Can Ruben Studdard become The Biggest Loser this season? The former American Idol winner has joined the cast as the heaviest contestant of the show’s upcoming season, which premieres on Oct. 8, after tipping the scales at a whopping 462 pounds. The weight loss journey was critical for Studdard, who was classified as morbidly obese and facing death before the show.
Studdard wouldn’t reveal how much progress he has made since heading to the Biggest Loser ranch, but said that the show has taught him to make time for focusing on his weight loss. “I have to get up every day and give myself the two hours that I need to keep myself together before I even get into any music stuff,” the American Idol winner said. “That's just going to have to be how I do it," he added.
Luckily for the R&B singer, he didn’t even allow himself the chance to have one last huge meal before joining the show. “I was actually working the night before, so I didn't get an opportunity to have a pig-out session,” Studdard admitted. "I actually flew from a concert to the ranch ... I'm sure I probably would have had a piece of cake or something before I went up to the ranch for months and months."
Studdard won American Idol in 2003 and released his debut album, Soulful, that year, which hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts and sold over 1.8 million copies. His debut single, “Flying Without Wings,” also sold over three million copies. Since then, however, his album sales have noticeably declined; Studdard’s 2012 release, Letters from Birmingham, only sold 9,000 copies.
Studdard isn’t the only former American Idol alum to use reality TV to conquer their health demons, though. Kimberly Locke joined former VH1 program Celebrity Fit Club in order to lose weight and even dated the show’s trainer afterwards. Season one contestants Jessica Sierra and Nikki McKibbin also appeared on VH1 show Celebrity Rehab in an attempt to kick their drug addictions. After varying degrees of relapse, both of them are reportedly now sober.