Biggest Loser casting tips (season eight)



Well, it’s official!  Casting has begun for season eight of Biggest Loser!  Feel free to discuss, post questions, compare notes, etc.!  NBC has posted casting information and the application 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.  Stacy, Adam, Phil, Amy and Coleen were all reading and posting in the discussion there – it’s fun to look back and realize they were some of the superstars of season six!  To find my second post (fairly identical to this one), with well over two thousand comments worth of discussion, click here.  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!

Pete Thomas, season 2 $100,000 champion and currently a big asset in the casting process left a comment in one of my other posts that I thought was worth mentioning here (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 -)


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

2,234 thoughts on “Biggest Loser casting tips (season eight)

  1. Thanks poohbear – if these numbers stay consistent over the next two weeks, that will be about 14,000 people at the casting calls, wow! Though, I remember Tara saying earlier this season that over 200,000 people tried out for this season. I'm guessing a lot of those were via tapes, which would probably be a lot of duplication, and her season was definitely teams, so everything gets doubled.

    Well, anyone who actually makes it on the show should buy a lottery ticket and stay indoors during a lightening storm, lol…you are one lucky person!


  2. What do you need to bring to the casting call in florida? Just a picture of yourself or an application as well? What goes on in the casting calls? Thanks all!


  3. Hey all just wanted to say thanks for the support and I am going to leave Nashville any min, after not sleeping all night friday from excitement and standing in line for a short time, I met some wonderful people and would do it again in a heartbeat! With that sad, good luck everyone and KEEP IN TOUCH!


  4. Holland, Thank you SO much for stopping by and giving us an update. I do NOT envy you one bit because Dallas ROCKED yesterday, and I’m sure you all have some tough decisions to make! I hope you all have a great next few days in Dallas and I will be busily working on my tape!


  5. Mimi – Yes, bring a picture. As far as what goes on, there are probably over 100 posts on here describing people's experiences, as well as posts from the actual casting directors and Matt. I really encourage you to read through the posts, even just the last week's worth would be sufficient. I think you'll find everything you need to know by reading all the posts.


  6. Hey ya'll!

    First off, thanks again Holland! You get us all so excited when you just post on this board! We truly appreciate you taking the time to come over here and try to help calm our nerves!

    I just got home from the Charlotte cc about 2 hours ago. Man oh man! I'm SO glad things worked out the way they did!

    We were lost in Charlotte for a LONG time before we FINALLY found Fitness Together. Once we got on the right street it took like 2 minutes, but finding that street with all the one ways and the lack of street signs was a pain!

    We got there at 4:45p. We were #'s 699 and 700, and there were two people behind us. We were in the very last group to be seen.

    I have to say, we looked GOOD! We were barely wet, were dressed really nicely, and our hair/makeup was perfect. 🙂

    We didn't have to stand in the rain, we were in the little room there for like 10 minutes before we went in to the interview room. After the ride we had gone through for an hour and a half before getting there, we didn't even have time to get nervous!

    We were at Paul's table. I have to say, I found him pretty darn nice and funny. He told us exactly what was going to happen before he started and that's exactly what happened. Some people didn't say very much, or maybe I was just so intent on being heard I didn't hear them. LOL

    He asked us who watched the show, what we thought about Joelle (I was the only one who stood up for her because I always stand up for the underdog), and when we had last exercised for at least an hour. Then he started making comments about how hard it would be on the BL campus, how they work out up to 8 hours a day, and how we'd all be complaining about being sore and tired, how we'd be homesick, etc. While he was talking we all commented on what he was saying. It was chaotic, but I thought it was fun. Just making myself heard was funny. I work with teen boys so I'm used to interjecting what I want to say in a loud, but kind voice.

    Even in the very few minutes we were there I met some really nice people. I got a few business cards and talked to one guy who works with at-risk youth and foster care kids like my partner and I do. It was neat.

    I do kind of regret not being there earlier and meeting more people. But it couldn't be helped since we were so lost. 😦

    I don't know about call backs. I'm not really expecting one. I will be super pleasantly surprised if I do receive one, but I won't be too incredibly disappointed if I don't. 🙂

    I also figure that some of the people from Charlotte yesterday are probably lost on some one way street to nowhere in the city and not able to get on the internet yet. LOL I swear, if I ever go back there I'm taking a bicycle!

    I know Paul told us that the calls would be made within the next four days, and that if we don't hear anything by Thursday to send in a video. I thought it was nice that they told people when to stop waiting for a call.

    Paul told us that it would be three months, not four, so maybe that part is still up in the air? I personally would LOVE four months. More time to work on ME. 🙂

    Anyway, I wish you all the best!

    Have a great day everyone!


  7. poohbear Says:
    Final Biggest Loser Casting Call Numbers – Detroit 1132 a record / Dallas 900 / Charlotte 800 / Nashville 700 Awesome Numbers
    Where did u get those numbers? Do you have an official number for Chicago, or the other locations last weekend??

    headingtotheranch – you made me laugh so hard I spit my soda out! 🙂 I HOPE HOPE I am one of those people who will need to worry about staying indoors in a lightening storm.


  8. I was told filming is 12 weeks, 4 weeks at home before the finale (total = 16 weeks). So…that is 3 months or 4 depending on how you look at it. 🙂 I would be surprised if that changed…

    Can anyone please help me? I am trying to find the last seasons of the biggest Loser to watch…either on DVD, VHS, online…to purchase or for free. Does anyone know where I can find that?? Thanx!!


  9. T.M. – I got those from Pete Thomas's facebook status. He did not say anything about the numbers for Chicago…sorry.

    I found Biggest Loser (seasons 6 & 7) on iTunes. Season 6 is $19.99 and Season 7 (season pass) is $29.99 which gives you all already aired episodes and all upcoming episodes. Hope this helps a little.


  10. T.M. – just a small warning before you download in iTunes. You cannot burn it to DVD to watch that way. You can only watch it through iTunes on your computer or AppleTV.


  11. OK – thanks Poohbear! As I have said in the past, I am a grad student, and I am strongly considering doing some kind of content analysis of the Biggest Loser. To do this I would examine every show in a season (or all seasons, though this would take FOREVER) and look at every aspect in detail. How do they talk about weight loss, food control, choices, obesity, trainers, contestants, what clothing do they wear, what kind of video shots do they take of people (like overweight versus thin or men versus woman or trainer versus contestant) "Who says what, to whom, why, to what extent and with what effect?."

    I think the Biggest Loser is truly amazing, and I want to look at how it has affected the nation. As they keep saying on the show, we are the fattest nation. I think the BL want's to change that, and I want to examine the shows…see how effective they are – what do they do that works? Applying for the show has made me realize how toxic this weight has been to my entire life. I want to do what I can to help everyone else out there like myself fight the weight that has taken over our nation. My first step…get an entire season so that I can actually DO my research. 🙂

    Thanks again!


  12. T.M. — I would think that it would be 12 weeks of filming and then 3-4 months at home BEFORE the finale. The finale is always live and if this is slated to air in September like last years summer filming…that would be pretty perfect timing….


  13. This is a note for all of you, One of my friends have been bummed about not getting a callback – and I think you can all benefit from my response. 🙂

    "The good thing about all of this is that if you ever lose your motivation to get to the gym or to say no to the potato chip, you can look at the photos you printed up or watch your video. I heard that 300,00 people may apply…I hope that this process changes lives. Imagine – if only half of those people decided to change their lives!!! America would be on it's way to an amazing transformation! We get to be a part of that…whether or not we get on the show.

    You are all amazing, strong, hard working people! You pushed yourself to the max, opened yourself up to an emotionally raw experience, and willingly asked the nation for help with something that defeats millions of people around the globe (weight!!). You have the strength to lose the weight…You now know you have the will to do it! Please do not give up on yourselves if you do not get a callback. Please realize that you are worth it and you CAN DO IT! Do not wait for next year to apply again, do something today! Matthew did it at home and he kept it off – his success should show you all that it can be done. Man or woman, working or not, busy or…actually we are all busy!, YOU CAN DO IT!


  14. So I have a question for anyone who may know…

    What is the most weight that a woman has lost at the ranch before going home? There have been many men who have hit the 100lb. mark prior to leaving but have there been any women?

    I am not even sure where to start researching that….. any ideas?



  15. I think things seem a little strange that nobody has posted about actually getting a callback from this weekend's CC. Do you think they are waiting for some reason. The weather is really nasty… snowing/slush/rain


  16. Oh, and PS, I know that I asked this earlier, but does anyone know who the CDs are going to be for the Columbus auditions? I went to the Charlotte CC yesterday with a VIP Pass and it was a horrible experience and I haven't gotten a callback yet. I figured I would have been one of their first CBs if I was getting one because I drove 4 hours to get to CLT and am now back home in WV. So, that leaves me with going to CMH and if the same CDs are going to be there that were at CLT, then I'm going to have to modify my plans. I've already sent in a video (that's what got me the VIP pass from Rita) so I'm also thinking about doing another bigger and better video. What are y'all's thoughts? PSS – Congrats to those that have went to CCs and those that have gotten callbacks!!!!!!!!!!


  17. hi all … so i'm going to the casting call in ohio this weekend. Driving 8 hrs.. really excited and completely nervous. I don't think i've ever been so nervous in my life all of your postings are really helpful. Just wish me luck. I need this, as im sure all of you feel the same way.. haha.

    I see some of you say don't give the sob stories, and some say do.. I have a really intriguing story but i dont want to sound desperate.. should i mention it? i dunno? lol

    Also, what time should i line up it says no earlier than 3 hours b4? Do people actually listen to that?


  18. excited4ohio – I am not sure what time you should line up but it does sound like the CD's are actually staying past the 5pm closing time to see all contestants in line…. Of course you cannot count on this but it sounds like the CD's are great and will do everything they can to see everyone!

    Good luck to you


  19. Hey Southern girl…did you get sequestered already for Season 8? I thought that is how your posting looked. If so, and, if you are a girl…YOU GO..LOL envious, but you obviously did all of your homework.

    Isn't it also true that a few contestants like Joelle and Tara tried out a few times before finally being chosen?

    My thoughts on it being so hush hush. I am thinking that people are going on the third step, after the one on one, and now are being quite cautious and careful about what you are saying, which I think is smart.

    bye all for tonight!!!!


  20. Excited4Ohio- The best thing to do is email the CD's and get a VIP pass. I showed up around 9:30 and had a VIP pass and was in and gone in about an hour. I got to be in the 3rd or 4th group. I walked in first and met Rita and she said she remembered me from the pics I sent to get my VIP pass. Everything went great and I spoke up and looked good. Still crossing my fingers for a call back and jumping everytime the phone Good Luck to you and I hope this helps. If I make it on the show or not I am taking what I have learned and all the energy I put into this and making a lifestyle change. I need to lose weight either on BL or at home. GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!


  21. I was at the Michigan casting call yesterday. Did not get a call back!!! I am thinking of driving to the Colombus casting call next week.

    Question: What equipment do I need to make a video?


  22. Peffy- no not season 8, they haven't done that yet. Sorry if I confused you. I'm trying again for 8. But I'm trying not to get my hopes up. It is my understanding that there have been quite a few who have tried out a few times before actually making it.


  23. Excited4OHIO , Where are you driving from? I am thinking about going but, I dont know yet? I think its about 8 hours from me too? I live just outside of Charlotte.


  24. Is anyone else from down here around Charlotte thinking about going to Columbus, Ohio CC saturday for a last chance?


  25. Southerngirl….question for ya!

    During your previous sequestering, did the same CD "promote" or "stick with you" from the beginning stages of the callbacks through the actual sequestering or do you get "handed off" to someone else?


  26. I have just finished reading ALL of the posts on this page…wow! So much information! I feel forewarned and forearmed, scared yet prepared for what awaits me at the Miami CC. I'm so glad I found this site.

    According to what I read from Holland a little higher up on the blog, some of the callbacks are taking place tonight (at least for the Dallas CBs). Holland also notes that CDs do their CBs differently from each other. So you either got the call last night or you're getting one tonight– if you're getting on.

    The actual CBs are what will take place over the next few days, not the call. At least, that's what I gathered.


  27. LOOKING FOR THE BLOND-HAIRED GIRL that was at the CC in Charlotte and spoke with me briefly outside of Family Dollar. You were with your (maybe) grandmother and I was with my sister.


  28. I've thought about going to the Columbus CC next weekend, but it is much further away from me than the Charlotte CC. I'd hate to travel all that way (over 500 miles) and have the same result. I think I'm going to focus on the video. At least I know I'll have someone's attention for 10 full minutes rather than trying to "out yell" other people for 7 minutes. I have thought about what I'd do differently if I went t anther CC. I had a VIP pass and instead of getting there at 10am, think I would get there at about 11…so tat most of the VIPs would have made it through already. That may not change the outcome, bu maybe it would have.

    The time line of the filming works so well with a teacher's schedule that I'm sure there are lots and lots of teachers applying for this season.


  29. Wow, MiamiBound! You deserve a standing-ovation for that one! Thats a LOT of posts to read! I'm glad you found us! Good luck in Miami!


  30. Big J – I'm pretty sure it's Rita and Paul that are the CD's for Columbus. It sounds like you have Rita's email address already and I know she'll be there.


  31. Hi Everyone!
    I am from Thatcher AZ. and I will be going to Phoenix next weekend. Is there anyone else going? I am very excited. I was a semi-finalist for the new show Dance Your Ass Off. I did not make the cast but it was great being among the top 30. I am just going for it! I tried out for season 7 and that was a total riot! I can't wait to go next week end! I feel real good about season 8. Good luck everyone! Go for it!


  32. It's too funny- after reading all of these posts, I feel like I know some of you- I just want to say thanks to everybody who has posted helping other people out and answering questions- it's much appreciated, and that comes from us all! Good luck to everyone on their weightloss journey! I will be in Miami with my fingers crossed, so if you see me, WAVE! LoL

    I was looking at some video's on YouTube of other intresting people's 10 minute video's and im definitely going to have to work on mine. Im thinking about sending them raw video though, and not editing it one bit. Every one I've seen anywhere they did some type of editing, and im thinking about staying away from that…not just because I wouldn't know where to begin, but I think the rawness might be something different than what they get all the time right?

    Anyway GOOD LUCK to you all! I hope you get your CB's!

    ❤ Sara Mundy


  33. I was in Charlotte and didn't get a callback. I'd like to think they put it off for a few days because of the potential bad weather, but I'm sure that isn't true.

    Anyone from any other city get a callback?


  34. Hey Sara,

    I'll be in Miami this weekend at the casting call. Did you get the coveted VIP pass? I'm debating on what time to arrive. Not sure. I've driven by the Midtown Mall while going to a workshop but never actually been in it.

    Anyone else going to Miami? What do you think about Miami being #1 on the Nation's fattest list? Crazy!


  35. Hey Miami Bound,

    Yeah, I got the VIP Pass- I e-mailed Tad and he sent me one, I was so happy when I saw that e-mail, I almost cried! LoL Anyway I have NO IDEA where im going in Miami, I mapquested it and its like 4 hours from me here in Sanford- but im going to leave sometime around like 4 or 5am I think and get there sometime around 8-10am ish' and wish for the best. Everybody has said that these CD's rawk, so I hope I have the same experience, and hope it's everything I am wishing for.

    On my end nobody is having any faith in me, so im doing this alone, and proving them all wrong. =D so I hope to see you there!

    Also I can't believe Miami is the Nations Fattest- Actually Suprising!

    ❤ Sara Mundy


  36. Hey Mimi,

    From a Previous Post:

    For VIP ACCESS to our Casting Directors at the Open Calls you must send us:
    A picture along with our name, age, height, weight, occupation, city, and INDIVIDUAL or PARTNER to

    I hope this helps, I think I have read all of the comments on all of Matt's pages- I know I had alot of time last night to sit and read…there are tons of answers to questions I had in the pages, and ideas that I didnt even think of…so if any of you are reading this and haven't already- go back and read them all! LoL!

    Miamibound…I'll be e-mailing you now…It would be neat to meet you there!

    Thanks and good luck again to all!

    ❤ Sara Mundy


  37. Sara,

    I've returned the email.

    I'm getting really excited now that it's finally my turn for the Casting Calls. I didn't stumble onto this site until after I applied for season 7 so it is reeeeeealy cool to have this info before hand.

    I'm so glad it's singles. Eeeek! Only 6 more days!


  38. Back From Louisville – Thanks for the info. Rita was extremely nice, however, I was hoping that different CDs would be there because I hated the chaos of the group interview. I'm sure there's a rhyme or reason for it, but I'd rather just have my 30-45 seconds individually to say my case. Oh well. I think I'm going to make a 2nd video this week and take it with me to pass off to Rita. Maybe if she sees me again and with a 2nd (better) video she'll see how serious I am (not that others aren't of course) and at least give me a chance this time at a CB, but who knows. Thanks for your help!! 🙂


  39. Can anyone tell me who the CD for Louisville was? I had the really handsome guy with the popped collar that spoke to us early in the morning. I cannot remember his name!!! He had dark brown hair and was prolly around 6'0"


  40. Please if someone knows who the cd well be in L.A. cc March 14 pritty please tell me and give me there email i would be very thankful.


  41. Kelli Reed, I am from Mesa, Az and I will be at the Phoenix CC on saturday. I am super excited, but also really nervous! Does anyone know who the CDs will be in Phoenix?


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