Biggest Loser casting tips (season 13)

Biggest Loser is now casting for season 13!  Casting calls have been posted on the all new 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, Winning Man.
  • 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.
  • 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! ;)

 

 

4,631 thoughts on “Biggest Loser casting tips (season 13)

  1. @Dawn

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!! I'm literally ECSTATIC for you! What an achievement :D! If we lived in the same state I'd buy tickets and come and see you :)!

    Like

  2. @SuperCyber15

    Awww- Thank you!

    Will probably try and have my husband tape it on the iphone so I can upload to youtube. (if he lives that long, he keeps going around the house saying "the GOOD witch, really? the GOOD one?" LOL)

    Like

  3. @Dawn

    Have you applied for BL Season 14?!?!? There is another chubby lady that desperately wants to be on this season as well.!!!! I want to be loved that much too, just don't know what to do!! Thanks 😉

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  4. @Sara

    They haven't started with the auditions yet, but I will most likely do it again! (even though I keep saying "this is my last time") I think this will be my fourth time, so maybe it will be the charm.

    Sounds like they are going back to just doing one show a year, or possibly they are scrambling right now to make some adjustments based on how this season went. But once they announce- this board really starts hopping- and then Matt makes a new season 14 folder 🙂

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  5. Right now I'm gearing up to yell at my tv screen this evening.

    I am curious in the live show when they bring Conda and Jeremy out to talk about their time on the ranch, if they will boo hoo about they have been portrayed, or what exactly they will say.

    See ya'll back here after the episode airs! I'm in the central time zone- so won't give any spoilers for those of you who will be watching after me! 🙂

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  6. @Quikwits

    Well I'm in Mountain Time :P. I can't wait for tonight for some reason. I want to do some yelling, and I have a feeling Conda may win..

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  7. I have scouts tonight so I will be watching it with the west coasters. I sure hope the thing doesn't win.

    See you all in a little bit!!!!

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  8. @Quikwits

    Haha, how funny, I was just talking with my friend about travelling to Illinois. Then I thought Indiana because it'd be better. I have an aunt I haven't seen in awhile ;)!

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  9. Less than 1 hour till the finale airs here in the east coast. If Conda wins it will be hard not to blow up, but I promise not to post any spoilers till after all time zones have a chance to watch. I really hope Kim wins!

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  10. @Nanny

    Me too Nanny. I'm not crazy about Kim either, but she did work her but off, and looks fantastic, and deserves the win.

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  11. Gotta say Kim looks like a super model. Thats all I can say so I don't give anything away.

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  12. Good Finale. Glad they didn't do it like last season. Happy with the at home winner. Cassandra looks amazing, Emily looks like a super model! Overall happy with the whole show :)! Watching The Voice now.

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  13. I agree with both of you. (okay ya'll….if you haven't watched the finale…don't scroll down..

    ….

    (seriously…last chance…here some some spoilers)

    (you've been warned..)

    Okay…here we go..

    I was really rooting for Emily- but Mark did look amazing, so I was okay with him winning. What a gorgeous girl Em is! I knew she would be stunning because she was pretty even when she was heavy.

    Kim- wowza! I knew she would look great- because she looked great even before- I don't think she could have gotten any thinner- and that was her downfall- she just didn't have as much weight to lose.

    I have to say- I was actually shocked at Jeremy's numbers. But- he pulled it off, didn't he?

    Do I buy Conda's "I've changed and grown so much" routine? Well- I guess we will all have our own opinion of that. I'll keep mine to myself. lol

    I still wish they would give the show another minute or two after the confetti comes down. It seems that the at-home winners always get more time to celebrate on camera then the 250,000 one! (although in this case..I really didn't mind)

    Loved Ali's dress too. My husband is in trouble when I finally lose the weight- because I'm going to be a real clothes horse 🙂

    I would actually love to see a follow up show- like how they do on the bachelorette/bachelor..the "after the rose" so to speak. A show where they can talk about life at home, how it was on the ranch, what they thought of public opinion, get grilled from people in the audience, etc.

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  14. I really wish they would have given about 90 minutes for the finale. They were ALL so rushed…except Adrian, who had to play with network time and be pokey getting onto and off the scale. My daughter kept saying, "GET OFF THE STAGE, YO!"

    As for Kim, she looked great, and I loved her attitude saying that she won no matter what…..

    Bottom line is that I'm glad Conda did not win. Jeremy's numbers were AMAZING and so were Mike's! Cool thing is, that it looked like most of them took this challenge seriously. You could see some that hadn't worked as hard as others, but you know, they still lost weight and they all seemed very happy with their own progress. That's what this show is all about right?

    Sure, the money is a big motivator, but when only two people go home with cash (and I hope that changes in BL14, where I think ALL finalists should have a cash award), people need to change their mindset and go for regaining their health. Last night was very inspirational for me. So much, I ate an apple for breakfast instead of a sausage biscuit. lol

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  15. @Quikwits

    Quikwits, I was rooting for Katrina from the BEGINNING. I LOVED her :'(. Unless you meant Erin, or Lindsey :P. Personally I like Katrina better than all. But I was happy Juliet moved on if no other girls could. And all my favorites have been eliminated up to this point, so I almost don't care who wins. I loved Charlotte Sometimes, and she was eliminated in the first live round. Then I started loving Mathai.. But before she got eliminated I started liking Katrina. So I was still upset when Mathai was eliminated.. But now I have nobody left to like :(. I'll just root for Chris Mann, the opera singer.

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  16. Did anyone notice Cassandra's new tattoo that she didn't have when the show started???

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  17. @Quikwits

    Thanks for that info, I have tried applying other seasons, but its always been when they already had the application up and going, etc. There website confused me with just subscribing. I would LOVE to join you on there campus 🙂 I too will have a troubled husband when I get my weight off b/c I will DEFINITELY be a clothes horse too!!! Haha, I've always said maybe it was God's intention for me to be heavier so I wouldn't be buying so many clothes, or dressing in some hot outfits…lol. But I've been desperate to get help, I'm terrified of making my video for casting, I never feel like I'll know what to say or how to act, and the fact I have to share myself which I've gotten so used to just hiding instead. I'm only 25 years old, and just have been married since October of 2011. But I'm 5'4", and I weigh 320 lbs. I'm devestated all the time how badly I've gotten, it shatters my heart that my husband has to help me put socks on, or tie my shoes, or help me clasp my bras most mornings b/c I can't reach or get so out of breath trying those things. I can't handle my life like this much more, I've ALWAYS wanted to just be the most fantastic wife and mother ever. And I'm scared I'm not going to get that opportunity, I'm not menstrating as my weight is too high, and I've also already lost a fallopian tube, and ovary in emergency surgery before making my dream of becoming a mother seem even further out of reach. I'm rooting for you, and everyone else. Please root for me too 🙂

    Like

  18. @Quikwits

    Thanks for that info, I have tried applying other seasons, but its always been when they already had the application up and going, etc. There website confused me with just subscribing. I would LOVE to join you on there campus I too will have a troubled husband when I get my weight off b/c I will DEFINITELY be a clothes horse too!!! Haha, I’ve always said maybe it was God’s intention for me to be heavier so I wouldn’t be buying so many clothes, or dressing in some hot outfits…lol. But I’ve been desperate to get help, I’m terrified of making my video for casting, I never feel like I’ll know what to say or how to act, and the fact I have to share myself which I’ve gotten so used to just hiding instead. I’m only 25 years old, and just have been married since October of 2011. But I’m 5’4″, and I weigh 320 lbs. I’m devestated all the time how badly I’ve gotten, it shatters my heart that my husband has to help me put socks on, or tie my shoes, or help me clasp my bras most mornings b/c I can’t reach or get so out of breath trying those things. I can’t handle my life like this much more, I’ve ALWAYS wanted to just be the most fantastic wife and mother ever. And I’m scared I’m not going to get that opportunity, I’m not menstrating as my weight is too high, and I’ve also already lost a fallopian tube, and ovary in emergency surgery before making my dream of becoming a mother seem even further out of reach

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  19. Sooooooo. Will we be starting a new thread soon??? #bl14 Can't wait!

    I realized something. Most of us were very critical of season 13, but if you think about being in their shoes They are people with feelings and issues just like the rest of us. Putting yourself in the mix and allowing yourself to be vulnerable on a reality tv show like Biggest Loser must be one heck of a roller coaster ride.

    Although I don't think I would have gotten along with all the personalities chosen for this season I commend them for putting it out there.

    Like

  20. @SuperCyber15

    TOTALLY was rooting for Katrina! She was just so pretty and sweet and wonderful and I loved her voice. Doesn't she seem like someone you would just want to go have lunch with?

    COULD NOT BELIEVE the HUGE tattoo! I was shocked. And, it's just me, but I hate that she got such a big tattoo in such a prominent place. (but…it's not up to me…lol)

    @Sara- will be rooting for you too! And I hope that you and your husband will be blessed with a baby. I weigh more than you but because I am so tall, and my weight is evenly spread out- I don't have problems with the day to day things – but it did take us awhile (and a little help) getting pregnant the first time, so I do know what you are going through.

    @justme- I know that BL can edit the heck out of the show to make people seem better/worse than they are. I just didn't like conda even at her "best"..lol. Hopefully- some of us will get the chance to be misunderstood on the ranch too 🙂

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  21. @Sara

    You just told your story to us, now put what you said on film. Don't just sit and talk about it though, show what you are talking about as you do it. It's a good story.

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  22. <blockquote cite="#commentbody-48336">
    Nanny :
    @Sara
    You just told your story to us, now put what you said on film. Don’t just sit and talk about it though, show what you are talking about as you do it. It’s a good story.

    Yes- what Nanny said!

    Like

  23. @Quikwits

    Oh gosh. I would not just have lunch with her, I'd steal her away in the night and have her come and live with me :). I just loved her.. So much.. And I can't stand Tony at all. He's just cocky. And I don't like his voice.

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  24. @SuperCyber15

    LOL!!! Well, since I'm a heterosexual married woman- I'll let you live with her as long as you let her come have lunch with me occasionally.

    I'm not even watching the voice anymore. Lost interest as all the good people get kicked off.

    And what is with xtina being so mean? I am not sure if she thinks every show needs a Simon Cowell- but she is getting on my nerves.

    Wow- I am ranting a lot today! I think I need chocolate. 🙂

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  25. @Quikwits

    Well I'm a man :P. So yeah you can come over and have lunch with the both of us :D!

    Alright then, I'll tell you who wins later on. If you want ;).

    Yeah.. I just think she doesn't like Tony. Maybe it's because she turned around and he didn't pick her. All I know is she just throws him under the bus every episode.

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  26. My baby brother is at it again (yes, he's an adult, he's actually 44).

    The Tough Mudder competition is “Probably the Toughest Event on the Planet” 11 miles and over 25 obstacles developed by British Special Forces.

    Jim is competing in the event on May 13 in Pennsylvania. In case you are interested, http://www.toughmudder.com shows an amazing video with some details.

    If anyone wants to make a tax-deductible donation on Jim's behalf to support Wounded Warrior (such a necessary cause), please follow the link below. Every dollar raised makes a difference. http://www.raceit.com/​fundraising/​donate.as

    Thanks in advance if you should choose to support him.

    Like

  27. JUST posted on TWITTER:

    To all the BL wannabe's, etc. we are not casting yet. We will let you know when we begin. Probably not for at least another month. EMWLE will not be casting for a long time as it takes a year to film.

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  28. Barb from BL casting team Tweeted that…sorry for not saying where it came from.

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  29. @Dawn

    Dawn, here;s a high-five! I'm so happy for you! That's MARVELOUS! You're going to have the time of your life! {Did community theater with my children in LaHabra, Ca for 5 years. Unforgettable!]

    Like

  30. Hoo boy, I'm in North Dakota! At a cousin's wedding. If anyone is here in ND, come and party with us at the reception, haha!

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  31. Just checking in with everyone. Can I just say that I have lost 6 pounds this week? I was pretty happy for that one.

    Also, my last heart test on Friday came back good. No problems other than my weight. Talk about a praise. Still have a few more tests. Praying and hoping they keep coming back like this.

    It feels odd without the chatter of auditions during this time.

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  32. @Balzak75

    So happy to hear your heart is okay 🙂 (But we knew that already!)

    And CONGRATS on the 6 pounds- that's fantastic!!

    Yes- it's weird to have BL13 over with no mention (other than "coming soon…maybe") of BL14.

    Like

  33. I would like y'all to know…. I've been Crossfit Training! Look it up sometime. I feel like I am getting a Biggest Loser workout without the camera in my face! It is such a sense of accomplishment. I am no where near the athletic ability of the others around me, but the atmosphere is very supportive, and I don't get bored!!! I'm also stronger than I realized!

    Like

  34. @Tempted

    Great job. Keep going with the positive attitude and forward motion.

    @Quikwits

    Thanks. Just the ENT stuff and the GI stuff and I will be the fittest fat man in America.

    By the way when I went to the doctor today I was wanted to get on their scale and it was another pound down!

    Like

  35. @Balzak75
    Sweeeeet! You will be the incredible shrinking man!! I always say I'm one of the healthiest fat people in America too…lol. The nurses are always surprised when my blood pressure and blood sugars are normal 🙂

    @Tempted
    You are AWESOME!!!!!

    Like

  36. YAY!!!

    FROM HOLLAND "MASTER CASTER" STRIPLIN'S FACEBOOK PAGE

    BIG BIG NEWS EVERYONE! THE MOMENT YOU'VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR!!!! We'll be hitting the road this summer for #BL14! Vote for the cities we should hold open casting calls in HERE: http://bit.ly/IVGaOb- Make SURE YOUR VOTE COUNTS…DO NOT list it in the comments…click the link and VOTE on the form!!!!

    The Biggest Loser 14 Casting Tour…Coming Soon!

    docs.google.com

    Like

  37. This is intentionally duplicated for those who do not look back on the previous page, when a new page has just been started…

    YAY!!!

    FROM HOLLAND "MASTER CASTER" STRIPLIN'S FACEBOOK PAGE

    BIG BIG NEWS EVERYONE! THE MOMENT YOU'VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR!!!! We'll be hitting the road this summer for #BL14! Vote for the cities we should hold open casting calls in HERE: http://bit.ly/IVGaOb- Make SURE YOUR VOTE COUNTS…DO NOT list it in the comments…click the link and VOTE on the form!!!!

    The Biggest Loser 14 Casting Tour…Coming Soon!

    docs.google.com

    Like

  38. Congratulations to Quikwits, Balzak and Tempted on all of your successes.

    Balzak, I am so happy they have not found anything thus far, other than a healthy man (albeit overweight), but still healthy. Awesome job on the weight loss too.

    Tempted, I am so glad you're really enjoying the crossfit training, as we know that is the 1st requirement to keep you going.

    Quikwits, you go girl. Have a blast and as far as your husband goes, you just show him, you got what it takes…

    Like

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