Ruben Studdard is getting back into the reality TV game! The season two champ of “American Idol” is joining the 15th season of “The Biggest Loser” as one of its contestants when the weight-loss competition returns this fall.
This isn’t the Velvet Teddy Bear’s first attempt at shedding weight. According to People.com, the singer packed on an extra 100 pounds onto his already big frame after winning “Idol.” He later teamed up with “Extra” and a trainer to get in shape, but that lasted just two weeks. In 2006, he participated in a weight-loss program at Duke University in North Carolina and lost his post-“Idol” pounds.
“On both sides of my family, I have a family history of diabetes and high blood pressure and things of that nature,” a slimmer Studdard told TODAY host Meredith Vieira in an October 2006 interview about his inspiration for getting healthy. “I just wanted to basically combat those issues at an early age. They’ve never been an issue for me, but I wanted to do it while I was still young, and felt like working out and looking great.”
The singer told Vieira that exercising was never an issue, especially since he went to college on a football scholarship. Instead, it was food that was the root of his weight issues.
“We’re from Alabama, we love to eat!” he said. “So I basically had to change my thinking and as it pertains to the foods I wanted to eat. (Duke) put me on a 1,200 to 1,500 calorie diet a day. It ended up being pretty easy.”
He said that after leaving the Duke program, he even switched to a vegetarian diet to clean out his system.
But eventually, the weight came back.
He explained on “The Wendy Williams Show” last June while promoting his fifth album that between the demise of his three-year marriage and the stress of owing hundreds of thousands in back taxes, he turned to food for comfort.
“I just started going out and kickin’ it,” he told the talk-show host.
Now, Studdard’s ready to get back in shape with help from “The Biggest Loser.”
“The Biggest Loser” kicks off season 15 on Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. on NBC.