The Biggest Loser (U.S. TV series)

For the most recent completed season, see The Biggest Loser: Temptation Nation.
The Biggest Loser
Created by Dave Broome
Presented by Caroline Rhea (2004–06)
Alison Sweeney (2007–15)[1]
Bob Harper (2016–)[2]
Starring See below
Narrated by J.D. Roth
Alison Sweeney
Bob Harper
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
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 17
No. of episodes 247 (as of February 22, 2016)
Executive producer(s) Eden Gaha
Running time 80-85 minutes
Production company(s) 3Ball Entertainment
Reveille Productions (2004–12)
Shine America (2012–)
Twenty Five Seven Productions
Distributor NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Original network NBC
Picture format 480i (SDTV) (2004–10)
1080i (HDTV) (2010–)
Original release October 19, 2004 (2004-10-19) – present
External links
The Biggest Loser former logo, used from seasons 14-16.

The Biggest Loser is an American competition reality show that debuted on NBC on October 19, 2004. 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.


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 month 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".

Episode format

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[3] and the State of the Union address.[4] 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):

  1. Temptation:
    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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. Weigh-In:
    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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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

"I’m waiting for the first person to have a heart attack. I have had some patients who want to [follow the show's regimen], and I counsel them against it. 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."

Dr. Charles Burant, director of the Michigan Metabolomics and Obesity Center[5]

"Simply put, the Biggest Loser provides viewers with a completely inaccurate picture of what you must do to lose weight and live healthy. It takes an overly extreme course of action on an important, but far less effective and achievable way to attain good form and better health."

Graham Mumm, entrepreneur and writer at[5]

"Risks aside, weight-loss experts say that the biggest problem with the Biggest Loser is that extreme methods of dropping pounds are less likely to work in the long run. Several former Biggest Loser contestants have regained some or all of the weight."

Stephanie Pappas,[6]

According to, "physicians and nutritionists worry the show's focus on competitive weight loss is, at best, counterproductive and, at worst, dangerous".[6] 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.[7] 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.[8]

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.[9]

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".[10]

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.[5] Contestants, regardless of their weight, are required to certify that they believe they are "in excellent physical, emotional, psychological and mental health".[5]

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).[5]

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.[5] 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.[5] In a June 2010 interview, Hibbard said, "I do still struggle [with an eating disorder]. I do. My husband says I’m still afraid of food... I’m still pretty messed up from the show."[11]

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."[12]

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.[13]

Longitudinal study

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 (in which Danny Cahill achieved the show's record-setting loss). The study found that most of the 16 contestants regained their weight, and in some case gained more than before they entered the contest. The New York Times reported: "When the show began, the contestants, though hugely overweight, had normal metabolisms for their size, meaning they were burning a normal number of calories for people of their weight. When it ended, their metabolisms had slowed radically and their bodies were not burning enough calories to maintain their thinner sizes. ... 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. They became even slower, and the pounds kept piling on. 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."[14]


Seasons two and three of The Biggest Loser have been filmed at the Hummingbird Nest Ranch.[15] The 126-acre (0.51 km2) ranch is an equestrian estate in Simi Valley, California, northwest of Los Angeles.[16] Recent seasons have been filmed at King Gillette Ranch on Mulholland Highway near Malibu Creek State Park.[17]

Series overview

#NamePremiereFinaleOriginal teamsThe Biggest LoserAt-Home WinnerSynopsis
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.[18]
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.[19] 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,[20] 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[21] 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.[22][23] 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.[24] 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.[25] 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.[26] 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[27]
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.[28] 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.[29] 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


Trainer Seasons
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Bob Harper
Jillian Michaels
Dolvett Quince
Jennifer Widerstrom
Brett Hoebel
Anna Kournikova
Kim Lyons
Jessie Pavelka
Cara Castronuova


Grand Prize

Ryan Benson 36 6' 02" 42.4 330 26.7 208 122 -37%
Matt Hoover 28 5' 10" 48.6 339 26.1 182 157 -46.3%
Erik Chopin 35 6' 02" 52.3 407 24.8 193 214 -52.6%
Bill Germanakos 40 5' 08" 50.8 334 25.8 170 164 -49.1%
Ali Vincent 32 5' 05" 38.9 234 20.3 122 112 -47.9%
Michelle Aguilar 26 5' 03" 42.9 242 23.4 132 110 -45.5%
Helen Phillips 47 5' 06" 41.5 257 18.9 117 140 -54.5%
Danny Cahill 39 5' 11" 60.0 430 26.6 191 239 -55.6%
Michael Ventrella 30 6' 03" 65.7 526 32.7 262 264 -50.2%
Patrick House 28 6' 02" 51.4 400 28.1 219 181 -45.3%
Olivia Ward 35 5' 09" 38.5 261 19.5 132 129 -49.4%
John Rhode 40 6' 04" 54.2 445 27.4 225 220 -49.4%
Jeremy Britt 21 5' 08" 59.1 389 28.9 190 199 -51.2%
Danni Allen 26 5' 06" 41.6 258 22.1 137 121 -46.9%
Rachel Frederickson 24 5' 04" 44.6 260 18.0 105 155 -59.6%
Toma Dobrosavljevic 33 5' 11" 46.9 336 23.0 165 171 -50.9%
Roberto Hernandez 36 5' 10" 49.9 348 27.0 188 160 -46%


Gary Deckman 40 5' 10" 32.6 227 22.4 156 71 -31.3%
Seth Word 24 6' 01" 38.4 291 22.2 168 123 -42.3%
Kai Hibbard 27 5' 05" 43.6 262 24.0 144 118 -45%
Julie Hadden 34 5' 02" 39.9 218 22.1 121 97 -44.5%
Roger Shultz 40 5' 10" 52.1 363 28.6 199 164 -45.2%
Ed Brantley 31 6' 03" 41.9 335 24.5 196 139 -41.5%
Mike Morelli 18 5' 11" 54.1 388 25.2 181 207 -53.4%
Rudy Pauls 31 6' 04" 53.8 442 25.3 208 234 -52.9%
Ashley Johnston 27 5' 05" 62.2 374 31.8 191 183 -48.9%
Alfredo Dinten 43 6' 00" 49.8 367 27.8 205 162 -44.1%
Hannah Curlee 32 5' 08" 37.7 248 19.5 128 120 -48.4%
Antone Davis 44 6' 05" 53.0 447 29.1 245 202 -45.2%
Kim Nielsen 38 5' 08" 38.3 252 20.4 134 118 -46.8%
Jeff Nichols 24 5' 11" 54.1 388 28.9 207 181 -46.6%
David Brown 43 6' 02" 52.5 409 24.0 187 222 -54.3%
Sonya Jones 40 5' 06" 45.7 283 22.4 139 144 -50.9%
Stephen Kmet 43 5' 11" 43.1 309 24.5 176 133 -43%

Second Runners-Up

Kelly Minner 28 5' 05" 40.3 242 27.1 163 79 -32.6%
Suzy Preston 28 5' 04" 39.0 227 22.7 132 95 -41.9%
Mark Wylie 40 5' 11" 42.8 307 24.8 178 129 -42%
Hollie Self 28 5' 07" 39.9 255 23.5 150 105 -41.2%
Kelly Fields 38 5' 06" 43.7 271 26.1 162 109 -40.2%
Vicky Vilcan 37 5' 06" 39.7 246 23.4 145 101 -41.1%
Tara Costa 23 5' 09" 43.4 294 20.5 139 155 -52.7%
Amanda Arlauskas 19 5' 06" 40.4 250 26.3 163 87 -34.8%
Daris George 25 5' 10" 49.6 346 25.5 178 168 -48.6%
Ada Wong 27 5' 03" 45.7 258 28.2 159 99 -38.4%
Irene Alvarado 26 5' 03" 45.2 255 24.6 139 116 -45.5%
Ramon Medeiros 27 5' 11" 49.5 355 28.0 201 154 -43.4%
Conda Britt 23 5' 06" 47.5 294 28.9 179 115 -39.1%
Jackson Carter 21 5' 06" 52.9 328 30.7 190 138 -42.1%
Bobby Saleem 28 6' 03" 44.7 358 21.2 170 188 -52.5%
Rob Guiry 26 6' 04" 58.8 483 29.8 245 238 -49.3%
Colby Wright 31 6' 00" 46.0 339 29.4 217 122 -36%

At-Home Prize

Dave Fioravanti 39 5' 06" 40.4 250 28.9 179 71 -28.4%
Pete Thomas 36 6' 05" 47.6 401 25.6 216 185 -46.1%
Brian Starkey 33 5' 08" 46.8 308 23.1 152 156 -50.6%
Jim Germanakos 40 5' 07" 56.5 361 27.4 175 186 -51.5%
Bernie Salazar 27 5' 05" 47.1 283 25.5 153 130 -45.9%
Heba Salama 30 5' 10" 42.2 294 22.4 156 138 -46.9%
Jerry Hayes 63 6' 03" 46.1 369 24.0 192 177 -48%
Rebecca Meyer 25 5' 06" 45.0 279 22.6 140 139 -49.8%
Koli Palu 29 6' 01" 53.2 403 24.8 188 215 -53.3%
Mark Pinkhasovich 31 6' 03" 52.6 421 26.0 208 213 -50.6%
Deni Hill 59 5' 06" 41.3 256 21.1 131 125 -48.8%
Jennifer Rumple 39 5' 07" 51.7 330 29.0 185 145 -43.9%
Mike Messina 41 6' 02" 46.0 358 25.4 198 160 -44.7%
Gina McDonald 47 5' 01" 46.3 245 24.9 132 113 -46.1%
Tumi Oguntala 41 5' 08" 48.5 319 21.9 144 175 -54.9%
Jordan Alicandro 32 5' 10" 46.3 323 25.8 180 143 -44.3%
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)

Television ratings

Season Episodes Season Premiere Season Finale Season Rank Viewers
(in millions)
Season 1 10 October 19, 2004 December 14, 2004 2004–05 #37[30] 10.3[30]
Season 2 12 September 13, 2005 November 29, 2005 2005–06 #48[31] 10.1[31]
Season 3 12 September 20, 2006 November 29, 2006 2006–07 #68[32] 8.3[32]
Season 4 15 September 11, 2007 December 18, 2007 2007–08 #72[33] 8.16[33]
Couples 16 January 1, 2008 April 15, 2008 #57[33] 8.96[33]
Families 13 September 16, 2008 December 16, 2008 2008–09 #57[34] 8.66[34]
Couples 2 19 January 6, 2009 May 12, 2009 #39[34] 10.25[34]
Second Chances 13 September 15, 2009 December 8, 2009 2009–10 #30[35] 10.41[35]
Couples 3 19 January 5, 2010 May 25, 2010 #37[35] 9.41[35]
Pay It Forward 13 September 21, 2010 December 14, 2010 2010–11 #49[36] 8.28[36]
Couples 4 21 January 4, 2011 May 24, 2011 #47[36] 8.46[36]
Battle of the Ages 13 September 20, 2011 December 13, 2011 2011–12 #71[37] 6.93[37]
No Excuses 18 January 3, 2012 May 1, 2012 #65[37] 7.18[37]
Challenge America 12[38] January 6, 2013 March 18, 2013[38] 2012–13 #54 7.28[39]
Second Chances 2 15 October 15, 2013 February 4, 2014 2013–14 #55 7.36[40]
Glory Days 18 September 11, 2014 January 29, 2015 2014–15 #104 5.49[41]
Temptation Nation 8 January 4, 2016 February 22, 2016 2015–16 #101 4.75[42]


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 is a reality program that debuted on NBC on June 1, 2010. Jillian Michaels helps selected families lose weight within one week. Subsequently, the series was short-lived and cancelled after 7 episodes.[43]

Episode Rating Share Rating/share
1 3.9 7 2.6/8 2 5
2 3.6 6 2.1/6 1 5
3 2.9 5 1.4/4 4.37[44] 3 6
4 2.6 5 1.2/4 4 7
5 2.7 5 1.2/4 4 7
6 2.6 5 1.2/4 4 5
7 2.5 4 1.4/5 5 5


The following table contains records for the American version of The Biggest Loser. Only records which were officially announced on the show are included.

Category Record Holder Record
Most Weight Loss in a Season (Male)ES Michael Ventrella (Couples 3) 264 lbs
Most Weight Loss in a Season (Female)ES Ashley Johnston (Couples 3) 183 lbs
Heaviest starting weight (Male) Michael Ventrella (Couples 3) 526 lbs
Heaviest starting weight (Female) Shay Sorrells (Second Chances) 476 lbs
Heaviest starting weight (Team) John & James Crutchfield (Couples 3) 969 lbs
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 Ibs
Most Weight Lost in a week (Female) Patti Anderson (Couples 3 week 1) & Sonya Jones (Glory Days week 1) 23 lbs
Most Weight Lost in a week (not week 1) [Male] Neil Tejwani (Season 4) 33 Ibs
Most Weight Lost in a week (not week 1) [Female] Shay Sorrells (Second Chances) 17 Ibs
Most Weight Gained in a week (Male) Neil Tejwani (Season 4) 17 Ibs
Most Weight Gained in a week (Female) Deni Hill (Couples 4) 8 Ibs
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 Ibs) & John Rhode (Battle of the Ages) (101 Ibs) 6 weeks
Fastest to Lose 100 Pounds (Female)EW Shay Sorrells (Second Chances) 9 weeks
The Most Losing weight After Elimination Ibs (Male) Jerry Hayes (Couples 2) 151 lbs
The Most Losing weight After Elimination Ibs (Female) Ana Alvarado (Couples 4) 100 lbs
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
Lightest Finishing Weight (Female) Rachel Frederickson (Second Chances 2) 105 lbs
Highest Finishing Weight (Male) Maurice Walker (Season 1) 365 lbs
Highest Finishing Weight (Female) Shay Sorells (Second Chances) 304 lbs
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
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 Tara Costa (Couples 2) 6

See also


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