The Biggest Loser (U.S. TV series)
|The Biggest Loser|
Logo used from seasons 14-16
|Created by||Dave Broome|
|Presented by||Caroline Rhea (2004–06)
Alison Sweeney (2007–15)
Bob Harper (2016)
|Narrated by||J. D. Roth
|Theme music composer||Heather Small and Peter-John Vettese|
|Opening theme||"Looking Good, Feeling Gorgeous" (Season 1) by RuPaul
"Proud" (Seasons 2–9) by Heather Small
"Brand New Book" (Season 12–13) by Train
|Composer(s)||Jeff Lippencott and Mark T. Williams, Ah2 Music, Jason Bond, Darren Moss|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||17|
|No. of episodes||247|
|Executive producer(s)||Eden Gaha|
|Running time||80–85 minutes|
|Production company(s)||3Ball Entertainment
Reveille Productions (2004–12)
Shine America (2012–2016)
Twenty Five Seven Productions
|Distributor||NBCUniversal Television Distribution|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV) (2004–10)
1080i (HDTV) (2010–2016)
|Original release||October 19, 2004– February 22, 2016|
The Biggest Loser is an American competition reality show that has run on NBC for 17 seasons, from 2004 to 2016. The show features obese or overweight contestants competing to win a cash prize by losing the highest percentage of weight relative to their initial weight. The show has not been officially cancelled, but no new seasons have been announced.
The Biggest Loser has been fairly popular for some of its run, ranking among the top 50 shows in the United States from 2004 to 2005 and again from 2009 to 2011. It has also attracted significant controversy, including both general critiques of its approach of rapid weight loss, and specific allegations that contestants have been malnourished, dehydrated, overexerted and, in some cases, been given weight loss pills, in order for them to lose as much weight as possible. Several news articles making such accusations were published in 2016, and the show's resident doctor, Robert Huizenga, stated in 2017 that The Biggest Loser had been unofficially cancelled because of these accusations.
The Biggest Loser format has been highly popular around the world, spawning over 30 international adaptations, some of which remain on the air.
Each season of The Biggest Loser starts with a weigh-in to determine the contestants' starting weights, which serve as the baseline for determining the overall winner.
The contestants are grouped into teams of three, each wearing separate colored T-shirts. Depending on the season a team may work with a specific trainer or all trainers may work with all contestants. The trainers are responsible (in conjunction with medical personnel retained by the show) for designing comprehensive workout and nutrition plans and teaching them to the contestants. However, the contestants are individually responsible for implementing the principles taught.
During an episode, various challenges and temptations (see below) are featured. Those who win a particular challenge are given special privileges, such as a weight advantage for the next weigh-in or even full immunity from being voted off the show.
Each week culminates in another weigh-in to determine which team has lost the most weight for that week, in percentage of total weight lost. The team that has lost the least percentage during that week (known as "falling below the yellow line", which refers to a line featured on a video screen showing the cutoff between safety and being at-risk) will have one member voted off (unless the team consists of only one remaining member, in which case there is no vote). The vote is usually made by the other teams, though some episodes feature one team making the decision alone. Some episodes feature a second, "red line"; if a contestant falls below the red line the contestant is automatically off the show with no vote. Other episodes allow for the contestants, if successfully meeting a goal at the weigh-in, to all receive immunity for the week.
When the number of contestants has shrunk to a predetermined smaller number (unknown to the contestants), the teams are dissolved and the contestants compete one-on-one against each other.
The season finale features both the contestants remaining on the show and those sent home early; the latter are brought back for the final show. Those sent home early compete for a smaller prize while those on the show compete for a larger prize and the title of "The Biggest Loser".
Episodes are typically two hours long. Some episodes have been aired in a shortened one-hour format to accommodate adjacent network programming such as The Voice and the State of the Union address. Each episode features some, but not all, of the following activities (some contestants may not participate in an activity with physical requirements if placed on medical restrictions):
Contestants prepare for the first day of the week only to find a situation that involves temptation. The temptation usually requires contestants to gamble by eating or drinking delicious but high-calorie foods in exchange for what may seem to be a beneficial trade-off. The benefits may or may not be known to the contestants in advance. Examples include eating sweet foods for a chance to call their loved ones, eating a big slice of cake to win an unknown prize (which, in one episode, turned out to be an exercise bike) or giving up time with a trainer for a chance to win money. Contestants are given a set period of time before the offer passes.
- Reward Challenge:
Contestants compete to win a prize, first as teams and then as individuals after the teams are dissolved. After the challenge, viewers are shown the winning team enjoying their reward while the losing team accepts their loss. Prizes range from immunity- which is exemption from elimination—to exercise equipment, phone calls home or weight prizes, which allow winners of a challenge to have a greater weight loss at the Weigh-In, or losers of a challenge to have a lower weight loss at the Weigh-In (e.g. a 6 lb weight loss would result in a 7 lb weight loss if a contestant were to win a "1 pound advantage" whereas it would result in a 5 lb weight loss if a contestant were to win a "1 pound disadvantage"). If there is an unequal number of players on each team, then the team(s) with more players must pick an individual or individuals who will sit out until there is an equal number of players on each team. Occasionally, players have to be cleared by the show's doctors in order to participate in physical challenges.
- Initial Workout:
Contestants work out with the trainers. During this segment, the trainers will often speak with certain contestants, especially those who are doing poorly. Usually, underlying emotional issues are revealed at this time (such as a loss of a family member or a physical calamity), often the triggering events that led to the weight gain in the first place.
- Last Chance Workout:
Last chance workouts are often shown as grueling, final preparations for the weigh in. This is a real test of strength and trainers push contestants to their limits.
- Last Chance Challenge:
Introduced in season seventeen, the last chance challenge is a variant between a reward challenge and a last chance workout. As with the last chance workout, the last chance challenge will usually take place inside the gym. The winning team will win a prize that benefits the team just before the upcoming weigh-in (for example, a two-pound weight advantage for the team).
Although the show depicts the weigh-in in an evening setting, the actual weight measurement occurs off-camera in a morning session and the contestants are not told of the results at that time. All contestants are weighed to determine the amount they have lost relative to their total body weight. During team-based competition, the team that loses the highest percentage wins and the losing team must send one person home. When the teams are dissolved and the show becomes an individual competition, the two contestants who lose the lowest percentage of weight are below the yellow line and eligible for elimination. A similar setup to individual-based weigh-ins happens when the two initial teams are broken up into four teams of two or three, as happened in the second and fourth seasons. In season ten, the rules changed. The contestants are now expected to weigh in before challenges. The yellow line now increases up to half of the slots depending on how many contestants there are at the ranch. Contestants below the yellow line face an elimination challenge before the vote. In addition, the Biggest Loser of the week is allowed to save a person below the yellow line from elimination. Some episodes have featured both a yellow line and a red line; a contestant who falls below the red line is eliminated outright from the competition without a vote of the other contestants.
- Elimination Challenge:
Introduced in season nine, the elimination challenge was for the two people below the yellow line. In the only elimination challenge of that season, the longest one standing stayed while the other went home. In season ten, the elimination challenge was re-introduced. Those below the yellow line participate in a challenge to escape from the vote. The two least successful contestants face the vote.
- The Vote:
The final segment of the show takes place in a dining room that has refrigerators labeled with each contestant's name (active contestants have their name illuminated) and filled with that contestant's favorite tempting foods. Prior to the vote, contestants facing elimination plead their case as to why they should remain on the Ranch (several episodes feature contestants making a "sacrificial" request to be sent home, generally a team agreeing as to which member should stay and which one should go, or one contestant feeling that they can make progress at home while another needs the Ranch setting to continue his/her progress). The other contestants are not required to honor any requests to be sent home, though generally such requests are honored. The contestants facing elimination arrive at the dining room first; the other contestants each carry a covered plate containing the name of the person they wish to vote out. In the event of a tie, the contestant or team who lost the least percentage of weight is eliminated, except if both of the contestants or teams lost the least percentage of weight. As people are voted out, the light for their name is extinguished. After the vote, the eliminated contestant is shown at home and discusses the progress they made in their weight loss.
Weight loss regimen: risks and criticism
According to LiveScience.com, "physicians and nutritionists worry the show's focus on competitive weight loss is, at best, counterproductive and, at worst, dangerous". Contestants on the show lose upwards of 10 pounds per week (in the very first week, some contestants have lost 20–30+ pounds in that one week alone), whereas the established medical guidelines for safe weight loss are between 1 and 2 pounds per week. This is true even though that weight-loss rate originates from an examination of the database from the National Weight Control Registry, where members have lost a minimum of 30 pounds and maintained that weight loss for a minimum of a year. So while researchers did find a correlation between that rate, on average, with members of the Registry, all this correlation can mean—if there is any causal correlation at all (there is no control group) -- is that it is more likely, on average, for someone to be successful at losing a large amount of weight, and more successful at maintaining that weight loss. There is no way of stating whether this rate is more healthy than any other rate, simply because (a) there is no comparison with any other rate, and not even any comparison between disease or mortality rates of members of this Registry and any other random group.
Other health writers take it even further, suggesting that everything from the shows dietary guidelines to workout routines are completely flawed.
Nutritionist Dr. Barry Sears sums up the wellness paradox: "First, eating less can cause stress to the system causing more hunger. Second, the more people exercise, the hungrier they become." Dr. Sears continues by claiming that "even with the most intense training, people are unlikely to add more than five pounds of muscle in 12 weeks of weight training. The reason viewers see their muscles emerging as the show goes on is because as the layer of fat surrounding the muscles is lost, muscles become more visible. Those muscles were always there but covered by a mass of fat tissue.
At the end of every telecast, the following disclaimer is shown:
Our contestants were supervised by doctors while participating in the show, and their diet and exercise regimen was tailored to their medical status and their specific needs. Consult with your own doctor before embarking on any diet or exercise program.
Despite this claim of supervision, however, all contestants are required to sign a waiver that states: "no warranty, representation or guarantee has been made as to the qualifications or credentials of the medical professionals who examine me or perform any procedures on me in connection with my participation in the series, or their ability to diagnose medical conditions that may affect my fitness to participate in the series".
The weight-loss regimen used in the show—severe caloric restriction combined with up to six hours a day of strenuous exercise—involves risks including a weakening of the heart muscle, irregular heartbeat and dangerous reductions in potassium and electrolytes. Contestants, regardless of their weight, are required to certify that they believe they are "in excellent physical, emotional, psychological and mental health".
The Biggest Loser: Second Chances included a one-mile foot race in its first week, an event that led to the hospitalization of two of its contestants; Rob Huizenga, the show's medical consultant, when asked about the foot race said that "If we had it to do over, we wouldn’t [have done] it" and noted that in response, the show's producers have "changed a lot of the way [they] do things" (including the close monitoring of contestants’ body temperatures during exercise).
Because the show is a contest that involves eliminations from it, some contestants are encouraged to take risks that endanger their health. Ryan C. Benson, the winner of the program’s first season, publicly admitted that "he dropped some of the weight by fasting and dehydrating himself to the point that he was urinating blood". Also since the show Benson has regained all of his weight, but 10–12 lbs. In 2009, Kai Hibbard (runner-up from the third season) told The New York Times that "she and other contestants would drink as little water as possible in the 24 hours before a weigh-in" and would "work out in as much clothing as possible" when the cameras were off. She further stated that two weeks after the show ended, she had regained about 31 pounds, mostly from staying hydrated. In a June 2010 interview, Hibbard said, "I do still struggle [with disordered eating]. I do. My husband says I’m still afraid of food... I’m still pretty messed up from the show."
In a July 2011 press conference with the Television Critics Association, comedian and actor Jerry Lewis was critical of the competitive nature of The Biggest Loser, claiming that the show is about contestants "knocking their brains out trying to see how we beat the fat lady at 375 pounds, and in four months she's going to be 240. Who cares? It's ridiculous."
According to a report by The New York Post, California authorities inquired the show due to allegations of doping contestants. The show dismissed these allegations as false and without merit.
According to court documents obtained by The Daily Mail, the show's doctor, Robert Huizenga, revealed that the show was canceled in light of an accusation by former contestant Joelle Gwynn that Huizenga may have allowed the show's participants to be given drugs such as adderall (usually prescribed to patients with ADHD and is known to suppress appetite) and pills containing ephedra extract (an FDA-banned substance) - which Gwynn said made her feel "jittery and hyper" - and that the contestants were encouraged to lie about their calorie intake during the program, which has resulted in some contestants quickly gaining some of the weight back due to the regimen. Huizenga dismissed the allegations as "fabricated, fictitious and outright libelous," and that he blamed those accusations as the reason for losing roles on upcoming television shows. NBC has yet to officially determine the show's fate.
In 2016, the results of a long term study by the US National Institute of Health (NIH) were released that documented the weight gain and loss of contestants in Season 8, which aired in 2009. The study found that most of the 16 contestants regained their weight, and in some case gained more than before they entered the contest. Their metabolisms had slowed to the point where they were burning hundreds of calories a day less than other people of their new, reduced, size. The New York Times reported: "What shocked the researchers was what happened next: As the years went by and the numbers on the scale climbed, the contestants’ metabolisms did not recover... It was as if their bodies were intensifying their effort to pull the contestants back to their original weight." The article quoted Dr. Michael Rosenbaum who said, "The difficulty in keeping weight off reflects biology, not a pathological lack of willpower."
After the study results were revealed, former contestants demanded NBC cancel the show.
Seasons two and three of The Biggest Loser have been filmed at the Hummingbird Nest Ranch. The 126-acre (0.51 km2) ranch is an equestrian estate in Simi Valley, California, northwest of Los Angeles. Recent seasons have been filmed at King Gillette Ranch on Mulholland Highway near Malibu Creek State Park.
|#||Name||Premiere||Finale||Original teams||The Biggest Loser||At-Home Winner||Synopsis|
|1||The Biggest Loser (season 1)||October 19, 2004||December 14, 2004||Two teams of six||Ryan Benson||David Fioravanti||Featured 12 contestants divided into two teams, the Red team and the Blue team. The Red Team was coached by trainer Jillian Michaels, while The Blue Team was coached by trainer Bob Harper. The eventual winner of the $250,000 grand prize was Ryan, with a total weight loss of 122 pounds (37%).|
|2||The Biggest Loser (season 2)||September 13, 2005||November 29, 2005||Two teams of seven divided by gender||Matt Hoover||Pete Thomas||Featured fourteen contestants divided into two teams based on gender. Season two introduced the change that weigh-ins would be won or lost based on the percentage of total weight lost, rather than on the number of pounds lost. This change was made to create a more even playing field among contestants of varying weights. Matt was the eventual winner.|
|3||The Biggest Loser (season 3)||September 20, 2006||November 29, 2006||Two teams of seven and two at-home returnees||Erik Chopin||Brian Starkey||Involved the largest cast ever with 50 contestants initially beginning the show, each representing one US state. Kim Lyons joined the show, replacing Jillian Michaels as the Red Team trainer for only one season. After the initial group weigh-in and exercise, 14 contestants were selected to stay on the ranch and the other 36 contestants participated by losing weight at home. Later in the season, at-home players who lost the most weight were brought back to rejoin the cast on the ranch.|
|4||The Biggest Loser (season 4)||September 11, 2007||December 18, 2007||Three teams of six||Bill Germanakos||Jim Germanakos||In February 2007, it was announced that Caroline Rhea was leaving the show, to be replaced by Days of Our Lives actress Alison Sweeney. It was also announced that there would be three teams (named for the color each team member would wear: blue, red, or black), with Bob Harper, Jillian Michaels and Kim Lyons returning as personal trainers. One of the contestants for this season was Amber Walker, a paramedic from Pasadena, Texas, who won a viewer vote among potential candidates on the April 23, 2007, edition of NBC's Today, even though the other three choices (Jez Luckett, Lezlye Donahue, and David Griffin) were eventually chosen as contestants as well. The winners were each twins: Jim, a contestant who had been voted off won the prize for the eliminated contestants. Bill won the grand prize of $250,000 and was pronounced The Biggest Loser by Sweeney.|
|5||The Biggest Loser: Couples||January 1, 2008||April 15, 2008||Ten teams of two||Ali Vincent||Bernie Salazar||20 contestants competed on 10 teams, each paired with a loved one, co-worker or friend with the exception of one team of strangers. Alison Sweeney returned as host for her second season. Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels returned to train the contestants. Bernie won the eliminated edition, losing 130 pounds and winning $100,000. Ali Vincent lost the biggest percentage of weight and became the first female biggest loser of the US series, beating Roger and Kelly. However, internationally, she is not the first female biggest loser; the first female biggest loser is Jodie Prenger from the UK's second season.|
|6||The Biggest Loser: Families||September 16, 2008||December 16, 2008||Eight teams of two||Michelle Aguilar||Heba Salama||16 contestants competed in pairs, fewer than in the previous season. Four teams consisted of married couples, training with Bob, while the other four were parent/child teams training with Jillian. Alison Sweeney returned as host for her third season. Michelle Aguilar was declared the Biggest Loser after beating Ed Brantley and Vicky Vilcan at the finale. She lost a total of 110 pounds, or 45.45 percent of her body weight, winning the $250,000 grand prize. Heba Salama was awarded the $100,000 prize for the eliminated contestant with the largest percentage of weight loss after losing 138 pounds, or 46.94 percent of her body weight|
|7||The Biggest Loser: Couples 2||January 6, 2009||May 12, 2009||Eleven teams of two||Helen Phillips||Jerry Hayes||Promoted as the "Biggest Season in Biggest Loser History". Included the heaviest man ever on The Biggest Loser, Daniel Wright, weighing 454 lb. It also included the oldest participants ever, at age 63 years. It had also been declared by the group doctor to be the sickest group of contestants ever, with 45 different medications being taken by them. Season 7 features a new team color the Silver Team in place of the Gray Team. With 22 people initially on the ranch, it also featured the largest number of on-ranch contestants ever on the show. It was won by 48-year-old Helen Phillips who lost 140 pounds or 54.47 percent of her body weight.|
|8||The Biggest Loser: Second Chances||September 15, 2009||December 8, 2009||Eight teams of two||Danny Cahill||Rebecca Meyer||16 contestants competed. The season once again started off with different colored teams, but is the first since season 4 to have a non-couples start-off with 16 contestants of complete strangers competing as pairs. It featured a record number of contestants over 400 pounds, at five, including the heaviest woman and person ever on The Biggest Loser, Shay Sorrells, weighing 476 lb while the heaviest man this season weighs 444 pounds. Season 7 contestant Daniel Wright returns for this season. In Week 9, it introduced the red line, an automatic elimination line without a vote that would become more common in latter seasons|
|9||The Biggest Loser: Couples 3||January 5, 2010||May 25, 2010||Eleven teams of two||Michael Ventrella||Koli Palu||The ninth season of The Biggest Loser premiered January 5, 2010, with a format similar to the last couples season. A promo for the new season was shown during the Season 8 finale. This season had the heaviest contestant ever: 526 pound Michael Ventrella, as well as the heaviest couple: Twins James (485 lbs) and John (484 lbs), at 969 lbs. The $250,000 grand prize was awarded to Michael Ventrella who lost a biggest loser record 264 pounds. His total percentage of weight loss was 50.19%. "At home" winner Koli Palu went on to win the $100,000 prize. Palu, who spent the full season on the show, was eliminated in the finale, but he lost a larger percentage than Michael Ventrella and would have won the overall prize had he been selected by the viewers to move on instead of Daris George.|
|10||The Biggest Loser: Pay It Forward||September 21, 2010||December 14, 2010||Seven teams of three||Patrick House||Mark Pinkhasovich||This season has adopted a theme, called Paying It Forward, which means that the trainers won't only motivate contestants, but whole communities. 14 are initially selected to compete on the ranch, from seven trios of players from each of the seven cities visited, while others will be brought back during the season, which will lead to a contestant total of 21. The trainers traveled to seven cities. Contestants are competing as individuals, despite sharing the same colored shirt. In a Biggest Loser first, half the contestants fall below the yellow line and must compete in an elimination challenge to save themselves from elimination|
|11||The Biggest Loser: Couples 4||January 4, 2011||May 24, 2011||Twelve teams of two||Olivia Ward||Denise "Deni" Hill||A fourth couples edition also marked the fourth year of a winter-spring season. The new team color to be added this season is aqua, replacing the white team. Season eleven will also feature major set changes including the scale, and changes to the trainers of the show. Two mystery trainers will be added as an alternative to the existing Bob/Jillian duo in the season's twist. In Week 3 their identities were revealed as Brett Hoebel and Cara Castronuova. The cast includes a man who is 507 pounds, second to only season 9's Michael. In the thirteenth episode, a two-person white team will be added, making this the biggest season cast in show history. Former Olympic gold medalist Rulon Gardner was also a contestant that season. However, he quit the show after losing a competition in which the prize was to appear on the cover of a Wheatie's cereal box (one of his dreams). He is the 2nd contestant to not have a follow up story.|
|12||The Biggest Loser: Battle of the Ages||September 20, 2011||December 13, 2011||Three teams of five||John Rhode||Jennifer Rumple||For the first time the contestants will be divided by age in the Battle of the Ages. There will be three teams: under 30, 30-49 and 50 and over. The heaviest contestant weighs in at 447 pounds. Two new trainers: Anna Kournikova and Dolvett Quince join Bob this season. This was the first season since Season 4 not to have different-colored teams of two|
|13||The Biggest Loser: No Excuses||January 3, 2012||May 1, 2012||Ten teams of two||Jeremy Britt||Mike Messina||In a theme of "No Excuses", each week is centered on a different excuse related to weight loss and obesity and how to tackle those excuses. For the first time teams will be competing against their partner in challenges, workouts and elimination. Dolvett Quince returns for his second season. Season 13 begins with a smaller cast than the previous seasons with the heaviest contestant weighing in at 403 pounds. Social media called this season the most hated and spoiled cast in the history of the show. Perhaps the most notable moment of the season is the cast revolt and walkout that took place over the possibility of old contestants coming back at top 5.|
|14||The Biggest Loser: Challenge America||January 6, 2013||March 18, 2013||Three teams of five||Danni Allen||Gina McDonald||Jillian Michaels will return again to the show for the third time after another two-year absence. She will train alongside Bob Harper and Dolvett Quince. The team colors this season are Blue (Bob), Red (Dolvett) and White (Jillian). For the first time, three teenagers, one for each team, aged 13 to 17 will compete outside the ranch. Season 14 also introduces a new logo|
|15||The Biggest Loser: Second Chances 2||October 15, 2013||February 4, 2014||Three teams of five||Rachel Frederickson||Tumi Oguntala||In a Biggest Loser first, the trainers are part of casting process, handpicking which contestants to be on the show. In a theme of "Second Chances", the trainers will also utilize a "Trainer Save", allowing each trainer to rescue one player on their respective team from going home. Among the contestants to compete this season are Olympic weight lifter Holley Mangold and American Idol winner Ruben Studdard. Studdard is also the largest contestant of the season, weighing in at 462 pounds. Bob Harper, Jillian Michaels and Dolvett Quince return once again as the trainers for this season|
|16||The Biggest Loser: Glory Days||September 11, 2014||January 29, 2015||Three teams of 6 and two Comeback Canyon Players||Toma Dobrosavljevic||Jordan Alicandro||Jillian Michaels will not be returning for this season, marking the third time she has left the show. Trainers Bob Harper and Dolvett Quince will be returning, and two new trainers, Jessie Pavelka and Jennifer Widerstrom will also be joining the cast, and will be replacing Jillian Michaels. Glory Days features an entire cast of former athletes and each week Bob Harper will train at Comeback Canyon, a secret location for eliminated contestants to compete for a second chance at the ranch toward the finale|
|17||The Biggest Loser: Temptation Nation||January 4, 2016||February 22, 2016||Two teams of eight||Roberto Hernandez||Luis Hernandez||Bob Harper replaces Alison Sweeney as host. Season 17 also marks the return of couples for the first time since season 13 with Dolvett and Jennifer training four couples each on their Red and Black teams respectively. Among other changes this season includes a complete renovation of the Biggest Loser gym and scale. The thematic motif this season is temptation as the contestants will be faced with temptation based challenges such as money and electronics. Contestants will be weighed side by side with two scales, one for Team Jen and one for Team Dolvett. Another format change this season is the yellow line for teams in which only the two lowest percentages on the losing team are up for elimination.|
|season 1||Ryan Benson||36||6'2"||42.4||330||26.7||208||122||-37%|
|season 2||Matt Hoover||28||5' 10"||48.6||339||26.1||182||157||-46.3%|
|season 3||Erik Chopin||35||6'2"||52.3||407||24.8||193||214||-52.6%|
|season 4||Bill Germanakos||40||5'8"||50.8||334||25.8||170||164||-49.1%|
|season 5||Ali Vincent||32||5'5"||38.9||234||20.3||122||112||-47.9%|
|season 6||Michelle Aguilar||26||5'3"||42.9||242||23.4||132||110||-45.5%|
|season 7||Helen Phillips||47||5'6"||41.5||257||18.9||117||140||-54.5%|
|season 8||Danny Cahill||39||5' 11"||60.0||430||26.6||191||239||-55.6%|
|season 9||Michael Ventrella||30||6'3"||65.7||526||32.7||262||264||-50.2%|
|season 10||Patrick House||28||6'2"||51.4||400||28.1||219||181||-45.3%|
|season 11||Olivia Ward||35||5'9"||38.5||261||19.5||132||129||-49.4%|
|season 12||John Rhode||40||6'4"||54.2||445||27.4||225||220||-49.4%|
|season 13||Jeremy Britt||21||5'8"||59.1||389||28.9||190||199||-51.2%|
|season 14||Danni Allen||26||5'6"||41.6||258||22.1||137||121||-46.9%|
|season 15||Rachel Frederickson||24||5'4"||44.6||260||18.0||105||155||-59.6%|
|season 16||Toma Dobrosavljevic||33||5' 11"||46.9||336||23.0||165||171||-50.9%|
|season 17||Roberto Hernandez||36||5' 10"||49.9||348||27.0||188||160||-46%|
Given to the person losing the most percentage of body weight under the eliminated contestants.
|season 1||Dave Fioravanti||39||5'6"||40.4||250||28.9||179||71||-28.4%|
|season 2||Pete Thomas||36||6'5"||47.6||401||25.6||216||185||-46.1%|
|season 3||Brian Starkey||33||5'8"||46.8||308||23.1||152||156||-50.6%|
|season 4||Jim Germanakos||40||5'7"||56.5||361||27.4||175||186||-51.5%|
|season 5||Bernie Salazar||27||5'5"||47.1||283||25.5||153||130||-45.9%|
|season 6||Heba Salama||30||5' 10"||42.2||294||22.4||156||138||-46.9%|
|season 7||Jerry Hayes||63||6'3"||46.1||369||24.0||192||177||-48%|
|season 8||Rebecca Meyer||25||5'6"||45.0||279||22.6||140||139||-49.8%|
|season 9||Koli Palu||29||6'1"||53.2||403||24.8||188||215||-53.3%|
|season 10||Mark Pinkhasovich||31||6'3"||52.6||421||26.0||208||213||-50.6%|
|season 11||Deni Hill||59||5'6"||41.3||256||21.1||131||125||-48.8%|
|season 12||Jennifer Rumple||39||5'7"||51.7||330||29.0||185||145||-43.9%|
|season 13||Mike Messina||41||6'2"||46.0||358||25.4||198||160||-44.7%|
|season 14||Gina McDonald||47||5'1"||46.3||245||24.9||132||113||-46.1%|
|season 15||Tumi Oguntala||41||5'8"||48.5||319||21.9||144||175||-54.9%|
|season 16||Jordan Alicandro||32||5' 10"||46.3||323||25.8||180||143||-44.3%|
|season 17||Luis Hernandez||36||5' 10"||44.2||308||24.2||169||139||-45.1%|
- Underweight (less than 18.5 BMI)
- Normal (18.5 - 24.9 BMI)
- Overweight (25 - 29.9 BMI)
- Obese Class I (30 - 34.9 BMI)
- Obese Class II (35 - 39.9 BMI)
- Obese Class III (greater than 40 BMI)
|Season||Episodes||Season Premiere||Season Finale||Season||Rank||Viewers
|Season 1||10||October 19, 2004||December 14, 2004||2004–05||#37||10.3|
|Season 2||12||September 13, 2005||November 29, 2005||2005–06||#48||10.1|
|Season 3||12||September 20, 2006||November 29, 2006||2006–07||#68||8.3|
|Season 4||15||September 11, 2007||December 18, 2007||2007–08||#72||8.16|
|Couples||16||January 1, 2008||April 15, 2008||#57||8.96|
|Families||13||September 16, 2008||December 16, 2008||2008–09||#57||8.66|
|Couples 2||19||January 6, 2009||May 12, 2009||#39||10.25|
|Second Chances||13||September 15, 2009||December 8, 2009||2009–10||#30||10.41|
|Couples 3||19||January 5, 2010||May 25, 2010||#37||9.41|
|Pay It Forward||13||September 21, 2010||December 14, 2010||2010–11||#49||8.28|
|Couples 4||21||January 4, 2011||May 24, 2011||#47||8.46|
|Battle of the Ages||13||September 20, 2011||December 13, 2011||2011–12||#71||6.93|
|No Excuses||18||January 3, 2012||May 1, 2012||#65||7.18|
|Challenge America||12||January 6, 2013||March 18, 2013||2012–13||#54||7.28|
|Second Chances 2||15||October 15, 2013||February 4, 2014||2013–14||#55||7.36|
|Glory Days||18||September 11, 2014||January 29, 2015||2014–15||#104||5.49|
|Temptation Nation||8||January 4, 2016||February 22, 2016||2015–16||#101||4.75|
A spin-off of The Biggest Loser, The Biggest Loser: Special Edition features a team of people competing against another team, with each competition airing in two one-hour episodes. They spend 11 days on the ranch working with Bob and Jillian and then return home to continue to lose weight. The announced groups included "family vs. family", where two families with restaurants of different cultures competed to lose weight, "engaged couple vs. engaged couple", and "Marines vs. Navy". Each episode featured one of the mini-competitions from start to finish.
Losing It with Jillian
Losing It with Jillian was a reality program that debuted on NBC on June 1, 2010. The spin-off involved former Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels helping families lose weight in one week. The series was cancelled after 7 episodes.
The following table contains records for the American version of The Biggest Loser. Only records which were officially announced on the show are included.
- ES notes an extended season
- EW notes an extended week
|Category||Record holders||Results (imperial/metric)|
|Most Weight Loss in a Season (Male)ES||Michael Ventrella (Couples 3)||264 lbs/119.8 kg|
|Most Weight Loss in a Season (Female)ES||Ashley Johnston (Couples 3)||183 lbs/83.0 kg|
|Heaviest starting weight (Male)||Michael Ventrella (Couples 3)||526 lbs/238.6 kg|
|Heaviest starting weight (Female)||Shay Sorrells (Second Chances)||476 lbs/215.9 kg|
|Heaviest starting weight (Team)||John & James Crutchfield (Couples 3)||969 lbs/439.5 kg|
|Lightest starting weight (Male)||Gary Deckman (Season 1)||227 lbs/102.9 kg|
|Lightest starting weight (Female)||Lizzeth Rose (Season 1)||167 lbs/75.7 kg|
|Male Contestant with highest BMI||Arthur Wornum (Couples 4)||77.1|
|Female Contestant with highest BMI||Shay Sorrells (Second Chances)||72.4|
|Male Contestant with Lowest BMI||Aaron Miler (Season 1)||30.9|
|Female Contestant with Lowest BMI||Lizzeth Rose (Season 1)||27.8|
|Highest Finishing BMI (Male)||Maurice Walker (Season 1)||58.9|
|Highest Finishing BMI (Female)||Shay Sorells (Second Chances)||46.2|
|Lowest Finishing BMI (Male)||Mark Kruger (Couples)||20.6|
|Lowest Finishing BMI (Female)||Rachel Frederickson (Second Chances 2)||18.0|
|Biggest Percentage Weight Loss in a Season (Finalist) [Male]ES||Danny Cahill (Second Chances)||55.58%|
|Biggest Percentage Weight Loss in a Season (Finalist) [Female] ES||Rachel Frederickson (Second Chances 2)||59.62%|
|Biggest Percentage Weight Loss in a Season (At-Home Prize) [Male]ES||Koli Palu (Couples 3)||53.35%|
|Biggest Percentage Weight Loss in a Season (At-Home Prize) [Female]ES||Tumi Oguntala (Second Chances 2)||54.86%|
|Lowest Percentage week 1 (Male)||Damien Woody (Glory Days)||1.80%|
|Lowest Percentage week 1 (Female)||Julie Hadden (Season 4)||0.92%|
|Most Weight Lost in a week (Male)||Moses Kinikini (Couples 4)||41 lbs/18.6 kg|
|Most Weight Lost in a week (Female)||Patti Anderson (Couples 3 week 1) & Sonya Jones (Glory Days week 1)||23 lbs/10.4 kg|
|Most Weight Lost in a week (not week 1) [Male]||Neil Tejwani (Season 4)||33 lbs/15.0 kg|
|Most Weight Lost in a week (not week 1) [Female]||Shay Sorrells (Second Chances)||17 lbs/7.7 kg|
|Most Weight Gained in a week (Male)||Neil Tejwani (Season 4)||17 lbs/7.7 kg|
|Most Weight Gained in a week (Female)||Deni Hill (Couples 4)||8 lbs/3.6 kg|
|Biggest Percentage Weight Loss in a week (Male)||Jerry Lisenby (Season 4 week 1)||10.44%|
|Biggest Percentage Weight Loss in a week (Female)||Patti Anderson (Couples 3 week 1)||9.47%|
|Biggest Percentage Weight Loss in a week (not week 1) [Male]||Matt Hoover (Season 2 week 10)||9.77%|
|Biggest Percentage Weight Loss in a week (not week 1) [Female]||Kim Neilson (No Excuses week 15)||9.26%|
|Fastest to Lose 100 Pounds (Male)||Moses Kinikini (Couples 4) (100 lbs) & John Rhode (Battle of the Ages) (101 lbs)||6 weeks|
|Fastest to Lose 100 Pounds (Female)EW||Shay Sorrells (Second Chances)||9 weeks|
|The Most Losing weight After Elimination [lbs/kg] (Male)||Jerry Hayes (Couples 2)||151 lbs/68.5 kg|
|The Most Losing weight After Elimination [lbs/kg] (Female)||Ana Alvarado (Couples 4)||100 lbs/45.4 kg|
|The Most Losing weight After Elimination [%] (Male)||Jerry Hayes (Couples 2)||44.02%|
|The Most Losing weight After Elimination [%] (Female)||Ana Alvarado (Couples 4)||40.65%|
|Youngest Contestant (Male)||Mike Morelli (Couples 2)||18|
|Youngest Contestant (Female)||Blake Benge (Glory Days)||18|
|Oldest Contestant (Male)||Johnny Forger (Battle of the Ages)||66|
|Oldest Contestant (Female)||Estella Hayes (Couples 2) & Bonnie Griffin (Battle of the Ages) & Nancy Rajala (No Excuses)||63|
|Most Weight Lost on Campus (Male)ES||Michael Ventrella (Couples 3)||204 lbs|
|Most Weight Lost on Campus (Female)ES||Ashley Johnston (Couples 3)||143 lbs|
|Highest percentage of weight loss on Campus (Male) ES||Daris George (Couples 3)||43.64%|
|Highest percentage of weight loss on Campus (Female) ES||Irene Alvarado (Couples 4)||43.53%|
|Longest Time Gone Without Falling Below the Yellow Line ES||Tara Costa (Couples 2) & Ashley Johnston (Couples 3) & Austin Andrews (Couples 4)||18 weeks|
|Most Time Losing Double Digits in a row in the Weigh-Ins [Male]||Danny Cahill (Second Chances) & Michael Ventrella (Couples 3)||7 weeks|
|Most Time Losing Double Digits in a row in the Weigh-Ins [Female]||Tara Costa (Couples 2) & Tracey Yukich (Second Chances) & Danni Allen (Challenge America)||3 weeks|
|The Most Double Digits in a Season (Male)||Neil Tejwani (Season 4) & Michael Ventrella (Couples 3)||10 weeks|
|The Most Double Digits in a Season (Female)||Tara Costa (Couples 2) & Kristin Steede (Couples 2)||6 weeks|
|Lightest Finishing Weight (Male)||Brian Starkey (Season 3)||152 lbs/68.9 kg|
|Lightest Finishing Weight (Female)||Rachel Frederickson (Second Chances 2)||105 lbs/47.6 kg|
|Highest Finishing Weight (Male)||Maurice Walker (Season 1)||365 lbs/165.6 kg|
|Highest Finishing Weight (Female)||Shay Sorells (Second Chances)||304 lbs/137.9 kg|
|Most Times Below the Yellow Line||Elizabeth Ruiz (Pay It Forward)||8 weeks|
|Pairs winning the most money at the Finale||Bill Germanakos and Jim Germanakos (Season 4) & Roberto Hernandez and Luis Hernandez (Temptation Nation)||$350,000|
|Longest Running Couple (Male Team) (To make it to the finale)ES||Mike Morelli and Ron Morelli (Couples 2)||18 weeks|
|Longest Running Couple (Female Team) (To make it to the finale)ES||Olivia Ward and Hannah Curlee (Couples 4)||20 weeks|
|Longest Running Couple (Male & Female Team) (To make it to the finale)ES||Conda Britt and Jeremy Britt (No Excuses)||15 weeks|
|Longest Time Gone Without Facing Elimination||Tara Costa (Couples 2)||18 weeks (1 season)|
|Most Challenges Won||Tara Costa (Couples 2)||11|
|Most Times of Having Immunity||Rulon Gardner (Couples 4)||6|
|Most Times of Being The Biggest Loser of The week||Bill Germanakos (Season 4) and Tara Costa (Couples 2)||6|
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