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! ;)

988 replies
« Older Comments
  1. Should Have Been a PI says:

    @Nanny

    I just sent you a friend request on facebook. I have something I really need to share with you that I think you’ll want to hear (even if you want to Friend me, just to hear it and then Unfriend me). I think it is really important for you to consider.

  2. Balzak75 says:

    So sorry we didn’t get back to you PI. My wife was working until after 10pm the night before the casting call 3hours from home. We had a budget dilemma and that put us in NC instead of Boston for the casting call. We really would have loved to meet up. I did promise her a trip to Boston to feed her boyband addiction.That is just what a good hubby does. When we map out the trip in May or June we will contact you so we can meet up. I literally looked at the bank account at 6:30 am and said well, with the tolls and such NC is cheaper,so NC it is.

    Confused with you guys on the change ups. We can but wonder what they are planning.

    Our team couldn’t go with us which was irritating to say the least, but we really did well and even brought their pics and sent their apps.

    It is literally in God’s hands now.

    Prayers for us all tonight!!

  3. Balzak75 says:

    Okay, PI, share with the rest of the class,even if it has to be a PM on social media.lol

  4. Tempted says:

    Agreed- PI that is just a teazer :) We wanna know, too!!!

  5. She She says:

    I went to the Charlotte casting call with a front of the line pass! It was fun and I met quite a few nice people there. Also the casting directors were really nice… We shall see…submitting a video :)

  6. Zoey Pinkk says:

    So what questions are they asking people this time around?

  7. Balzak75 says:

    The questions are always the same. They really just want you to just be yourself. If you stress over how you are going to answer the questions that is what will mess you up. True story. I am a very charismatic and well spoken person. I asked that very question, traveled 7 hours for an audition over a year ago and ended up bombing my audition. I was so angry with myself. I have never done that again and am better at answering. They always ask very open ended questions. Don’t worry. You just have to be yourself.

  8. Balzak75 says:

    Funny story about our casting experience this weekend. My wife and I arrived and were the second to last group to go in. Thank you 95 traffic for adding an extra 2 1/2 hours onto my travel. Anyway, we get in there and they immediately go to my wife first who speaks and then to myself. We had Ned and spent a great deal of time talking. We were the reason our table ran beyond late. Sorry guys. They were given the three minute warning after one person spoke after us. When we were leaving he told us that we were like a sitcom couple. That really amused us. We are larger than life and love to talk and converse with others so this was a lot of fun. Here’s hoping. Our team couldn’t make it so we took their pictures as well. Hoping that doesn’t hurt us.

  9. Hopeful says:

    Yeah, don’t worry about the questions. They want to see YOUR personality. YOUR INDIVIDUAL response is what they are looking for. There are NO right or wrong answers. :) Just know why you want this… Why do YOU deserve it?

  10. Zoey Pinkk says:

    :) Thanks guys! I’m going down this Sat, unless I decide to get a hotel on Friday?? :)

  11. Balzak75 says:

    Good luck!!

  12. Nanny says:

    PI
    We just became Facebook friends! At least I hope that was you. Can’t wait to hear what you have to say.

  13. Balzak75 says:

    Hoping to get video with our team done today so my lovely wife can put it all together. You all know how time consuming a video is. Here’s hoping.

  14. Curious says:

    Hey All…direct from twitter from last weekends casting calls
    @CAVashus some are done on sunday but this yr we’re calling back up to several days after the CC. We will find a way to iview u if needed

    manda Kelso ‏@amandajk01 · 22h
    @BLcastingteam are you guys still doing callbacks
    BiggestLoser Casting· 2h
    @amandajk01 yes

  15. Balzak75 says:

    Makes you wonder what is going on.

  16. Curious says:

    Us southern folk know how to blow the socks off of a casting team and they are narrowing it down to the best if the best hahaha. I sure hope my name is in that list of call back ms!!

  17. Should Have Been a PI says:

    They’re holding out / searching for those “Families of 4″!

  18. Nanny says:

    McNuttys are like family

  19. Balzak75 says:

    Maybe. I guess they will let us know when it is over. These types of castings are always difficult. Did anyone else read that Jillian is leaving BL for good because of the Rachel thing and how they portray her as the bad guy?

  20. Should Have Been a PI says:

    @Balzak

    “Did anyone else read that Jillian is leaving BL for good because of the Rachel thing and how they portray her as the bad guy?”

    NO! I’m not surprised about her leaving, but in what way did they portray her as the bad guy?

  21. Hopeful says:

    I don’t blame her. If they would have pulled that caffeine supplement crap on me I would have been pissed as well. They only did that to get Ruben back on the show. So yes, she has a right to be upset. And I think they will change some things this time around. Or at least I hope so. lol

  22. Curious says:

    HOT OFF THE PRESSES …DIRECT FROM FACEBOOK:
    Update: callbacks are NOT complete yet for BOS, BHM, or CLT. We will post once they are! Good Luck!

  23. Parental Guidance is Suggested says:

    Headed to OKC on Saturday. I have been lurking on here for about two years and finally decided to post.

    Am I paranoid, much? Probably

  24. Hopeful says:

    Haha. Welcome :)

  25. Parental Guidance is Suggested says:

    Thank you Hopeful.

  26. Should Have Been a PI says:

    Biggest Loser Casting facebook page
    51 secs ago

    Callbacks for Charlotte, Boston and Birmingham are now COMPLETE! Thank you for your patience, as we had some really tough decisions to make. If you did not receive a callback this time around, please send a video for a second chance! We watch all videos that come in by the deadline (info on how to make a vide is listed on our website as well as where to send it and the deadline). Congrats to those moving forward in the casting process and to the rest of you, we sincerely hope that you will find it within yourself to begin (or continue) your weight loss journey on your own! We LOVE to hear success stories and hope we will one day hear YOURS! Best of luck to you all! -The BL Casting Team

  27. Balzak75 says:

    Knew it was a long shot to go and not take family members. Even doing a video with blood relatives is a long shot. Our friends are closer to us than our family.
    Kinda bummed but though we killed audition knew it was a long shot.
    Good luck to all those who got callbacks.

  28. Should Have Been a PI says:

    BTW, I did not get a CB.

  29. Nanny says:

    PI
    Sorry. Now on to the video, right?

    Balzak
    Don’t give up!

  30. Parental Guidance is Suggested says:

    Realistically, if someone is trying out as an individual, is he/she out for this season? I mention this because it sounded as if some of the former athletes were asked to remain after group interviews during this last batch of CCs.

  31. Zoey pinkk says:

    I know of two people that got callbacks. One used to be an all American weight lifter or something like that. The other is female, and she used to be in the army. She said her callback interview was 45 minutes w 3 casting directors. She also said that they have till the 15 of may to figure out who is in. That kinda confused me, I thought they usually kept people in the running up till the last minute. Are they filming in June?

  32. Hopeful says:

    May 15th might be the deadline for the CD’s to pick the ones they want to send to the next round of casting in California. This explains the May 2nd deadline for videos. Everyone should send a video! :)

    I think i read somewhere that they would be filming starting in July. Not 100% positive.

  33. Should Have Been a PI says:

    WHO CAN MAKE THEMSELVES A FORMER ATHLETE BY SATURDAY?!!!

    Notice they’ve changed the order of who they’re looking for. ATHLETES ARE NOW NAMED FIRST!

    A Freudian slip; maybe, maybe not.

    Taken from Biggest Loser’s facebook post (6 min ago):
    “The Biggest Loser Casting Team is coming to Chicago this weekend to find the winner of Season 16! We’re looking for FORMER ATHLETES, INDIVIDUALS and FAMILIES! Will the next season winner be a listener of The Drive 97.1? Let’s find out!”

  34. Nanny says:

    Sure is quiet on here

  35. Tempted says:

    Good luck and safe travels to everyone going to a casting call this weekend!

    This is the last weekend already! Can you believe how quickly the casting process is going? From a 14 city tour a couple years ago down to a 7 city tour this season. BL is definitely losing momentum.

  36. bumble_breeze says:

    I am wonderin how many families they have found! I tell ya, my family and I would make a perfect group on there! none of us are former athletes but we are a hoot when we are together. I sent in a video of us all………so so so nervous! Wish I could make it to a casting call so they could see us in real life. Anyone else hoping they haven’t switched over to former athletes bein the priority??

  37. Tempted says:

    Honestly, Bumble_Breeze….. I hope they abandon both ideas :) I still prefer to watch the individual seasons. Something is lost in these “themes”. IMO.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. [...] Check out the above graphic to see when and where the open casting calls for the next season of Biggest Loser are being held! Exact times and locations will be updated soon at the casting website, http://www.thebiggestlosercasting.com. What this means, since filming usually begins 4-6 months before the season premiere, is that we’re probably looking at another January launch to the show. Casting will happen over the next few months, be finalized in the summer, and begin filming late summer for a January premiere. Good luck! For more advice on trying out for the show, check out my casting tips blog post. [...]

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