Biggest Loser casting tips

   

*** EDIT *** I’ve closed the comments on this thread because it was just getting too huge; if you want to post questions or comments, do so on my Updated Biggest Loser Casting Tips page!

It’s that time of year again … the Biggest Loser is casting, which means I get lots of emails asking for advice on making a video for the application!  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 *** I’ve closed the comments on this thread because it was just getting too huge; if you want to post questions or comments, do so on my Updated Biggest Loser Casting Tips page!

1,067 thoughts on “Biggest Loser casting tips

  1. hmmm…have you seen Beth's little caption line to the right on her MySpace page? If not, you might wanna look…does it mean anything? 🙂

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  2. that they're feeling pretty wild? they claim it's the caffeine…i don't know how to interpret that. i would say they're feeling pretty wild. 😛

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  3. Hey guys, I did start a weight loss page (there is a tab at the top of the page as well as a link on the menu on the left). It includes links to my weight loss resources as well as my review of Dr. Huizenga's book. I'm also looking for some questions about the book – I'm going to see if he'd like to do a short phone interview with me and answer the questions you guys have and then I can post it on that page for you to hear (unless no one has any questions … then never mind!). 🙂 But make sure you post the questions and book discussion over there so it's easier for me to find and have!

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  4. Although I only wish the best for him/her;
    I don't think Leroy (JHeron) is a finalist.
    Remember, he/she got the "closure letter"?

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  5. lol … yeah, I'm pretty sure Leroy is out of the running … on the other hand, JHeron is going after Dr. Huizenga's plan with as much passion as had gone after the show!

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  6. Dang! I got all excited. My phone rang, two different times, the second time, someone left a message. It was from a 213 area code, which is LA. So, I rushed to check the message, when I could get a chance to. POOF! It was someone I didn't even know…and it wasn't who I wanted it to be… grrrrr…

    It's Monday! Can you tell? 😛

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  7. Nice! But, not sure it's such a good idea for someone like myself to even apply…as some have said, NOT sure I fit the mold… grrrr…

    Hope all is well with you and the fam Matt…

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  8. Hi Matt!

    Quick question. I've seen postings on Craigslist advertising that Biggest Loser is casting. The postings direct people to send info to Holland Striplin (a CD?) and not NBC. Is this legit? I've sent a video in but wondered if I should try this route too?

    Thanks.

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  9. Hi everyone,
    Well, it's sure been a great ride reading thru diff posts here the past several wks! My friend and I submitted a dvd, we never heard anything from anyone (March 12th). Drempt we were in it almost every night.. lol . We laughed ours butts off(i wish) as we made it and watched it. I kindof worked out and ate much better after sending it out, but it still wasn't the 'biggest loser mode' I wanted my mindset to be in…

    Untill Matt mentioned the BL drs. book… Went down that night to B&N, bought the book & read it in 3 days. Started the plan & excersize that Monday(April 14th)! Thanks for the direction Matt. Everyone that wanted to or did try out for BL *HAS* to read it because it's all about the shows premise but better!!!!

    k so I'm a lil (WAY) happier now that I DIDN'T make the 'cuts' as I'm doing this 2 hr a day split workout vs 4-6 hrs on the show…LOL… omgoodness, this is all I can give!

    I really understand now why the show contestants have so many injuries(wish they'd show a lil' more of how hard physically the contestants have it)
    I'm a reader vs. a poster but had to 'bare witness' to the drs book, Where did all the fat go.

    I am amazed at how much I am actually doing (1rst week)and it's because 34 states (people from last year) were not picked that we have this book. Best $26.00 ive spent in a very long time!!! Find it, Buy it.

    thanks for reading my novel. lol. Not the greatest typest so please don't dis me 🙂
    blessings,
    d-hizzy

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  10. Matt, this is a great blog. I enjoyed reading all of the comments and I'm going to be checking out Dr. Huizenga’s for sure. I've never applied for the show but I'm working on my tape right now and hoping for the best since they still have the casting info on the nbc page.

    I've tried weight watchers in the past it worked for a little bit but I gained a lot of weight after my dad died. Now I'm going to TOPS because it's more affordable but I've only lost 10lbs in 6 months. It's very frustrating because I need to lose over 200lbs.

    I think I have a good story and a good personality for the show. But I don't have a partner. I have a lot of overweight friends and family but no one wants to apply with me. I've never used a viedo camera though so I hope I can make a decent video!

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  11. Matt, Do ya think that they would start casting this close to casting for Season 6? Hmmmm…that would be great.

    I am hoping that they will film soon too. I am still anxiously awaiting to hear if I got picked. I never got the closure letter so I am still crossing my fingers, holding my breath and having sleepless nights.

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  12. I should be careful what I say about casting for season seven since it is 100% speculation on my part and not based on anything I have heard what so ever. That being said, they like to start casting four months or so before they begin filming. Ideally, the season runs about 8-9 months from start to finale. Season 5 only had six months because it was added to the schedule much later; however, NBC has already committed to season six and season seven, so I would assume that they'll try to have that save 8-9 month time span that seems to be the magic number of months for total transformation. In which case, to wrap in April or May, it would have to start filming August or September, which means they would start getting serious about casting by June. Which is why I'm almost positive they were already keeping people in mind from the recent batch of casting. But like I said, this is pure speculation on my part.

    Honestly, though, I think the best thing in the world is that so many of you are getting Dr. Huizenga's book. Try out for the show, have fun with the experience of auditioning and hoping – and if you don't make it, take all that energy that pushed you to go after something and direct it towards losing the weight – you are absolutely capable of so much more than you realize! Check out my new page, "Weight Loss" (links on left and top of page) to see some of the resources I've put together that describe the plan I followed to lose the weight.

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  13. Matt,

    I have to agree with your timeline theory. The shows website is posting that the next Couple Edition will air in Oct. So it would make sense that the filming would begin in Aug (as you suggested).

    Do you think that the Family Edition will be super short? If they start filming now, they will barely be able to wrap up Season 6 before shooting Season 7, right?

    I guess that would explain the rumors of casting both seasons at the same time. (And maybe even explain why they are cutting back the show a half hour- perhaps to take some of the pressure off the production crew). Can you image how hard that would be to film two season back to back?

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  14. No, I think season six will be full length; remember, they only film on campus for about four months, then a month or two later the show begins airing, and then it's a live finale; meaning, contestants are home losing weight for about five months after filming wraps before the final weigh in. So they could star filming in the next couple weeks, wrap filming for season six on the campus/ranch by the end of August, take a week or two for whatever and then start filming season seven on the campus/ranch while the season six cast is at home continuing to lose weight for their finale.

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  15. is anyone else having trouble loading this page, since the changes? maybe it's just my computer?

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  16. Thinking AND loading…two things that always take forever…LOL 🙂

    It's Tuesday…the good news? At least it's not Monday any more… 😉

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  17. I just emailed the casting department to see if they were still casting for season 6 and this is the email I got back:

    Hello,

    The finalists for season 6 have been notified. If you are still
    interested in applying for season 7, it is right around the corner! We
    will most likely begin casting in a couple months (we do not have any
    set dates as of now). Check NBC.com for updates!

    All the Best,
    Angelic & the BL6 Casting Team


    The Casting Team
    "The Biggest Loser 6"

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  18. Yeah, the sheer number of comments is starting to slow it down. I go back and forth on leaving it, deleting a bunch of the old ones (but I hate seeing the conversation disappear), or starting a "Casting Tips" part two page to continue the discussion on! At this point, I'd miss the conversation if it just went away! 🙂

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  19. I agree! Even though I think a lot of us are not posting as much anymore I know that a few of us still check in. I think that season 6 is not over till everyone passes the physicals , testing , and interviews and they make it through the 2 weeks just now starting.

    Also I think ( I think u also said above) that as soon as 6 is offically cast then they will go into the season 7 . And for those of us who made it as far as we did thats exciting news.

    I think everyone is on the right track by getting the book and starting to change our unhealthy habits now. In fact I signed up for a gym yesterday myself.

    I hope this board doesnt clear away! lol Its become a great haven for trying to get a grip on all the confusion with the casting. In fact the only place that had info that you could trust. The other forum deleted anything the second someone posted it. It wont be long guys! I think its just around corner again. At least this time when i make my new video I will be able to show myself at the gym instead of sitting on my couch. Most of us have enough to lose that even if we lost 30 pounds we would still qualify. Good luck to everyone! I hope u all stick around! Thanks Matt for everything! I met a lot of great people here all thanks to u!

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  20. I'm sorry if these questions have already been answered, but there are so many posts and I've tried sorting through them, but I'm still wondering about some things. (This site is awesome, btw!)

    1. How the heck does everyone have CD's calling them and staying in contact with them? It kind of made me nervous hearing that, since I'm just a girl that sent in a videotape with no contact with anyone yet.

    2. I mailed in my video earlier this week, they should get the video today/tomorrow. NOW WHAT?

    3. I made my video with a coworker, since the casting info on the website I'm assuming is for BL #7. It looks like they're just finishing up casting #6 now? And perhaps just beginning taping this week or next week, if I'm correct? Are they even casting for #7 now, or is my tape going to just get thrown out since they're starting to shoot #6 now? Or do they keep tapes and be "Hmm….not for #6, but we want you to be on #7!"

    4. How does it work if they watch my video and LOVE me? (Just like everyone else does!) 🙂 I'm a worry wart, and I have a job and 2 little kids – I'm afraid they're going to say "Hey, come to LA tonight!" and I'm going to have to scramble to get things at home settled. I read a post saying the usual process after they get your tape.

    5. Anyone have an idea how many "extras" they call to LA to go through the process, just to have backups? I would hate to drop everything in your life, just to be one of 100 couples that go there – only to have them only pick a few for the show. Just wanted to know my odds if I made it that far.

    6. Umm…I think that's it for now. I'm just freaking out 😛

    THANK YOU! This site has so much good info on it!

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  21. I'm not trying to keep anything going because I know most of us have moved on, but I did want to share this posting I saw on Craigslist. If you fit this category, you may still have a chance…

    Have you been waiting for just the right time to audition for NBC's The Biggest Loser? Well, now is your chance! – looking for teams of 2 African Americans and Latinos.

    *Wife and Husband
    *Sisters
    *Mother and Child

    Both MUST be avail May 11-July 28th for filming. There is compensation. Also, must be available to meet with us THIS WEEK (IF SELECTED) for an interview.

    Must have a family member (18+) or spouse with roughly 100 lbs to lose to be on the show with you.

    Send an email with your and your teammates names, ages, heights and weights, brief bio (ie, married/kids/single, etc) and a picture of you and your teammate to: hollandstriplincasting@yahoo.com

    MAKE SURE to include your contact phone number!! Get this info to me asap as we are on a tight deadline!

    *If you have already submitted for season 6 there is no reason to submit your photos and info again. If you are selected to move forward in the process we will contact you directly.

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  22. I guess it is worth a try. We are an African-American mother and daughter team, with well over 100 lbs to lose a piece.

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  23. To the person who asked — Holland is definitely a CD (she cast Brittany and a few others on S5) and is in the credits for the casting dept. of the Biggest Loser. I think they still are desperate for a greater spread of ethnicities on the show per NBC and FEC laws governing representation and probably are desperate for more of those couples listed above (remember, they've been asking for husband & wife for a while), which is weird because I would think that mother/daughter would be a popular one in terms of applications.

    Either way, good luck Just Me!!!

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  24. Im sorry but I dont buy into that FEC thing. It just doesnt measure up. There is something else going on . I am suprised no one else is speaking up about this! Is this right? They have already gone above and beyond FEC recruiting requirements . There is something else going on. Its just starting to feel like reverse discrimination to me. This isnt a theater production where you have to type cast. Its supposed to be a reality show. Is this ok to everyone ?

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  25. "Just M"- Best Wishes, I hope you get cast on the show.

    According to Kims post from Craigslist, they are shooting for approx 10 weeks. Isn't this short by Biggest Loser Standards? I am glad though, it makes Season 7 that much closer for the rest of us hopefuls.

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  26. when I say "ethnic" decent, that just sounds weird. basically, (and I think you all know what I'm driving at) us non-white folk. So let me re-state that last sentence:

    Perhaps, coincidently, there are some last minute non-white finalists having to back out and they don’t like those of us (non-white candidates) who auditioned as replacements and they’re scrambling to maintain the balance they started out with…just a thought.

    (on a side note, have you ever noticed that there has never been any non-white BL's? hehe. just an observation…)

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  27. Do we mean FEC or FCC? Either way, I don’t think there are any laws that require a specific diversity in casting. I’m sure they want a balanced show, ethnically speaking. Perhaps, coincidently, there are some last minute people having to back out of ethnic decent and they don’t like those of us who auditioned as replacements and they’re scrambling to maintain the balance they started out with…just a thought.

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  28. I agree with Larissa for the most part (about the reasoning looking for non white candidates). However, I have to question the comment about a non white ever winning the show….Isn't Ali (Season 5 winner) Hispanic?

    Overall, I think the show does a good job balancing the mix. No matter what they do, people in general are going to complain.

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  29. Absolutely; it's one of the few things that it's still socially acceptable to make fun of, which is not right. I never realized just how much I was treated differently because of my weight until I lost it. And for emotional eaters, like me, all that mistreatment just magnifies the problem.

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  30. Larissa … yeah, there has been a whole lot of ethnic diversity; when you think the majority of the casts over the years has been white, it makes sense that statistically, they are the ones winning. Other than Wiley taking third place in season three, all of the finalists have been white. Pete Thomas won the $100,000 in season two, and is the only non-white eliminated prize winner so far. I think season three was actually the most diverse cast; of the fourteen choosen for the ranch, if I’m remembering right, five were not white. It’s definitely an area they could improve in, especially with the casts running around twenty now (only three of the twenty in season five were not white).

    I don’t know that the law requires certain percentages or anything like that; otherwise we wouldn’t have so many shows out there with all black casts, all hispanic casts, all white casts, etc. It’s more about hitting as many demographics as possible. The more viewers you can have identify with someone on the cast, the more appeal the show has.

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  31. I don’t know how this topic even came us.

    No matter what color our skin, we, the obese, are the truly the ones experiencing discrimination in this world.

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  32. the subject came up based on a post by “anon” and followed by “what?”

    i’m not complaining, as i said, just making observations.

    and as far as the obese being discriminated against, yes, we sure as heck are. everyone watches everything i put in my mouth, and it feels very judgmental. yesterday i was in the office with 4 other people, one of which had these chocolates and she asked everyone but me if I wanted one. It was fine, cuz I didn’t, but I felt like she was saying, “Um, not you. You don’t need any.”

    on a side note, i really wish i had never told anyone that i was auditioning for the show, cuz now, whenever i see anyone they’re like, “Did you make it?” And i just want to slap them in their faces cuz it’s like, “If I made it, you’d know.”

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  33. Larissa,
    I meant people in general complain no matter what the networks do. I hope you didn't think I meant you. You truly have been nothing but pleasing, optimistic and helpful on this message board.
    To avoid being judged what I eat, I usually go to lunch by myself…and then eat in my car.

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  34. I wasn't at all offended! I was hoping I hadn't offended anyone. Sometimes it's really hard to detect the proper meaning of a statement when it's written rather than heard.

    I'm just a social person and I don't want to isolate myself due to food. I just wish people didn't always keep their eye on my plate, you know? *sigh*

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