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Jillian Michaels is leaving 'The Biggest Loser'

December 10, 2010 | 11:02 am

Michaels Jillian Michaels, the tyrant trainer with a heart, is leaving "The Biggest Loser."

The 11th season, which starts in January, will be her last, she said. What do you think Michael's departure will mean for the show and its ratings? Is this like Simon Cowell leaving "American Idol"? Or does the emotional resonance of "The Biggest Loser" transcend the trainers? (Don't panic. Bob Harper isn't going anywhere. At least not yet.) 

Michaels' departure was not supposed to be revealed until Monday, when the network was planning to name the Season 11 contestants. But, as anyone who has dealt with Michaels know, there's no muzzling Jillian. She announced it herself on her Twitter account: "season 11 of Biggest Loser will be my last :) have to finish out my contract."

Also via Twitter, Michaels said she plans to take a year off, do more charity work and "focus on becoming a mommy." She added that her summer TV series, "Losing It," played a role in her decision. That show saw her traveling the country, moving in with families and helping them live more healthful lives. "Living with kids I saw firsthand what I was missing," she tweeted.

Executives declined to comment Friday on the departure. But Michaels said -- also via Twitter -- that a new trainer was on the way and that she would spent her final season helping to launch the new trainer.

— Rene Lynch

Photo: Jillian Michaels. Photo credit: Katie Falkenberg / For the Los Angeles Times.