Terry Morrow: Former Vol, Knoxville healthcare worker part of this season's 'Biggest Loser'

Former Vols offensive tackle Antone Davis is a contestant in Season 12 of the 'The Biggest Loser.'

Photo by NBC Universal

Former Vols offensive tackle Antone Davis is a contestant in Season 12 of the "The Biggest Loser."

Knoxville healthcare specialist Joe Mitchell is a contestant in Season 12 of 'The Biggest Loser.'

Photo by NBC Universal

Knoxville healthcare specialist Joe Mitchell is a contestant in Season 12 of "The Biggest Loser."

The world is getting smaller for two Knoxville men who are part of this season's "Biggest Loser" cast.

Former Vols offensive tackle Antone Davis and home healthcare specialist Joe Mitchell — who were roommates and competitors on season 12 (which begins at 8 p.m. Tuesday, WBIR, Channel 10) — have discovered they are neighbors, too.

A News Sentinel file photo from Sept. 30, 1988 shows former Vols head football coach Phillip Fulmer working with Robbin Perry as Antone Davis looks on. Davis, a former Vols offensive tackle, is a contestant in NBC's 12th season of 'The Biggest Loser.'

Photo by News Sentinel file photo

A News Sentinel file photo from Sept. 30, 1988 shows former Vols head football coach Phillip Fulmer working with Robbin Perry as Antone Davis looks on. Davis, a former Vols offensive tackle, is a contestant in NBC's 12th season of "The Biggest Loser."

"He doesn't live too far away," Mitchell said of Davis during a recent interview.

Now that the two are off the ranch (production wrapped up weeks ago), Mitchell and Davis are back home and trying to lose weight on their own. Are the two former contestants eyeing each other's progress?

After all, the contestant who drops the biggest percentage of weight while at home also garners a cash prize during the live finale of "Loser" on Dec. 13. Naturally Davis and Mitchell would want to keep tabs on each other at this stage of the game.

However, Mitchell insisted, "We are competitive in the sense we push each other."

Davis, speaking like a former athlete, said a "natural" competition is there for all the contestants. "Some people are there, with their hands behind their backs, saying, 'I'm just here for my health.' Well, I'm here for my health, but I also want the prize (money)," Davis said.

When they met on the ranch, Mitchell heard Davis had played for the Vols in the late 1980s and knew they had a connection.

"I knew he played for the Vols. I was from Knoxville," Mitchell said. "It was 'Rocky Top,' baby! Antone is a good guy. I consider him a friend."

Davis was 447 pounds when he joined the show; Mitchell was 348.

The two now count calories. Mitchell tries to consume around 1,600; Davis looks at 2,200.

"Before ('The Biggest Loser'), I was eating about 6,000 to 7,000 (calories) a day," Davis said.

Both exercise daily and make smarter eating choices.

As far as doing the show, Mitchell was certain he was toast during the first workout. "It was brutal," he said. "You don't want to quit because everybody else is going through the same thing."

This season, contestants are divided up according to age to compete.

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Quirky and quaint, "New Girl" (9 p.m. today, WTNZ, Channel 43) features the lovable Zooey Deschanel as Jess Day, an awkward loser trying to get her life together. Jess finds her boyfriend cheating so she moves out on him and answers an ad for three guys needing a roommate. They see her as their newest project. Score: 3 stars (out of five)

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Poppy Montgomery stars in the new crime drama "Unforgettable" (10 p.m. today, WVLT, Channel 8). She's a homicide investigator who has a flawless memory.

Terry Morrow may be reached at865-342-6445 or morrowt@knoxville.com.

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