Biggest Loser

'Loser' host: Quitter Joe threw away a rare opportunity

Jan. 24, 2012 at 8:25 AM ET

Trae Patton / NBC /

Joe’s unexpected departure from “The Biggest Loser” last week had fans in an uproar – including the ones visiting our Facebook page. Joe’s reasoning? That his family needed him. “I don’t buy it for one second,” ranted trainer Bob Harper on the show, calling it the “biggest excuse ever.”

The thing is, when you quit in the third week of something like “Loser,” whatever reason you give is going to sound like “This is just too hard!”

But Harper and the fans weren’t the only ones irritated by Joe’s exit -- so was host Alison Sweeney. “Three weeks in to make a decision like that? It was shocking, no question,” she told TODAY.com. “It’s the first time it ever happened like that. It’s crazy.”

But it’s more than just odd, said Sweeney, who is aware on a personal level of the many challenges that come with trying to lose weight.

“It’s frustrating,” she said. “You feel like (the show) is an opportunity so many people would love to have -- and if it wasn’t right for you, I wish you would have figured that out before you took the spot from someone who would have loved it and made the most of it.”

Spots for “Loser” are slim, and the pool of applicants is enormous, she said. People ask her all the time what they can do to get on the show. “Unfortunately, there are not that many spots,” she said. “So we just hope that the people who do view it as an opportunity make the most of it.”

That said, Sweeney, who has been with the show since 2004, wishes Joe nothing but the best. “There’s no question that Joe’s a great guy," she said. "I hope he gets help to lose weight. All of those good things.”

Should the show do anything to punish contestants who quit the game? Tell us what you think on our Facebook page!

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