Congratulations to Irene, Hannah, Olivia, and Jay for each earning a coveted spot! If you asked me day one whom I thought would make it to the end, I never would have thought it would be these four. The girls were viewed as somewhat of the underdogs among all the big boys of the season. And as a girl, it has been great to watch these women band together and dominate!
Knowing this week was going to be the contestants' last one on the Ranch, I was hoping to see some version of the "put your weight back on" challenge because I think it would have been an important moment for all of them. For me personally, it wasn't until that final challenge that I realized how much I had actually accomplished in three short months. It was the one challenge that put everything in perspective for me. But, understandably, the show needs to keep things fresh.
At the weigh-in, my jaw dropped when the scale revealed that Austin only lost 1 lb. And from the looks of it, he along with everyone else seemed just as shocked as I was.
Based on track record, his numbers have been pretty consistent throughout the season and I'm sure everyone thought he wouldn't need that 1 lb. advantage. It was definitely difficult to watch him get so close and not make it in the end. I can only imagine how he felt at that moment. This is probably a little insensitive to say right now – but I wonder if he wished he took the money instead.
The end – or shall I say beginning – is here and pretty soon the contestants will be heading home to start their new lives with excitement and possibly a little anxiety from not having the structure of the Ranch.
But if the final exams are any indication of how well they will fare on their own, I'm betting they'll be just fine.
I look forward to seeing the transition home next week. So much is different this season that I wonder what twists and challenges are ahead for the final four!
Harper Smith / NBC