Attired in pink and shrouded in secrecy, two Knoxville women will lose it on national television beginning Tuesday, Jan. 5—as contestants on the ninth season of The Biggest Loser. Known as "Team Pink," Sherry Johnston, 51 and 5-foot-1, and her daughter Ashley Johnston, 27 and 5-foot-5, are competing for one of two giant prizes: $250,000 for one of the three on-air finalists and $100,000 for a contestant who has already been sent home before the final three.
That's about all family members in the know are able to divulge at this time, says Cyndie Johnston Goss, Sherry's daughter and Ashley's sister. "With Facebook and so many other public networking sites, we had to be secretive—the only people who were allowed to know were family, of course, and both of their jobs, since they would be taking a leave of absence," Johnston Goss says.
Both women are longtime Knoxville residents. Sherry works as a non-profit administrator and Ashley as a spa manager and esthetician. Between now and the May finale, says Johnston Goss, "They try to stay on the show as long as possible! If or when one of them is voted off, then they come home and keep working out as much as possible for a chance to win the at-home prize. It does feel strange that my family is going to be on TV going through some of the hardest challenges they've ever faced, but I'm excited to see it."