Biggest Loser casting tips (season 10)

22 Oct
October 22, 2009

Casting has begun for season TEN of Biggest Loser. Can you imagine?  Here are some links with some great casting advice, followed by some of my own advice based on my experience getting on to season three of Biggest Loser (still the best season in my opinion!!!):

  • NBC has posted casting information and the application here.  You can download the application for season ten here.
  • Pete Thomas, the season 2 $100,000 winner has some of the best casting call advice out there, which you can find at his website, Winning Man.
  • Jen Kerns, a season three contestant like myself, and a doctor for the show for seasons four and five, has also put together some fantastic casting advice that you can read here.
  • Holland, a casting director for Biggest Loser sent me a bunch of great advice on how to be casted, you can find it here.  She updated them October, 2009.
  • I’ve been posting these casting tips for the last few seasons and they always seem to end up with thousands of comments; just about every season has contestants that were hanging out on here, reading and giving each other thoughts and advice.  You can find the most reason one here.
  • If you’re dealing with disappointment about not being cast, then check out my post on Biggest Loser casting disappointment.

One of the questions I hear a lot is about money … how do contestants afford to be away from home and work for months at a time? I don’t know what it is now, but when I was a contestant there was a $500 a week stipend for cast members on the ranch. When you received the check you could cash it and spend it, send it home, save it, whatever. All airplane tickets, hotel accommodations, etc., for the contestants and potential cast members are taken care of by NBC, and during the casting process it self there was a $50 per diem to cover food costs.

Another question is timing; typically a season lasts for about 8-9 months. About four of this is spent in filming; if you last all the way until the final three or four, you could be away from home for as much as four months or so. Once the ranch filming wraps and the last few contestants are sent home, however, there is still another four or five months that all the contestants have to continue losing weight until the finale. In addition, potential cast members are flown out to California a couple weeks before filming begins for the final round of casting, medical checkups, psychological evals, etc. NBC brings out more people than what they need and the cast is not finalized until filming literally begins. People have been cut at the last minute and replacements flown in with hardly any time to spare. Nothing is in stone until it’s on camera!

When will you hear from Biggest Loser about your video? There is no way of knowing. I heard back a few weeks after I sent it in, but even after that it’s a big waiting game. If you get a phone number or email from a casting direction, definitely drop them a line/call every couple weeks to find out if you’re still in the running or what’s going on. Schedules and plans change almost every day, so it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. If you don’t hear back within a month I would think your video didn’t make the cut. That doesn’t mean you can’t send in another or visit a casting call – it’s just up to you!

Finally, here’s my video application tips! This is by no means a recipe for success; it’s based on my video application and the conversations I had with casting directors out in LA in between things. I was pretty curious about the whole process so I was pumping them for info even after filming began. I’m such a nerd!

  • They’ve usually decided if they’re interested in you within the first 30-60 seconds of your video, so front load it with your best stuff. Make it interesting! Start off with something funny or exciting!
  • Keep in mind, if you’re going to be cast, your video is going to be watched hundreds of times by producers, executives, casting directors, etc. If it bores you or your friends the second or third time watching it … put some more time into it!
  • Special effects? Don’t bother! We’ve all got video editing software with all sorts of bells and whistles on our home computers, but fancy transitions are not going to sell you to people who do video editing for a living. In fact, it can distract from who you are. I’m a video editing nerd and I didn’t use any special effects other than putting my name and contact info on as a subtitle at the beginning.
  • Don’t bother talking about why you need to lose weight. When I first started filming my audition video I started describing all of my health reasons for losing weight – but when I was watching it back, I realized … they don’t need to hear it! One look at me was all they needed to know I needed to lose weight! Show them why you need to lose it; I said I needed to lose weight for my kids, and then I followed it with a minute or two of the best footage I could find of me with wrestling with my three boys. We probably filmed half an hour of that insanity and I grabbed the cutest, loudest, and funniest few moments for the audition video. Your physical need to lose weight is not nearly as interesting as who or what your losing the weight for.
  • Live loud! Reality TV is over the top, dramatic, and filled with loud personalities. They need to see that on your video! I wanted them to know that even though I was morbidly obese I was up to the challenge of the crazy competitions and workouts – so I threw on a bunch of clips from my different youth group activities; me getting slimed, snowtubing, playing paintball, screaming at events, being on stage, running around … you get the idea. Other contestants did things appropriate to their lives; Tim from Oregon had himself spinning out on his Harley, Tim from Delaware recruited his elementary school class to do things with him, Heather Hanson filmed herself running around in a sports bra all day doing her household chores and errands. The less talking and more action you can have, the better (in my opinion)!
  • If you have footage or photos of yourself thin, include those at some point on the video. If you can show them what your after will be, then do it!

Remember, enjoy the conversation here and know that I will never compromise your anonymity – not to NBC, 3Ball, Casting Directors or anyone. You can post anonymously, or you can leave your names and contact information … just remember that NBC likes to be the one announcing their cast for the show, so if you start identifying yourself publicly as a finalist, you’ll probably find yourself eliminated from the casting process. Be aware that casting directors do check in at my blog to see what people are saying, get a feel for what questions are going on out there, and sometimes to give us updates. Good luck to everyone … and let me know if you make the show! I get a kick out of hearing about the different contestants that have hung out on my blog before making the show! ;)

5783 replies
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  1. knowing says:

    @Big Fat Guy

    Your PCP has paper work to fill out and clear you. That is 100% must be done before you even get flight info

  2. Big Fat Guy says:

    <blockquote cite="#commentbody-30587">

    knowing :@Big Fat Guy Your PCP has paper work to fill out and clear you. That is 100% must be done before you even get flight info

    Would you happen to know what exactly is on the form they need to fill out? I cant explain, But I do need to know…thanks

  3. Call Back Confusion says:

    So is the bio the same as the long application, our long application had a place for us to sign so they could do a background check…

  4. SillyGal says:

    Bio is different. Background and Application is in the package.

  5. SillyGal says:

    I meant to say "Background and App is in the same package together". The Bio is what you write about yourself when they post your picture on the website, its what they put under your picture telling about yourself.

  6. JUSTWAITIN says:

    @SillyGal

    This is what I have done:

    1. Casting Call

    2. Call Back Interview and I took the long application with me

    3. Email 2 days after Call back telling me to do a home video, fill out background check paperwork and write bio.

    I am now, just like my name says, "JUSTWAITIN"

    I guess the processes are different whether it be a casting call or video sent in.

    What website do you mean? I guess you mean TBL website AFTER you are cast for the show. Do they put every applicant up on the website. I wouldn't think so.

    SO SILLYGAL, COngrats and I hope I get to where you are now. and THANKS AGAIN. I think WE ALL are going to worry ourselves until it's over

  7. SillyGal says:

    JustWaitin– When they select the people they want on the show, they introduce the contestants on the website with the bio that you did. Not every applicatant gets put on the site, but they already have the bio for the people they do select. If you have done a bio, then they are very interested in you. Now just wait for the "pitch" 🙂 But don't get to excited, we still have alot of "steps" to go threw 🙂

  8. SillyGal says:

    oh ya, TBL site.

  9. BIGDREAMER says:

    Are all the call back interviews "pitched"??

    That seems like hundreds of people! About 400 if my math is right! Which is probibly not and that doesn't include those of us that can't go to CCs and get pitched from a video! Do all call back peeps fill our backround checks?

    Oh well! I'll just pray and hope and wish you all the very best of luck!

    The CDs know what they're doing! 🙂 I just wish we did lol

  10. GivingItAnotherGo says:

    <blockquote cite="#commentbody-30586">

    Big Fat Guy :

    I heard from another web page that they still havent decided whether or not its Couples, Singles, or a mix. The fact they added extra dates might support that…

    But thanks for the Insight SillyGal…

    Goodness, I hope that's true but all the communication I got was asking me to send in tapes w/ partners.

    The tape I sent in w/ a partner was watched but I have not been contacted for anything more. Boo. They loved my tape w/ me by myself and I thought I found a good partner but it wasn't a relative and I don't know if that's what's the problem.

    I really need to just forget about this process and just let what happens happen.

  11. BE A 10 says:

    I just noticed that my video was watched in CA. but they only watched part one of mine and all of my hubby's video. They did not watch part two of my video. I guess that is a sign that we aren't what they are looking for. 🙁

  12. BIGDREAMER says:

    Maybe it was a BL hopeful in California!

  13. SillyGal says:

    @BIGDREAMER

    Not everyone that gets a call back gets "pitched".Not everyone fills out a background/ application/ bio gets "pitched". However you have to fill out the Background/application/bio first, then they decide if they "pitch" you and will tell you if you are being pitched.

  14. helpful says:

    RECEIVED THIS E-MAIL LAST NIGHT (IT STATES TEAMS OR INDIVIDUALS):

    The Biggest Loser is back and searching for teams of two or individuals (if you do not have a teammate).

    Do you have 100+ lbs to lose? If so, apply today and take the first step towards a healthy lifestyle and compete for a chance to win $250,000.

    We are searching the entire country for people JUST LIKE YOU…so WHY NOT YOU?!

    For more detailed nationwide casting information and to download the application visit:
    http://www.thebiggestlosercasting.com

    Come meet the casting directors on August 21, 2010!

    NTC PROMENADE

    2640 HISTORIC DECATUR ROAD

    SAN DIEGO, CA 92106

    10 am to 6 pm

  15. caligurl says:

    so is there a deadline for tapes?

  16. Shawna Joy says:

    @helpful

    Hey, i got the same email 😀 Thanks for positing it though, cause it shows that they are still looking for both 🙂

    I know a lot of people are hearing different things concerning this and some reports have been that CD's are saying you really need to apply with a family memeber and other reports are saying that you really need to apply with a partner to have a chance and two seperate posters here have said that CD's have encouraged them to apply as singles and not worry about not having a partner . . . Sooooooo, I think that we should not worry, everyone should get in a tape, cause if they cast the show and then don't have time for more CC's, they may look at the tapes to fill in the spots that they need. Also, it very well, could be that they are looking for certain spots for certain cities and that is why we are hearing different things OR it could be that things have been changing this whole time and that is why they are still saying both partners and singles. I guess it does make since that they do all the CCs and they pitch all their favorites and then start working on the cast, they may have perfect partners and perfect singles and just say, well, these are all so perfect, lets do partners, or these are all so perfect, lets do singles, OR what the heck let's have fun with this, and mix it up and see what happens 😀

    Who knows what they will do and while you all know me by now, I do feel that you should not keep your hopes up and put off anything cause we are not guaranteed tomorrow, BUT, there is no way in heck you should not do a video and hold on to some hope, cause once the cast starts being put together and they decide they need those other spots filled, (they said two people on the ranch now were cast not from the CCs but from the home tapes), then if you have a tape in, you may at that specific moment be the perfect applicant for the show, but if you don't submit a tape they will not have you to consider, just never know 🙂 so get a tape in asap

  17. dying to know says:

    So I got an email from my CD on Friday and it said that the tentative finals week is around Sept. 3, 4, 5…basically its the 1st or 2nd week in Sept. SO, that leads me to believe pitching has not even started…

  18. BIGDREAMER says:

    Why would they have a CC the same week as finals?!

    Has anyone seen thin mint?

  19. dying to know says:

    @BIGDREAMER

    I thought the same thing but I did not ask…last season there was only 1 week between the last CC and finals week…

  20. BIGDREAMER says:

    I am emotional today. Time to pray!!

  21. Big Fat Guy says:

    <blockquote cite="#commentbody-30605">

    BIGDREAMER :Why would they have a CC the same week as finals?

    From some accounts I've read, Finals week was starting the 5th. I doubt that now. I bet they arent finding what theyre looking for…seems strange. I wonder if everything is getting pushed back a week.

  22. Busy says:

    @Big Fat Guy

    That seems early.

    They may have most of the cast and are looking for the final few- or- like in my case, they changed the theme and need mostly a new cast. If that is the case, people who haven't heard may get called if they fit the bill.

    I am out of the running for BL since I lost some more weight! I have 75 pounds to go, but not 100 anymore! I will just keep seeing what happens with everyone!

  23. dying to know says:

    I was told last week by my CD that pitches have not started yet…that they are still gathering and getting ready to start them.

  24. BIGDREAMER says:

    @dying to know

    That's good to know!!! Are you being pitched?!

  25. question says:

    <blockquote cite="#commentbody-30610">

    dying to know :

    I was told last week by my CD that pitches have not started yet…that they are still gathering and getting ready to start them.

    was it the CD that did your callback interview or another CD?

  26. sillygal says:

    Busy– Congrats on the weight loss, I'm so excited for you. What have you been doing to lose weight? I have decided that all of this (getting on BL) is now out of my hands. I have done all that I can do to try and get on (and am still in the running hopefully). However, Life must go on and I must try and attack my weight issue NOW! So I am eating right and would like some tips!

  27. sillygal says:

    Busy— Congrats on your weight loss!!! I'm jealous 🙂

  28. sillygal says:

    ok yes…my computer is dumb. I didn't think my first post to busy posted.

  29. dying to know says:

    @question

    the same one

  30. dying to know says:

    @question

    the same one

    @BIGDREAMER

    I was told yes…

  31. dying to know says:

    @BIGDREAMER

    and since my CD told me no one is being pitched yet, we can all sigh and be positive…atleast for now…

  32. Magoo says:

    @caligurl – the deadline for tapes is August 27. The packages must be postmarked by then. (Per Jodi's Facebook page)

  33. Matthew McNutt says:

    Hey everyone, I finally got around to starting a season 11 post … you can find it here: http://matthewmcnutt.com/?p=2592

    I'm closing the comments on this one just because it's getting so huge … continue the conversation on the season 11 page! : )

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