Justin Pope, who started The Biggest Loser: Couples weighing 365 pounds and left the ranch weighing 247, weighed 225 pounds when thehollywoodknow checked in with him, following his elimination on last week’s episode.
Justin was one of the most popular players on campus and the leader of the red team, so it was hard for the other competitors to write his name down, but he insisted. He was below the yellow line with 22-year-old Courtney Crozier and he wanted her to finish her journey.
Before the elimination, you told everybody, “Don’t even think about voting for me to stay.” Was that something that you thought about beforehand — that if it got to that stage you were willing to go?
Justin Pope: No. It’s not something that I had thought about before. I had thought about it with Arthur and, I felt like Arthur needed to stay, but at that time my team really expressed to me that, “Hey, we need you here. You know, we enjoy what you do for us.”
And so, it just didn’t work out with Arthur, but when it came to Courtney. I felt like she had to be there … like that was her place. If it would have came down to it, I would have the votes to stay. And I could have said, “Hey, keep me here.” But that definitely wasn’t the right thing to do and I didn’t ever think I was going to win the show from the start anyway. I didn’t feel like I had enough weight to lose to win it, so, from day one I took full advantage of every day I had there and when it was time to go, I was glad to go and, I hope, Courtney got left in good hands and she’s doing well.
What’s been the most difficult thing about going home after having been on the show?
Justin Pope: Actually for me, the least difficult thing has been getting the exercise, burning the calories; the diet. You know, I got that in check. But the most difficult is just trying to get back into life with your family, you know? You’ve been away, you’ve changed, and they’ve been at home and they haven’t changed.
And I think my family kind of mourns the person I used to be, in a sense, you know? On one hand they’re proud of my accomplishment, what I’ve done, but they have to get know a new and a different person. And I need to start dating my wife again, and you know falling in love all over again and starting those relationships.
So, that’s been the toughest part … just having other people accept that you’re new and you’re different. You have confidence and you’re opinionated, and sometimes you’re stingy with your time. And you learn how to say, “No,” and all those things are difficult.
Now that your off the ranch, what puts the fire in your belly now, as compared to where it was before you went to the ranch?
Justin Pope: I think the biggest difference between me before the ranch and now is the fact that I’m educated now. I know what I need to do to make myself better, and I have. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I’ve made myself better, but I’ve kind of found that person that I lost that I didn’t know where I was.
And so, I’ve found something else that I really enjoy: helping and pushing people. And, you know, there’s just that feeling of brotherhood and companionship that I enjoy in a workout, and so it makes me feel better to help other people out and it makes me a better person.
Can you tell us about balancing all the game play versus the honest, hard work at the ranch?
Justin Pope: I don’t think the game play is near as big of a deal as maybe a lot of people are saying about it. I can say that there wasn’t a day at the ranch that I didn’t lay it out; that I didn’t give everything that I had. And, you can look over from one week to the next and there’s legitimate weight loss across the board. Not just me, but everybody has legitimate weight loss.
What were your thoughts on Kaylee and what happened at the weigh-in? Were there are any hard feelings that she wanted to go and you ended up going?
Justin Pope: Oh, no, no hard feelings whatsoever. Kaylee wanted to go home and Kaylee had approached me earlier in the week and told me she was ready to go home and I told her no. It was probably my most proud moment of Kaylee when she looked at me in the eye and she said, “You know what, Justin, I’m telling you, I’m good. I’m going home. You know, I’m not that shy little girl that couldn’t look you in the eye a while ago and not tell you.”
From day one, Kaylee and I have had a relationship where we pushed each other. We pushed each other harder than anybody did at the ridge, and we’re friends and we’ll continue to be friends. There’s no hard feelings there. You think something’s going to happen, it happens different, and all things happen for a reason. And I have no hard feelings towards anybody.
Tune in tonight to see who gets ousted when The Biggest Loser airs on NBC at 8 p.m.