The Biggest Loser Season 17 contestants have been announced, and this group might have you tearing up before the show even premieres.
Here’s what you can expect from Season 17.
1. They all mean business
“The big challenge was, how much do you value your health?” explained contestant Hope Wright, who is on the ranch competing with her husband Colby Wright. “Do you value your health enough to be here? And so all 16 of us stayed.”
“[Bob] offered us $25,000 to leave,” Colby revealed, echoing his wife’s statements. And none of the contestants took the offer. Instead, they started the season with a trial run.
2. There is a reality TV team
Survivor: Borneo winner Richard Hatch and The Voice Season 2 semi-finalist Erin Willett will both be joining the show. And, as luck (or, more correctly, producers) would have it, the two are partners this season on The Biggest Loser.
“As much as your life can be crazy and there can be a lot of things in your way, you have to take the time to focus on yourself,” Willett said. “If you don’t put yourself first then nothing’s going to be able to change.”
3. They’re all about getting healthy
The skinny standard is out the window.
“Be healthy,” best friends and partners Whitney Clay and Felicia Buffkin said almost immediately in unison when asked what advice they would give young girls.
“Focus on health and then the outward will fix itself,” Buffkin added.
4. There are former athletes
Husband and wife team Jacky and Stephen Kmet both come from athletic backgrounds.
“That’s one of my toughest things,” Jacky revealed, “How did I let this happen to my body? The difficulty level.”
Jacky played softball and basketball in college at a D3 school while Stephen played ice hockey in college.
“One of the things that even led us here was that we lost our athletic backgrounds,” Stephen explained. “I want my son to see me play ice hockey. And he’s a great athlete now and my daughter’s a great athlete. But my son has never seen me play ice hockey and that bothers me.”
5. There are big challenges for some
Father/daughter duo Sarah Gilbert and Rob Kidney experienced their fair share of struggles after only the first week.
Kidney admitted movement was his biggest hurdle, “I’m the oldest guy on the show. I’m 56 and I came in with having been a cancer survivor and several other things. Our whole story is a story of addiction. We consider what we do with food an addiction just like an alcoholic uses alcohol.”
As for Gilbert, she has a tight IT band, which causes her knee cap to shift when she walks. Luckily, the show has been carefully monitoring it and taping her knee in order to avoid the movement.
6. There’s plenty of inspiration
Mother/daughter duo Vicki and Lauren Clark really showcased the emotion on the show when discussing their experience with the pressure to look a certain way.
“I just don’t want little girls growing up to be like me and getting to be an adult and having treated themselves so poorly when they were little,” Lauren revealed between tears. “To be an adult and look back at pictures of themselves when they were little, and think, ‘I wasn’t even that big. I was never that ugly. Why was I so mean to myself?’ So just be kinder to themselves and give themselves a break and don’t listen to what everyone else says because a lot of the time it’s just their own insecurities coming out.
7. There’s tons of liberation
Vicki revealed that the ladies have been taking it off.
“Hope started it,” she said with a laugh. “We’re out there working out in our bra.”
And while she lamented at the loss of her modesty, it also seems entirely freeing and fabulous. We say take it off!
8. Their families are on board
Gilbert’s husband was probably the most inspiring.
“Both of them are pretty healthy,” Gilbert revealed of her and Kidney’s respective spouses. “But my husband, just since we’ve been gone, has already lost 12 pounds. And he really doesn’t have that much more to lose. He’s really excited for me and wants to be as healthy as possible so that when I come back we can both be in the same gear.”
9. There’s already competition
After the first team challenge, Jacky of the husband and wife team revealed that the competitiveness had started to settle in.
“The hard part is, because we’re all living together, we really bond with our team as well as the other team, so honestly, first and foremost, I do want to win. I want to win,” she said.
Her husband, Stephen, agreed, “Everybody’s got their game face on.”
The Biggest Loser premieres Monday, Jan. 4 on NBC.