Danni Allen, a Wheeling resident and graduate of Mundelein High School who specialized in winning weekly challenges on "The Biggest Loser," an NBC weight-loss show, earned a trip home to show her family and friends the new her Monday -- without winning either challenge.
"I don't even know how to react," she said after being the last to weigh in. "Do I cry, or do I jump around?"
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She was really proud of herself for losing 10 pounds. "I don't need a safety net," said Allen, who is known for winning challenges that give contestants extra help or immunity from being kicked off the show.
Before the weigh-in Allen was devastated and cried Monday after coming in second on both events.
"That as the most important prize I could have ever won, and it just sucks to get that close and let go," she said.
Allen, who weighed 258 pounds when she started the contest and has lost 74 to put her at 184, is one of the last five contestants from the 15 who started.
On the next episode the remaining contestants will go home and also get makeovers.
Citing the faith that trainer Jillian Michaels showed as inspiration, Allen was brave enough on the episode to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" in a small Los Angeles club.
After a shaky start she did such a good job that Michaels asked why the 26-year-old graduate of Clemson University had not pursued a singing career.
"I just never thought I was good enough to try, and my weight was always a factor," she said. "I always focused on the negative. I thought everything had to be perfect."
Two contestants, Jeff Nichols and Jackson Carter, left the ranch for the week and had to maintain their own diet and exercise without help from the show's staff. The lowest losers were Nichols and a young woman named Alex Reid, who was voted off the show.
• Daily Herald staff writer Melissa Silverberg contributed to this story.