February 07, 2014 07:38:05 GMT
Harper claims 'Biggest Loser' contestants are 'in charge of themselves' when they leave to go home and he had not seen Frederickson until the final weigh-in.
"The Biggest Loser" trainer Bob Harper has finally broken his silence on Rachel Frederickson's drastic weight loss on the competition after initially refusing to address the controversy. Appearing on "The Rachael Ray Show", he said he was as surprised as most viewers when he saw Frederickson's transformation.
"What people don't understand it, when the contestants leave to go home...they're in charge of themselves," he responded to Rachael Ray's question if he thought Frederickson had lost too much weigh. "So I had not seen her until that night, and so when she walked out, I was just kind of like, whoa. And I've been on the show since the beginning."
Harper went on admitting that he was "stunned" by Frederickson's appearance. "I was stunned. That would be the word," he said. "I mean, we've never had a contestant come in at 105 pounds."
Harper previously said in his Facebook post that he and fellow trainer Jillian Michaels were "not comfortable commenting on Rachel's journey because we weren't her trainers and weren't given an opportunity to work with her at any point."
Frederickson's trainer Dolvett Quince, meanwhile, reacted to the controversy. He wrote on his own Facebook account, "Last night's Biggest Loser finale has sparked a huge reaction, and I do not want the day to end without addressing it."
"Biggest Loser is a journey which has its ups and downs. Please try not to look at one slice of Rachel's journey and come to broad conclusions. Rachel's health is and always has been my main concern and her journey to good health has not yet ended!!"
NBC also supports Frederickson "and all of 'The Biggest Loser' contestants who have shared their journeys over the past 15 seasons." The network added, "We remain committed to helping contestants achieve healthy weight loss and live healthier lifestyles, and to inspiring viewers to do the same."
Frederickson was criticized for losing 155 pounds or almost 60 percent of her body weight to 105 lbs. After declared the winner of the show's 15th season, she told E! News, "I feel truly alive and just transformed. I couldn't be more happy, more thankful to get this second chance to take charge of my life again."