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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.

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).

CONTACT: Chandler Hayes, +1-323-956-3357, or Louis DiCenzo, +1-323-956-3405, Media Relations for DR. PHIL
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Date:May 19, 2004
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