'Biggest Loser' winner Rachel Frederickson defends staggering weight loss

The 24-year-old contestant won the "Biggest Loser" by slimming down to a shocking 105 pounds.
Posted By Kate Stanton Follow @KateStan Contact the Author   |  Feb. 5, 2014 at 7:58 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Biggest Loser contestant Rachel Frederickson, a former high school athlete who packed on the pounds after a bad break up, had been a favorite to win the weight-loss competition throughout its 15th season.

But even trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper looked shocked by Frederickson's 155-pound weight loss when she was announced as the show's $250,000 winner during Tuesday night's live finale.

Frederickson, 24, lost 59.62 percent of her body weight to win the show, though her 105-pound frame prompted some viewers to wonder whether she'd dropped to an unhealthy weight.

Some pointed to Frederickson as an example of the health risks that reality TV shows can pose to contestants.

"Since the first season, participants have reported the alarming disconnect between what the audience is told about medical supervision and what actually occurs at the ranch," wrote Refinery 29's Kelsey Miller. "As early as season one, participants confessed to resorting to extreme dehydration in order to keep their numbers dropping."

Frederickson seemed happy about the outcome in her post-victory press call with reporters on Wednesday.

"You know, I think I have been on this seven-and-a-half month journey on The Biggest Loser and I went to The Biggest Loser to find that confident girl again," Frederickson said when reporters repeatedly asked her about criticisms that the show had let her "go too far."

"I was very enthusiastic about the finale and I'm really excited about my life here going into maintenance mode. I'm going to try new exercises and continue on this path and see where it takes me -- finding that balance!" she added.

"I feel like my journey on The Biggest Loser was my path and I followed the advice and has the support of the medical team at The Biggest Loser the entire journey," she said. "So it's just been natural and I've enjoyed every part of it."

Michaels and Harper released a joint statement regarding the issue on Twitter.

"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," they said.

Trainer Dolvett Quince, who worked closely with Frederickson on the ranch, has not commented.

[Reality TV World, Refinery 29]

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