The biggest winner

LIHUE — Waimea Canyon, Anini Beach and Kalapaki Bay. Rope swinging, outrigger canoe paddling and rappelling down waterfalls.

It can all be seen in a pair of special Kauai episodes of the NBC reality TV series, “The Biggest Loser.”

The final six contestants on “The Biggest Loser: Glory Days” are leaving the ranch behind and heading to the Aloha State, where they’ll continue the competition against the scenic backdrop of the Garden Isle and do everything they can to avoid falling below the dreaded red line at weigh-in, according to an NBC release Thursday.

The Kauai episodes air Thursday, Dec. 18 and Thursday, Jan. 1 from 7 to 8 p.m. on NBC.

In a successful joint effort, the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau and the Kauai Visitors Bureau brought the show to Kauai. The episodes were filmed in October at various locations around the island. 

KVB Executive Director Sue Kanoho, who was unable to discuss details prior to Thursday in light of a non-disclosure agreement, said having two hours of primetime, national exposure is huge for Kauai.

“I just think Kauai is going to shine and look spectacular,” she said. “And it will be a great kick off to 2015.”

HVCB supported KVB by paying a $50,000 site fee to bring the destination challenge here, according to Kanoho. A crew of 80 spent 10 days on the island for filming.

“The crew experience was amazing. They not only loved Kauai but a couple of them said they were coming back for vacation,” Kanoho said.

Joel Relempagos, executive producer of “The Biggest Loser,” said Kauai was a perfect place to film, providing both adventure and beauty.

“Those are two things that our contestants experience in their journey with ‘The Biggest Loser’ and Kauai is very symbolic of that,” he said in a release.

The first Kauai episode, which airs Dec. 18, begins at Waimea Canyon State Park — often called “the Grand Canyon of the Pacific” — and includes an intense fitness challenge, led by trainers Dolvett Quince, Jessie Pavelka and Jennifer Widerstrom, along one of Kauai’s beautiful white sand beaches.

Next, in a competition that tests contestants’ skill, endurance and perseverance, they will kayak into the ocean to retrieve floating puzzle pieces and piece them together. The effort is well worth it, as the winner will be rewarded with a private helicopter tour of Kauai, and enjoy incredible sights and scenery only seen by air, states a release.

Later in the episode, a trainer and contestant face their fears of swimming in open water by snorkeling in Anini Bay, on Kauai’s North Shore. After a group outrigger canoe paddle, a final weigh-in to determine who stays and who goes home takes place at the Kauai Marriott Resort at Kalapaki Beach.

The second episode, airing Jan. 1, finds contestants making resolutions to ensure 2015 is their best year yet. Contestants will be challenged out of their comfort zones by rappelling down a cascading waterfall with Da Life, or by rope swinging with Just Live! in a tropical forest. They will also learn how to make healthy, island-inspired tacos, before partaking in a Lacrosse-style obstacle course on a private ranch.

The five remaining contestants leave Kauai and head back to the ranch, where a red line at the weigh-in determines which player is eliminated and who the final four contestants will be.

This is the second time “The Biggest Loser” has partnered with HVCB and selected the Hawaiian Islands as the incentive destination, according to HVCB. In 2011, the show filmed on Oahu and contestants received a surprise lesson from pro surfer Bethany Hamilton.

Kanoho said having a show of this caliber on Kauai is a major thing for the island.

“We’re just excited that it’s coming out and ties in with the image of Kauai,” she said “Healthy and rejuvenating.”

John Monahan, HVCB’s president and CEO, agreed.

“We are excited to see the adventure, culture, and natural beauty of Kauai shine on ‘The Biggest Loser’ in visually compelling, made-for-TV moments,” he said in a release. “The contestants now know what an inspiring destination Hawaii is, and millions of viewers will too.”


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