Best of 'The Biggest Loser': The most memorable contestants

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"The Biggest Loser" Season 14 is under way, so no better time than the present to reflect on past contestants. Here's a look at competitors from previous seasons who, for better or worse, have made the strongest impressions:

Most impressive: Tara Costa

When competitors arrive at "The Biggest Loser" ranch, none of them look like athletes, but each season, there are always a few with physical aptitude. That was never truer than with Tara Costa of Season 7. The pretty blonde former model beat out the boys in many challenges, but none as memorable as the car-pulling competition, when she came from behind lugging it with seemingly super-human strength. Since losing 155 pounds on "The Biggest Loser," Tara has completed an Ironman race.

Most entertaining: Michael Ventrella

Never at a loss for words, Michael was a big guy, but his personality was even bigger. Unlike many contestants who often seem to be short on self-esteem due to their weight issues, Michael always appeared to be proud to be Michael. His excitement only increased as he shed the pounds, and by the time Season 9 of "The Biggest Loser" commenced, it was hard to imagine anyone begrudged him the victory.

Most disappointing: Helen Phillips

Though she was the winner of Season 7, many viewers were not pleased to see Helen Phillips come out on top. Helen competed on the show in tandem with her daughter, Shannon. When the time came for them to choose one of the two of them to go home, Helen allowed her daughter to exit while she stayed on and continued to reap the benefits of "The Biggest Loser" experience. It is hard to fathom any parent not putting their child's well-being before their own. Helen may have won the money, but she didn't win many fans.

Most shocking: Rulon Gardner

The Olympic gold medal winning wrestler was well like by his housemates on "The Biggest Loser" ranch and by fans watching Season 11. It was therefore shocking to hear him announce, seemingly out of the blue, that he was leaving the show. Though he had been reprimanded for sneaking junk food into his room, few expecting he would turn his back on all he had worked for so quickly and just, poof, disappear!

Most romantic: It's a tie! Matt Hoover and Suzy Preston; Sam Poueu and Stephanie Anderson

Matt and Suzy met on "The Biggest Loser" Season 2, and viewers witnessed them falling for each other on air. There was a moment when Suzy gave Matt a haircut, and the chemistry was buzzing like bees in a hive. Since getting married, Matt and Suzy have welcomed two children into their family.

Sam and Stephanie's romance blossomed during Season 9 of "The Biggest Loser," and their love has never faltered. After becoming engaged, Sam sustained a horrific fall and spent significant time in the hospital and rehabilitating after his accident. Stephanie stuck by him through it all, and the couple was married in April of 2012.

Other articles by this contributor:

'The Biggest Loser' Celebrity Prospects

Rulon Gardner of 'The Biggest Loser' - Where is he now?

Romance Flourishes on 'The Biggest Loser'

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