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Lisa Rambo returns to the Biggest Loser-Persistence paid off

Students show support for Lisa Rambo checking off the days on the poster until Rambo returns to the popular reality television show, The Biggest Loser. From the left are Rachel Estes, Nadia Kneeland and Hunter Gutzke, students from Rambo's classroom at Hudson High School.

Late last, week Lisa Rambo, who lives in Houlton, returned to Los Angeles for the live finale of the NBC show The Biggest Loser. Rambo, who is a special education assistant at Hudson High School, was one of 18 contestants chosen for season 14 of the show.

The journey actually started when the show had an open casting call at the Minnesota State Fair for season 11. Rambo gave it a try with no results. For season 12 she submitted her own tapes and DVD to the show to no avail. According to her husband Tony Rambo she decided to sit out season 13.

When they learned there was to be an open casting call in Chicago for season 14 the idea percolated back to the top.

"We discussed it and decided she should go for it," said Tony. The third time was a charm.

According to Tony, 900 people turned out in Chicago for a chance to be on the popular show. In addition the show held 15 casting calls in cities all over the country.

"We did not know if she was selected until she went out for the first episode," said Tony. "At 5 a.m. the next day it started. She handed me her cell phone and I did not hear her voice again for six weeks until she was eliminated. We sent letters to her but I am not sure when she received them."

Lisa, who is the mother of four, adopted the motto "Doing it to get strong - not skinny."

For Lisa the six weeks were hard but amazing.

She flew home the morning after she was eliminated. Her family, friends, students and fellow staff members at Hudson High School have since offered her a lot of support. She in turn started to share some of what she learned about health eating and lifestyle with others.

"I am so excited for Lisa," said Stacey Tiedemann, a secretary at Hudson High School, who also happens to be Lisa's aunt. "I'm not necessarily a huge fan of the show but now I am all in."

According to The Biggest Loser website, Rambo has lost at least 79 pounds from her starting weight of 246 pounds. Her progress continued after she returned to Hudson.

"I don't think she would have been as successful without all the support," said Tiedemann. Students created and sold 700 Team Lisa T-shirts, raising $2500 dollars for the American Heart Association during February, national heart month. It was a SADD activity. "She totally felt the support of her class room as well. She decided not to worry about the numbers on the scale but act on her motto."

Rambo and the other eliminated contestants returned to the Biggest Loser Ranch late last week

"All of my siblings started a weight loss challenge," said Tiedemann, who is joining other family members in the audience Monday night in Los Angeles for the season 14 live finale of The Biggest Loser.

It airs Monday night at 7 p.m. central on NBC. To learn more about Lisa you may visit the show's website at

Locally, family and friends are gathering at the Village Inn in North Hudson to watch the show.