Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Join the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own articles.
Thousands of people were no doubt thumbing their noses at their television sets when Dan and Don Evans threw their weigh-ins in an effort to be eliminated from "The Biggest Loser" weight-loss ranch. After all, unlike scores of other hopefuls, the Evans' twins were lucky enough to be chosen for the TV show's 11th season, where contestants vie for the ultimate $250,000 cash prize and a chance to regain their health. Don is now saying—via a "Biggest Loser" video—that he and his brother would have different mindsets and "keep their mouths shut" if they had it to do over.
This set of 54-year old twins from Oklahoma seemed connected at the hip—same jobs (police force), same glasses and even the same moustaches. Frankly, it was a bit much. They complained consistently about wanting to go home; they claimed to be worried about their families. They lost sight of the fact that their families' worries would compound if they didn't soon make some major lifestyle changes. At 5'6", Dan weighed in at 287 and Don at 309 when the show began.
Early on in the season, the pair shocked their fellow contestants and their trainers, Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper, when they plotted a weight gain that ended with each brother packing on 9 pounds. This led to Dan's exit from the ranch. After he left the show, he slimmed down to 215 pounds. He says he is more motivated at home by his young daughter, Madelyn, than he ever was on the "Biggest Loser" ranch. Dan embarked on this weight loss journey in honor of his late son. Perhaps the tragic loss of his son is the reason he wasn't able to handle being separated from his daughter.
Don dropped the second bombshell during the February 1st episode, when he admitted having cajoled his new teammate, Irene Alvarado, into helping him get voted off the show as well. Irene agreed, and the pair gained enough weight to keep them below the "yellow line." When host Alison Sweeney realized that the sibling had once again gained weight on purpose, she decided to forego the usual elimination vote in favor of a show of hands. "Who thinks Don should go home?" All hands—except Irene's—were in the air. Bob Harper was upset, but said, "Let's put him on a plane and get on with the competition." Don—down 87 pounds at the time of his "Biggest Loser" exit video—credited the lifestyle change to his son, who, in a tough-love effort, had disowned him in order to spur his dad on to weight loss. The two have since reunited.
The Evans' twins seemingly scoffed at this opportunity to work with world-class trainers, nutritionists and doctors, but Don now says the trainers were right when they advised him to use the time to work on himself. The siblings have control issues and felt that their families couldn't survive without them. Upon returning to Oklahoma, they found that just wasn't true. If they could do it over, they wouldn't worry so much, say the brothers. They would realize that their wives and children are strong and can stand on their own two feet.
Although it's doubtful they'll have a big cheering section, and they're out of the running to be "Biggest Loser," it is possible that the twins could walk away with the at-home cash prize of $100,000 at the finale. They work out—together, of course—at their local gym. They are determined to prove themselves and not have to eat the words they often repeated on the "Biggest Loser" ranch, when they insisted they would do just fine losing weight on their own. They both agree that it's been much more difficult at home, and they actually credit their time at the ranch as having been the impetus that launched them on their weight loss journeys.
Many overweight people who sit in their living rooms, watching the show and wishing they were on it, are no doubt hoping the Evans' twins aren't representative of future "Biggest Loser" contestants.
"The Biggest Loser" can be seen on Tuesdays at 8 pm ET on NBC.
"The Biggest Loser"; NBC, February 1, 2011
- Alison Sweeney
- The Biggest Loser