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NBC reveals the identities of its 'The Biggest Loser 2' contestants

By Reality TV World staff, 08/25/2005 

NBC has revealed the identities of the fourteen men and women who will be competing on the upcoming second season of its The Biggest Loser reality weight loss competition series. The Biggest Loser 2 will debut on Tuesday, September 13 with a special 8:00-9:30PM ET/PT premiere.

As in its first season, The Biggest Loser 2 will offer its severely overweight participants the opportunity to undergo a radical physical makeover without any kind of surgery, with host Caroline Rhea and professional trainers Jillian Michael and Bob Harper all returning for the new season.

Just as in the show's initial season, Loser 2's teams will compete in weekly challenges and weigh-ins, with weekly eliminations narrowing the fourteen contestant field until only one of them is named "the biggest loser" and wins the competition's $250,000 grand prize.

However, as we previously reported when the show was originally scheduled to premiere in August, The Biggest Loser 2 will take a page from the reality TV twist book successfully used by other shows like Survivor and The Apprentice and feature a "battle of the sexes" setup, with Jillian coaching the all-female red team and Bob coaching the all-male blue team. As a result of the gender-based division, rather than compare the weekly raw pounds lost by each team, Loser's second season will compare the total percentage weight lost by each team.

"Let's say the men's team starts at 2000 lbs. collectively and the women start at 1500," executive producer Dave Broome told TV Guide back in June. "For the men to lose 10 percent of their body weight, they'd have to lose 200 lbs. For the women to lose the same 10 percent, they only have to lose 150."

According to the Los Angeles area's Daily Breeze newspaper, The Biggest Loser 2 was filmed at a secluded Simi Valley horse ranch, with production running from March through June.

The fourteen contestants competing on The Biggest Loser 2 are:

Ryan Kelly, a 26-year-old legal assistant from Jefferson City, Tennessee.

Free-spirited Kelly is a legal assistant and a music director at her church while her husband is a church deacon and a police officer. She has two young children and she is a devoted wife and mother. While she considers her weight "out of control," at 26, she just wants to feel attractive again for herself and her husband. She could steal the spotlight and is considered to be a magnetic force majeure.

Kathryn Murphy, a 28-year-old attorney from Bloomington, Minnesota.

As an attorney who can win most debates, Murphy's confidence and fierce intelligence will be major assets in her will to win. Like so many women, she is self-sufficient and independent and stops at nothing -- but needs the right "tools" to lose weight. Passionate about her work and all aspects of her life, Murphy doesn't have enough time to focus on herself but believes the competition will allow her to focus on losing weight.

Jen Kersey, a 24-year-old medical student from Des Moines, Iowa.

Kersey is a med student, wife and mother of two young children. The saying "all work and no play" describes Kersey, who attends medical school all day, then returns home to cook dinner for her family, tuck her kids into bed -- and then stay up until the early morning studying for exams. With no time for herself, she puts her family first. Kersey's demise when it comes to food has been the vending machines at work. Without time to eat or prepare a healthy meal for herself, she grabs what is convenient versus what is healthy. She is studying osteopathic medicine and wants to be a role model for her patients. Brutally honest, Kersey always gives 100 percent.

Suzanne Mendonca, a 26-year-old New York police officer from Franklin Square, New York.

Mendonca is one tough NYPD cop who had yet to meet a challenge she couldn't conquer with the exception of her weight. The feisty Mendonca is the typical "Monday dieter" who fails by mid-week, only to start again by the following Monday. But she is now motivated to lose weight for her wedding so that she can wear the dress of her dreams. But she acknowledges that chocolate is her weakness -- and temptation will be her greatest obstacle.

Shannon Mullen, a 29-year-old contract administrator from Revere, Massachusetts.

Mullen is a contract administrator from Massachusetts who doesn't always feel the way she looks because her weight proves to be debilitating. Admittedly stubborn, Mullen says she can be too hard on herself. As a single mom, Mullen has raised her daughter on her own and wants to learn how to eat to live -- not live to eat. Her goal is to look at a picture taken of her and not feel embarrassed.

Andrea Overstreet, a 28-year-old cosmetologist from Placentia, California.

A wife and mother of two young children, Overstreet is a cosmetologist who wants to feel like a princess all the time. She loves attention and wants to regain the body she once had. Unlike the others, Overstreet has not always battled with her weight. Athletic and active, she was thin most of her life but since having kids and giving up sports, she has not been able to lose the weight. She admits to often thinking before she speaks -- and then jumping to conclusions. All Overstreet says she needs is a "kick in the butt" to jump-start her weight-loss.

Suzy Preston, a 28-year-old hairdresser from Des Moines, Washington.

Suzy only wants to lose weight, feel confident -- and find the man of her dreams. The All-American sweetheart is giving, energetic and positive. She even has swung through the jungles in Costa Rica and claims if she can do that, then she can do anything. Preston wants to find her man, settle down and feel healthy again. Selfless and demure, she also wears her heart on her sleeve, making it likely that many viewers will empathize with her.

Nick Gaza, a 39-year-old stand-up comic from Glendale, California.

As a stand-up comic, Gaza uses comedy to mask his weight issues. Loyal, caring and a good listener, Gaza also admits to being lazy and doesn't have the motivation he needs to kick start a healthy lifestyle. Making people laugh is his pride and joy even at the expense of himself. The single Gaza wants to be good-looking again at 39 years of age and doesn't want to worry about having a heart attack which is no laughing matter.

Ruben Hernandez, a 37-year-old from Culver City, California.

Hernandez is the class clown, flirt and "life of the party" all rolled into one. Outgoing and friendly, he tends to light up a room when he walks in but admits his behavior can get him into trouble. With a one-time svelte body, Hernandez has fallen a victim to his mom's tasty home cooking of chili verde. Hernandez is an instigator who is can be expected to spice up the show as much as he does his own life.

Matt Hoover, a 28-year-old from Marion, Iowa.

A legend back in his hometown, Hoover was an NCAA wrestling champion from Iowa State in his glory days. Until recently, he had never seen himself as a "fat guy." He competed in the world championships and even beat a contender who won a gold medal in the Summer Olympics in Athens. Hoover was torn from his Olympic dreams by an injury, and as a result, gained so much weight that he pushed himself outside the realm of competitive sports. But Hoover has the heart of a champion and is sure to inspire his teammates and viewers alike.

Jeff Levine, a 42-year-old family physician from Hillsborough, New Jersey.

Dr. Levine is more than the average father of four girls. A family physician, an associate professor and a director of women's health programs, Dr. Levine never has time for himself. His primary focus is on his patients, his kids and his wife. That leaves little time for him to care for himself. America will see this multi-tasking doctor at last concentrate on his own needs as he tries to practice what he preaches.

Pete Thomas, a 36-year-old from Ypsilanti, Michigan.

The jovial Thomas is from Detroit and likes to be the life of the party wherever he goes. But he also likes good food, and as a devoted husband, he says his love of comestibles is to blame for his weight gain. He considers exercise painful and food "a friend." Growing up in foster care, Pete knows he can overcome anything with a little direction and eating guidance. But he considers himself as competitive as any one of his 13 other contestants.

Seth Word, a 24-year-old from Sacramento, California.

Word is a happily married man and father whose Mormon faith is very important to him. A role model in every sense of the word, Word never takes the easy way out. Acting under his motto, "put family first," Word is determined to lose weight and see his 18-month-old child grow up healthy. He is a product of his own hard work in sales and wants to take care of himself, once and for all, by hitting his goal weight.

Mark Yesitis, a 36-year-old San Francisco police officer from Campbell, California.

Yesitis is a San Francisco police officer and cancer survivor who works patrol as a field-training officer -- which means he hears "fat jokes" all the time. Sick of the stereotype that all cops hang out in doughnut shops, he wants to disprove that notion. Actually, Yesitis got into the police force so that he could help people, and he wants to continue inspiring others with his story. Just two years ago, he beat testicular cancer. This married father of two children is out to prove that anything including weight loss -- is possible.

Produced by Reveille, 25/7 Productions, 3 Ball Productions and NBC Universal Television Studio, The Biggest Loser 2 is executive produced by Ben Silverman, Dave Broome, J.D. Roth, John Foy, and Todd A. Nelson

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