A larger-than-life Bay Ridge man stretched his 15 minutes into 272 miles, but in the end he just couldn’t lose enough to win it all.
Will Millender, 26, had embarked on a 10-week, 550-mile walk from Boston to Washington as part of ABC’s reality show, “Fat March,” in which 12 super-sized contestants lose weight to win cash.
But he was booted off the program in a dramatic elimination scene on Monday.
Millender took the defeat like the former competitive eating champ he was.
“I understand why you did this,” he told his executioners amid a tear or two.
The show was reality TV at its best. Unlike other weight-loss shows like “The Biggest Loser” and “Celebrity Fit Club,” contestants on “Fat March” aren’t battling each other, but trying to become one big (actually, slightly less big) band of brothers.
The goal is to stick together for the entire walk — and share a $1.2-million pot. But every time someone drops out or is voted out for slowing the others down, the pot is reduced by $100,000.
By this week’s episode, the walkers had already marched 278 miles to Philadelphia, but had to do another 18 miles in just five hours.
Millender couldn’t make it, and thus gave his fellow contestants an agonizing choice: kick him off and lose another $100,000 out of the pot, or let him stay, but be forced to march back to the spot where he gave up.
In a case of exercise versus loyalty, loyalty lost, and Millender was voted off.
But money wasn’t all that he lost. Millender weighed in at 474 pounds before the march, and was down to 413 — a loss of 61 pounds — at the weigh-in at the end of Monday’s episode. Now he hopes to keep the weight off.
“I am going home to continue what I started,” Millender said after he was eliminated. “I hope the rest of you succeed through this experience.”
Millender has been spotted all over Bay Ridge — but he’s sworn to confidentiality until the show runs its course.
“Fat March” airs Monday nights at 9 pm on ABC. Our money is on the pro wrestler.