Biggest Loser Casting Tips (season 8, page 2)



Okay, casting is well on it’s way for season eight of Biggest Loser.  I’m reposting this entry to enable people to continue the conversation started here.  There’s over a couple thousand comments worth of ideas, notes, and other information, including casting directors, and former contestants (other than myself), so if you have some time it’s worth exploring.  Here are the vital links:

  • NBC has posted casting information and the application here.
  • Pete Thomas, the season 2 $100,000 winner has some of the best casting call advice out there, which you can find at
  • Jen Kerns, a season three contestant like myself, and a doctor for the show for seasons four and five, has also put together some fantastic casting advice that you can read here.
  • My original casting tips post with 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!
  • My second post (fairly identical to this one), with well over two thousand comments worth of discussion, click 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.  Good luck to everyone … and let me know if you make the show!  Pete Thomas has more contestants on season seven than I did and I’m bitter!  😉

2,169 thoughts on “Biggest Loser Casting Tips (season 8, page 2)

  1. TO THOSE OF YOU THINKIN ABOUT NOT SENDING A TAPE- Stop thinkin! lol! You'll NEVER know what will happen if you don't send a tape… I'm sure ppl sent in tapes thinkin they wouldn't make it and they have. Don't be discouraged. Remember: You won't be picked if you don't apply!

    Good Luck and have FAITH! especially you PASTORSWIFE!


  2. Sorry I was away from the computer for a while. I was told by the CD that I was presented to the Casting Producers.


  3. Pastorswife- Thats what I'm talkin about! Good Luck! I hope you make it onto the Ranch with me and Yo Yo!


  4. Yoyo I have been through this process many times and I have sumitted way more since that was told to me. I prefer to keep it hush hush though. I am sure I am way further in the process than you but I will keep that to myself plus I prefer NOT to stoop to your level! I hope everyone is having a wonderful night tonight!! If I took what you said out of context then I apologize but you seem to be very catty!


  5. I am willing to give whatever information I can without hurting my own chances on here. I know exactly what it is like to be in most of your shoes for the first time and NOT having any idea of what was going on.


  6. I will be there, if we have not heard anything since the bio/background step, can we assume that are chances are real slim??? When will we hear anything more?


  7. I just want to get on with my life if I am out of the running. It just sucks they do not tell you anything except if you don't hear by the filming date you know you did not make it!!!


  8. Hello everyone! I feel great after my 45 minute workout. Tomorrow, I plan to fuel my body with B, L and D. Most of the time, I go all day without eating. Then my 1st and only meal is fast food that I eat while driving 90 miles to get home from work. I am super serious about getting this weight off of me. Yes, it would be awesome to get away from it all and totally dedicate one's time only on ourselves.


  9. I know but with all this talk of getting calls about how far you all are, I just got told I was being pitched and to send my stuff in. Otherwise, I have not heard anything and I have been waiting since the first CC. It's just killing me!


  10. OK I finally finished my video…I have a friend that is going to edit it for me because I had to shoot the video in different pieces…Do you guys think that it will be a big deal that there will be different dates and times on my video? Also my video is less than 10 minutes. I hope it doesn't hurt me….One thing that I found is that there is so many legal things that you have to go thru in order to get permission to shoot a video…..I am in college and I brought my camera to school. In order for me to shoot the video I had to get permission from the public affairs dept who had to contact their lawyer…..Besides that everyone that I had in my video was pretty helpful and I really thank them for it….I just pray that I am something that they will be looking for….I know I would be a success at the ranch…I actually dream about the last chance workout….my favorite last chance workout of the season so far is the show where Felipe ran at 12mph…I DVR'd that part of the show and every time I watch it I get hyped…..I am so excited….LORD PLEASE is all I can say!!!!!


  11. So…back on subject…

    Live_to_Love and pastorswife…I felt the same uncertainty after I sent my tape off. I questioned everything about it…"was it good enough?" "was it long enough?" "did I show enough personality?" "did I highlight my need/desire to lose weight strongly enough?" I almost wanted to do a new video and send that it too! I think it is just in my nature to want perfection (maybe you two too?) and I want SO BADLY to be chosen that I want to make sure all the "T's" are crossed and the "I's" are dotted. I am sure we will be just fine and our tapes are great. 🙂

    MyLife…wow, I didn't really even think about getting "permission" to tape anywhere. I think people here are pretty laid back about that type of stuff…I HOPE! :-/ I hope all your hard work nets you a call back. You deserve it!


  12. Amor y Paz Says:
    March 19, 2009 at 10:12 pm
    Hello everyone! I feel great after my 45 minute workout. Tomorrow, I plan to fuel my body with B, L and D. Most of the time, I go all day without eating. Then my 1st and only meal is fast food that I eat while driving 90 miles to get home from work. I am super serious about getting this weight off of me. Yes, it would be awesome to get away from it all and totally dedicate one’s time only on ourselves.

    Good job on your 45 minute workout, but do you know that your approach to weight loss is not quite right?
    I'm concerned that you're destroying your metabolism, and not getting proper nutrients to your body. If you lose steam on this program, and I expect you will because you're going to get depleted on micro nutrients, you'll gain all the weight back and maybe even more. If you're making it through the day with caffeine, you'll need more and more until it just doesn't affect you anymore, and then you'll be stuck with a snail's metabolism, and no energy.
    It's good that you're so focused, but you should rethink your efforts. Try to make better food choices, and eat at least 3 meals a day. I hate to see people working so hard to climb up a steep hill, when there was a set of steps they could have been using all along.


  13. pastorswife: There was a bit of a crisis in my home over the weekend. I was too stressed out about the whole thing and almost didn't continue. I think I would have been very unhappy with myself if I hadn't completed it, though.

    wannago: Oh yes, I'm very much a perfectionist. I hope I did well enough! Good luck to you.


  14. Hey Matt,

    Is there any way to start a new page (like page 3 edition) as for some reason page 2 keeps kind of crashing my Firefox browser when I try to search for people's posts.

    Also, it might help ease some of the e-drama.



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