NBC is taking an interesting approach to the next season of The Biggest Loser with an all-athlete cast. Former NFL quarterback Scott Mitchell and former NFL offensive lineman Damien Woody join a cast of other overweight individuals hoping to transform their lives and make their way to the finale and a big cash prize. Will the approach of having a cast consisting entirely of former athletes resonate with fans?
The Biggest Loser fans have seen a few athletes appear on the show, and many viewers will remember former Olympian Rulon Gardner’s days on the show during season 11. There have been other familiar athletes on the show as well, when Olympic weightlifter Holley Mangold appeared on the show last fall. Having an entire cast filled with people who used to be successful athletes, though, is a new approach.
People shares that The Biggest Loser cast member Damien Woody, 36, has the full support of his wife and kids. Woody once played for the New York Jets, Detroit Lions and New England Patriots, and now weighs in at 388 pounds. Woody also has two Super Bowl Championship rings and a trip to the Pro Bowl to help inspire him to return to peak condition.
Scott Mitchell is another one of the 20 athletes competing this season, and many remember him from his 12 seasons playing quarterback. As the New York Daily News notes, Mitchell played for the Miami Dolphins after being drafted in 1990. He went on to play for the Lions for several seasons, played for Baltimore briefly, and finished his career with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Zap2It shares that the 20 athletes competing on season 16 of The Biggest Loser are a mix of former high school athletes, Olympic medalists and former NFL stars. In addition to Scott Mitchell and Damien Woody, there is Howard “Woody” Carter, a former Arena Football player, Zina Garrison, a former Wimbledon and Olympic Gold Medal winning tennis champion, and Lori Harrigan-Mack, an Olympic softball champion.
As for the trainers, Bob Harper is back, but he’s got a new focus. It seems he will still be working with the contestants, but not in the usual way. He’s in charge of “Comeback Canyon” instead. Apparently eliminated contestants will have a shot to get back in the game, which is not an entirely new opportunity with this franchise. This time, though, they’ll have the chance to work with Harper to make it happen.
While Jillian Michaels is gone again, Dolvett Quince is back. He will be joined by two new trainers, Jennifer Widerstrom and Jessie Pavelka. Alison Sweeney returns as host, and season 16 of The Biggest Loser with Scott Mitchell, Damien Wood and the rest of the athletes debuts on NBC on Thursday, Sept. 11.
[Images via NBC and Bear Down UK]