By Valerie Milano
Pasadena, CA (The Hollywood Times) 1/29/20 -The controversial NBC show, where contestants race to shed the most pounds, Biggest Loser rebooted last night on USA! Whatever the viewpoints, opinions and reactions about the shows return to the small screen have been strong. In the midst of a body positive revolution, is America ready for the revamping of a series that glorifies weight-loss in such a capitalist and money centered manner? Will viewers welcome a program that once portrayed participants with bigger bodies in displeasing and inhumane scenarios? Showrunners and trainers on the show would like critics to believe otherwise as the central mission on the Biggest Loser is much different than that of what we have since experienced.
The facts are this: The Biggest Loser, whether ‘revamped’ or not, is still at its core, a show of competition. However, we are led to believe that the race for the cash prize is only a piece of what the show is representing this go-round. USA’s Vice President of Development and production, Heather Olander explains, “wanted to take a look at the format and make sure that it was reflective of health and fitness today. 2020 is very different than what it was more than a decade ago when this show first came on, on the air. And one of the things we did look at is the competition element. What we decided is that the competition is only part of the storytelling in the show. It’s a motivating factor for the contestants, but we found it’s part of their story and their transformation as well, sort of the failures and the successes both. And we saw it impacted who they were from the start of the show to the end.But to that end, one of the big changes we made this season, is making sure that the aftercare package was enhanced versus what it was in past seasons, because we wanted to give those people who did maybe go home early on in the process the best chance possible to continue a healthy lifestyle. So we gave them a gym membership, and fitness is a part of it, but also, a nutritionist, because what you eat and, every body is different, and every nutrition plan is different and needs to be specific to each individual. So we gave them that as well as one very important piece, guiding them towards a support group.”
Apparently more health forward, Biggest Loser aims to provide more education and personal experience on wellness verses providing content focusing on losing weight absently without any healthy habits to along with shedding pounds. Oldaner proclaims, “What’s really cool and exciting about now versus, again, when “Biggest Loser” was originally on is that digital platforms and social media is much more robust than it was, and we are really taking that opportunity to give people who are viewers, who want to start on their own fitness journeys and healthy lifestyle journeys, to find that information. So we are going to make sure that it’s filled with content about specific workouts that they did workouts that the contestants did on the show. You can get recipes, tips, even just motivation. Sometimes it’s just, like, these contestants are on their diets, and who wants to eat another chicken breast or whatever, so a little bit of motivation to stay on that path. So we have all of that available to people on the digital platforms. We have a little bit of it within the show. Again, we do want to send the message in this show that it’s not just about losing weight and getting skinny, but it’s giving people the tools to be healthy, and so we do talk about nutrition. And the mental aspect is a big, big piece of it. For these contestants, they all came to “The Biggest Loser” talking about how they got to where they are at because of something, a tragedy that happened in their life, some mental block that they have.”
Along with these powerful tips, Personal Trainer on the show, Erica Lugo, provided her own life experience of losing 160lbs and keeping it off for the contestants as well. Lugo discloses at TCA 2020, “ I can say, just from my own journey, that’s what I love bringing to the show is I can bring my own experience, and like he said, it’s something that we have to make that choice day in and day out, and I really feel like we teach them those tools to be able to keep it off long-term.”
Please be sure to continue to form any and all opinions for yourselves. The show aired January 28th on USA; the Hollywood Times definitely tuned in to see if this reboot was worth the weight! And we say, yes.