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Will he make it all the way on 'Biggest Loser'?

At 26 pounds, Mike Ventrella is the heaviest

At 26 pounds, Mike Ventrella is the heaviest contestant in the history of NBC's "Biggest Loser." Credit: NBC Photo

Well, Michael Ventrella, the heaviest contestant in the history of "The Biggest Loser," made it through the first week of the show's ninth edition. The 31-year-old Chicago DJ, who weighed in at 526 pounds (he's 6-foot-3), dropped 34 pounds to stay in the competition.

Michael, already a fan favorite, is teamed with his mom, Maria, a corporate travel agent from Bartlett, Ill. She began the show at 281 pounds.

This season, all contestants had to submit to an initial public weigh-in. The Ventrellas stepped onto a giant scale in front of family, friends and neighbors who gathered outside a Chicago-area pizzeria.

"When I found out we were going to have to be weighed in public, I felt sick," Michael told the Lake County (Ill.) News-Sun.

"It was very embarrassing to have how big you are out there for all to see," Maria added.

Michael says he realizes that his size makes him an underdog. "Even if I lost 200 pounds - an entire overweight person - I'm gonna still be overweight," he said in the first episode.

Still, Michael's presence does create a silver lining of sorts. "This is going to open up a new demographic on the show," he said. "There might be people at home watching who are 450 or 550 pounds and thinking they could never do this, and I'm here to show them that they can."

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