We asked our very own Bernie Salazar to take us behind the scenes at the Biggest Loser Ranch. With the sixth season just days away, we’ve all accumulated a few curiosities about what it’s like on the other side of the camera, before the producers grab ahold of the tapes. Here are Bernie’s answers to your Top 10 questions.
1. How much time do the contestants actually get to share with the trainers? Is it one hour a day just for the show or are they around during the ins and outs of daily life at the Biggest Loser Ranch?
The trainers are constantly around, they are not there solely for shoot days. The amazing part of the whole Biggest Loser experience is that the trainers are there all the time, they truly take time to care for not only our physical well being but also our mental and emotional health as well.
2. I want to know how much of the show is scripted. Are there writers on the ranch that coach the contestants to help make good TV?
There were absoulutely no writers scripting anything! From what I observed there was no need to. There are hundreds of hours of the contestent’s interactions caught on camera, what you see is pretty much what you get.
3. Do contestants receive any sort of payment or stipend for their time on Biggest Loser?
Contestants are provided with a stipend to assist with there personal finances, however this was a welcome surprise as most of us went on the show to gain back our health, not receive payment.
4. Where and how do you get the new, fitting clothes? As they slim down, how does that play into the contestants wardrobes, since I assume with them being on the ranch full time there are no shopping trips?
There is a wardrobe department that constantly outfits us they make sure that we have the necessary clothes not only to workout in, but also for the challenges. The stylist are wonderful and very enthusiastic about continually fitting all of the contestants as we achieve our weight loss goals.
5. I’m curious about the general dynamics of the house. It seems like everyone gets along but – do they just sit around and chit chat or do the workouts, the Q&A with producers, the challenges, the eating and sleeping and the general pressures of being in the house keep everyone from spending much real “time” together?
The working out, Q&A, challenges, eating and sleeping do in fact take up a great deal of the contestants time; however, there is time at the end of the day, before and after challenges, and during meal time where we all get a chance to speak and bond. Depending on how long you are on the show, the time spent together can be quite significant. We truly do have a lot of time to bond and get to know one another.
6. What happens if you have a real issue with your trainer or vice versa (as we’ve seen hints of in previous seasons)? How much does that change the team and house dymamic(s)?
I didn’t have any real experience with this particular situation, however I’m sure that would greatly effect the team and house dynamics. Both trainers and producers are very accommodating and do as much as possible to ensure that contestants are as content as possible during their time on the show.
DOWN TIME, What’s that? Every once in a while contestants do have a couple moments to themselves; however, I spent my time either resting or reflecting on my goals and my overall well being.
8. There was a trainer named Kim Lyons. She had a falling out and actually behaved quite childishly with one of the contestants, never apologizing or even listening to the contestant (who tried to make things right) without interrupting and getting defensive. She seemed to have some anger issues. Is that why she isn’t on the show? Did the producers, casting people, etc. really think that a fake blonde was gonna do it for us?
I don’t feel I can answer this question as I had no experience meeting or working with Kim. I’m sure the producers of the show had their reasons for not opting to not have Kim continue on as a trainer on the show.
9. What day of the week do you actually weigh-in? What time? Do they take into account weight of clothing? Do you know your weight prior to the ceremony?
The producers of the show workout the details of the weigh-ins, I’m sure they take into account every aspect of the weigh-in process. Never are contestants provided with their weights prior to the weigh-in, confidentiality on the parts of producers and crew is strictly enforced.
10. What is something “Behind the Scenes” we didn’t ask, that you think would be fun or interesting to know?
Contestants are responsible for preparing their own meals, which is great because it prepares us for the real world. Contestants also are responsible for taking care of their own laundry and room cleaning, it is as true to real life as possible.
Tune in this Thursday for the premiere of Biggest Loser: Families, and sign-up for the DietsInReview.com Biggest Loser Updates Newsletter so you don’t miss any of the interviews, recaps, villain of the week, weight tracker and more.
September 12th, 2008