DR. PHIL Leads Weight Loss Challengers to the Finish Line

The Finale of the 'Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge'

Delivers Dreams to Some Weight Loss Winners

May 19, 2004, 01:00 ET from Paramount Domestic Television

    HOLLYWOOD, Calif., May 19 /PRNewswire/ -- This season on DR. PHIL, the
 Weight Loss Challengers have shed nearly 1000 pounds -- and bid farewell to
 the emotional weight that accompanied their obesity -- all in a quest to
 transform their lives. On Monday, May 24, this larger-than-life finale will
 reveal who has succeeded, and who has fallen short of his or her goal.  Check
 local listings.
     As the record-setting season draws to a close, the participants of
 DR. PHIL's Weight Loss Challenge race toward the finish line to accomplish
 their weight goals and reveal new surprises, including Monika Barkley's
 "Extreme Makeover."  Each Challenger has had the opportunity to reclaim his or
 her life, and this May, the results are astounding. The finale will be an hour
 in which the successful Weight Loss Challengers' wildest wishes are granted,
 and their lives are forever changed. Those who have not met their goals are
 given a chance to assess their progress and set new goals for themselves.
     "I am so proud of what all of these Challengers have accomplished," said
 Dr. Phil McGraw. "Jim Toth, for instance, started out the Challenge at
 360 pounds and has surpassed his goal weight of 235.  Since he was a child,
 his whole identity had been that of the fat guy and now he's just Jim.  He's
 only one example of the dramatic changes these people have made to the way
 they look and feel about life."
     Along with Toth, who is from suburban Chicago, Illinois, Thomas Harris of
 Angleton, Texas is another great success story.  He started the Challenge
 known as "Donnie" and weighed in at 309 pounds.  Not only did he redefine his
 identity by choosing to reclaim his true first name, but he changed his look
 by shedding 98 pounds. Barbara Rodrique of Niagara Falls, Ontario, lost her
 twin sisters in a car accident nearly 20 years ago, and until being part of
 the Challenge, she used food to medicate herself and deal with her loss.
 With Dr. Phil's help, Barbara got past the grief and, as a result, the
 statuesque former model has lost nearly 70 pounds from her starting weight of
 280.  Monika Barkley, from Goldsboro, North Carolina, went from 197 to 142 and
 was selected to receive a complete body transformation, which was chronicled
 on the May 5, season finale of ABC's "Extreme Makeover."
     The other challengers include Angela Carver and Leslie Parks of the
 Dallas, Texas area, AnnMarie Giattino of Bronx, New York, Fred Ledbetter of
 Anchorage, Alaska, Judith Blowe of Lorton, Virginia, Kimberly Williams of
 Lansdale, Pennsylvania, Marilyn Sorensen of West Jordan, Utah, Sarah McCarty
 of Phoenix, Arizona and Terri Rosselli of Fairborn, Ohio.  Each was chosen
 from over 7,000 applicants who sent in a 3-minute videotape.  These 10 women
 and three men who range in age from 22 to 43, have used Dr. Phil's "THE
 ULTIMATE WEIGHT SOLUTION: The 7 Keys to Weight Loss Freedom" as their
 guidebook.   Following is the start and end weight for each of the
 13 Challengers:
                 September 16, 2003     May 24, 2004
      Name        Starting Weight       End Weight      Total Weight Lost
      Angela            464                376                88
      AnnMarie          307                219.5              87.5
      Barbara           280                213.5              66.5
      Fred              248                205                43
      Jim               360                226                134
      Judith            255                194.5              60.5
      Kim               230                170                60
      Leslie            268                202                66
      Marilyn           348                268                80
      Monika            197                142                55
      Sarah             298                244                54
      Terri             280                221                59
      Thomas            309                211                98
     The syndicated series "DR. PHIL," created by Harpo Productions, produced
 by Paramount Domestic Television and distributed by King World Productions, is
 seen on 200 stations representing 99% of the country and debuted in September
 2002 to the strongest numbers for a talk series since "The Oprah Winfrey Show"
 launched in 1986.  Since its debut, the series has rated second only to "The
 Oprah Winfrey Show" in the talk show category, and consistently ranks among
 the Top Ten of all syndicated strips (Source: NSS Ranking Report).

SOURCE Paramount Domestic Television