Funny how before the finale you couldn't find an article about Rulon but now they are popping up all over the place.
An Interview with "The Biggest Loser" Contestant and Olympic Champion Rulon Gardner - News - Yahoo! TV
I just posted some of the more interesting parts of the interview.Quote:
.....Gardner was very candid, explaining that his current body image has affected his confidence. He revealed, "The weight gain actually changed my persona, how I carried myself and how I looked to people. People knew me as the Olympic wrestler and big and powerful and strong."
He went on to say that getting heavy gave him the excuse to give up his sport. He divulged, "Gaining the weight was a way to almost step away from wrestling and say, 'I'm completely done as a wrestler.' And so I think part of the weight gain was actually something I did to myself instead of having a plan for my life and my future of my physicality."....
...But he explained that after leaving the wrestling world behind, the years of constant dieting to fall into a certain weight range took their toll. When he quit he declared, "I'm never going to step on the scale again." He said that he developed an addiction to food and that his plan was to "eat as much as [I] can and not have to look in the mirror and be accountable for it."
He acknowledged, "It's not a good thing. But for a person who mastered his body and worked to become [a] two-time Olympic medalist, that's a tragic thing." He finally got to a point where he knew he had to take drastic measure, "I just continue[d] to push all the help and all the guidance that people around me, that mattered to me, gave me until I finally realized, 'You're out of control. There is no way you're going to be able to get control within the next few years unless you take a drastic change.' And 'The Biggest Loser' was going to be a good option if I could make the show."......
....But surprisingly, even with the realization that if he didn't lose weight he could die at a young age, Gardner did not develop a fear of death. He recalled, "After the snowmobile accident in 2002, I had a vision that night. I saw Jesus and God and my brother Ronald who passed away. And they came to me in a vision. And I knew I was okay from that moment on."
Gardner claimed that in a way that near-death experience actually contributed to his weight gain because he adopted a "live every day as if it were your last" attitude. To him this meant, eat as much food as possible. He expanded, "I would go in and I would eat thousands upon thousands of extra calories. And that became a bad thing." ......
I like this one it's juicy.
Why Rulon Wasn’t at the ‘Biggest Loser’ Finale » The Ashley's Reality Roundup - News & Snark About Your Favorite Reality Shows…
At last night’s Finale, Olivia Ward was crowned the Biggest Loser. While her weight loss journey is certainly incredible, it’s not what fans of the show wanted to talk about. What they really wanted to know is where the hell was Rulon Gardner and why wasn’t he at the Finale?!
Luckily for you, The Ashley attended the Finale (and the after party, which was completely full of past contestants) and the scoop from some of the show’s former contestants and production people! It’s amazing what people will tell you once they get some drinks in them!
Just FYI: this should be filed under ‘rumor,’ because, of course, the shows producers didn’t confirm it but The Ashley talked to multiple good sources that said this is basically the way things went down.
Anyway, according to a former contestant who’s still very much in the ‘Biggest Loser’ loop, the reason Rulon wasn’t at the Finale last night because the show’s producers didn’t want him there!
The reason? He didn’t leave the show voluntarily, said this insider (who The Ashley can’t name because she promised, sorry). Apparently Rulon was actually asked to leave the show because he broke many of the show’s rules, despite being warned several times by producers that he would be kicked off if he didn’t follow the rules!
The insider said the rumor is that Rulon was caught multiple times with a cell phone (a big no-no on the Ranch), and may have even snuck his wife into the Ranch late at night (which is no easy fete, according to past contestants!)
This was not the only reason he was asked to leave, but the source said this is the basic gist of what happened. Also, due to the fact that wasn’t actually “voted off” the show, he wasn’t eligible for the at-home prize of $100,000.
Also surprising? Rulon and his partner Justin are no longer friends! They had some sort of fall-out during/after the show and are not really on speaking terms, from what the source told The Ashley.
This may explain why there was no mention whatsoever of Rulon on the Finale show last night. ‘The Biggest Loser’ is not a show that likes to get tabloid-y or promote scandal (although The Ashley finds it surprising that they wouldn’t have wanted to take advantage of this scandal for ratings! It’s great TV!)
Again, file this under ‘rumor,’ but it sounds pretty legit to The Ashley.
More ‘Biggest Loser’ Finale gossip and news, coming soon!
Update 5/26/11: A rep from NBC has finally commented on the Rulon situation. Here’s their explaination for why Rulon was absent from the Finale:
“Since Rulon left the show for personal reasons, he wasn’t eligible for the at-home prize among eliminated players. So, it wasn’t necessary for him to weigh in along with the other Season 11 contestants. And the producers did reach out to him about participating in the finale, but they unfortunately did not hear back from Rulon, but we wish him the best.”
The Ashley still stands by her story, but believe what you want!
Well, I am not sure which story to believe since there isn't even a little bit of confirmation about that story. I don't think conjugal visits is that horrible. THAT is not the reason I would dislike Rulon. I can think of many. Certainly the isolation is unnecessary. I think it is a silly rule to begin with. Even prisoners get to use the phone.
If he was ruled ineligible because he quit, I think that's unfair because lots of people have quit this season. All of the parents of contestants quit. The twins quit. So he didn't throw the weigh-in. He still should have been eligible since those guys were. Either that is just a crazy, unfair rule or there just might be some truth to the rumor that Rulon was kicked off.
Frankly, I'm satisfied to write off Rulon just as he appeared on the show - a self-important jerk. Hmm, no time to attend the finale because of his family and his business, but plenty of time to grant self-serving interviews. He certainly has embraced that 15-mintues-of-reality-TV-fame thing.
Justin and Rulon no longer friends? My opinion of Justin just increased.
Most reality shows like this do require the participants to have no outside contact. They all agreed to it. They all signed paperwork to that effect. They just have to suck it up to having no outside contact. Big Deal. It's not as if they are in prison abroad. They are not getting tortured, they can leave if they want, they get fed, they have a bed and a roof over their heads and they have the opportunity to lose weight, get healthy and win money.
What I find rather rude is on one hand Rulon is making all the right noises as far a publicity and on the other hand slamming the show. The show gave him the opportunity to get back to his wrestling weight and he is already training at the Olympic training center with an eye on the 2012 Olympic. Rather duplicitous of him.
Justin and Rulon own an exercise business together...that should be awkward. I'm sure Olympic champion Rulon was the big draw before but after TBL Justin is probably as well known as an Olympian of several years ago.
I would like to see other reality shows do the same, if you quit, then you do not come back for anything!
I totally agree. To add to everything you mentioned, this show is a huge blessing to anyone who really wants to be on it. It's robbery to all of those who could have filled his spot. That he is so blase about breaking rules and walking off, well, it stinks.