Photo Credit: NBC
Opera singers are supposed to be plump, right? At least that's the stereotype. Not anymore. Olivia Ward, a 35-year-old opera singer from New York City, has been crowned the champ of season 11 of The Biggest Loser -- after losing an astounding 129 pounds over the course of eight months!
Ward and her sister Hannah Curlee had both been competitors on the show, and both had made it to the final four. It was the cast's trip to New Zealand that intensified audience identification with the fun-loving sisters, and certainly helped them to emerge as potential winners.
Blogger and former Biggest Loser candidate Ada Wong wrote on her Biggest Loser blog about the New Zealand episode: "It broke my heart to hear Olivia open up about the real reason she's here. We're so used to seeing Hannah and Olivia as the fun loving sisters (with funny sound bites) that we forget there are deeper issues they struggle with. It's nice to finally see another dimension to them and it certainly adds to their likability factor."
The final four for this season were sisters Ward and Curlee, Irene Alvarado and Jay Jacobs.
Curlee lost 120 pounds, dropping from 248 pounds at the season's outset to 128 pounds by her final weigh-in. Alvarado, who joined Ward and Curlee in the top three, started out at 255 pounds and ultimately weighed in at 139 pounds, for a net loss of 116 pounds.
But they were no match for the 5-foot-9 Ward, who began the season at 261 pounds and shed an astounding 129 pounds for a final weight of 132 pounds!
For her part, Ward sounds ecstatic. "For such a long time, I didn't even let myself imagine winning," the season 11 champ tells People. "I will say the last few weeks I was really pushing towards the finish line and I thought about that confetti! A lot of people told me to visualize that confetti. Man, I have to tell you, it was not even anywhere as good in my mind as it was tonight. It was just fantastic."