Jillian Michaels: I'll stay on 'Biggest Loser' 'as long as you'll have me'
She's baaaack! Jillian Michaels made her return to "The Biggest Loser" as a trainer on Sunday's premiere of season 14 after taking a two-cycle break from the weight-loss competition. And this time, it sounds like she won't be leaving again for awhile.
During a panel with the cast at the TV Critics winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif., on Sunday afternoon, the trainer said that she was excited to be back and that "I will stay on ('Loser') as long as you'll have me!"
"You leave the show, you want to do new things. Everyone’s like, 'That’s great! Good for you! We support you. Can you go back to ‘Biggest Loser'?' " she told reporters. "(Fellow trainer) Bob Harper and I saw Madonna in concert recently and she played new music, and we were like, 'Cool! When is she going to play 'Holiday'?' 'Biggest Loser' is sort of my version of 'Holiday.'"
Michaels also said she "greatly underestimated how inspired" viewers are by the program. "Childhood obesity of course is something we’ve all fought on myriad fronts. Bob works with the first lady. I work with the Clinton Foundation. (Trainer) Dolvett Quince does all that he does. Having a vehicle like 'Biggest Loser,' the resources and the exposure to be able to exploit that is really exciting."
One thing the trainer is known for is her harsh words and tough love for her contestants. When asked if she thought the players would feel let down if -- thanks to her reputation -- she didn't swear at them, Michaels was quick to shoot that down. "No, I don't think they'd be disappointed at all!" she laughed.
But there is a reason for the tough act.
"What seems like television to the American public to us is a life or death intervention," she explained. "So when we get crazy, when we get intense, we do it for a reason."
"It needs to be raw. It’s brutal. You go into that gym and you don’t know if you have these people for a week or two weeks," Harper elaborated. "You have to make a difference. And Jillian and I are sensitive and extremely passionate about this. When the words are coming out, I find myself at the end of the day just going, 'Oh my god! How many times did I say the F-word?!' "
Quince agreed, saying that the contestants do need the cold reality check the show offers in teaching players to change their unhealthy lifestyles.
"You push them because look at how bad they’ve been to themselves for so long," Quince said. "You see someone being gluttonous and gorging and all this over excessiveness. Why would you allow giving up to be an option? They’ve been giving up for so long!"
"The Biggest Loser" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on NBC.
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