Our Fix for Biggest Loser

Since the recent Biggest Loser Finale, I have had more and more questions regarding my experience on the show. Not only have people asked me questions about my experience but they also asked what I would do to change the show. I must tell you that privately I have talked about how I would “fix” Biggest Loser since I left the show. I am not a health expert. These are simply suggestions from a man who loves Biggest Loser.

I love Biggest Loser

I love Biggest Loser. God and Biggest Loser changed my life. I moved from existing to living due to my experience on the show. I didn’t experience negativity. I didn’t feel exploited. I did feel appreciated and respected. Do I hang with Bob and Jillian or even with Cara and Brett from my season? No, but I do keep in touch. I didn’t expect them to become my bff’s. Many of the people on the production team were some of the best people I have ever met. The trainers, medical staff, masseuse, production team, and the other contestants changed my life.

The problem

Now having said that, there were aspects of the game that I would completely change. Whenever you have people competing for $250,000, they will go to extremes to win. I have heard the tales from every season on how various contestants put their health at risk to “win” the show. I don’t blame them. I don’t blame the show. I blame the show’s rules and the system that has been put in place. What I believe is that the “powers that be” do not really understand what their show is all about and why Americans watch. Please understand that I realize that sounds very condescending. I don’t mean for it to be so. I am a pastor by training and I am a good pastor. I am not a media expert. As I said earlier, I am very grateful to those “powers” that chose Austin and I for the show.

Why America watches?

Why do I think that I might understand why America watches? First, I know why I watched. Since being on the show, Austin and I have traveled across the country sharing and encouraging life change. I have spoken with people in restaurants, gyms, YMCA’s, churches, schools and various settings about the show. My answer to the question, “Why America watches?” is not based on factual data, but rather it is based on my experience and what I hear from others. First, America does not watch Biggest Loser for the enjoyment of game play. Americans don’t watch Biggest Loser to watch contestants lie, steal and cheat. They don’t watch for the drama of contestants fighting with each other. They don’t watch to view alliances fighting against each other. Americans don’t watch to see the person with the best relational game stay while someone else who is working harder gets voted out as the “threat”. To put it bluntly, I don’t believe America watches because of the game.

Everyone Desires… Hope

America watches because every one desires hope. Each contestant represents a part of America. America wants to believe that change is possible. At the end of every season, viewers celebrate the transformations of all the contestants and many times a more deserving contestant could have one. I am not suggesting that I have a problem with any former winner. I don’t. As former contestants, both the winners and all the contestants, we are a family. They played the game as it is and won. For my season of Biggest Loser, it was Olivia  and her sister, Hannah who were first and second. They are awesome and I love them to death. What I am suggesting is that quite possibly the way the show has operated in the past may have run its’ course, but the core reason for the show is still prevalent and a “refit” could save the show and benefit America.

Saving Biggest Loser with Changes

1. Change the measurement of success

Currently the measurement of success is percentage of weight loss, this is not an accurate health measurement. Is the goal to watch contestants strip their bodies of both muscle and fat through the season? No viewer wants that. What I suggest is that the medical staff of the show come up with a better measurement of health. The healthiest way to lose weight is to replace fat with muscle and there are ways to measure this. My suggestion is to allow the medical team to set healthy goals for each contestant which means those goals will be different for each contestant.

2. Offer a shared grand prize

Offer each contestant who achieves the goal set by the medical team to receive an equal portion of the grand prize.  At the very end of the season, allow America to vote for the most “inspirational” contestant and give that person a $50,000 bonus prize.

3. Keep Competition as part of the show.

Still keep the challenges and allow contestants to earn rewards and prizes through the challenges. At each week’s weigh-in allow prizes and rewards to the one who “achieves” the most.

4. Contestant Elimination

I think it would be great to not eliminate anyone for the season. Allow America to experience every contestants journey.

Conclusion

Implementing the above changes would be hard work. I am sure there would be challenges along the way, but I am also confident that those in charge are completely capable of making some variation on the above a real possibility. I am also sure that there are pitfalls, problems, and challenges that I haven’t even comprehended. My purpose here is to suggest that America wants to believe. Viewers at home simply want to have hope. It isn’t the game play that brings them back week after week. It is the inspirational stories that do. Take the game play out of the show and tell the stories…I think Biggest Loser could end up being bigger than it has ever been with that change.

How can Ken and Austin help your health: Click Here

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