Rachel Frederickson, 24, of Los Angeles won the Season 15 title of "The Biggest Loser" and the $250,000 grand prize, but promptly sparked criticism from viewers who say the show went too far by allowing the former competitive swimmer to diet her way down to 105 pounds.
Frederickson started the competition at 5'4 260 pounds and lost 155 pounds, or 59.62% of her body weight.
When the voice-over artist first walked on stage at the finale of NBC's reality weight-loss TV show, she did so to oohs and ahhs. She was wearing a diaphanous silver dress that skimmed her new figure and all but signaled that victory would soon be hers.
But as she came into sharper view, it was clear that Frederickson was dramatically thinner than the last time viewers saw her, winning "The Biggest Loser" triathlon.
The cameras turned to trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michael, who seemed to be clapping in slow motion as they looked her over, their eyes appearing to reflect surprise at her appearance.
Frederickson came into the show with a heartbreaking backstory. She was a competitive high school swimmer who gave up a full college scholarship to follow her boyfriend to Europe. The relationship ended, and Frederickson came home full of regrets and ate to tamp down her sorrows.
She said she gained more than 100 pounds and had trouble recognizing herself in the mirror.
Earlier in the season, Frederickson said that winning the show would allow her to reclaim the champion within and embrace an empowered new future. Week after week in the weight-loss competition, she proved what a fierce competitor she was and was all but destined for a spot in the finale.
Frederickson is slated to speak to the media Wednesday morning during a conference call, and will no doubt be asked about her weight.
Regardless, the finale is sure to add fuel to the show's critics who question the safety of the measures it uses and the ethics of grueling weight-loss regimens as entertainment.
Rachel during makeover week.