BLADENBORO — For four weeks, Bladen County viewers of NBC’s reality television series “The Biggest Loser” have been rooting for Bladenboro’s Vicki Clark and her daughter Lauren as they’ve endured the grueling weight-loss transformation filmed in the latter part of 2015 in California.
The local cheering section will now be focusing on a single Clark.
On Monday, during the second half of the two-hour segment, Vicki Clark, 54, fell below the yellow line as one of Team Jen’s two lowest weight-loss producers and was eliminated by a 2-1 vote of her teammates. The vote saved Erin Willett, a contestant who also competed in an earlier season of “The Voice.”
Earlier in Monday’s show, during the first-half elimination — which also saw Vicki under the yellow line — Team Jen voted to send home Toy Grandison, something that appeared to gnaw at Vicki.
“I said from the very beginning that, if it came down to a vote between me and one of the kids, I wanted to be the one to go home,” Vicki said. “I didn’t want to be there taking up a spot someone else should have.”
But when it came time for the next elimination vote, the deciding ballot fell into the hands of Colby Wright, a contestant that Vicki had grown fond of during the course of the show. Wright, whose vote essentially saved Vicki from elimination in the first half of the show, this time decided to keep Willett.
“Part of me was surprised,” Vicki said. “But Colby and I had talked the week before when Toy was eliminated, so he knew how I felt about the young people on the show.
“I knew he prayed before he made his decision,” she added. “And I still love Colby so much.”
Since being eliminated from the show, Vicki became part of the home competition, where the contestant who loses the highest percentage of weight after leaving the show will be awarded $100,000. But the transition from the show to being home again wasn’t easy.
“My biggest challenge when I went to California was that I was cut off from my support system — my family, friends, church family,” Vicki said. “But when I left the show, it was very difficult staying on track because there are a lot of distractions that come up. I’ve found I am most successful when I do my workouts early in the day.
“But the motivation is there,” she added. “I just want to maintain a healthy lifestyle and protect the temple that God has provided.”
With the experience of “The Biggest Loser” mostly behind her, Vicki said it’s one she puts at or near the top in her life.
“Behind my medical mission trips, this would be a real close second,” she said. “It was such a surreal thing being chosen, and it is the most difficult things I’ve ever done — but it taught me that I’m a lot stronger than I ever thought I was.”
If there was one single lesson learned from the overall experience, Vicki said it was this: “To get rid of the excuses. Physical shortcomings aren’t an excuse. Just get moving. We can all be healthier.”
Although filming of “The Biggest Loser” concluded late last year, viewers in Bladen County can continue to root for Vicki’s daughter, Lauren, 32, who remains on the show. The show’s finale is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 22, and both Vicki and Lauren will be back in California to participate.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.