05/01/2009 at 12:00 AM EDT
With Biggest Loser
nearing the finale, all the Ranchers stepped up their game but for Filipe Fa
, 26, of Mesa, Ariz., even a 10 lb. weight loss wasn't enough to help him make the coveted Final Four
. After returning home, Fa hit a plateau but is back on track and working on a Polynesian dance that he hopes to perform at next month's finale. Having already lost 143 lbs., he spoke to PEOPLE.com about inspiring an entire culture, who he's rooting for and the joy in turning the tables on Bob. -- Rebecca GrossDo you still plan on taking a trip to Tonga to inspire a healthier lifestyle?
Yes, of course! My wife and I were just talking about flying out there in June just after the finale is over. I feel so excited. When I say I’m going to do something, I’m gonna do it. What is the biggest challenge you are going to have in helping the Tongan community?
Nutrition is the biggest trouble. They’ll show up and do the workouts, that’s a guarantee. But what they eat at home, that’s another thing. One of the biggest mistakes that all of them have made when they diet is they try to eat less, so I tell all my family to just make better choices. We don’t all have the money to afford the organic foods, but that doesn’t make an excuse to not eat healthy. I tell them to eat more fruits and vegetables and when they are buying their meat, make sure it’s lean.
Do you have a favorite in the Final Four to go all the way?
Tara! That last week on the Ranch we got really close and had some great conversations. By nature she’s a tough competitor, and because she’s so consistent, I believe she deserves it more than anybody else. What was it like training Bob during Train the Trainer Day?
I talked so much trash that day, I loved it! He told me to shut up, and I just kept telling him ‘Last-Chance Workout!’ Ah man, I had him crying when he was doing the Stairmaster. Jillian was screaming from across the gym, “Make Bob do pull-ups, he hates them!” We made him do pull-ups and he wasn’t too happy about that.
You had a big blow-up with Jillian in week 10. What’s your relationship with her like now?
I haven’t spoken to her, but I have no ill feelings towards her. We just had a miscommunication that week, but we talked about it over and over on the Ranch. I love Jillian. I think she’s a wonderful trainer and I wish the best for her.
nbc.com; Graham Greenlee