Ali Vincent: The audition process for me when I tried out for The Biggest Loser was a whirlwind experience, and the stars were definitely aligned for my mom and myself. We decided to try out for the show the night before an open casting call after my mom had seen a news update that the casting team was going to be in my hometown.
It was August 11, and my mom and I were 11th in line. This prompted my mom to tell everyone she met that it was a sign, and they were going to choose us. This was the first season that they decided to look for couples, and they knew they wanted a mother/daughter team or a father/daughter team as well as many other relationship dynamics. However, my hometown was the very first city they went to that year. Mom and I were the very first mother/daughter team they interviewed, and as you know, my mom is not easily forgotten.
We first went into a group interview where they sat 10 to a table, and a brief group interview/conversation took place. Toward the end of what I would say was 10 minutes, they asked us each to come up with one word would that would describe us as well as help them remember us from the rest of the hundreds they would be interviewing that day and from the more than 200,000 people they would end up interviewing my season. This immediately sent me into a panic. I remember thinking, "One word? How could I do that? A word that described me in that moment? Who I've become, or who I knew I was, but just couldn't see through the weight to show it?" Lucky for me, I never had to actually come up with the word because this was just a technique that they used to dismiss people from the table. Just as my mom and I were two of four people left, the casting director said, "OK, great, now I'd like you guys to follow me to fill out more extensive applications," and off we went!
Looking back, we were so unprepared. I remember them asking for us to have a pic to attach with our application. Since we didn't look at the website for all that we needed to try out, and we were in line at 5 a.m. for a 10 a.m. casting call, my mom ran (not literally, I'm sure she drove) to the store to buy a Polaroid, so that we could have a picture to attach.
AV: They called us in for an additional interview to be filmed the next day, and I was so nervous! When I look back at the experience, I know it was because if they were calling us back it made it really real; they wanted to know more about us and our dynamic. Remember, it was August, and we were in Arizona, so it was extremely hot; and to give you an idea of how nervous I was, I went to the interview with flat-ironed straight hair, and I left it with wet, curly hair. I was sweating profusely, I was so embarrassed, and my mom was looking at me as if I was growing a horn during the interview because she couldn't believe it. It was so extreme to have such a physical experience. I had never experienced anything like it.
AV: My best advice for anyone who wants to audition for the show is to just be true to yourself and be as honest as possible as to what got you up that morning and drove you to stand in line to be considered. You get one chance to make that first impression, and your life depends on it, so please don't try to be who you think they are looking for or say what you think they want to hear because they don't know what or who that is until they meet you.
My wish for anyone who wants to try out for the show is that no matter what happens at the auditions, let it be the first day of the rest of your life. I knew that regardless of what happened, that if I was willing to stand in line for a show called The Biggest Loser, something needed to change because I wanted a change.
AV: Three things that people should know about being a contestant on The Biggest Loser are:
1. Everything you think know about exhaustion and pain, forget it! You will have a whole new understanding of what both these feelings mean to you with in the first 24 hours of being on the campus.
2. Make sure you manage your time as efficiently as possible. Plan what you're going to eat while you're logging time on the cardio machines so that you don't waste any of your very precious minimal time given for lunch and dinner. Also, bring a sleep mask. I always slept while waiting in traffic driving to challenges. This allowed me to get in extra gym time while the others were sleeping.
3. Journal, journal, journal, whether you make it all the way to becoming The Biggest Loser or your stay on campus is cut short. The experience and lessons learned on the campus will end before you realize it. Writing everything down allows you to look back and see how you felt, what worked, what didn't pan out the way you had hoped; but they're all valuable references for your future.
Good luck, and although I can't honestly say I would have jumped in so eagerly had I known what I was jumping into, I will say I am so grateful for the amazing journey that I didn't even know I wanted and could not imagine my life without!
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