Biggest Loser casting tips (season 15)

Biggest Loser

Biggest Loser is getting ready to start casting for season 15!  Casting calls will be posted on the 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, Lose It Fast, Lose It Forever.
  • 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! ;)

1,176 thoughts on “Biggest Loser casting tips (season 15)

  1. This is copy and pasted from Kim Nielsen’s Facebook Fan Page:
    The Biggest Loser has asked for my help in finding potential cast members!! If you have been, or currently are, a professional wrestler with WWE or TNA….please inbox me. If you know someone that may be interested, I will make contact with them if you get me the contact info. You/they have a high probability to be cast!! ASAP please!!! Thanks y’all!!

    It’s interesting that they’re looking for something so specific!

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  2. @ Nanny- that does sound a little strange! Wish I could help, but I don’t understand how it works, either! My best guess is that it was BL if they are the only ones with a password. The location must be wrong for one reason or another.

    @ Happy Camper- WOW! I don’t think I’ve ever seen that specific of an advertisement before! Exciting, but scratching my head a little- they just posted the mother thing.

    @ Surferchick- do you think the May 10 date someone spoke of was to decide the direction of casting? Or do you suppose that is the date they are done pitching? They haven’t announced they are done watching videos yet.

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  3. @tempted I know that on their posts they said this is the last week of casting. I am guessing the May 10th date that has been referred to is the date that Producers will make their final decisions for FINALS? Who knows, though! Anything can change 🙂

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  4. I have to assume they will announce that all videos have been watched before they announce finalists have been chosen.

    Of course, this season things seem to be going a little differently 🙂

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  5. From Biggest Loser Casting’s facebook page

    “Have a happy and healthy weekend everyone! We will post once all finalists have been notified.”

    Well…like most other seasons, I can officially say my video has received NO hits!

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  6. @PI- they are not claiming to have watched them all yet! Hang on to hope! They simply said they will post when finalists have been notified. That means they have not been 🙂

    It was only 3-4 days ago they posted they were looking for Mothers, and to go ahead and send in videos! And only a 1-2 days ago they posted they need a wrestler! Casting is still working things out and looking IMO!!!

    I’m holding on to a little bit of hope!

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  7. I saw that last night CD Alanna was tweeting out to Universities to RT her tweet that says they are still looking for former athletes to submit videos by 5/15. So apparently, they are still searching…

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  8. Tempted
    LIKE

    If your video is on Vimeo it may have been embedded to their on site to view. I don’t know anything for sure, but it’s a thought. If it’s embedded it may not show as a view.

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  9. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there. May your day be a beautiful one.

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  10. Anyone heard any news? I saw the tweets from Alanna like surferchick said but I did notice basically no one retweeted her. So that didn’t exactly work out. I’ve never gotten to far in the casting process (and I’ve never posted on here. Too scared!) but I would guess they gotta be at the big background check time by now, right?

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  11. @ZOODLES I think most of us who talk on here, are at about the same spot in casting. Wait and see. We’ve done our call backs and filled out a long app. Some have done background checks, some long ones. But everyone right now seems to be in the holding position. Waiting to see if we get a call!

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  12. Hi all! I’ve been following this post for a while, and am finally going to chime in. Like others I am trying to remain patient, but am completely obsessing over this process and my status. Quick background on where I am…. I went to a CC and did not get a CB, I was lagging on my video but then got a call from a CD saying they saw my application online and wanted me to come in for a CBI, and to send in a video. I went to my CBI, filled out the long application, and sent in my video. After the CBI they asked for video footage of me dancing when I was younger/thin, as well as photos. Then I filled out another small questionnaire, and sent in two more recent photos. I know my CD said they were taking about 2 weeks to edit the home footage with the CBI footage and send the finished product to the network. I was sending things in up until this past Friday, I checked in this morning to see if they needed anything more from me, and they said they were good for now.

    So I wait….. AHHHH it it so difficult to wait. So I basically just wanted to check in and see how others were doing, and hopefully find some relief by talking to those in the same place that I’m in. I am so thankful to have gotten this far, and I am incredibly happy to have a venue like this to talk to others about this journey. How is everyone else doing with the waiting game?

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  13. DJ is always involved, isn’t he 🙂 He was on tour for the casting calls… but I don’t know who is in the office at this point, or if any of them have moved on to other projects.

    Do you think they would accept your app so long after the deadline?

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  14. DJ was in my call back interview. They are still accepting videos until tomorrow…really looking for former athletes they say.

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  15. What is the normal way things go? CB, send pics, long application, short application, background check….? What happens normally?

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  16. @fireside – There’s not a normal or at least there are always exceptions.

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  17. Good to know @PGIS! It was my first time applying and I filled out a background check but haven’t heard anything

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  18. I heard that from a CD who posted that to Twitter. And yep there is nothing normal…

    @fire, I would venture to say that you are right along with some of us who are in the hurry up and wait mode 🙂

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  19. I was wondering if anyone has been able to see if their video has been uploaded or played? I used the vimeo site and it says that my videos were uploaded on 2 different occasions, but it doesn’t say they were played. Also, it says they were uploaded in Israel.

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  20. @ Curious- I think Nanny had the same thing! When did you submit your video? And when did the upload happen? I’m trying to get a timeframe for when i might get viewed 🙂

    @ surferchick- thanks!

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  21. Submitted toward the end of April. It was loaded about a week after submission and then about 10 days later.

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  22. Curious
    I had the same thing happen to me, but only once. It shows a load and embedding, but no play in Israel. I sent a message to casting to ask if was them and they said it wasn’t. I don’t know what thats all about.
    Is anyone on here with their video on Vemio that has been viewed by casting? It may be a geographical mistake by Vemio, or something else. My video is private with a password. Only casting has it.

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  23. @Nanny I have my video on Vimeo and just checked, it says it has been viewed 4 times. I’m not sure how to check the location of those views, but like yours is private, with a password only casting has.

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  24. Thanks @Nanny!! I hope so. I’m basically at the wait and see point like everyone else. Trying not to obsess each day. I have to say coming on here helps, it makes me feel better seeing that we’re all going nuts waiting.

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  25. OK….. I know I am over-analyzing! BUT……. the last thing posted about BL (that I saw) was Holland tweeting on 5/14 that “final decisions are still being made”.

    That is very vague. I got to thinking. Do you think they are still making creative decisions? Having trouble finding what they want? It doesn’t say finalists. It says final decisions. That could mean ANYTHING.

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  26. Hey guys! It’s been awhile since I checked in. I’ve done as I was told and moved on with life. I figured since I haven’t been contacted by this point that I’m totally out. Anyhow, the good news is that I’m down 8 pounds! Woot! How is everyone else doing with their weight loss? After all, that’s what this is all about, right?

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  27. @ Happy Camper- AMAZING!!!! So happy for you! It is Friday night and I have a basement full of teens, and prepping for my chaotic weekend schedule, but you have inspired me! I will sit down and make my goals for next week and a shopping list! Are you doing it the old fashioned way? Or are you doing a specific program? Tell us the details of your success!

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  28. @Nanny and all the others who can see the locations where their Vimeo videos have been viewed.

    Please Help!!!

    How / where on the Vimeo website is it that you’re able to see the specific location where your Vimeo video has been viewed? Israel? / Other?

    Do you have Vimeo, Vimeo Plus or Vimeo Pro?

    I have not had any views / plays this season, but do have 2 “Plays” from an earlier season (S 14) that I wanted to check to see if it was just myself, or someone else playing my video (Casting is the only other, who has ever had my passwords).

    I’m just curious and taking inventory, to try to verify whether I’ve EVER had a “Play” by anyone other than myself, from all my submissions to BL for Seasons 8, 10, 12, 13, 14 or 16.

    This season, I couldn’t use Vimeo and in an attempt to get my video’s YouTube address for my submission, I by accident, opened my YouTube video and it IMMEDIATELY registered my opening it, as a “View”.

    It registered me opening it, but the Casting Team says not to expect it to register them.

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  29. In vimeo you hover over me and then a bar of options should show up. Click on statistics. Once you click on statistics make sure you choose lifetime and choose geographic. I hope that makes sense. Mine shows plays but those are from me. Mine only shows loads from Israel but no plays.

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  30. @CURIOUS

    Thank you so much for your very quick response.

    Actually, I had already tried that page and each time received their advertisement as stated below.
    “Get Advanced Statistics Introducing the Advanced Statistics package for Vimeo Plus and Vimeo PRO members. Once you go advanced, you’ll never go back. Sign up today to view comprehensive stats on all your videos.”

    Possibly you have a more advanced version of Vimeo (Plus or PRO) that you are not receiving the advertisement, but instead are receiving the actual statistics.

    Thank you for confirming I was in the right place to begin with and that I will not be able to see the actual statistics.

    Good Luck to you on yours and have a great night.

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  31. I don’t know…… it would stand to reason that the Israel uploads would be Casting. Simply for the fact that they are the only ones with the password and more than one person who has applied has had the same experience.

    I have no explanation as to why it is showing up as Israel, though!

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  32. Things must be getting down to the nitty gritty! I saw my video has 6 plays but I haven’t gotten anything past my CB

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  33. Just wondering, Has any besides me and Curious had a load but no play on Vemio? You can see if it’s in Israel if you have Vemio plus.

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  34. I just checked in with my CD and was told that things are now in the hands of the producers, and if they need anything further or have any news they’ll reach out directly within the next few weeks. Has anyone heard anything similar, or know what that means as far as where we are in the process?

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  35. Hey guys, Ya I had a momentary lapse of reason and sent Dj an email asking if there was any interest and if my skiing history was enough for the past sports thing; but I got no answer. The email address is one we traded emails on over a year ago, so it may not be valid any longer.

    Bu the better news is I got back on my skis yesterday for the first time in seven years. It was a reward I promised myself after I lost the first 50lbs. I didnt know if I could last one run. The base of Arapahoe Basin in Colorado, is over 11k feet and the summit is over 13k; but I was hoping the last four weeks of leg and strength conditioning would get me down one run. Well I lasted 12…truly a great feeling I did not think I could ever feel again just 4 months ago. My form was terrible, but I started getting a hint of it back; but no jumps; not yet at least…

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  36. …BTW, to say I’m sore is an extreme understatement. People in traction have more mobility than me. Bu it hurts so good…

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  37. Feeling confused. Anyone have a similar experience? Went to CC. No callback. Weeks later got a call asking to send in video. Deadline was later than regular deadline. It has now been almost 2 weeks and still no views on video. Why would they call and ask for it and not look at it?

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  38. YUP. Nothing. Assuming I am outta the race. But the optimist in me is having trouble letting it go completely.

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  39. @ BFG- AWESOME!!! So impressed by your recent successes! Very inspiring.

    @ Tank- Maybe they changed focus again? They have not announced that all videos have been viewed. Maybe there is still hope?! Sure has been an odd season.

    @ BIBIMIC- I can only assume that is their polite way of saying don’t call us, we’ll call you….. and I think it is anyone’s guess as to where they are in the process. Things are so quiet this season!

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