Michelle Tops Out as Winner of The Biggest Loser: Families
12/17/2008 AT 12:00 AM EST
Some moments in life are meant to be shared with family. On Tuesday's Biggest Loser: Families finale, Michelle Aguilar got that moment with her estranged mother when she won the season six title with a whopping 110-lb. weight loss.
As confetti rained down around her and the crowd went wild, Aguilar … who beat out this season's villain, Vicky, and Ed, the only man to make it into the finale … celebrated her victory and a $250,000 prize by jumping off the scale for a group hug with her mom Renee Wilson, whom she barely knew before the two went on the show together and hugged her.
She tells PEOPLE that after a gruelling journey to victory, she's ready for a break. “I am planning a really good vacation for the family,” says Aguilar, a 27-year-old an assistant director from Fort Worth, Texas. “I think everybody needs a little time off. We're all a little bit worn out … at least I am!”
Aguilar, who went from 242 lbs. to 132 lbs. and lost 45.45% of her body weight, beat Louisiana nurse Vicky Vilcan's 41.06% loss (she went from 246 lbs. to 145 lbs.) and runner-up Ed Brantley's 41.49% (the chef from North Carolina went from 335 lbs. to 196 lbs.) after viewers and contestants were finally told who would be in the finale. Early in the show, Ed and his wife Heba Salama, 30 … who both fell below the yellow line in last week's episode and then pleaded for America to vote Heba into the finale … stood on the stage with Alison Sweeney as she announced the vote was a landslide, with 84% of viewers picking Ed to be in the final three.
“It is what it is,” an obviously disappointed but resigned Salama responded, adding that she was still a winner for losing so much weight.
Had Salama been voted into the finale, her weight loss--from 294 lbs. to 156 lbs. at the finale for a 46.94% loss--would have been enough to have beaten Aguilar.
Still, there were no hard feelings.
“She Michelle had a hard time this season so it was really nice to see her come through all of that and win the prize,” Salama told PEOPLE.
Aguilar is only the second female contestant ever to win the Biggest Loser title in the U.S. (The U.K. version had a female winner, Jodie Prenger, in 2006).
As for the two runners-up, both took the loss with grace, smiling and trying not to look too disappointed. Even Vicky, one of the most disliked contestants in BL history and famous for her smirk, had nothing but a genuine smile of acceptance when it was clear she hadn't lost enough weight to win.
For Aguilar, who almost left the ranch mid-season to deal with personal issues, this victory is well-deserved, her trainer Jillian Michaels tells PEOPLE. “Michelle brings a unique perspective and sensitivity and an insight that we really haven't seen in our winners thus far.”
Adds Michaels, “She's gone on to make Biggest Loser history.” --Sara Hammel, with reporting by Cynthia Wang and Rebecca Gross