Biggest Loser Casting Tips (season 8, page 3)

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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.  As you can see by the title, this is actually page three; page two is here.  There’s over a couple thousand comments worth of ideas, notes, and other information, including casting directors, and former contestants (other than myself) on each of those pages, 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 www.WinningMan.com.
  • 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!  😉

790 thoughts on “Biggest Loser Casting Tips (season 8, page 3)

  1. Hottie, I KNOW what you mean. I do too, my husband always says "they haven't even called you yet and you're already planning what you'll do". I tell him it's better to be prepared and positive, than not!

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  2. Thought y'all might like this tune…..

    I like big TBones and I can not lie
    You other Big Losers can't deny
    That when a waiter walks in with a giant plate
    And a giant juicy steak in your face
    You get sprung (and all the zippers on your pants come undone)

    whoohooo!

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  3. runninglate – if you sent it overnight there's a 24-hour money back guarantee. At least that's what I was told. It doesn't help with your frustrations but maybe you won't have to pay for them to missend your mail!

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  4. Good morning All,

    Looks like the posts are up to full speed this morning.

    I beleive it is my job on earth to bring the funny. Comedy is how I live my life. My job is so stressfull, if I didn't have fun I would jump off a bridge hoping to land in a pool of jello!

    Speaking of Jello, that sounds good right now! Watch me giggle se me wiggle, pick me brand Gelatin!

    I am bringing the funny and going to take all the money!

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  5. JayBaby – I've wondered that with the women contestants too. But I've read that if women only drink water (avoid caffeine) and continue exercising then they can avoid that bloating feeling and water retention. I drink tons of caffeine and my exercise is sporadic so I retain tons of water and get bloated – but I'd like to see what would happen if I was only drinking water and working out 8 hours a day! If I make it on the show I'll report back to you – hahaha! That'd make a funny blog!

    I want on the show so statistically speaking the more the better…but I do like the smaller shows. I couldn't get into the one with 50 people either. And some twists I like, some I don't. I was SO hoping that after everybody went home a couple weeks ago that there'd be a twist to allow Mike's brother and Aubrey's dad to come back to the ranch – not to compete but just to learn healthy habits and exercise.

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  6. I didn't overnigt it. It went first class. I guess if they don't post a new update soon, I'll have to fill out the app again, and make new copies of ALL the pictures I sent and pay even MORE to have it sent overnight! ugh I shoulda just went with UPS!

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  7. Ok so I went to a casting call and was given the "send in your home video and back ground check" response. Now I was told we wait but for HOW LONG? I'm pulling my hair out over here. I'm from Detroit so I'm hoping I have a chance. It seems theres always at least one person from Detroit on every season. Anyways, just wondering if anyone has heard anything back yet. Thanks everyone!

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  8. Pick-me…I also use a good sense of humor and the ability to make others laugh as a coping mechanism (along with glorious food, as I have previously stated :-))
    Seems like I am much funnier in real life than on paper, so it only leads me to believe that I just be funny-looking. 😉

    Thanks for the positive and the laughs everyone!

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  9. I don't understand how the timing would work on couples vs. singles? And would it really be two seasons or just one season with two sets of contestants?

    Season 8 is scheduled to air in the Fall and Season 9 in the Spring. So if they were consecutive how long would the contestants be at the ranch? They'd have to be there the same amount of time so that one group of finalists doesn't get more time to work out at home before the finale. I'm guessing the finale would be the same for both groups.

    I guess they could do another 6 month season but they'd have to make it spread out over the Fall and Spring t.v. schedule…that's a long time. It might make sense to me if it was discussed as being one season with two groups of people (individuals and singles) and the season ran like normal. Thinking about it being a set of Season 8 contestants and Season 9 contestants brings up all sorts of questions about how that timing would work as far as airing on t.v.

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  10. I doubt VERY highly that it will be singles vs couples. It was told to me CLEARLY by my CD that season 8 is singles and season 9 is couples. And a few others have confirmed this. But speculate away! 🙂

    Also, if they told you you were being pitched, then more than likely they told you you might hear from them by mid april.

    Sing along with me….

    Said woman take it slow
    It'll work itself out fine
    All we need is just a little patience
    Said sugar make it slow
    And we'll come together fine
    All we need is just a little patience
    (inhale) Patience…
    Ooh, oh, yeah

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  11. Hmmmmmmm- What a great idea about Aubreys Dad and Mikes brother. I don't even know Aubreys dad but I feel for him. He seems like such a sweet guy.

    I don't like the season with 50 people but I did love season 4 twist when they brought back Jillian with the black team on the beach working out. I would love to be a part of a twist like that.

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  12. I don't know what others think but I liked what was posted on Pete Thomas' website once about a season with 12 contestants and 12 trainers….I think that would be awesome! Especially if the trainer could go back home with the eliminated players and train them at home!

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  13. I can only imagine what April Fools Day will look like on this board… LOL! Everyone will be shouting "I MADE IT!!!"

    Has anyone heard if you pitched yourself as a couple would they break you up to put you on the individual show. Maybe one person would make it and the other wouldn't? I am just wondering if I should send in a new tape with just me on it…

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  14. Headingtotheranch- If you are out there please come back I miss you. You don't have to share with us wheree you are in the process just come back to say hi.

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  15. Hottie.. I was part of a team and they asked me to come in alone for a one on one interview while they were in town for the casting call so that they can pitch me alone. But I was told at the interview that the home tape submission my team sent in the previous season can be cropped to show just me for my pitch.

    The bottom line is this… if they REALLY want you for the show, they will get you pitched with what they have or ask you to send in the material they need for the pitch.

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  16. Thanks Hopeful! That is good to know.

    I am seriously on a minute to minute basis of reminding myself that if it is God's will, I will be there. If not, then I have to accept that and do it on my own from home. God knows what is best for me. I have to trust that… It's just hard to waaaaaaaaaaaait! I am a go getter and I wanna make things happen. LOL!

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  17. Realhopeful- Thank you for your response! do you know why they are asking (CDS) and AV about other family members? Does this mean they want you for couples? What if you applied alone..Im confused!!

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  18. Hottie- i loved your last comment! You seem VERY cool I think we would def. Get along on the ranch!!!

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  19. Wannago – Yes 3ball is the casting company.

    CURIOUS, opps I mean Jimbob how do you set up the analytics on a personal website?

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  20. Jimbob or Sarabelle or whoever, I am sorry but I really doubt the truthfulness or sincerity or any of your posts!

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  21. Hmm…I know a Hollywood North Entertainment casting company contacted me. I was VERY skeptical and when they finally told me that I needed to have a "comp. card" which usually cost between $260-400, I cut off all contact with them. Since I had done so much work myself already, I decided just to apply on my own.

    Is 3ball for sure legit?

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  22. Here's my opinion on the couples vs. singles. I think that they are going to pair up singles with similar backgrounds and put them against the couples that have known each other for a long time. I have a good reason for thinking this and I hope that this is what they do.

    Hottie Ditto on that last comment!

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  23. Wannalive- I love that idea! That would be very interesting!
    Heavyweight- we could be BFF's! LOL! I see an alliance in our future!

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  24. Okay y'all…. I have this feeling …. I just know they are going to call me to come to CA and be on the show. I just know it! How bold is that!

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  25. Heavyweigh-You asked why CD's were asking about family but then you said they weren't asking about family. Just curious which one is it?

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  26. Wouldn't it be nice to know exactly how many people they were planning on choosing and how many they have already chosen?

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  27. TBone, pastorswife. What a coincidence. They are going to call me too. I've known it for a while now. Just trying to figure out the "when are they" part. lol.

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