Jillian Michaels is probably familiar to most people, whether it be because of her multiple appearances in a variety of different health and fitness infomercials, her training and exercise DVDs, or, more likely, her spot as a trainer on the hit reality TV show, The biggest Loser. Michaels is known for pushing her teams and generally encouraging them to do their best and work hard to achieve their goal weights. The trainer ran into some disgrace during the latest episode, however, when she was accused of cheating by Alison Sweeney, the popular show's host.
Michaels had given the members of her team, the white team, caffeine supplements, claiming that they were a completely valid and healthy alternative to unlimited amounts of coffee. In a moment of seriousness on the show last night, Sweeney went on to say, "Before you all step on the scale, there is something important that needs to be addressed. Last week, Jillian broke the rules and gave caffeine supplements to each member of her team without doctor's permission. Because of this rules violation, Jillian has been penalized and the white team will receive a four pound disadvantage on the scale tonight." Michaels stood by her action, but did say that she felt remorseful that her team had to suffer because of her decision.
The scandal doesn't end there, however. The show also threw in another twist; the return of a fan-favorite, Studdard. This raised some speculation in the fan community regarding the show's integrity; had executives manufactured a scandal to boost ratings? When Jillian was asked on Twitter by a curious follower if she had been framed to bring Studdard back, Michaels replied, "you're spot on." The tweet has since been deleted, and nothing else has been said about the incident.
This writer, for one, is not at all surprised that a company in charge of a reality show would manufacture the events taking place on said show. After all, reality shows aren't quite as real as their names might lead someone to believe; they're often scripted and staged to heighten the drama. Questions concerning the integrity of the show's reality might be unfounded in that it wasn't ever quite, well, real in the first place.[Image courtesy of Jillian Michael's official Twitter.]