Biggest Loser casting tips (season 15)

07 Jan
January 7, 2013

Biggest Loser

Biggest Loser is getting ready to start casting for season 15!  Casting calls will be posted on the Biggest Loser casting website.  Basically, this post is a collection of tips I’ve written based on my experience making the cast of season three, as well as some links to casting advice I don’t think you should miss:

  • NBC has posted casting information and the application here.  They have all the casting news and information on a special blog just for Biggest Loser casting, which you can find 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, Lose It Fast, Lose It Forever.
  • 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 recent 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! ;)

1176 replies
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  1. TANK says:

    YUP. Nothing.

  2. Tempted says:

    Sorry guys, TANK is a friend, and is at my house. Posting from my computer as we talk about the possibilities of why he hasn’t been viewed. HONESTLY. We are 2 different people. 🙂 He forgot to change the e-mail address after I posted.

  3. surferchick says:

    How do you see if it has been uploaded (on youtube)?

  4. Should Have Been a PI says:



  5. Tempted says:

    @PI- I know, hard to imagine me with a friend 🙂

    @Tank- thanks for getting me trouble!

  6. dancer_sized says:

    what is supposed to happen when you get to the psych analysis…..???????

  7. dancer_sized says:

    it has been like a dream after applying so many times! I am just freaking out!

  8. Curious says:

    Have you already had the psych analysist? Or are you just asking what happens when you do get one?

  9. Curious says:


  10. Tempted says:

    I always assumed (because I’ve never gotten that far) the psych analysis was done during casting week. With their own docs…

    Just assuming….

  11. dancer_sized says:

    a group of peeps I met at a casting have been keeping in contact and they got theirs too but I don’t know what happens next

  12. Curious says:

    That’s what I assumed too but couldn’t really tell from the post

  13. dancer_sized says:

    I am probably using the wrong words for it…sorry!! I havent gotten this far in the years I have been trying out and I sent my stuff in but haven’t heard anything else yet

  14. Curious says:

    When did they contact you to have to go and have the analysis done? And did they just get you to go to a doc in your home town?

  15. Tempted says:

    You’ve got me very confused. What stuff have you sent in?

    I am in contact with a very few…. but I don’t know anyone who has gotten farther than callback, video, and pics. Are you trying to say you have gotten farther than that?

  16. BibiMic says:

    Yes, please fill us in….. From what the CD told me at my CBI you do the exams, etc while a finalist (at the hotel in LA).

    From others I have talked to, and my own experience so far, we have had the CBI, long application, extra pics, extra video footage, a short specific questionnaire, but nothing beyond that. I’m definitely interested in hearing if people have moved past that step, and what they have done.

  17. dancer_sized says:

    the people I became friends with at the casting call have been in contact and there is a group of us that have been filling out the same paperwork. I sent it in last monday

  18. tank says:

    Ok. No one has chimed in about video submissions not getting watched. I guess I will just forget it and move on. Wish there were some way to know if they are done watching

  19. don't remember my old name says:

    Another show I was sequestered for a while back (being casted by J…shoot name eludes me but the Double Dare guy/3Ball dude) did the psych analysis with their own dr and two forms totally about 800-questions (strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, strongly agree type questions). i had to get my own dr to fill out a physical form w/ bloodwork before I was sent flight information. (I think I remember the name now– JD Roth???). I would assume that part of the process is quite similar.

  20. don't remember my old name says:

    i sent my video submission last minute this year bc i just wasn’t sure if i wanted to jump on the roller coaster about it. i’m proud of myself bc i haven’t obsessed about it like i did in the past. i mean, OBSESSED. and i’m talking about season 7 forward. i think i quit applying back on 13 or 14 bc i lost weight on my own. gained it back. lost it again. in the process of gaining it back and i feel so helpless to stop it. i have a daughter now and ideally want to get this journey under control before she starts noticing. i want to have healthy habits in place so that they’re just normal habits. yes, honey, it’s normal to walk/play for an hour a day. it’s normal to have a homemade meal every day. it’s normal to grab a fruit for snack, to eat an early dinner, to drink a ton of water, to not have sugary drinks or snacks in the house, etc.

  21. don't remember my old name says:

    Oh but back to answering the question. My video hasn’t registered as being watched at all. I saw a post on YouTube that said it’s undercounted this week but I definitely don’t think that’s the case with me. I seriously think it hasn’t been watched. I have the mother thing going for me. A sliver of former athlete going for me. Ixnay on the amilyfay ingthay oughthay. I don’t know else were possible categories.

  22. Tempted says:

    @ Don’t Remember- Wishing you all the best! Thanks for chiming in! And congrats on not obsessing!

    Neither TANK nor myself have registered a hit, either. TANK was actually called and asked for video, I just submitted after I read they were looking for Mothers (and I have a smidgen of athlete in me as well as the mother thing). Therefore, both of us submitted passed deadline, but it is now 2 weeks since submitted. Not sure what to think, and having trouble moving on…..

  23. don't remember my old name says:

    from what i understand, the deadline was pushed a little w/ that mother thing. i don’t know truthfully; i’ve been so out of the loop. life doesn’t allow me time to obsess (great thing); i’ve got infant twins, a graduating kid, and a kid who stays in the principal/counselor’s office. not to mention work, my health, and sleep.

    i accidentally clicked on my video instead of looking at video manager; my sight registered that hit. so i’m going to go w/ my video isn’t watched yet.

  24. Tempted says:

    @ Dont remember- sounds like a busy life 🙂 Sleep is highly over- rated! JK. I average 4-5 hours a night, I truly feel your pain, because I have a similar lifestyle.

  25. Matthew McNutt says:

    Hey guys! I’ve really dropped the ball on my blog in recent months!!! Sorry about that … becoming a full time student while working full time and having four boys … it’s been crazy. Anyway, I wanted to create a season 16 casting post to make it easier for people searching to find the tips and to see your advice, so I’m locking the comments on this post and moving the conversation to the new post (that way it’s all in one place):

    Thanks for making this place interesting!!!

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