Biggest Loser casting tips (season 16)

22 May
May 22, 2014

Biggest Loser is well into casting for season 16!  The latest information 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! ;)

187 replies
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  1. Tempted says:

    Soooo…. I guess the question is, do I take a “wait and see” approach? I’ve heard of others getting phone calls asking for the password. Of course, if they have already viewed then I would never get that call.

    Or, do I cut them off at the pass and send it all anyway? Assuming that they were unable to view it, and saving them a phone call.

  2. ChunkyMonkey says:

    I would definitely send the password with a really cute picture of yourself and a sweet note
    to spark their interest.

  3. Balzak75 says:

    Glad to see some activity on here. @BFG that is great news that you are down that far. It had to feel great to not qualify.

  4. Tempted says:

    So…. my video has been loaded 2 times. Once by webcrawler.com, and once by budovideo.com. Any chance either of those are the casting team for EMWLE?

  5. ChunkyMonkey says:

    I’m not sure but I don’t think so. Just send them your video link with password again to make sure they are seeing it!! You aren’t going to “luck” your way in to either of these shows. You have to work hard to get on the show and even harder when you get there!

    Good luck! I hope nothing but the best for you!

  6. Tempted says:

    Wishing you the best, too, Chunky Monkey!!!

    They have my password! Thanks for the encouragement.

  7. Tempted says:

    Just saw a post for EMWLE looking for engaged couples. Do you think it is a whole cast of that? Or even a whole cast of couples? Ugh. I didn’t like it when BL went that route, and don’t like the idea here.

    I hope they have a few singles in there. It is easier to get behind singles and really get to know them.

  8. Should Have Been A PI says:

    Hi Everyone
    Hope all is well, with all of you. It’s been a very long winter with my 9+ feet of snow, in just 3 1/2 weeks. Still completely buried under, as it’s just not going away. Not sure it ever will. lol

    Haven’t written in a while, whereas I’ve had nothing new to say.

    @Tempted
    Not that you don’t know it already, but what’s happening to you and your video is very strange. Hope it turns out to be something really good for you. I know you could really use them coming thru for you, right about now! Praying for you…

    I’m curious, where did you see the “post for EMWLE looking for engaged couples”? Do you have the link for it, that you could post here? I haven’t seen anything at all along those lines. I completely agree with you, I don’t like the themed seasons of these shows. To me, it seems to target only a limited amount of viewers as well, whereas so many wouldn’t relate to their themes.

    Keep positive thoughts!!! From what I understand, there’s still a chance. Good Luck!!!

  9. Tempted says:

    Hey PI!!!!! Good to see you again! Sorry for all your terrible weather!

    OK….. not very technically savvy. I can’t figure out how to post it here. The advertisement keeps popping up on my Facebook newsfeed. It is the orange/yellow picture for EMWLE with the black lettering, and the words across the top say:

    ENGAGED? Want to get ENGAGED? Do you have at least 75 lbs to lose before your big day? Season 6 is now casting.

    As for my video. If they were truly interested I think they would have called by now, but the fact that my BL videos were loaded so many times after casting for the BL, I have to wonder if they were considering me for another show? And my EMWLE video has only been loaded by webcrawler (who knows what that is) and budovideos (a martial arts company).

    What is strange is that I can’t find it when I go to the casting teams page, but it keeps popping up on my newsfeed. And only 75lbs? I thought it was supposed to be 50% of your weight.

  10. Should Have Been A PI says:

    Holland Weathers posted this Advertisement for a new show (WEIGHT LOSS FOR LOVE) just a few minutes ago. Hope it helps someone out there.

    Hey Y’all! I’m now casting a new show for a major cable network that you are going to LOVE!! See flyer details and SHARE with anyone you know who may want to do this! The minimum weight requirement is just 50+lbs to lose so hopefully some people that don’t qualify for BL or EWL will qualify for this!!
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1603765169840240&set=a.1389850394565053.1073741833.100006203162861&type=1&theater

  11. Should Have Been A PI says:

    @Tempted

    OK, I am a member (if that’s the right word) of both the TV show and Casting Team’s facebook pages. In other words, I’ve clicked “Like” on both their pages, a long time ago. Because I haven’t recently received anything in my facebook newsfeed from them, like you described (about engaged couples, etc.), I went searching everywhere thru 2015 and back thru all of 2014.

    Are you receiving these advertisements from the TV show itself or from their Casting Team?

    You should be able to post your advertisement here, the same way I posted the advertisement for Holland’s new show above. Because you say you’re “not very technically savvy”, I’ll try to explain how to post a link of it, to Matt’s blog. Forgive me please, if I am making it too simple, as I do not know just what help you actually need.

    You need to open (double click on) the “orange/yellow picture for EMWLE with the black lettering” in your facebook newsfeed. It should open to a new page of just that one post. Assuming you’re using a computer and not a cell phone…at the top of the new page should be the web address “link” to that specific advertisement (https://………). Click on it and highlight the full address. Either cut or copy that web address and come back over here, to paste it into a new post on Matt’s blog.

    Go back to the advertisement and copy the body / message of their post and paste it over here with the link you just pasted. Add the date of the original posted advertisement from your facebook newsfeed, for extra info., so I can look in my newsfeed later to see if I can figure out why I don’t receive them.

    When you’re finished, from the opened advertisement on facebook, you’ll need to roll back a page and you are right back where you started.

    Hope this helped.

    BTW, I am receiving advertisements from them too, just not ones regarding couples, engaged couples, specific themes, etc.

    Good Luck with this attempt, as well as GOOD LUCK with hearing from them soon.

  12. Tempted says:

    @PI- Thanks so much!!! I don’t think it is possible to “dumb it down” enough 🙂

    I agree, I can’t find it when I go looking for it! It keeps popping up on my newsfeed as “Holland Weathers likes this”. it has been on my newsfeed for several days….. and of course this morning I can’t seem to find it anywhere! I will keep working on it and try to post (I am headed out right now).

  13. Again says:

    Has anyone seen the big hoopla about Mama June from ‘Honey Boo Boo’ possibly joining the cast?

  14. Again says:

    To clarify, she wants to join ‘The Biggest Loser’ cast.

  15. Tempted says:

    Is there even going to be another BL?

    I wouldn’t watch for her, but maybe others would.

  16. Again says:

    I was wondering that also Tempted, but maybe there is just a late casting season this year. I may audition again, but I have started working out on my own also.

  17. Tempted says:

    @Again- Good for you to start working on your own!!! How’s it going? Sticking with it?

    BL17 has plenty of time to cast, I guess I was just curious if there was going to be one! So many rumors of the show getting cancelled. I didn’t go back and look, but I’m pretty sure casting for 16 was April/May/June timeframe.

    Maybe they will cast a season around Mama June. What would the theme be? Reality stars? Pageant Moms?

    Hahahaha….. I just can’t picture Mama June on BL!!

  18. Again says:

    @Tempted – Thanks! I am down about 7 lbs!

    I think the reality show angle could be interesting, but Mama June has all that controversy with the pedophile scandal. I’m not sure NBC would align itself with that. But maybe the Rob Kardashian and other overweight reality stars mixed in with some regular folks for good measure might be a hit!

    Yea, last year I had gone to my open casting before Easter. This year, open castings are not yet posted. Who knows! I do see the casting team working on other weight loss projects. I haven’t fit any of those categories though.

    I will keep exercising while I keep an eye out for new casting dates!

  19. Tempted says:

    Woot! Woot! You must feel good 🙂

    I don’t really enjoy the seasons when they get a famous face on BL. I really like the regular people! One of the reasons BL has stuck with me for so long has everything to do with getting to know these people, and very little to do with the “entertainment” of losing weight. Don’t get me wrong, the weight loss and transformations are very entertaining! But we have all seen it a thousand times. What feels special season after season, is getting to know these people and cheering them on to be a better version of themselves.

    It is what I want for me. It gives me hope.

    Keep up the good work @Again! It inspires me 🙂

  20. Tempted says:

    Starting to believe either webcrawler.com or budovideos.com was actually EMWLE casting viewing my video. They have to be close to announcing the finalists have been notified.

  21. Again says:

    @Again, I like the shows with regular people also, but I know the big names pull in a broader audience.

    Good luck on the EMWLE! Either way, we can do it!

  22. Again says:

    I meant @Tempted

  23. Should Have Been A PI says:

    For those of you who were trying out for Extreme Weight Loss

    CONGRATULATIONS to those who made it.

    I’m sorry for those who didn’t. We can all make changes on our own. I just wish I believed it.

    Taken from Extreme Weight Loss Casting Team’s Facebook page

    “Hello everyone, we’d like to thank you for all of your patience, dedication and determination with the casting process. We’ve had some very difficult decisions on our hands and have met so many wonderful people this casting this season of Extreme Weight Loss. All finalists have now been called and notified. We’d like to thank you all for stepping outside of your comfort zones and sharing your stories with us. You are all so incredibly special in your own ways and we feel honored to have gotten to meet you, read your emails, watch your tapes and hear your stories! We are very sorry to those that didn’t get selected and hope you continue your weight loss journey. Reaching out to us was the first step! Thank you and we wish you the best of luck!”

  24. Should Have Been a PI says:

    BTW, as usual I never got any views on my submitted video.

  25. Tempted says:

    @PI- do you have the capability to check if the video was loaded? I’ve never gotten views, but my videos always get loaded.

  26. Should Have Been A PI says:

    From “The Biggest Loser” facebook page.

    Are you ready? We’ll be back for Season 17!

    https://www.facebook.com/biggestloser/photos/a.400149910980.191708.13011195980/10152741685670981/?type=1&theater

  27. Should Have Been A PI says:

    @Tempted

    So sorry it took so long to respond, as I just received your comment / question.

    As of right now, still NO views registered. I do not see anywhere on the site, anything about getting information on loads.

    BTW, whereas my Flip video camera company is no longer in business and is not supported by their tech dept. any longer either, although it was not EWL’s preferred program, I had to return to using YouTube to submit my home video. I have to do some serious manipulating of my videos and then can only upload them to YouTube. At least they say they will still accept it on YouTube, but I get no updates whatsoever from it.

    EWL casting is completed now and Biggest Loser 17 is supposed to be starting sometime in the future. We shall see what happens.

    Take care. Talk later.

  28. Should Have Been A PI says:

    HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL THE MOTHER’S OUT THERE!!!

  29. Tempted says:

    @PI- we must be the only ones around any more!

    I am on vimeo, and I paid for the upgrade to get more statistics. I never get views, but once again they are loading my videos. I hope that is a good sign!

    I saw the new show STRONG, and thought I would apply. All set to go to the casting call when an e-mail came through saying something about having 30lbs to lose. I am far beyond THAT!!! I didn’t go.

  30. Bigmamalove says:

    So….looks like casting is on deck!!!! Woot!!!

  31. Should Have Been A PI says:

    BIGGEST LOSER

    CASTING NOW SEASON 17!

    NOW CASTING TEAMS OF TWO!

    ARE YOU FINALLY READY TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE?

    If you have at least 80 LBS to lose, we strongly encourage you to apply!

    HUSBAND/WIFE, PARENT/CHILD, SIBLINGS, BEST FRIENDS &
    CO-WORKERS

    This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to lose the weight and compete to win $250,000!

    What are you waiting for? Take the first step and transform your life today!

    APPLICATION/VIDEO DEADLINE: COMPLETED APPLICATION FORMS AND VIDEOS SENT IN BY MAIL MUST BE RECEIVED BY MONDAY, JULY 27TH, 2015 AT 11:59PM EST.**

    https://www.thebiggestlosercasting.com/

  32. Should Have Been A PI says:

    OPEN CALLS

    Come and meet THE BIGGEST LOSER CASTING TEAM! We look forward to meeting you!

    OPEN CALLS WILL BE HELD IN THE FOLLOWING CITIES:

    Los Angeles, CA: Saturday, July 11, 2015
    10am – 4pm

    Raleigh, NC: Saturday, July 11, 2015
    10am – 4pm

    Atlanta, GA: Saturday, July 18, 2015
    10am – 4pm

    Dallas, TX: Saturday, July 18, 2015
    10am – 4pm

    Seattle, WA: Saturday, July 18, 2015
    10am – 4pm

    St. Louis, MO: Saturday, July 18, 2015
    10am – 4pm

    Chicago, IL: Saturday, July 25, 2015
    10am – 4pm

    Cincinnati, OH: Saturday, July 25, 2015
    10am – 4pm

    New York, NY: Saturday, July 25, 2015
    10am – 4pm

    Open Call times and dates, and application submission deadlines, are subject to change in producer’s sole discretion.

    Before you attend an open call, don’t forget to:

    1. Fill out the PRE-REGISTRATION FORM HERE
    2. PRINT your completed PRE-REGISTRATION FORM and bring it with you to the open call.
    3. Bring 1-2 non-returnable photos of yourself and your teammate.

    NOTE: You do NOT need to bring a VIDEO if you are planning to attend the open call. Check out the FAQ for additional casting questions.

    LASTLY, if you attend an open casting call without pre-registering, printing your form or bringing a photo, that’s OK! We will not turn you away. The most important thing is to show up! Coming prepared simply speeds up the process.

    https://www.thebiggestlosercasting.com/open-calls

  33. Tempted says:

    Ugh. Teams of two.

  34. lost_boys says:

    Do yall really think they will do teams? I like the idea but I fee llike these casting people always change their minds!

  35. Tempted says:

    @lost boys
    I hope they change their mind, and they very well may…. but it says you won’t even be considered without a partner! BLAH. In the past they encouraged singles to apply anyway, but I haven’t seen that yet.

  36. lost_boys says:

    oh shoot i didn’t even see that they aren’t sayin singles can apply. That really messes up any of my chances.

  37. Matthew McNutt says:

    Hey guys! I started a page for season 17, here’s the link: http://matthewmcnutt.com/?p=4584

    I’m locking comments on this post so the conversation can continue there! On a side note, I believe I might be getting some front of the line passes for the casting calls to give away in the next week so stay tuned!

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