Updated Biggest Loser casting tips (season 7)

16 Jun
June 16, 2008

Hey everyone!  I’ve locked this thread – too many comments!  It was taking forever to load!  To find the casting tips for season eight blog entry, just follow this link: Biggest Loser casting tips (season eight)!

   

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now … but only now got around to it!  Biggest Loser is casting for season seven – my guess is that they will begin filming at the end of summer or the beginning of fall.  To get the application and more information from NBC, click here.  To find my original casting tips post which contains the video application advice you’ll see below as well as over a thousand comments worth of discussion, click here.  I’ve added my answers to a couple questions that seem to come up a lot, as well as my tips for a casting video; I was cast on season three because of my video – I’ve never actually been to a casting call.  And 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 accomdations, 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, physchological 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 frontload 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 editting 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 editting for a living.  In fact, it can distract from who you are.  I’m a video editting 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 descibing 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 Deleware 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!

There’s probably other things to say, but that’s all I can think of at the moment!  If you have other questions, post ‘em here and I’ll add it to the list!  Good luck!

*** EDIT ***

Pete Thomas, season 2 $100,000 champion and currently a big asset in the casting process left a comment in the discussion below (to read the full comment, click here).  Here are few timeless highlights from his comment:

While I could give you tons of additional tips I will give you the BIG ones. They are really the only 3 that matter for the Open Call and Call Back.

#1 Your Look – Come looking beautiful or handsome. Men (and women) come shaven and looking neat, clean and beautiful. If you’re a slob this is the wrong show for you. You may be fat but you should still have a level of self confidence and respect that shows through in how you carry yourself. No need to dress for a wedding but Erik from Season 3 bought new clothes. See my site for his interview.

# 2 Your Team – Think about this. Who has a stronger team ’story’ – Two Fat Camp Counselors or two third Cousins? Get it? How you ‘relate’ to your teammate makes a big difference since this is part of your story. If you’re an individual all hope is not lost as they may have some twist that gets you on the show (think Bernie and Brittany from Season 4).

#3 Your Job – Assassins need not apply. Interesting or regular jobs only please.

Extra A – Have A LOT to lose. Men with ‘only’ 100 lbs to lose are borderline at best this year. Women with 70 lbs to lose are borderline. 700 pounders are also a no go. You have to be able to exercise. But I have a feeling one day that may be a twist or special feature they will add to inspire those who are that size.

Extra B – Type A’s get cast on the show. And the A’s of the Type A’s (See Bullets #5 from Matt’s video blog above – Live Loud)

There are even more tips I could give that have to do with interpersonal stuff which is where I see people mess up but remember what Matt said – Live Loud (not obnoxious, but Loud -)

Pete

Talk to you soon and remember, There’s a Winner Wi ‘thin’ You!

http://WinningMan.com

2403 replies
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  1. Working At It says:

    After last night's episode and I am really beginning to wonder what was happening with the women at the ranch (on Jillian's team) vs. what we're seeing due to editing. I was just floored by the interactions between Jillian and her team. I do have to admit, like Jerry, there is justs a slight bit of annoyance in my head when I see that some of them don't show a strong desire to be there and kick butt. Again though, I remind myself that there is editing involved (and the producers have a responsibility to keep viewers interested!). So who knows.

    I still find it inspirational- especially the Red Team who I absolutely love to watch! And there is a part of me that's so thankful that MY "down days" aren't being filmed for the world to see! :)

  2. Kim says:

    I am bummed, I had a training for Kids church last night…then I heard that the 2nd hour is being aired tonight. But alas I have a committment tonight too. Thank God I have a friend with a DVR who is always willing to record it for me and allow me free reign at his house to watch it whenever I want. ANd sometimes he might even watch it with me. YAY! So tomorrow I will watch both hours all at once and without commercials!!!

  3. Working At It says:

    Ohhh!!! Well I hope I didn't spoil it for you Kim! I will be sure not to say anything else til you've seen both episodes! 😉

  4. Plus size barbie says:

    this season is a joke….

    the women aren't motivated and i think they should have picked better people….

    kinda disappointed!

    i read the blog but dont ever comment til now..b/c the purple team really pisses me off! lol

  5. Kim says:

    Nothing spoiled for me…jsut excited to watch even more now!

  6. Dot says:

    who got voted off last night? I was watching and then my 17 month old had me busy so I missed it.
    Thanks

  7. Coolsher says:

    I'm certain that it is too late to apply for season 7, but is it possible to submit my information for consideration for later on or is it better to wait? I am a newbee to this whole process, but very dedicated to becoming a future cast member.

  8. Libbee B. says:

    Hey ya'll!

    It's been a while but I thought I'd come on and say Howdy!

    I'm still dieting and working out. I stopped drinking Coke about 2 months ago–OMG! I was a major Cokaholic but I don't even miss it! I haven't been to a fast food restaurant in over 2 months either. I used to go every night before work but now I'm cooking stuff at home and taking it to work and I feel SO much better from eating good food!

    I'm disappointed in Season 6 as well. I really liked the yellow team and I really wanted the dad to stay there for as long as possible. They seemed to be the most genuine out of all of the contestants. I was so sad when he had to leave. :(

    I don't "dislike" the other teams because I don't know them personally, but they're not very exciting. Where I used to go home on Wednesday morning and watch BL first thing, now I find it sitting in my DVR for a few days before I even feel like sitting down to watch it. I dunno…just not much fun to watch this fall. :(

    I do agree about the brown team though. I watched their audition video and I was like…HOW did they get chosen? I'm so tired of married couples with young children at home. We need to go back to singles who are doing it for themselves instead of for someone else or their partner!

    I couldn't believe that girl on the purple team acted the way she did! That didn't make me want to watch the show, it made me wish they would kick her off! It just makes me mad that so many of us wanted it so badly and knew how hard it would be but didn't get chosen. Those people just whined all the way through. That's not drama, that's just being big babies.

    But I think it does show how much Jillian cares because she went back and tried to work with purple girl even though she was so disrespectful.

    Oh well, hope ya'll are doing great!

    Have a great day!
    ~Christi

  9. jerry#2 says:

    Is anyone else sick of the constant red team mantra of "our son Rhett, he's autistic….", they start every darn sentence with that. I'm so over this season. I also find it sitting in my vr for a few days until I can stomach them. Gag me. I can't wait for january and the audition process begins again. Blah!

  10. jerry#2 says:

    Oh yeah, and MING!

  11. Tankarella says:

    This season stinks. I dont mean to offend but it really is a lame season. The cast is lifeless and vapid.

  12. It's going to b says:

    Well Helloooo Everyone!
    I don't know how long it's been since I was here last, but not much has changed here. I'm Still Fat….

    I've been really busy between work, fixing up our rental house to sell (not a great idea with the economy, but gotta' get rid of it), and also getting ready for vacation. It's been pretty busy.

    My husband and I have made a few positive cahnges. I have been cooking all meals at home except for one meal a week. We haven't lost any weight and my husband thinks it's time to gorge himself, but we are eating at home.

    As far as season 6, I'm not bitter I didn't try out for 6. But I will say I also don't like the brown team.

    As far as the red team goes, I read on Amy's blog about being razzed on the whole autistic platform and she made a good point. After how many hours of filming in a week, the show picks out like 50 seconds of what THEY WANT to show. So although we keep hearing it's not necessarily what the red team is wanting to be shown. I think if I were the red team I's be a little irritated with the editing and constantly hearing, "My son Rhett, he's autistic" I also think from what we've seen Charlie Brown is a pretty cool kid. I think the show is capitalizing on the whole autistic platform as it has been big in the news. The red team is by no means my favorite, but I also think we need to remember it's all about the editing.

    I wish they would show more of Renee. I think we've heard enough of Michelle being torn. Let's hear what her mom thinks. Let's see some bonding between them.

    I'm also bitter though about Season 7. I'm feeling pretty ticked off as well. I WANT Bad! I don't think I'll be able to watch Season 7. I had to take a break from this site to get my mind off it. I also still haven't decided whether I'd go on that rollercoaster for Season 8. I did however learn a lot from the casting experience and would probably do better next time around. How many times did Brittney try out? I'm gonna' think about it.

    Regardless I STILL love watching the show and tune in every week.

    Hope all of you are well!

  13. jerry#2 says:

    I will certainly have a hard time watching 7, but i gotta see who beat me out, lol. I guess the autistic platform is being played hard by the editors, and i do love the kid, i cry when i hear him on the phone, matter of fact i re-watched that part of the episode. I am a sucker for kids, since i do not have any. I have deccided to try out for 8 in january, but had such a tough time with the waiting process for 7, that 8 might just kill me. lol…..MING!

  14. NewBLFan says:

    I watched the season premier, and thats it. I didn't like it from day one, plus my DVR has too many other of my favorite shows to record in that timeslot so I've not watched another. I do plan to watch season 7 since thats the one I didn't make it on :( I too want to know who they thought was better than me!

  15. jerry#2 says:

    so quiet on here since filming season 7 began, how is every one?? I think of BL every damn day, and how my life would be different right now, what color team would i be? what trainer would I have? what would I have eaten for lunch or dinner? What challenges would I have won by now? and most of all,,,,,,,how much weight would I have lost by now?

  16. bubblyme says:

    Jerry have you done anything on your own to lose weight? Wasn't sure if you were trying Matt's challenge or not.

  17. jerry#2 says:

    no, i cant do it alone.

  18. Kim says:

    Do it with us Jerry!!! We might be miles from each other….but we are not alone!!!

  19. jerry#2 says:

    i dont even know where to start

  20. Kim says:

    Jerry,

    Start with something simple. You don't have to go and do the all out program at this point. Any changes you make, will make a diffference. Whatever your current level of physical activity is…increase it. Go for a walk around the block today and twice tomorrow. DO that this week. See what happens. If you are ready, begin watching calorie intake. If you get overwhelmed by the exercise portion at this point, then jsut start by writing down what you eat, regardless of what it is. We will be here for you, Jerry!

  21. jerry#2 says:

    alrighty, so where i work, it is a huge campus, i always hop into my car to go to another building, today i vow to walk to all the other buildings. i mean they are all miles apart, i swear!

  22. Kim says:

    Great!! I cannot wait to hear how it goes!!! You can do it Jerry!

  23. jerry#2 says:

    kim- went well, and i didnt even eat garbage today! lets see how tomorrow goes.

  24. Kim says:

    Way to Go Jerry!!! Keep it up!! Hey if you want to email directly you can. My email is Road2Beautiful@gmail.com

  25. ShyGirl says:

    Hi everyone…just wanted to give you a heads up and let you know that the Oprah show I attended with Bob and Jillian will be on this Thursday, October 30 :)

  26. bubblyme says:

    So what was it like in the audience? Is it anything like what it looks like on TV?

  27. jerry#2 says:

    i dvrd the oprah show, i dont think she has ever watched BL ever, she looked and sounded dumb, and i was dying for jillian to grab her and make her do some dang pushups, how funny would that have been!!!!!!????

  28. Wondering says:

    Hello again all. I had to RIP myself away from this site for a while after not getting the coveted "call" for season 7. Like a lot of you, I was an emotional wreck for a while. I have even met with a surgeon to talk about gastric bypass…..

    Although, I think I have come to the conclusion tonight that I will be ready to apply again when they announce casting for season 8. I honestly thought I would never do this again after the rejection for season 7, but something inside me is still telling me GO for it…. STILL.

    Has anyone heard when they will start casting again?

  29. Matthew McNutt says:

    My suspicion is that they will start announcing it in December around the finale when interest is at its highest. : )

  30. Anita Metzger says:

    Where do they generally announce it? I want to be sure I don't miss it.

    Thanks :)

  31. jerry#2 says:

    wondering- I had gastric bypass 5 years ago, best thing i ever did, til the weight crept back, i lost 160 lbs in 10 months, and now have gained 60 of it back. i still qualify for the show though and you betcha im gonna reapply in dec or whenever

  32. ItsaSecret says:

    I am curious if anyone else got an email yesterday. It said that BL is NOT casting now, but they wanted my name and state replied back in the subject line. My team was pitched to the network this past September… wonder if that had anything to do with it.

  33. Libbee B. says:

    Hey ya'll!

    I know its been over a month since I was on here but I've just been taking a break from the web. I was spending WAY too much time on here and not doing other stuff.

    I hope this finds you all well and ready for the Christmas season! It is up on us now whethere we're ready or not. I don't know about you all but I do most of my shopping online because I can't stand going to the mall and seeing all those grumpy, unhappy looking people. :( Tis the season to be jolly! LOL

    I received an unusual email this past week, that's all I'll say about that. :)

    Best to you all!

    ~Christi

  34. bubblyme says:

    I don't think I'll qualify for BL season 8 anymore. It's a good thing but also .. well I'm sad too. I'll be right around 220 in January. I doubt they'd take someone that weight that only wants to get to like 165? What do you think?

    Rebecca

  35. firegal00 says:

    Could anyone tell me where audition tapes are to be sent to? Thanks so much for your help.

  36. Matthew McNutt says:

    When NBC starts casting again, they'll post an address. Until then I'd sit on the tape. : )

  37. Wondering says:

    OK, so here is a question for ya…

    I got pretty far in season 6 casting based on an original video I had submitted as a single (they then had me make a few more vids with different partners).

    I am wondering if I should submit that same original video of myself (I had really put a LOT of work into it and don't know that I could make one any better now if I tried)

    OR if I really need to make a new video for submission for season 8?

    There are so many CDs that chances it will even be seen by the same people are probably slim right? Even if it was… wouldn't that just jog their memory about seeing me last season's casting and make me stand out more? OR will they think I am just being lazy and not taking the time to make something new??

    I still weigh the same as I did in my video. Everything is still the same. Since it had such good results for me the first time around and got me call backs and attention from them over there….. should I go with the same video again??

    Advice would be appreciated!

  38. Brittney says:

    okay….. I have been wanting to audition, and I thought i just needed to send in a tape of myself telling my name and so on. Well after reading this lovely layout of information I am sooooo scared. I'm not good at editing and I think my audition tape will suck HELP!!!!!

  39. bubblyme says:

    You don't have to edit your tape, they do that. Just make sure you show your personality in it and have FUN with it. Be original!!

    I did a top ten thing "Top ten reasons it sucks being fat" …

  40. Carmen says:

    I, too, received that email. I figured it was for a database or something. My partner and I were not pitched to my knowledge. We just sent in a tape.

  41. bubblyme says:

    Ok this is such a HUUUUUUGGGGE blog that I don't want to go through it all. So can you guys that filled out medical forms tell me what the process is afterwards? I mean, do I assume that if everything is okay with medical forms that the next step is on camera interviews? Or is it more trying out type stuff?

  42. Pick Me - Pick Me - says:

    What up guys / gals!

    Long time sense last post. Great to hear some of you have lost to much weight to get on the show!!! I am still ready willing and able. I have loved this season. Want to shake vicky but it is a game. Just wanted to say hi and cant wait till the next round of waiting in a panic for the call!

    Be good!

    Jeromy!

  43. PB&J says:

    hey guys its been along time since I have posted, but last nights episode made me so mad!! I have been watching the biggest loser since season 2 and this is the first season that I saw Bob actually tell a contestant that he is scared for her, because she has been caught up in the game, and not learning about herself, and the nutrition needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle after the biggest loser. I could not believe that he straight out told her, and she just kind of shrugged it off like "oh well at least I made it to the finale!" Then after 11 or 12 weeks of working your butt off, sacrificing work, family, and friends you go into the finale and you gain two pounds just so your wife can be a finalist. That is absolutely rediculous!! Wouldn't it be better if you both were a lock for the finals, then because if Ed won next week Heba still gets the money. Ed i'm sorry man but that was absolutely stupid of you to gain two pounds of water weight just so your wife can be in the finale. I love the Biggest Loser and I even was sequestered to be on the show, but if the producers or anybody told me to sabotage the weigh in I would tell them to kiss my a**, because the show ends up being about turning your life around. This is the first season that I felt the show was more about gameplay than actually working out. I wish everybody a wonderful holdiay season, and wish everybody goodluck when season 8 casting begins!

  44. Tina Marie says:

    HI all! Well, I have spent the last three hours reading through this blog, and I am feeling very inspired! I have spent the last two seasons watching the show and dreaming about being on it. I finally decided to give it a chance, and this has lots of info! I was wondering if anyone knows when the Biggest Loser will post the Season 8 application and casting calls. I just can't wait to do this!! I really feel like this is my year! Should I get started on making my video?

    Matthew, thanks so much for all of this info! Your dedication to being helpful is amazing! God bless!

  45. PICK ME - PICK ME - says:

    I called a Casting Director, figured why not. I was told there is not date when casting will start but was told to start working on new videos to send in. Also told to watch the final show as there might be some insight when to start sending in those tapes. I have a camera in hand sense last call back getting everything I can. I hope to have a few hours of tape so I can cut up several 10 min videos. At my call back back in Early Sept. was told start looking for new casting in Jan 09. Start rolling that tape. See you in line at the Los Angeles Casting call, had a blast this year! Can't wait to do it again.

  46. Applying again? says:

    I saw on NBC an hour ago that season 8 is now casting.

  47. Applying again? says:

    Wondering,

    I don't know what to tell you about the tape except maybe to update it. Don't lose the feel of it but show them where you are now that some months have past.

    AA

  48. Here We Go!! says:

    Here we go again people I of course like many others didn't make the changes I wanted to this season so I think i'm going to apply again this time though my video will be better!!

  49. Matthew McNutt says:

    Hey guys; check the top of the post to get the link to the new casting tips blog entry. I'm locking this one because it's just sooooo huge … it takes forever to load! Keep talking away … just do it on the season eight casting entry!

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