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Meet the Biggest Loser 15 Contestants, Including American Idol Ruben Studdard and Olympian Holley Mangold

“I deserve to live a happy and healthy life,” said The Biggest Loser season 15 contestant Tanya Winfield. Achieving a happy and healthy life is a big part of the upcoming season of The Biggest Loser. This year, it’s all about second chances. From a former American Idol to an Olympic athlete, season 15 of The Biggest Loser is providing its contestants with a second chance at the kind of life they want to live.

For these men and women, it’s going to be quite a change from what they are used to. “I came in thinking I was an athlete and realized that didn’t mean anything,” said contestant and Olympic weightlifter Holley Mangold.

biggest loser 15 contestants

Most contestants agreed that the most challenging part of being on The Biggest Loser is the workouts with the trainers. “The trainers are what they are. They are here to do a job. They are personable and want you to get in shape, but their main goal is to change our lives,” contestant and American Idol Ruben Studdard said. All three trainers, Bob Harper, Jillian Michaels, and Dolvett Quince, return this season to help the 15 men and women on their weight loss journeys.

“We have a really good group of people. We’ve got people that are really willing to see themselves for what they are at the very beginning, which is they don’t have the ability, but they have that drive, that want,” trainer Bob Harper said.

biggest loser trainers and alison sweeney

For the first time ever, the trainers helped select the contestants, but they will also get to save them. Each trainer has one “save” this season, where they can reverse an elimination and keep a contestant on the ranch who they think deserves it. It’s an exciting first for the show.

Trainer Jillian Michaels added that the contestants change more than their physical appearances. “You don’t just see a physical transformation; you see the emotional transformation; a completely different self-image, self-worth. That to me makes all the hardship worth it.” Season 15 of The Biggest Loser premieres on Tuesday, October 8 at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.

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MEET THE BIGGEST LOSER 15 CONTESTANTS

Craig Arrington
Age: 30
Occupation: Warehouse Supervisor for Pharmaceutical Company
Hometown: Wilson, North Carolina
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Ruben Studdard Joins Biggest Loser as First Celebrity Contestant

Prepare yourselves now “Velvet Teddy Bear” fans, singer Ruben Studdard is a contestant on the upcoming season of The Biggest Loser, marking the first time in show history to have a celebrity. Studdard is best known as the winner of American Idol’s second season when he topped runner-up Clay Aiken. He will be part of a yet-to-be-named cast of new contestants losing weight together in the show’s fifteenth season, set to debut Tuesday, October 8. ruben studdard biggest loser

It’s a later start than usual for the hit reality show, but no doubt the addition of Ruben will make it worth the wait. NBC is staying mum on pertinent details like Ruben’s starting weight, but we’ll surely see his story unfold as his journey begins alongside other men and women primed to change their own lives while inspiring others.

Essence Magazine reports that Ruben weighed upwards of 450 pounds in 2003 when his American Idol season debuted. Shortly after winning, he joined the Duke Diet where he lost 70 pounds, citing a family history of diabetes and high blood pressure as motivation. It was after that program that he became a vegetarian, and later a vegan, saying he doesn’t eat anything that has a parent. As best we can tell, Ruben remains a staunch vegetarian to this day, however, his health is still greatly at risk due to his obesity.
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