Pop Culture

Ruben Studdard vows to lose weight, not back hair, on 'The Biggest Loser'

Paul Drinkwater / Today
Ruben Studdard.

Fans call him The Velvet Teddy Bear, thanks to his smooth vocal stylings, but Ruben Studdard isn't totally smooth. That's what trainer Jillian Michaels learned on the season premiere of "The Biggest Loser."

Ruben, who landed a spot on Dolvett Quince's team after the trio of "Loser" trainers made their casting picks, needed to cool down following his first intense day in the gym. To do so, he stripped off his shirt and got comfortable in an ice bath.

"The ice baths are Jesus in a steel container!" he smiled.

But Jillian looked on, and she didn't find the sight so heavenly.

"We're going to have to wax that back of yours, I'm telling you right now," she said, clearly put off by the amount of hair on display.

But The Hirsute Teddy Bear wasn't having it.

"Let me tell you something, baby. That's the real man in me," Ruben said. "You understand me?"

She did not. Instead, she deemed it "totally unacceptable.

"Jillian is a hater," the man who won the second season of "American Idol" told the camera. "I don't appreciate that. You know, I think everything about Ruben Studdard is sexy."

He then went on to caution Jillian and some of his female fellow contestants that they've "womanized men" by bullying them into going bare.

But Ruben wasn't really all that worried about it. He was laughing at the ladies while focusing on what he really wanted to lose — pounds.

At 35, he started the competition at 462 pounds, the heaviest person on the ranch by over 50 pounds. But that might not be a distinction he holds for long.

When Ruben stepped on the scale for the red team, he bid farewell to 21 of those pounds. In fact, all of his teammates boasted big losses, like Rachel, who matched Ruben's number, and David, who blew it away with his own almost-unbelievable loss of 38 pounds.

Those numbers made Dolvett's reds unbeatable. But Bob Harper's blues were able to take a comfortable spot in second place, thanks to early standouts such as Matt, who shed 23 pounds in week one.

Jillian's white team wasn't so lucky. And if there's one thing the trainer dislikes more than back hair, it's losing — especially when the player that she'd have to let go happened to be one of her favorites.

When Jillian first worked with Craig, whose week-one total loss was 12 pounds, she said there was just something about his "sad, sweet little eyes" she couldn't get over. So she found a way to get over his ouster all together.

This season, each of the trainers have one save they can use to keep a player in the game — only one each for the whole season. Jillian used hers at the very first weigh-in.

See if Craig proves she made the right call (and if she can convince Ruben to give waxing a chance) when "The Biggest Loser" returns next Tuesday at 8 p.m. on NBC.