We had the pleasure of speaking with the most recently eliminated Biggest Loser Couples contestant, Melissa Morgan. After being eliminated earlier in the season, Melissa recently got back on the ranch through a Pop Challenge. We got to talk to her about what was different this time around, how she feels about her portrayal on the show, and her goal to run a full marathon.
So how was your experience this time on the ranch different from before?
Melissa Morgan: Well, I mean, this time, you know, I went back and the house was just different. I mean the dynamic in the house was completely different. I had been gone for a while. And, you know, there were some new friendships. There were some new alliances. And so it was, you know, coming in – I think this was harder to come into than Day 1, because Day 1 no one knew anyone. So it was a struggle.
And did you think that your competitors would be gunning to get rid of you like they did? And sort of saw you as maybe the villain this season?
Melissa Morgan: You know, I don’t know that they – I don’t know that my competitors saw me as a villain. Until I watched the episode last night, I didn’t really see it that way while I was there. Clearly once you saw last night, I was like, “Oh.” But the thing that makes me kind of giggle a little bit is wow, they really wanted me gone didn’t they? Wow, why?
How did you feel after no one helped you in the water challenge? Were your feelings hurt?
Melissa Morgan: I can’t say that my feelings were hurt. I mean here’s the thing. For me, everything is logical. And there’s no logic in helping Michael send Kim home. Are you kidding me? She’s one of your biggest threats. And so I don’t take it personally. I just – it wasn’t logical to me. So I was a little bit frustrated. But I didn’t take it personally. I mean everybody’s out there to do what they think is best for them and I wasn’t it. And so I don’t take that personally, no.
Last night I seemed to notice that there was a connection between Koli and Sunshine. Do you think there’s a romance of any kind?
Melissa Morgan: Oh, I would have no idea. I don’t pay attention to stuff like that.
What was Lance’s reaction when he find out you were coming back? I mean he’s already gone.
Melissa Morgan: You know, Lance and I talked about that length because I’ve watched this show for so long, I mean I knew that the eliminated players were going to have a chance. It would be – that would be one heck of a twist for them not to bring back eliminated players. And then, you know, I’m a numbers girl. And so I’m counting the weeks, I’m counting the contestants. And I’m like, Lance, they’re taking – they’re bringing two people back. Two people are going to come back. And so, you know, it’s do we try to get back on? Do we not try to get back on?
Is it, you know, if we see that one of – if it’s a challenge and, you know, you and I are the top two, do we fight, do we? So we talked about it at length. And he knew how badly I wanted back on campus. And the reason I wanted back so bad was because I wasn’t eliminated. I didn’t have a vote. I didn’t have a shot in Week 6 to say, “Hey, don’t send me home.” It was that stupid red line.
So, you know, he and I talked about it and decided that if I could get back on campus, I should fight like the devil to do it.
So moving forward, what are you and Lance going to do together to help encourage each other to meet your goals?
Melissa Morgan: You know, Lance and I, one of our biggest problems is that we have been enablers. I mean, really big-time enablers. And, you know, that is one of the main things that we have had to change in our lives. And we enjoy working out and enjoy working out together. And, you know, involving our kids at this point. So it’s just a healthy, fit lifestyle from this point forward for us.
I was wondering, you kept saying that you had it nailed and that you were going to be in the final four. But knowing how much lighter you were then a lot of the contestants, in the back of your mind was that just kind of like talking to prop up your hopefulness when you knew that usually smaller contestants have a harder time?
Melissa Morgan: I knew from the moment I was cast on the Biggest Loser that there was no way in the world Melissa Morgan would make it to the final four. But, you know, attitude is everything. And if I can pop myself up to believe that I can make it to the final four, who knows? Maybe I actually can. If I can have a little bit of belief that I can get there then, you know, I’ll do whatever I have to, including trying to convince myself of the impossible.
You said at the start of the show that you were hoping to work on your marriage too. How has being on the ranch helped your marriage?
Melissa Morgan: Well, you know, weight was a huge issue in our marriage. And it’s really funny because some of the critics out there that are not Melissa fans are like, you know, it’s all about the money. And all she wants is for her husband to make more money. And, you know, it’s not about money. Lance and I don’t have money. And it’s not about the money. It’s about Lance doing what makes Lance happy. And being a commercial diver is what makes Lance happy. The fact that he makes a lot of money at doing that is certainly a perk. But Lance was unhappy. And because he was unhappy, he continued to eat which continued to increase his weight. And we would fight about it every single day.
And so, you know, we have to deal with the fact that Lance didn’t believe, he never, never believed that he could get below 300 pounds. He would get to 300 pounds and he always hit a wall.
And what we did over there was learned to be able to talk to each other. Learn to be able to work out and believe in ourselves that we can do more than what we believe.
And, you know, I wasn’t there when Lance broke that 300 wall. But, you know, today Lance is significantly below that. And he believes in himself now. And so now we’re better able to communicate. We’re better able to, you know, realize that the things that seemed impossible are in fact not impossible and doable. And that’s brought us together.
And then this time around it also seemed like you had a better relationship with Jillian. Was that the case?
Melissa Morgan: You know, Jillian is one of the two trainers on that campus. And that’s where a vast majority of the information that contestants – where that information comes from for the contestants. And because of that, I have to – I’m there to change my life. And Jillian is part of that factor. I’m going to do everything I can to get as much information as I possibly can.
You know, I’m not going to let, you know, any personal issues between me and Jillian stand in the way of that. I was there to learn, and that’s what I was going to do.
And what does it mean to you to turn 40 and also run a half marathon?
Melissa Morgan: Is that the craziest thing in the entire world? You know, I’ve always wanted to be a runner. And I – it goes back to the whole I never, never believed that I could do it. And that is, I can’t even describe what it’s like to be 40 years old and run 13.1 miles. You know, six months ago I was a fat girl that couldn’t get to the mailbox and back without dying and I ran a half marathon. It was amazing.
Now I thought your speech about why it was better to keep you around made perfect sense. But how much do you think that’s factored into the landslide vote against you?
Melissa Morgan: You know, my argument to keep me there is so logical. And if they’re thinking about themselves and getting to the final four how – why would they not? Why would they not vote? I don’t think that that had anything to do with the landslide vote. I could have gone in there and cried. I could have gone in there and said, you know what? Do what you want to do. I think no matter what I said, it was going to be a landslide vote and Melissa was going home.
Now it also appeared that you lose more weight at home than you do on the ranch. Why do you think that is?
Melissa Morgan: I don’t know. You know, I can’t answer that. When I came back to the ranch, honestly I don’t even remember – I had lost 34 my first go around. And then, you know, lost about 20 while I was home. And then lost another seven while I was on the ranch. Like stress maybe? I mean I really don’t know. I really don’t know. I was terribly stressed out on the ranch.
What did it feel like having to go through that whole thing again of hearing people say that they don’t want you around?
Melissa Morgan: You know, I think that that’s a two-fold question because if you look at it from the perspective of when I was there, that is not at all how it came across. I did not believe for one second, while I was there, that they didn’t want me there.
When I came home and watched the episode, you know, it obviously aired completely different. But it doesn’t sting. It almost makes me warm and fuzzy inside because why do you not want me there? Do you not want me there because I’m a threat? Do you not want me there because I’m a great competitor? And if that’s the case, then I’m completely okay with that.
How do you feel about the kind of image that has been put on you? This kind of not quite villainous, but it’s not necessarily the most positive light sometimes.
Melissa Morgan: You know, clearly there are the critics out there that don’t like me. This is what’s so important for me. What is important for me is that my family, my friends, my colleagues, they don’t question my ethics. They don’t question my integrity after watching this show. And that’s what’s important to me. And the people that are criticizing me, they don’t know me. They don’t know anything about me. And they are judging me based on the editing of a week’s worth of stuff that happens that’s been shoved into two hours. And so they are certainly entitled to their opinions. But they’re making them based on very limited information.
How did you prepared for the half marathon at home? And I think you mentioned you were preparing for a full as well, right?
Melissa Morgan: Well, let me just tell you that I didn’t prepare for that half marathon. You know, typically when you prepare for marathons you run X number of miles one day, and then you skip a day, and then you run X number. I didn’t. I just worked out. I worked out everyday. I boxed everyday. I did a little bit of running everyday. And, you know, it was just, I ran on faith that day and thought, “You know what? I’ll make it or I won’t make it. As long as I can finish this 13.1 miles, I’ll be good.” And that’s what I did.
And I am actually doing a full marathon in San Antonio in November.
I’m curious about the whole game play thing, because obviously you’ve been pegged as the game player this season. There is one every season. Were they making it very clear to you that none of them were there to play the game and they were there just to lose the weight and push each other and support one another? And did you get that message and how did you feel?
Melissa Morgan: Well, here’s the thing that I think is so very interesting in it. It’s a lot about casting stones if you will. I mean keep in mind that the people that are on the ranch, they haven’t seen the episodes. So they don’t really know how I’m being portrayed in the episodes that have aired. But they want to call me the uber game player and, you know, she’s been playing on the scale, whatever. But what about my goal when he chose the teams? What about Koli when he sabotaged Stephanie with Ashley. I mean are you seriously going to call me a game player? Yet there are obvious, obvious things going on in that house that are game play, that are clearly game play.
And so, you know, I mean if they want to call me a game player that is so okay. Let’s keep in mind it is, in fact, a game.
What weight did you start at and then what weight you are now?
Melissa Morgan: I started at 233 pounds. And I was eliminated last night at 175. But I’m going to play my cards close to my chest at this point. I’m not going to share my weight right now.
When we spoke with Lance a couple of weeks ago he talked about about your kids and how you had to cut out soda out of their diets and how you guys both have acted as enablers toward each other. But have your kids acted as enablers to you guys at all? Then also, what changes have they made and did they have strong reactions when they were watching you on TV?
Melissa Morgan: My kids are not enabling us at all. In fact, my daughter, she is the cutest thing, and she’s a little health nut. She always has been. She’s all about fruits and vegetables. She’s all about, you know, healthy eating. And so she’s done really, really well. Wyatt is a little bit more difficult. But, you know, we’re making baby steps with him, and that’s the key. Lance and I are not enabling each other anymore.
I mean here’s what’s real. We will live our lives, and I will absolutely enjoy a brownie on occasion. And, you know, I’m a sugar fiend. And so I’m going to live my life. And, you know, I’m going to make dessert for my family and things like that. But we know what is right and what is the right thing to do from this point forward. And so really as a family, we’re coming together with what is important to keep us healthy and fit for the long haul.
And then in terms of the TV, it’s really funny because Carson, God love her, she has been interviewed every single time that the producers have been around. And finally, last night, she made it on TV and she was so excited to see herself.
But, you know, they’re very frustrated that, you know, that I was being portrayed the way I was. AndI have a friend who called me last night to tell me that her nephew was in his room crying because he was so upset that no one in the pool would help me and that Lance wasn’t there to help me. And he just didn’t understand why they were so mean to me. Isn’t that the cutest thing?
Bob said that the game play you were using throughout the season worked against you in the pool challenge. What would you say to him and others that say your game play didn’t really work to your advantage?
Melissa Morgan: I don’t know that game play, if you will, had anything to do with the pool challenge. I mean I don’t know, I think what it had more to do with is the fact that I was out of the house for so long and there were new friendships, there were new alliances. And, you know, they just had really gotten into a comfort zone of the people that they were comfortable with. And at that point, I mean I was an outsider. I was a, you know, I wasn’t part of their group or part of their clique anymore.
And, you know, it was just easier to get rid of me than anybody else. I don’t know that I believe that game play had anything to do with it, from my point of view at least.
Do you think if you were to have stayed on the ranch, you would have created alliances? Or did you single yourself out as a game player and kind of an individual in that way?
Melissa Morgan: Well, you know, the thing is when I was on the ranch the first six weeks and, you know, Jillian’s calling me a liar and Bob’s calling me a liar. The people in the house at least told me that they believed me, that they didn’t believe that I was playing a game, that they didn’t believe that I was lying about whatever they were accusing me of doing. And so someone at that point was either not telling the truth, or it’s just being portrayed differently because Sherry and Ashley and Stephanie and Andrea and Cheryl, none of them. I went to every single one of them because that was one of my biggest concerns at that point was, you know, Jillian, I don’t care what you think about me. But your opinion is going to influence other people. And I went to those other people and said you all can’t believe what she saying because it’s not true. If I was playing the game, I’d play the game in front of you. I would do whatever she is accusing me of right in front of you. I’m not going lie about it. And every single person that I talked to said, “We believe you. We don’t believe that you’re not telling the truth.” And so when I left, I didn’t believe that there were any trust issues between me or any other contestant.
So were you surprised then when no one helped in the pool challenge? Or were you already expecting as an outsider that they weren’t going to help you anyway?
Melissa Morgan: I wasn’t surprised. And the reason I wasn’t surprised is just because of the new alliances that had come together. And, you know, I knew I was a strong competitor. I mean I was one of the top two, three, four people winning challenges. And why would they keep me there? Because if I keep winning challenges, I’m going to keep getting immunity. And I’m going to guarantee my spot there. And it, you know, takes away their opportunity to be in that position. And so I think it was more of them seeing me as a threat than seeing me as a game player.
How much more weight do you have to lose? You’re all ready so small. How much farther away are you from your goal weight?
Melissa Morgan: I’m not going to tell. I’m not going to tell right now.
What was your mind set going to the ranch for the second time without Lance at your side?
Melissa Morgan: You know, my competitive spirit, I had it set that I was getting myself back on that ranch. And, you know, I fought a good fight. And I got there and I did really well and I got back in the house. And, you know, I visited with everybody. And, you know, all was well. And I walked back into the bedroom and that’s when it hit me, you are all alone sister. You are here.
You don’t, you know, when I was on campus I was great friends with Cheryl. You know, the people that I was most comfortable with were already gone. Darrell, I was great friends with Darrell. All of those people that I was the most comfortable with were already gone. Honestly, it was like being in a college dorm. With the exception of O’Neal, everyone else was in there 20s. I mean, are you kidding me? So it was a little bit of shock when I walked in there and thought, “Oh gee sister, you are on your own.”
So did you use that as motivation?
Melissa Morgan: Well, I mean certainly. You know, I had an objective and that was to be there as long as possible because the longer you’re there the more you learn. And so, you know, it’s all about just fighting the fight and doing the best that you can while you’re there.
So what’s the biggest lesson you learned on the ranch or learned about yourself?
Melissa Morgan: The thing – I think that the thing that I learned about myself is that there’s nothing I can’t do. And I didn’t believe that until that six-week work out with Bob.
And, you know, now I’m running half marathons. I am boxing. I am, you know, doing things that I never thought I would be able to do or never thought that I would have the courage to do. And so I think that’s the one thing that I learned is that, you know, I actually – it was actually aired a some point, don’t tell me that I can’t because I can and I will.
Now that you’ve run in your first half marathon, what’s your next biggest goal?
Melissa Morgan: I plan to run the – a full marathon in San Antonio in November. But right now I’m focusing on the Biggest Loser finale. And so as soon as the finale is done, because I’m going to be honest with you, that 26.2 miles, that is a daunting, scary task right there. And so I’m not going to wing the 26.2. So I will be training, but obviously not until the finale is over.
Official Biggest Loser Site: nbc.com/the-biggest-loser/