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'The Biggest Loser' eliminee Ruben Studdard: I let music sustain my life but was neglecting the singer


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/11/2013 

The Biggest Loser eliminated Ruben Studdard during Tuesday night's fourth broadcast of the NBC reality weight-loss competition's fifteenth-season. 
 
Ruben Studdard, a 35-year-old singer from Birmingham, AL, was automatically ousted after his Red Team lost the season's fourth elimination weigh-in and he fell below the red line by posting the lowest weight-loss percentage of all the team's members. Ruben started The Biggest Loser at 462 pounds and left the ranch weighing 423 pounds.

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The Red Team's trainer Dolvett Quince had already used his one "trainer's save" of the season last week, so Ruben's elimination could not be prevented.

During a conference call with reporters, Ruben talked about his The Biggest Loser experience. Below is what he had to say.

In retrospect, I know you were only on the ranch for about four weeks, but can you think of anything that you could have done differently that maybe would have made better results for you?

Ruben Studdard: I don't think that there was anything that, you know, we could have -- I could have done differently. I think we all are pretty much on the same regiment. We work as hard as we possibly can to achieve a team objective.

And I think, you know, what happened is, and it happens every season, I've seen at least two seasons of this show prior to being [on it]... I've watched episodes here and there but I've seen at least two full seasons.

And what happens is, you know, certain people's bodies respond differently to their training at certain periods. The first week there, I lost 21 pounds and then 10 and then three and then it was on an upwards scope.

And, you know, the workouts never changed. The diet never changed, like everything stays pretty much the same. It's just the way your body seems to respond to that. And you'll see that with several of the contestants as the season progresses. You know the hard work never stops.

So you'd attribute this week to maybe just a bad luck plateau?

Ruben Studdard: Well I don't really call it bad luck at all. I just, you know, I mean I lost five pounds in a week, and that wouldn't have happened if I wasn't on the ranch. Some people are excited about losing a pound in one week. So, you know, for me it was a win win all the way across the board.

How have you been doing at home since leaving the show?

Ruben Studdard: I'm doing great. You know, still on the same plan I was on and I'm just moving forward.

Would you mind sharing how much weight you've lost?

Ruben Studdard: 104 pounds.

Wow! Is that weight you've lost after the show or including your progress on The Biggest Loser as well?

Ruben Studdard: Well, total.

Can you please tell me just a little bit about how your weight has affected your life? But in particular, do you feel like it had an effect on your music career?

Ruben Studdard: Not really. I mean I, you know, as far as music is concerned, either you can sing or you can't. That's just... I mean, I guess, for me, I've been a big guy for as long as I can remember. So I've never really -- I've always been comfortable with the person that I am.

And I think what really was a wakeup call for me, especially with me being the age that I am, is the potential for certain types of health risks that run in my family. Coming to the ranch and having that in-depth physical from Dr. [Huizenga] and then getting the results of my, you know, chest x-ray that I was diabetic was most definitely like shocking for me.

With all the things that I said I didn't want to have happen had happened because I wasn't, you know, taking care of -- I've worked so hard in my career to get to a place where I could sustain my life with music, and I neglected to take care of the person that actually sings the songs.

And so, coming to the ranch was an opportunity for me to really start taking care of myself so that I can be able to do what I love to do longer.

Musically, what do you have going on or at least what do you have coming up? And how you feel The Biggest Loser has helped you?

Ruben Studdard: Well prior to coming to the ranch, I signed a new record deal with David Foster and I'll be releasing my new album in February on Verve Universal. And yes, that's pretty much what I'm doing now and was doing, you know, before the show. I just had to take a break for myself.

I was wondering if it was difficult for you on the ranch to stay upbeat and positive the whole time.

Ruben Studdard: I'm a pretty upbeat and positive guy. I think the most difficult thing on the ranch is just being away from family, like either you have a positive attitude or you don't. Like, you know, some people are just not nice and I'm not one of those people. So it was cool for me.

Was there somebody in particular that you connected with right away and have stayed in contact with?

Ruben Studdard: Yes. There were actually several people. You know, [Holley Mangold] and I had a really swift connection. Craig Arrington and I and everybody on the Red Team honestly -- we all are pretty cool with one another.

You had mentioned just a second ago about Dr. H. informing you about being diabetic. Do you have that under control now?

Ruben Studdard: Most definitely... There's always, you know, something I guess once you get a diagnosis that you have to stay on top of. But I most definitely have been keeping it under control.

So now that you're down 104 pounds, how are you feeling as far as having all that weight off?

Ruben Studdard: I feel great. I guess it's, you know, because you live with yourself everyday so it's kind of hard to really tell the difference in how you feel, because I wasn't sick before I came to [the ranch]. Well, I didn't feel sick, you know what I mean?

But I most definitely can tell the difference when I work out for sure. Running on the treadmill is a lot easier. Just doing things that I, you know, I've taken on a promise to myself to have a more active lifestyle. So all those things have become a lot easier for me as well as, you know, I fly a lot. So I guess a big victory for me recently is no more seatbelt extensions. That's great.

How are you fitting in the diet and the workouts in the course of your day?

Ruben Studdard: I just, you know... I'm tired again because I had to get up this morning at 6AM and work out so that I could, you know, be finished in time enough to be on here with you guys. So it's just, I have to make sure that I'm always cognizant of my schedule and, you know, what's going on and fit it in around what I have to do.

You know I have to take care of business... As soon as I get off this call I have rehearsal. So, there's no time to kind of sit around, and I just have to be about my business and that's just what I've been doing.

I just wanted to know if you felt like as a celebrity contestant you were treated any differently by the trainers and the other contestants. Do you feel like you were treated the same as everyone else?

Ruben Studdard: I mean, honestly some days I kind of wished they would have treated me differently. Maybe the workouts would have been a little easier. But no, they didn't. You know, it was like everybody at the ranch is on an equal playing field. And I mean nobody gets any special treatment at all.

I mean of course, you know, you've got people buying groceries for you and driving you places. But I mean, that's just because you're on a show. But other than that, I mean, it's pretty much the same across the board. Everybody gets, you know, everything the same.

You seemed really faint and ill in workouts this week. Do you think was your hardest week?

Ruben Studdard: I seemed really -- oh, well you know, I mean, that's generally what happens when you work out in 105 degree weather for three hours. [But] no, I don't think it was harder than Week 1 at all.

I just think... I mean, I put everything in perspective, especially watching that back and remembering that day's particular workout. It was like a crazy heat index and it was just ridiculous. We probably shouldn't have even been working out outside that day. But, you know, Dolvett loves his dungeon.

Do you feel that Dolvett was the best trainer for you or would you have preferred to have Bob Harper or Jillian Michaels?

Ruben Studdard: I think I believe that everybody, you know, given the right circumstances, can train with anybody. But there's a reason why Dolvett chose me. He felt like, you know, I was strong willed and had what it takes to train with him.

His workouts are, I mean, by no other definition, I'd just have to say they're pretty insane. And he knew that I possessed the mental toughness to get through them, so I'm glad that he chose me for his team.

Do you have any goals for yourself for the finale? I don't know if you're allowed to say or not.

Ruben Studdard: I just want to be, and you know, this is not even about the finale. Just in life I want to -- I've never seen what my physical best is. So however long it takes me to get to that goal, like that is my goal for the next however many years it takes me to get there. It's to be at my physical best. That's it.

I was wondering if perhaps viewers might be treated to a little performance at The Biggest Loser finale?

Ruben Studdard: The viewers may have to watch The Biggest Loser finale to find out [but] I would love that.



(Photo credit NBC)


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