run one mile to finishing 26.2 miles was the ultimate accomplishment.
What was it like to face running a marathon?
It was scary because I was never a runner and frankly didn’t like running. But this shifted it into a new gear, and I made it into an everyday thing. I did not expect to run the whole thing. I had every intention of running five, walking five, then running five and walking five. That was my plan. But I walked for only like 5 minutes while I was in pain, but I ran the rest, thanks to Brian and Tara.
What was it like to run with Tara?
She is a huge motivation for me. When I first met her, I was starstruck because she was my inspiration last season. I feel privileged and so lucky to have been able to run with her. She was so cool. She told me, “Amanda, of all the finalists, I really want to run with you.” That meant so much to me, and she was talking my ear off. She told me the craziest stories to try to help keep my mind off of what I was doing. When I hit that breaking point at mile 17, she said, if you need to walk, walk. And I walked for three minutes and she said “Okay, let’s run.” I fear that if she wasn’t there I might have just kept walking because I was in so much pain. She really pushed me and made me believe that I couldn’t quit and I could go on. I was so thankful to have had her next to me and to have had her support the whole way.
When did you first meet her?
I had met Tara briefly at the finale last season, but I spent time with her when the final four did a workout DVD with her in August. I spent two or three days with her, and we formed a good relationship.
How much did your friend Brian run?
He ran from 13 to 26, the whole second half. He’s a best friend, so he had trained with me. He lost 50 pounds about a year or two ago by running, so he knew he could handle it. He was so excited to be there with me through one of the toughest things I’ll ever go through. We’ve been best friends since middle school, and he’s the best friend a girl could ask for.
Did you try to lose weight with him when he did?
Yeah. He just kicked into high gear and started dieting and going to the gym all the time. I would go here and there with him, but I was embarrassed to walk into a gym. He would get out at 8 o’clock, and I wanted to hang out. Now I understand he was on a mission, but while he was losing weight, I remember jealousy coming out, wishing that was me, but it wasn’t. I didn’t have it in me to do it at that time, but at some point in every person’s life, it clicks, and that’s when you’re ready to do it.
What was it like for you, walking into that room and seeing your friends and family?
It was surreal. I could just see the thrill in everybody’s eyes, and to hear the screaming and shouting, I was speechless. I was full of emotion. To see my dad cry, that really got to me. I would never blame my parents for my weight issues because they were the ones who would tell me when I was eating too much or making bad choices, and I didn’t want to hear it. They knew how upset I was because I would come home from school crying, and I sat at home on the night of the prom, crying. It was breaking their hearts to see me struggle so much.
Your mom talked about how hard it was for a parent to see her child so unhappy when they watched the show.
It really affected them. I think they felt guilty. My dad said, “I’m so sorry.” I said, “There’s nothing to be sorry for. I’m an adult and I made the choices.”
After Bob surprised you at home, you surprised him by introducing him to Erin, whom you competed against in last season’s finale.
The show surprised me with her, but then it was more of a surprise for Bob. She and I can really relate because we have been through one of the craziest experiences. It was nice to see she had dropped the 40 pounds at the Fitness Ridge in Utah and it was just nice to talk with her. I hope we’ll see a familiar face at the finale! And I hope to keep in touch with her. I don’t know where she stands on that because I got it and not her, but I would totally like to be her friend after this.
Rudy and Danny did really well at the weigh in, so it’s between you and Liz.
I kind of knew that it would be between Liz and I because those boys drop weight like it’s their job. They’re fat-burning machines! When I saw Liz drop the same number I did, I knew I was doing something right because she was in the same boat.
Are you excited for the finale?
I’m so excited. It’s going to be nice to see everybody and see their accomplishments. We have all worked so hard for so long, and this is it. We can finally show each other that all the hard work really paid off.