Domenico Brugellis will not be this season’s “Biggest Loser,” as he was sent home in the episode that aired on the USA Network on Feb. 11.
Brugellis, a lifelong Elmonter, joined the show at 323 pounds. During the course of his time on the program, he has had to run a mile, push a tire through mud, carry several pounds of wood in a relay and perform various exercises.
At times, it seemed he was struggling. In the premiere episode, Brugellis was out of breath at times and told coach Erica Lugo that he had a cramp, and in the last episode, he told Lugo that the football speed drills she was making him do were impossible, to which Lugo replied, “Impossible means ‘I’m possible.’”
“The first few weeks have been really tough on me,” Brugellis confessed on the show.
He began his weight-loss journey after he took a photo with his daughter on her first day of kindergarten in September 2018, he previously told the Herald. He weighed nearly 400 pounds at the time, and joined a kickboxing gym in East Meadow shortly after.
By June, he had lost several pounds at the gym, when he saw that “The Biggest Loser” was returning to television after nine years. He then applied to be a contestant on the show, and was flown to Santa Fe, N.M. in October.
Throughout his time on the show, Brugellis has said he wanted to lose weight for his daughter, Alessia. In the second episode, he recounted how she was already being bullied for her weight, and said that he didn’t want her to view him as a quitter.
“I’ve quit everything I’ve ever done in my life,” he said on the show, “except culinary school, but that’s because it involved food.”
But his emotional state was preventing him from moving forward, Lugo said, and by the end of the episode on Feb. 11, Brugellis confessed that he did not put all of his effort into that week’s exercises. He then stepped on the scale, and saw that he had only lost four pounds that week, the lowest percentage of weight-loss among the contestants.
Still, he lost almost 30 pounds during his time on the show, leaving it at 294 pounds. “I learned that I have the confidence now to go home and walk into a gym,” Brugellis said of his time on “The Biggest Loser.” “Like now, I’m going to own this.”
He was sent home with a one-year membership to Planet Fitness, a personal nutritionist and a local support group. Brugellis is also still in the running for $25,000, which is awarded to the contestant who loses the most weight after they return home.