Ruben Studdard got his first weigh-in on Season 15 of The Biggest Loser Tuesday evening, celebrating a deficit of 21 pounds. "I didn't get any Hollywood treatment in this gym," Studdard said.
Studdard was open about his health in advance of the show with a goal of bringing America along with him again, not to the American Idol winner's circle but rather to the gym. The 35-year-old revealed problems with high blood pressure and a diagnosis as a borderline diabetic at a starting 462 pounds. "I've been a big guy my whole life. This is something I have dealt with since I was 8, or 9, or 10 years old," Studdard said in an early September LA Times interview. "It's time to do something about it."
The Velvet Teddy Bear is the celeb draw on this season of The Biggest Loser, that is until the First Lady makes her second appearance on the reality show. Michelle Obama returns to the NBC weight-loss competition this November in support of a Partnership for a Healthier America campaign focused on increasing Americans' consumption of water. Brita is sponsoring the campaign and the show. Obama made her debut on the show in April 2012 to promote her Let's Move campaign by joining a White House workout with the contestants.
Pounds may not have been the only thing lost this season, their demographic numbers are down 27 percent from last season's January premiere, says Nielsen. However, the show gained 10 percent in viewers, grabbing 7 million Tuesday night.
The early controversy over this running of the show seems to be Studdard and his refusal to shed the "taco meat" (translation, his body hair). It seems at a minimum, trainer Jillian Michaels would vote for it to be gone. Who knows, Teddy Bear, that alone could weigh a couple pounds.
[Image via The Biggest Loser Facebook.]
— The Biggest Loser (@biggestlosernbc) October 16, 2013