In case you missed the news, auditions for the Biggest Loser TV show were held at the Rex Wellness Center of Knightdale on July 14 – the same day as our facility’s Grand Opening celebration. I knew we had a busy day in store. Eager to get started, I arrived before 7am, ready to face the chaos. I knew that contestants would arrive early, but I didn’t expect there to be at least 200 people already in line as the sun was rising. Some people actually lined up at 5pm the night before! The show’s producers arrived around 8am and handed applications to those waiting in line. Around 8:45am, the floodgates opened and about 300 people entered the wellness center, lining up around our indoor track. Hundreds more remained in line outside, anxiously awaiting their interview (and air conditioning). As they waited around the track, our wellness instructors entertained everyone with dancing and other exercises. Nutrition trivia games were played. A conga line broke out. One instructor sprinted down the track, waving her hands up and down, leading the participants in the wave. One of our wellness center members, Lyle, who successfully lost half of his body weight, shared his before and after photos and story with the contestants. At one point, about 50 people started singing “I Will Survive” at the top of their lungs.
The producers called 16 contestants into the interview room at a time. Eight potential contestants and a producer sat at each table. The producer asked contestants to introduce themselves, state where they lived and to share an interesting fact. Each person only had about one minute to share their story. One minute! I watched a 400+ pound soft-spoken contestant show the producer a photo of his 185 pound twin brother while saying, “I want to weigh the same as my twin”. Another contestant jumped out of her seat during the interview and screamed while waving her hands in the air, telling the producer that she would be the most fun contestant they’ve ever had on the show. Different styles, but both definitely made an impression. One of the producers told me that they planned to choose only ONE person from the day’s audition. One. Out of hundreds. Chances are slim for these folks to make the show, but hopefully some were inspired by the audition process, our facility, or our energetic wellness staff to take the next step toward permanent weight loss.