9 March 2010, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – With a total loss of 83kg, Indonesian David Gurnani, 25, has become the first ever Biggest Loser of Asia, beating the other finalists in the most taxing, strenuous and physically demanding competition ever crafted.
Tipping the scales at 157kg when he first entered the unscripted show last November on Hallmark Channel, King David, as he was nicknamed throughout the show for constantly topping the ranking board with his consecutive weight loss, shed a total of 55 kg in the penultimate episode of the contest, and another 28kg by the final round, to triumph against fellow competitors, Filipino Carlo Miguel, 32, Hong Konger Martha Lai, 20, and home favorite from Kuala Lumpur, Aaron Mokhtar, 30.
Following an amazing body weight loss percentage of 53%, King David walks away with the US$100,000 prize money, as well as a brand new Renault car.
But most importantly, he zips away a lot lighter and with his head held high as the first ever winner of Hallmark Channel’s immensely popular Biggest Loser Asia.
Growing up with an overindulgent passion for food, eating has provided him his biggest thrill but with a fiancée on the side, and a future to look forward to, the change was to have good health and long life.
David says, “I never thought that I would say this, but it feels great to be a loser. Asia’s Biggest Loser! It’s by the grace of God that I have won especially with strong competitors like Carlo and Aaron. I still am amazed by my transformation. I’ve been overweight all my life and have never felt healthier and stronger than I do now. Thank you Hallmark Channel for giving me this life-changing opportunity.”
At the finals, the contestants were tested further. Besides being judge by their total weight loss percentage, they were weighed on their overall fat loss percentage too, showing a transformation figure they have achieved so far. David reaches an astounding transformation figure of 98 and has emerged the ultimate winner.
Nonetheless, The remaining three contestants in the finals have achieved much in their journey as well.
First runner up, Filipino Carlo Miguel, was not even in the original line-up of competitors and was brought in to replace fellow Pinoy contestant, Del Bacho, who had to bow out of the show due to a dislocated elbow. With a weight loss of 49kg (body weight loss percentage of 37.1%), Carlo has done himself proud to come in at an amazing 83kg and transformation digit of 64.
Following them is Malaysian Aaron Mokhtar, 30, who went from 159kg in the beginning, to losing 60kg in the process. Now weighing a lean 99kg (body weight loss percentage of 37.7%), he can return home to his two young daughters as the same father, but a different man. His total transformation digit was 63, just one point behind Carlo.
And rounding up the final four is. Martha Lai, 20, from Hong Kong, who, as the only female and youngest contestant in the top four finalists, shed a whopping 40kg (body weight loss percentage of 31.5%), to drop from 127kg in the beginning, to an amazing 87kg at the end. Martha’s total transformation digit was 49.
Reaching audiences all across Asia on Hallmark Channel, The Biggest Loser Asia has been a ratings darling for the Hallmark Channel in Asia. With a Facebook fan page that more than quadrupled from about 3,200 to 16,500 members since the show started airing last November, fans have come from as far as United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands to show their support.
The show has been a huge hit in Malaysia, where the show is set, drawing in the best performing market for The Biggest Loser Asia. Ratings have been climbing since the show premiered last November and Hallmark Channel consistently garnered the #1 position amongst all English Astro channels in Malaysia for the past five weeks with The Biggest Loser Asia timeslot.
Karen Johnston, Director of Programming APAC, Universal Networks International says, “The Biggest Loser Asia is Hallmark Channel’s top rated show for the very reason why people are drawn to it – its contestants. The contestants from all across Asia have bravely shared their personal journey of struggles and triumphs in the quest for a new lease of life, and have won the hearts of Asian audiences. Hallmark Channel is proud to be a part of this life-changing opportunity that has made an indelible mark on their lives as well as of our viewers.”
Riaz Mehta, Executive Producer of The Biggest Loser Asia says, “When I see the amazing transformation in the contestants, I feel we have achieved what we set out to do – change lives forever. We have also shown to millions of people that suffer obesity each day of their lives that a new and healthy way of life is a realistic and achievable goal and we are here to help. The Biggest Loser’s unique ability to reach, educate and entertain its audience makes it a truly invaluable vehicle to all our stakeholders. My special thanks to our Bumiputra partners Osys Group for helping us bring this show to Malaysia and supporting this journey.”
Over 2,000 contestants from across Asia applied to be a part of this unscripted reality show, with two trainers putting them through three months of vigorous boot camp, to be the first to participate in the Asian non-scripted show.
Before & After: