Season 16 of The Biggest Loser will kick off in September – less one familiar face, Jillian Michaels, but plus two new faces, Jessie Pavelka and Jennifer Widerstrom.
Last week, NBC announced Jillian will not return to The Biggest Loser. "After helping hundreds of contestants transform their lives and inspiring millions of viewers at home, The Biggest Loser and Jillian Michaels have decided to part ways, and she will not be returning for Season 16 when it airs in the fall."
Reza Farahan and his two favorite Persian Princesses, Asa Soltan Rahmati and Lilly Ghalichi, hit the red carpet with a slew of other reality TV stars on Monday. Yesterday was Day 2 of NBCUniversal's '2013 Winter TCA Tour', held at the Langham Hotel.
Celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels ditched her gig on 'The Biggest Loser' a few seasons back so she could do some new things, including a short stint on the 'The Doctors' and welcoming two kids with her partner Heidi Rhoades. But, good news for Jill fans – she's coming back to the weight loss competition series! Jillian confirmed that she'll be reprising her role in season 14.
Danny Cahill became the latest person to win The Biggest Loser, when he dropped 239 lbs. in 7 months. NBC has now introduced the latest cast to participate is the couples edition of the series.
This new season, set to premier on January 5, is the heaviest cast ever with one of the contestants weighing an astonishing 526 lbs. The 526 lbs man is Michael Ventrella, a 30-year-old DJ from Chicago, who will be participating with his mother, Maria Ventrella, a 51-year-old corporate travel agent.
“I would do anything for Michael,” mom Maria, weighing in at 281 lbs., told PEOPLE. “At first I didn’t think I could do it because I have too many responsibilities at home. I have a husband who is disabled, my mom in a wheelchair, a full-time job, home cleaning — it’s a lot. But then he needed it so bad and so I am here, and I need it for myself, too!”
NBC is already starting to feel the heat as many are criticizing them for having such an obese man as a cast member. Critics believe the extent of activity the cast has to go through might be dangerous for some of the more obese cast members. “I’m waiting for the first person to have a heart attack,” said Dr. Charles Burant, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan telling the NY Times in a recent article. “I have had some patients who want to do the same thing, and I counsel them against it,” Dr. Burant said. “I think the show is so exploitative. They are taking poor people who have severe weight problems whose real focus is trying to win the quarter-million dollars.”
The show is set to return January 5th on NBC as the contestants will be competing for the grand prize of $250,000 or $100,000 at-home prize. Host Alison Sweeney and trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels are all set to return to The Biggest Loser: Couples.
The Biggest Loser 9 Cast Photos and Bios Below –
Mom Cheryl George a 50-year-old store-owner and son, Daris George, 25, a salesman, from Ardmore, Oklahoma.
Orlando, Fla., identical twins James and John Crutchfield, 30, weighed in at a combined 969 lbs. “I’m glad I’m here,” says James, “because my only other alternative is surgery.”