There is no doubt that Jillian Michaels is a force to be reckoned with inside the Biggest Loser house. Bob Harper describes her as one of the best trainers in the world, and the contestants who train with her would likely not argue.
As promised, here is the follow-up to the call I had with Jillian Michaels and the executive producer Mark Koops. I asked questions that you’ve either asked me directly or I’ve picked up from the reader forums. Everyone needs a voice- if I can be that for you with Jillian Michaels then I’m happy to do it.
A DietsInReview.com reader was curious about Jillian’s necklace and wanted to know what it says. Jillian responded that it is a St. Christopher’s medal, the one that she wears is the Chrome Hearts brand.
“My mother used to wear one from when she was 15 and my mom had given me one and I lost it. And I was so devastated that my best friend had bought me another one. And that’s the one that I now wear on the show,” said Jillian.
We all remember that little weigh-in scuffle between Jillian and host Alison. It appears as though that might not have been the case, but yet another case of reality TV editing.
Brandi: “Do you watch The Biggest Loser every week? Do you think that it’s been edited fairly and the audience is getting an accurate interpretation of what’s going on, on the ranch?”
Jillian: “I do actually watch the show for that very reason because I need to see how it’s been edited. So with that said, I think honestly for the most part, they are getting an accurate interpretation. There were a few things that I had some issues with this year with regard to me. You know, I would say things may appear – like when I got upset this season defending Brittany, there were other things going on which I – you know, I didn’t feel were portrayed clearly. But it is what it is and, you know, I’ve learned my lesson, too. When I’m upset, make sure that I don’t get upset on camera anymore. And with that said, I think for the most part this has been a more accurate season than any other. And I’m actually grateful for that.”
The other hot issue I asked Jillian and Mark Koops to address was the product placement during the episodes. We’ve seen the trainers and contestants pitching gum, plastic bags, popcorn, water bottles and instant oatmeal. These are all products that make sense to have in the show, but the obvious awkwardness seems to not only be ruffling viewers, but the contestants and trainers don’t make it look natural either.
Brandi: “One of the other questions that’s been brought up by a lot of the readers on [DietsInReview.com] is the product placement that takes place on this show. Everyone [feels it is] very cheesy and it’s very obviously placed. Is there any plan to tone that back in the future or to maybe do it a little differently?”
Jillian: “Mark? I’ll have to defer to my boss on this one because I cannot talk about this at all. I’ll get in trouble.”
Brandi: “Product placement is obviously paying the bills for the show, but it seems to be striking a strange chord with the audience.”
Mark: “I think, you know, it is sort of, no pun intended – part of the reality of where television is moving to in the 21st Century. The 30-second spot, you know, goes away and (DVR) penetrations, it’s a longer topic of conversation.
We’re approached by a number of companies wanting to, to get involved in the show. And I think we’re very selective in terms of who we take. We’ve been approached in the past by all the fast food companies, you know.
I think we do try and have a selective process about who we pick and about the message they’re trying to (sell).
Could at times it be done, you know, cleaner and better? I think there’s always room for improvement. At the same time, we make sure in the partners we pick who are also out there helping promote the show and promote a healthy and active lifestyle that, you know, we’re on the same message with them.
We’ve always said, it’s like we’re trying to give people advice, information on how they can continue to do this at home without the help of Jillian and Bob on a daily basis.
The takeaway information in the show — whether it be integrations or whether it be trainer tips, or doctor tips — you know, is all just part of trying to provide information to the viewer. And from that, they can make their own decision.”
So there you have it – straight from the mouths of those who’ve been there. It looks as though the rumors were true that the night of that argument with Alison, there was a lot more going on with the production team that we couldn’t see at home. If Jillian looks a little standoffish in those product placements, it’s because she’s not a big fan either. Honestly though, I never thought about splitting up servings into individual bags or how wasteful all of those water bottles really are. We can learn something new in each episode.
April 11th, 2008