NBC’s The Biggest Loser,’ returns on Monday, January 4 (9-11 p.m. ET) with new host Bob Harper, a new “Temptation” theme, an updated state-of-the-art gym, and a return to the popular team vs. team competition. Two of the contestants are former reality show stars, former Celebrity Apprentice contestant and the original Survivor winner, Richard Hatch, and The Voice season two semi-finalist Erin Willett.
Erin secured a spot on Team Blake Shelton with a performance of “I Want You Back” by Michael Jackson.
She was eliminated in the semifinals, along with Jamar Rogers of Team Cee Lo Green, Lindsey Pavao of Team Christina Aguilera and Katrina Parker of Team Adam Levine. At that time, during the lives, one contestant from each team was eliminated until the Top 4 competed in the finals. She got pretty far in the competition.
Now, like American Idol season 2 winner, Ruben Studdard, who competed on The Biggest Loser in 2013, Erin is putting aside her singing career for a bit to lose some weight and get healthy.
She told People magazine that shortly after her run on The Voice, she lost her father to cancer.
“I struggled with a little bit of depression and bulimia and trying to figure out how to love myself. I just couldn’t do it.”
“I was 22 years old and just seeing the world for the first time, really,” she told People. “And people are mean sometimes. Especially when they’re hiding behind a computer. For every 10 amazing tweets and comments, there would be that one that I would just focus on.”
“When someone calls me stupid, I know that I’m smart. When someone says I can’t sing, I know I’ve done the work and I can sing. But when they call me fat, I know I’m fat,” she says. “I’d done things to put myself in that position and I didn’t want to be there anymore.”
Erin continued to gain weight, to 228 pounds, and turned to bulimia, which she kept a secret from her mother and boyfriend until just a few months ago. The shame of having to resort to bulimia in hopes of losing weight is what caused her to stop and surrender, and inspired her to join season 17 of The Biggest Loser.
Dolvett Quince and Jen Widerstrom return to train eight contestant teams of two, all with major backstories. Seven teams (spouses, parent/adult child, siblings, relatives, best friends) will know each other, but one team will be two strangers. And that’s where our reality stars come in. Erin and Richard Hatch, who don’t know each other at first, are put together as a team.
The theme this season is ‘Temptation’ and contestants will learn how to deal with all kinds of temptations in the real world, ranging from food to money to electronic devices. Players will be spending more time off-campus than in previous seasons, learning to face a variety of temptations head on and navigate the many challenges that can be stumbling blocks to living a healthy lifestyle.
We’re not planning on covering the show, but in case you are interested, check out details on the rest of the contestants and the team set up.
Team members include:
Twin brothers and physical education teachers Luis and Roberto Hernandez, and nutritionist Lauren Clark and her mother Vicki Clark, a women’s healthcare nurse practitioner, who all want be better role models in their professions.
Britney Anderson and her Aunt, Tonsheia “Toy” Grandison, whose health and life were forever changed by the accidental drowning of her young son when she was 20 years old.
Hope Wright, who needs to get healthy in order to start a family with her husband and teammate, Colby, who turned to food to cope with the stress and sadness of losing his father to suicide and his brother six weeks later in a car accident.
Jacky Kmet will be competing with her husband, Stephen, whose weight gain accelerated after a job layoff, the diagnosis and death of his father from ALS and the diagnosis of their 5-year-old son with juvenile diabetes.
The new contestants competing for the $250,000 grand prize will be:
- Whitney Clay (Nanny), 30, Raleigh, NC
- Felicia Buffkin (Nanny), 29, Raleigh, NC
Parent-Adult Child Teams
- Vicki Clark (Women’s Healthcare Nurse Practitioner), 54, Bladenboro, NC
- Lauren Clark (Nutritionist), 32, Bladenboro, NC
- Rob Kidney (Small Business Owner), 56, Warner Robins, GA
- Sarah Gilbert (Make-up Artist), 27, Perry, GA
- Tonsheia “Toy” Grandison (Store Manager/Part-time Caretaker at a Girl’s Group Home), 35, Statesboro, GA
- Britney Anderson (Health Unit Coordinator and Make-up Artist/Hairstylist), 27, Kissimmee, FL
- Luis Hernandez (Physical/Health/Driver’s Education Teacher), 36, Chicago, IL
- Roberto Hernandez (Physical/Health/Driver’s Education Teacher), 36, Burbank, IL
- Jacky Kmet (High School Counselor), 42, Hainesport, NJ
- Stephen Kmet (Pharmaceutical Sales Recruiter), 43, Hainesport, NJ
- Hope Wright (Housewife), 35, K’Ville, GA
- Colby Wright (Car Dealership Salesman), 31, K’Ville, GA
- Richard Hatch (Television Personality), 54, Newport, Rhode Island
- Erin Willett (Singer/Songwriter), 26, Brooklyn, NY