You saw the looks on trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels's faces when "The Biggest Loser" contestant Rachel Frederickson revealed her 155-pound weight loss to the audience at Tuesday's season 15 finale … they were shocked, as was the audience, and Frederickson's fellow competitors.
Losing 59.62 percent of her 260-pound starting weight left the one-time nationally competitive swimmer with 105 pounds on her 5'5" frame, a body many critics and viewers called out as too skinny, and even frighteningly thin.
Oh no. I feel like Rachel lost too much. I actually feel concerned. I had to turn away. #BiggestLoser— Arianne Young (@Bettykiss) February 5, 2014
There needs to be a red line that disqualifies finalists for too much weight loss based on a minimum BMI threshold #biggestloser— Joseph Jaffe (@jaffejuice) February 5, 2014
Former contestant Kim Nielsen tweeted:
And I thought I was too skinny at The Biggest Loser finale......that was ridiculous!!— Kim Nielsen (@KimBL13) February 5, 2014
Frederickson's response to the comments and criticisms?
"With my journey, I truly found the person I want to be," the 24-year-old voiceover artist said during a press call on Wednesday. "So, it's about the lifestyle for me, and now, adding in the maintenance lifestyle, adding work, and finding the balance and adjusting the exercising. I think this is all going to become a rhythm and it's just so exciting … I've never felt this great, and I know I'm going to feel even better."
[Photos: 'The Biggest Loser' Season 15 Makeovers]
The facts: Frederickson lost the weight in seven-and-a-half months, four on "The Biggest Loser" ranch — under the daily care and supervision of the show's trainers and medical staff — and three-and-a-half months on her own. She says once she left the ranch, she followed the 1,600-calorie-a-day eating plan she'd been given on the show, and began working part-time so she'd have enough time every day to take as many as four exercise classes.
Offering another view on the dramatic drop, Season 14 "BL" runner-up Jeff Nichols pointed out in a tweet:
opinions on contestants are a bit much. Its a competition and 250k is life changing money. If you were in their shoes u may do the same— Jeff #BL14 (@JeffNichols14) February 5, 2014
While perhaps not the healthiest looking winner in "Biggest Loser" history, Frederickson is officially the show's all-time biggest loser.
Click on the photo below to get all the "before" and "after" stories for the Season 15 contestants:
"I have had a support system in place the entire time that I was on 'The Biggest Loser,'" Frederickson said. "I have done a lot of working out, and [for the] finale, I was very enthusiastic … and now [I'm] kind of on that pendulum swing and finding that balance.
"I went to an extremely heavy weight, and now it's about finding that balance in my lifestyle and maintaining this active, healthy, strong person who has come out during this seven-and-a-half-month journey."
Dolvett Quince, the "BL" trainer who worked with Frederickson, also responded to the controversy via Instagram late Wednesday, writing:
Nichols also tweeted after Tuesday night's finale:
@illeKllaH everyone gains 30 lbs in the real world from finale weight. Well 90% at least do, if they say other wise they are lying— Jeff #BL14 (@JeffNichols14) February 5, 2014
And as for Harper and Michaels's official statement on Frederickson's weight loss, they issued a joint statement via a Harper tweet: "Jillian and I want to take a moment to congratulate all of the BL contestants on their hard work. We're not comfortable commenting on Rachel's journey because we weren't her trainers and weren't given an opportunity to work with her at any point. Any questions about the contestants on the Biggest Loser should be directed to the show's producers."