'The Biggest Loser' fifteenth-season cast and twist revealed by NBC
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/04/2013
NBC has revealed the identities of the 15 adult contestants -- including second-season American Idol winner Ruben Studdard -- who will be appearing on the fifteenth season of The Biggest Loser, which will premiere with a one-hour episode on Tuesday, October 8 at 8PM ET/PT.
In addition, the network announced a new twist in which returning trainers Bob Harper, Jillian Michaels and Dolvett Quince not only got to assist in the casting process, but they'll also have the opportunity to save one contestant from elimination during the season.
Alison Sweeney will be reprising her role as host next season, which will feature the theme of "second chances." Ruben, for example, is the season's heaviest contestant at 462 pounds and will be looking to "reclaim his health and re-write his future" along with the other 14 players.
The season will feature contestants including David Brown, a single dad who lost his wife to cancer; Holley Mangold, an Olympic weightlifter who hopes to get in shape for the 2016 Games; Matt Hooper, who postponed his wedding to lose weight for his fiancee; Craig Arrington, who lost his dad to a heart attack and doesn't want to leave his children the same way; and Rachel Frederickson, who gave up scholarships and a career as a nationally ranked swimmer for a failed relationship and now wants to achieve her goals.
The Biggest Loser's fifteenth-season episodes may turn into two-hour broadcasts later in the season, as the February 4 finale approaches.
The edition will be the first The Biggest Loser edition to air in the fall season since the show's thirteenth season aired in Fall 2011 and the first edition regularly broadcast in a one-hour format since its Fall 2006 third season.
The Biggest Loser's fifteenth-season contestants who will by vying for a $250,000 grand prize are:
- Fernanda Abarca, a 32-year-old 3D animation artist and cake sugar artist from Montrose, CA
- Craig Arrington, a 30-year-old pharmaceutical company warehouse supervisor from Wilson, NC
- Chelsea Arthurs, a 28-year-old clinical research professional and event planner from Raleigh, NC
- David Brown, a 43-year-old construction company project manager and phone company social commerce leader from Edmond, OK
- Rachel Frederickson, a 24-year-old voice-over artist from Los Angeles, CA
- Hap Holmstead, a 26-year-old sales consultant and entrepreneur from Pleasant Grove, UT
- Matt Hooper, a 38-year-old retail manager from Georgetown, MA
- Holley Mangold, a 24-year-old Olympic weightlifter and caterer from Columbus, OH
- Jennifer Messer, a 42-year-old clerk and bookkeeper from Abingdon, VA
- Tumi Oguntala, a 41-year-old brand strategist from Clifton Park, NY
- Marie Pearl, a 30-year-old senior staff accountant at a community college from Springfield, MO
- Bobby Saleem, a 28-year-old attorney from Chicago, IL
- Jay Sheets, a 38-year-old food company marketing associate from Farmington, MO