The Biggest Loser is entering into its tenth season on Tuesday, September 21st at 8/7c on NBC. I've already started a light workout regimen, knowing that this show will either motivate me or make me feel like a lazy piece of crap. But aside from the motivation to dust off your running shoes, there are five ways Season 10 sets itself apart, starting right away with the premiere.
1. Emotional baggage like you've never seen before.
Most seasons start out with Bob and Jillian warning us that America is fatter and unhealthier than ever before. That's true, but instead of this season setting the usual records for "heaviest man on the Biggest Loser ranch" or "heaviest woman ever on the show," these contestants have some serious mental blocks and personal tragedies bogging them down. Remember Abby, who lost her entire family (including her new baby) in a car accident? This season, almost everyone has a story like that. For example, Rick
has already had gastric bypass surgery but is still obese because of the mental hold food has over him. AND he's a physical therapist! That's just the beginning. If at least one of these stories doesn't move you, you need to check your
2. A competition right away.
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I've always wondered if, once they find out they're going to the ranch, the Biggest Loser contestants have a last, fat-filled, decadent meal. This season, they won't have a chance. Bob and Jillian travel to several different cities, where they introduce us to three Biggest Loser hopefuls per city. But immediately the three contestants will be whittled down to teams of two, by a stair-stepping or mile-running challenge.
And trust me, it's heartbreaking. That being said . . .
3. Eliminated contenders are bound to come back. If you've watched any recent seasons of The Biggest Loser, you just know we haven't seen the last of these people and their stories. Each city boots one contender from the bunch who just didn't cut it in the surprise first challenge. But they deserve a chance, too! Season 5 winner, Ali, was an eliminated contestant who got to come back. And last season the blue and yellow teams were eliminated in the first episode, only to return later having lost weight on their own at home. Mark my words, we'll see at least some of these people again.
4. "Paying it forward." This season's theme is "paying it forward." What it means, or how it's applied I'm still not sure, but Bob and Jillian are really harping on it. I'm just looking forward to see how they tie it in, and how they will make Alison Sweeney bring it into an over-reaching metaphor for every challenge.
5. Previous contestants hosting and Dr. Huizenga running. One of my favorite things about The Biggest Loser is watching host Alison Sweeney's lack of enthusiasm for her job. Unfortunately, the first episode of the season has very little of her. Instead, previous Biggest Loser contestants (like Mark, Danny, and that guy who does Jennie O turkey commercials now) return and try their hand at hosting the challenge. They host with varying levels of success. Also, seeing Dr. Huizenga run the mile with some cities' contenders was weirdly satisfying for me. He's usually a bit of a grim reaper on the show, so seeing him run was an other-wordly experience.
Watch a hilarious preview for the first episode on the ranch here: