‘Biggest Loser’ won't change rules after last season's weight-loss controversy
“The Biggest Loser" ended in a record-breaking win for contestant Rachel Frederickson last season. Frederickson lost 59.62 percent of her body weight — a staggering 155 pounds — but with her extreme transformation came concern from fans of the show.
After the finale, rumors circulated that the production team had plans to tweak the rules for season 16 due to the controversy Frederickson’s weight loss caused, but the show’s executive producer and creator, David Broome, insists that's not the case.
“There’s nothing different about (the upcoming season) than we’ve ever done,” Broome told TODAY.com. “If anything went wrong (last season), if anything was broken, we would have fixed it. But that didn’t happen.”
Broome said that the show’s medical and production teams have always monitored contestants' progress, so there's no need to put new rules in place to ensure someone doesn’t take the weight loss too far. He also made it clear that, despite Frederickson's shocking physical transformation, she stayed within the show’s guidelines for healthy weight loss.
“Rachel did nothing wrong,” he said. “She broke no rules. She passed every medical exam that this show has.”
Dolvett Quince, who trained Frederickson last season, explained that he keeps a close eye on his team, too.
“One of my requirements is that the contestants give me a food log every time I see them,” Quince told TODAY.com. “I know what they’re eating, and what they’re not. I need to know if the calorie count matches the burn. We have an amazing tracking system that the contestants use to log what they’re eating and how much they’re eating. We’re on top of it.”
While the rules of the show haven’t changed, some of the trainers have. With Jillian Michaels out, Quince, along with Bob Harper, will be joined by new trainers Jessie Pavelka and Jennifer Widerstrom.
“We always want to stay fresh,” Broome said. “We’ve had discussions season after season about looking for new trainers. We just haven’t been able to find the right trainers at the level we need for a show like this. So when we (found Jessie and Jennifer), we jumped on it, and we’re extremely excited for this season.”
Season 16 premieres Sept. 11 at 8 p.m. on NBC.