Fans of the Biggest Loser are still abuzz after a jaw-dropping finale that crowned 26-year-old fan-favorite Danni Allen the ultimate winner. In her 11 weeks on the ranch Danni managed to lose a total of 95 pounds, and then returned home to lose another 26 pounds, for a combined total weight loss of 121 pounds.
Not only did Allen have the pleasure of being crowned the Biggest Loser 14 out of 15 competitive contestants, she also walked away with the $250,000 grand prize. Not a bad perk for losing nearly half your weight.
Allen, who documented her Biggest Loser journey on Diets In Review throughout season 14, quickly became a fan favorite due to her relentlessly positive spirit and determination to succeed. Her hard work paid off as she managed to win all but two of the challenges set before her despite being the only remaining white team member under Jillian Michaels by week 5.
We spoke with Danni today during a packed-house conference call about her big win and how she plans to maintain her staggering weight loss once returning home.
When it came down to the one pound difference, were you shocked? What was going through your mind?
“In my head I didn’t even realize it was only one pound – it was that I won. It was so close, in my eyes I didn’t think I was going to do it because I was up against some big boys. But just like the whole season, nothing was in my favor. Even though it was only by one pound I did it. It felt like this was mine to have.”
Leaving the ranch and going without the trainers and nutritionists will be difficult. What was the biggest thing you learned about nutrition that you’ll take home to help maintain your weight loss?
“I think one of the best things I learned about nutrition moving forward is I still have my vices. I still have some of my addictive foods, so I made sure my apartment is a safe zone. I got rid of things I could binge on. That way if I have those weak moments, they’re not there. But then I also learned about having a well-balanced diet; things like having good carbs and fruit and finding a balance.”
Danni admitted that one of her biggest fears moving forward is putting the weight back on. But she is already committing to running the Chicago marathon this year, and is currently in the process of signing up. She’s hopeful it will keep her moving and training once she returns home.
During the show, how close did you feel to the message of fighting childhood obesity?
The message of childhood obesity is one of the reasons I was chosen for this season because I said in one of my very first interviews that it is the lack of knowledge in kids today that’s the problem. I knew it was an epidemic, but I’m glad I got to be part of the process. I know I don’t want to bring up children in an unhealthy environment.”
Since being crowned winner it’s been a whirlwind of interviews and publicity events for Danni, so she’s surely looking forward to returning to her hometown of Wheeling, Illinois to resume normal life soon. For the time being Danni plans to return to work at her two jobs as an advertising account executive and bartender at Viper Alley. We’ll miss seeing her on screen every week but we’re so proud of her accomplishments and couldn’t be happier about her win. Congrats, Danni!
top two images: Credit Trae Patton/NBC
March 19th, 2013