This was the first season of the show I watched and I really fell in love with it. I didn't know what it was before, I thought it was just typical reality-show nonsense. However it is actually very inspiring and the gameplay is minimal.
My favorites were also Sunshine, O'Neal, Sam, and Daris. Though at the finale I was glad to see just how great Darrel had done, he was very lowkey while on the ranch and they didn't focus on him much at all, then he shows up at the finale with one of the most dramatic weight losses and came an inch away from winning the at-home prize. I thought Sunshine and O'Neal just had so much heart, I know a lot of people complained about how much Sunshine cried and how emotional she would get, but it was always genuine and I think you have to give the girl a break. She's only 24 years old, always had a big weight problem that kept her in a cocoon and led to her being a homebody who spent all day with her dad. So of course she would be very attached to him. If you look at her now and see her interviews, she does seem to have gained a TON of confidence. I liked Sam simply because he reminds me a lot of me with his interest in putting on muscle.
Daris was my overall favorite though because he just seemed to be the most determined of anyone I've seen on the show, including a couple past seasons that I've now watched. One of my favorite scenes, it only happened for a second, was when he was running hard on a treadmill and fell off and didn't miss a beat, just got up and jumped right back on and continued running at max speed. I also loved one of his interview clips during the marathon where he said something along the lines of "I don't want to just be the former fat guy who ran a marthon, I want to be a marathon runner". I thought that was great. I think he'll do well in keeping the weight off, I was glad to see that during his 1 month home before the marathon he wasn't overly concerned about gaining 2 pounds, as long as he gained strength and stamina for the marathon. Granted the contest is about losing weight, but he seems to have gotten a passion for exercise that few others seem to have.