'The Biggest Loser': Jackson Carter tears up, talks inspiring gay teens

On "The Biggest Loser" Season 14 live finale, Jackson Carter was named the third finalist thanks to America's vote. Though Danni Allen won the final weigh-in, along with the $250,000 grand prize, Jackson has been a fan favorite since the beginning -- back when he was falling off treadmills and puking his guts up at every turn. Since embarking on his "Biggest Loser" journey at 328 pounds, 21-year-old Jackson is now 138 pounds lighter and one ton more confident.

He was bullied over his sexuality and weight throughout his high school career, but now Jackson tells Zap2it he's motivating others in similar situations around the globe. "They all reach out and they say, 'You are inspiring me. I'm gay too and I struggle with my weight,'" Jackson says. "And people, from not just this country -- Canada, Ireland, Paris, Australia, everywhere -- are just so interested in my story. It relates to them, and I couldn't be more happy that they're taking a good message away from it."

As a volunteer at an LGBT youth program at home in Utah, Jackson initially cited the kids he mentors as the reason he wanted to lose the weight. But as viewers watched Jackson sacrifice himself for his fellow "Biggest Loser" contestants throughout the season, Jillian Michaels and the other trainers had the difficult task of making him see his own value. It seems to have finally set in because after the confetti dropped at the live finale Monday night (March 18), Jackson was singing a brand new tune.

"My life has just started. I am going to hit the ground running; I'm going to do things that I never thought I was good enough to do -- that I was able to do," says Jackson, who couldn't help but get emotional. "I'm going to go out and get into whatever school I apply for. I'm going to be able to pay for it because I can get any scholarship I apply for, because I am good enough. I've never believed that before in my life, and that's better than any prize money."

So, will his newfound confidence revolutionize his love life? "Oh, my God yes. I'm gonna be up on that table, giving a little shake," Jackson says with a laugh. And though he doesn't have anyone special at home just now, Jackson says he's "sure that's going to change."
Photo/Video credit: Zap2it