'The Biggest Loser': Contestants threaten to quit at new 'twist'
"The Biggest Loser" is turning into The Biggest Backlash: Season 13 competitors have reportedly banded together and threatened to quit the show after learning that producers were planning a new twist that would allow eliminated players back in the game.
A spokeswoman for the NBC weight-loss show declined comment Wednesday, and there was no immediate comment from show producers. TMZ reported that its sources said tensions reached such a fever pitch this week that the remaining competitors walked off set in the middle of shooting. As a result, TMZ also reported, production on the popular show has been temporarily stalled.
Competitors reportedly felt it was unjust to bring back past competitors who had been eliminated, and give them a chance at the $250,000 pay day for the player that loses the highest percentage of his or her weight.
"The Biggest Loser" is known for its twists, turns and diabolical challenges. But the twists so far this season have amped up tension like never before. That, combined with the chemistry of the players, has made for dramatic TV watching even as it leaves the players raw with emotion.
To begin with, most of the competitors were cast for Season 13 along with a relative, and assumed they'd compete as partners. Wrong. Shortly after arriving at "The Biggest Loser" ranch outside Los Angeles, teams were promptly divided in two. Relatives immediately became rivals.
Several players eliminated so far have talked about the anguish they felt knowing that if they succeeded, and their teams won the weekly weigh in, it could lead to the elimination of their loved one on the rival team.
In another heart-breaking twist, one team was eliminated right at the start. But, unbeknownst to the rest of the players, that brother-sister team was told they could rejoin the cast if they spent the first month at home working out and dieting on their own and managed to lose more than 50 pounds combined. They did, but their reintroduction to the rest of the players was disastrous.
They were eliminated within weeks of their return, partly due to their own ham-handed machinations, and also because the rest of the players had already formed tight-knit groups.
The sister end of that team, Daphne, was eliminated this week in a move that might earn its way into the history books as The Biggest Backfire in show history.
Daphne was slowly earning the trust and confidence of her teammates, and had even saved them from elimination one week earlier. While there had been some hard feelings because players had earlier eliminated Daphne's brother, Adrian, from the game, it seemed like maybe they were all ready to put it behind them.
Then, Daphne did something that had many viewers scratching their heads. Daphne ate nearly 2,000 calories during a temptation challenge in a bid to gain the ability to completely revise the teams as she saw fit. (That in and of itself seemed like a risky gambit -- Michael did that previously in Season 9, and it helped him with the grand prize, but still, you just ate 2,000 calories and there's a weigh-in around the corner.)
But instead of, say, putting herself on a team with all the men so that they could win all the challenges and lose the most weight week after week, she made just one move: She swapped teammate Jeremy for his sister and her arch rival, Conda.
Daphne then thought she'd be able to keep it all secret. But there's no keeping a secret like this, and it was soon Daphne versus everyone else in "The Biggest Loser" house. And when she gained two pounds at the weigh in (remember all those calories?) it was a done deal that she would be eliminated.
During Wednesday's weekly media conference call, Daphne did not shed much light on the situation. She claimed during the show that she made the move because she wanted to stay with Bob, but that didn't make much sense. On Wednesday, during the media call, she admitted it was actually to take her revenge. But she said her target was Jeremy, not Conda. She refused repeated requests to get her to clarify.
"That's a very good question that maybe he can answer one day," is about all she would say.
Daphne also claimed not to have any information about the reported mutiny on the set, either. But then, it's doubtful any of the players are talking to her anyway.
So, for those keeping track at home: 13 seasons in and players sill haven't learned that temptations are almost never worth it. The goal of the game is to stay above the yellow line.
Photo: Daphne, far right, and other members of the black team at this week's temptation challenge. Credit: NBC