The Biggest Loser returns to NBC with an all new Thursday September 11, Season 16 Premiere. On tonight’s two-hour premiere twenty contestants, all former athletes, begin their weight-loss journeys in the premiere of Season 16.
For those of you not familiar with the show, the contestants will work with new trainers Jessie Pavelka and Jennifer Widerstrom, as well as veteran trainers Dolvett Quince and Bob Harper. Alison Sweeney will return as host. The contestants are led by former NFL players Scott Mitchell (12 seasons in the NFL) and Damien Woody (two-time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots), as well as Olympic gold medalist and former professional tennis star Zina Garrison.
On tonight’s episode twenty former athletes, including NFL players and Olympic gold medalists, try to change their lives and get healthy on the new season that also features new trainers Jessie Pavelka and Jennifer Widerstrom joining veteran trainers Dolvett Quince and Bob Harper. The contestants are led by former NFL players Scott Mitchell (12 seasons in the NFL) and Damien Woody (two-time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots), as well as Olympic gold medalist and former professional tennis star Zina Garrison. Other contestants striving for weight loss include former WNBA standout Vanessa Hayden, three-time Olympic gold medal softball player Lori Harrigan-Mack, and a mix of former college and high school sports standouts.
Season 16 also features trainer Bob Harper in an exciting new role, giving contestants a second chance at life on the show. Just when the eliminated contestant each week thinks they are headed home, they will actually be whisked away to a secret location called “Comeback Canyon.” There they will be trained by Harper, competing at a separate secret weekly weigh-in for the chance to return to the competition and a shot at “The Biggest Loser” title and $250,000 grand prize.
The Biggest Loser season 16 premieres at 8PM on NBC and we will be live blogging it with all the up-to-the-minute details. So make sure to come back to this spot and spend the evening with us! Make sure to refresh often to get the most current details and updates! In the meantime, check out the sneak peek video of tonight’s episode below.
Alison Sweeney is at the LA Memorial Colosseum ready to welcome 20 former athletes that have let their weight get the better of them. She says this time they’re not playing to win, they’re playing to lose. The bus pulls up and Zina Garrison is first off. She’s 50 and an Olympic medalist and former Wimbledon player who was once fourth ranked in the world.
Next is Damien Woody. 36, former NFL player and number one pick in 1999 with two Super Bowl wins behind him. Gina Haddon is a former cheerleader and mom who is 41 and from Texas. Lori is 43 and has won three Olympic gold medals in softball who wants to feel like an athlete again. Alison welcomes the group and says she’s thrilled to be there with them.
She says they know what it feels like to have people cheering for them and want those Glory Days back. Alison says it’s game on and welcomes the trainers. Dolvett Quince comes out and is excited about season 16 and working with former athletes. Next is two new trainers. Jessie Pavelka is there and says he’s bringing a new methodology.
The final trainer is Jen Widerstrom who has helped a lot of people lose weight. She says she helps people stop living in fear and live in love to lose their weight. She calls the trainers down and they jog down the stadium stairs and onto the field. They high five the contestants. Dolvett says he’s trained athletes before and says they have to get back to that mindset.
Jen says this is a personal mission because her family struggles with obesity and says it’s about making good choices every day. Jessie says he’s an athlete and says you can’t give up on yourself and knows what that feels like. He says he wants them to go back to a life they can be proud of. Alison says it’s time for the weigh in.
Scott Mitchell, 46, is up first. He was an NFL quarterback for 12 years. He weighs in at 366. He says it’s a surreal moment because he never let anyone know how much he weighs. He says it’s a big step.
Blake weighs 251. Toma weighs 336. Lori weighs 301. Jordan weighs 323. JJ weighs 392. He’s crying and remembers four years ago playing for Arizona State. He’s just 22 years old and says he feels defeated. Vanessa weighs 366. She was a WNBA player. Damien weighs 388. He says he’s disgusted by that number and is there to compete.
Zina weighs 263. Matt weighs 386. He says he fought childhood obesity and overcame it to be an athlete but got hurt and this happened. Rondalee weighs 280. Jackie weighs 291. She was the captain of a state championship basketball team. Andrea weighs 244. Chandra 341. Rob is 483 and he’s just 26. He says he always dreamed of being an elite athlete. Woody weighs 398.
Woody, a former arena football player, just lost his wife nine months ago to cancer and says she begged him to take care of himself. He pledges to do this right and Dolvett tells him to be sure and keep his promise. Alison wishes them luck and tells them to get ready for their first workout. Jessie says he can’t wait to get started.
Next day, bright and early the contestants arrive with their weight shirts on to meet the trainers. Jackie is excited to get started. They head into the gym with posters of previous champs. They are welcomed to the ranch and Dolvett tells them their glory days are about to begin again. Jen tells them that Planet Fitness is giving them each a gym membership for at home and one for a family member with unlimited fitness training to continue once they leave.
They put them all on the treadmills. Dolvett tells them they’re moving today. They are all working them together. They have them on the floor doing pushups then free weights. Dolvett says he’s like a kid in the candy store. They are all exhausted. Jessie says they are going to feel like they can’t do any more today. Jackie calls him a superhero.
Jessie is getting them to push past their limits. He pushes on Damien hard. Gina tells Jen she’s scared of the medicine ball and says she’s scared to get hit in the face. Jen says she understands fear and talks her through it. She tells her fear equals failure. They start with the ball and she’s doing it. They have 15 seconds left and Dolvett is pushing on Mike, a former college wrestler and football player who is 50.
His son is a soldier and says they used to watch the show together. He encouraged his dad to go on the show. His son died while serving our country. Mike says he’s still grieving. Vanessa likes Jen because she looks sweet but is intense and on your a–. Lori says she could really work out when she was on the national team but now is struggling.
Lori says she didn’t realize how broken she was. She cries. Jessie is concerned because she’s so emotional and a former Olympian and he doesn’t see those together. Blake is the youngest – she’s 18 and a former soccer player and says she’s just let herself go. JJ goes down on the treadmill and they put the blood pressure cuff on him. He’s also young at just 22.
Dolvett says he’s never seen anyone push this hard on day one. He calls done on day one. Jen takes JJ outside to talk. She says she had no time with him today and asks how he felt about the workout. He says it’s good to be back in the gym, but is hard. He says he needs this really, really bad. He tells her he has three younger siblings he should be a role model for.
They get to the house and check out the rooms and kitchen. Jessie goes to see Lori to talk. She says after she retired she had a miscarriage and then they had a little boy. She says they kept trying after him to have another but she had seven more miscarriages, the last just four months ago. He says as a dad, it’s hard to hear her story. He says this is an emotional journey, not just weight loss.
She says her son is six now and he says he has a four year old himself and knows how important a job she has being a mom. He tells her that her son needs her to be healthy. He says he wants her to smile and be happy again and says he hopes he gets to work with her.
The trainers and Alison wait at the beach for the group for their first challenge. Alison says this will be Biggest Loser style beach volleyball. They have to run up a sand dune, through a maze then around some obstacles. They will carry a large ball and drop it into one of six slots each trainer has available so they get to choose their trainer. Two last place people will be eliminated.
JJ says that’s tough knowing how badly they all need to be there. Toma is terrified. Jen says she’s not ready to see any of them go and says it’s heart breaking. Chandra says this challenge defines the rest of her life – will you go home or finish and be there for the long haul. Scott is in the lead. Chandra is struggling. Jen yells at her to keep moving.
They are pushing uphill through hot sand and it’s a steep hill. They go over a giant speed bump and then through volleyball net obstacles. Scott is the first to make it through and he says he knows he wants Dolvett. He puts his ball in and he’s done. Rondalee is next and she loves Jen and they hug it out. Lori is close and Jessie tells her to fight for it.
She’s the first to choose Jessie. Each trainer has one. Jordan tells Matt to get out of his way and passes him by. Jordan and Blake both choose Dolvett. Jessie yells at Damien not to stop. He staggers up to choose Jessie and he claps him on the back. Dolvett is down to two slots. Woody chooses Jen so does Toma. Sonya makes it to Jen and chooses her.
Ron chooses Dolvett and he has one slot left. Jen has two slots left. JJ chooses Jen and says he feels happy for the first time in a long time. Matt takes Jen’s last spot. Jen is excited she was the first trainer filled up. Jackie chooses Jessie and so does Gina. Mike takes Dolvett’s last spot. There’s one spot left and it’s on Jessie’s team. Vanessa has a horrible pain in her leg and says it’s pulled.
The medics come to check her out. Zina is the closest to getting the last spot. She staggers up but then falls and her balls starts to roll. She lies there less than five feet away from the finish. Chandra is still headed up the hill. Dolvett yells out that he’s proud of her. Chandra catches up to her. She sinks it and Zina is out. Chandra cries and is thrilled.
They bring medics for Zina. She’s in total exhaustion and they start an IV and oxygen. She says she feels like a failure. Jessie says this is his first heart break as a trainer. He tells her this is not it for her and promises to call her. Vanessa leaves on a stretcher with her wounded knee. She’s in a lot of pain and feels ashamed and disappointed. She says she let herself down.
Alison tells the others that Zina and Vanessa will be okay and are eliminated from #BiggestLoser. She says the teams are official. Alison says they have jerseys waiting back at the ranch and that she’ll see them soon. Zina and Vanessa are packing up and make plans to call each other then go out to say goodbye to the others before leaving.
Zina says it’s heartbreaking to be out on the first challenge. She says she would never have thought she and Vanessa would have been the first to leave. They wonder where they are – they are out in the middle of the woods. The door opens and they scream in excitement when they see Bob waiting on them. He tells them there is always a chance for a comeback for an athlete.
Zina is thrilled that they are getting some sort of second chance. Bob says this season is shaking everything up with a new thing called Comeback Canyon that he’s in charge of. He tells them each week he will train two people. There will be a weigh in and the person with the highest percentage of weight loss stays. They get one shot to stay in the game.
At the end, he brings his champ back to the ranch to compete in the finals. He hands them shirts and takes them to the gym. He tells them this is the workout that will save them. He says working with someone like Zina gives him a whole new passion. He says she’s been at the top of her game and says she’s focused, driven and does what he says.
Vanessa’s knee is cramping up – she has a hamstring but Bob says he knows how to work around an injury. He thinks this is all coming from her head. She tells him her body is failing her and he asks what it could do and she says anything she wants. Bob tells her that she has to clear her mind and make it the strongest part of her body. He says to get her mind straight and think about what she wants. Vanessa says she doesn’t want to feel hurt and says she doesn’t like feeling weak. Bob encourages them to work. She says she knows it takes time but she needs to show herself she can keep going.
The trainers come into the kitchen to greet their teams. Mike has a brace on – he tore his meniscus at the gym and Dolvett says this could ruin his weigh in. Jen meets with her team and tells them she wants joy out of them and wants them cheering for each other. They start their work out. Sonya, Matt, Toma, Rondalee, Woody and JJ are her team and she says they are her family. She says she’ll be working and sweating alongside then the whole way.
Jessie has five women and Damien on his team. He says no one will want to mess with them. Dolvett says the red team has the youngest and oldest person and everything in between. Jessie talks to Andrea and she says she’s not sure where she wants to be. She says she’s ready to throw in the towel. She says if they ended up in the bottom, she’d ask to be sent home because she doesn’t deserve it.
Jessie pulls her aside and asks what she’s afraid of. She says she thinks she’s going to look stupid because she’s not strong. Jessie says all her fears are surfacing and she’s trying to run away. He tells her that she needs this and tells him he’s the first person to believe in her. He tells her she needs to believe in herself. He asks each one if they’re going home. They say no and even Andrea is on board.
Jen tells her team that no one from her team is going home. JJ is working hard. Dolvett talks to his team about the weigh in tomorrow. Jessie faces off with Damien and they talk fun smack to encourage his work out. Jessie piles on the weight and has Damien push him plus the weight on the sled. It’s more than 500 pounds. He makes it across the room and Jessie says he’s a strong man.
Damien says this is why he chose Jessie. Mike is seated but working hard. He says he’ll only leave if he’s carried out on a stretcher. Dolvett asks why he’s emotional and asks about his son. He talks about Aaron and says he’s his inspiration. He says at his funeral, he found out that Aaron would find out who was doing the most push ups and sit ups and then he would go out and do more to push himself.
Mike says this inspires him and the only way for Dolvett to see his son is for him to show him in what he does. Dolvett shakes his hand and tells him he can do it and that he’s glad he’s on his team. Bob welcomes the ladies to the first Comeback Canyon weigh in. He says it’s WNBA versus Wimbledon. Zina is up first. She started at 263 and is down by eight pounds. She’s at 255. He tells her to be proud of this 3.04% loss.
Vanessa is next. She has to lose 12 pounds or more to stay. She started at 366 and weighs in at 352 which is a loss of 14 pounds. She won it! She’s speechless. He lost 3.83% of her weight. She hugs Bob. Bob tells Zina that she has been a joy to have there and says she’s a great athlete to work with and he looks forward to seeing her at the finale. The ladies hug.
Zina says it hurts but it has been a great experience. She says she the next time we see her, she will have defeated her biggest opponent yet – her weight. Now it’s time for the weigh in at the ranch. They all come in. Jen and Jessie are both nervous. Alison welcomes them all and reminds them all they were athletes at the top of their game. She says it’s all about the scale tonight.
Jessie says his team is invested and wants to succeed. Jen says it’s like the first day of school and says it was her goal to show her team what’s possible. Dolvett says his team was doing things that most didn’t do until week five in prior seasons. Tonight is a group weigh in with a single elimination vote by the losing team. The person who has lost the most weight on the losing team has immunity from elimination.
The white team is up. Sonya goes first. She started at 283. She weighs in at 260. She lost 23 pounds. She is thrilled and so is Jen. Everyone applauds her. She says that blows her mind. Next up is Matt who started at 386. He’s down to 363 or another 23 pounds. Next is Rondalee who started at 280 and is now at 266. She lost 14 pounds. Toma weighed 336 and is down to 316. He lost 20.
Woody weighed 398 and is at 388 for a 10 pound loss. He’s disappointed he didn’t lose more. Last up is JJ. Jen says he’s her wild card. He started at 392 and now weighs 378. That’s a loss of 14 pounds. The white team ends up with a total weight loss of 104 pounds and 5.01% lost.
Next up is the red team. They have to lose more than 104 pounds. Emmy is up first. She started at 260 and is now 254. She lost 6 pounds. Dolvett says he expects more from her. Next is Blake. He was at 251 and now is down 16 at 235. Dolvett tells her it’s amazing. Jordan weighed 323 and is down to 301. He lost 22 pounds. Scott heads up next. He started at 366 and is down to 343. He lost 23 pounds.
He says it’s nerve wracking. He tells Alison this is an emotional battle for him. Next is Rob who began at 483 – the biggest guy at the ranch. He weighs in 33 pounds lower! Wow! He’s tearing up and says it feels good to see that number. Mike is the last red team player to go up. They just need 5 pounds and Dolvett is worried. Mike started at 399 and he’s down by 38 pounds.
Wow! The red team lost a whopping 138 pounds and a 6.63% of weight lost. The red team is safe and the blue team has to lose more than 90 pounds based on their percentages. Gina is up first. She started at 242 and lost 14 pounds. She’s thrilled and tells Jessie she loves him. Next up is Andrea. She started at 244 and also lost 14 pounds. Chandra is up next and lost just 7 pounds.
She says tomorrow is a new day. Jackie lost just 8 pounds. Jessie is starting to get worried. They are only at 43 pounds. Lori is up next and she went from 301 down 9 pounds. She’s under 300 now and says it’s a start. Jessie tells her he’s going to push her more. It looks like there is no way for them to win. Damien will need to have lost 38 pounds for them to be safe.
He heads up and says this is like Super Bowl style stress. He started at 388 and is down to 381. Wow. He lost just 7 pounds. He says he feels like he let the team down. Jessie says he works hard so he doesn’t know why he got that number and says it’s frustrating. He says they are going to have to change things up and come back for a better weigh in next week. So the blue team loses.
They totaled 3.27% and 59 pounds lost. The red and white teams are both safe and the red team won it. On the blue team, only Gina is safe as the Biggest Loser on their team. The white and red teams and their trainers leave. Alison says they have a lot to think about and says she’ll see them in the elimination room. Chandra is worried she’ll be seen as the weakest link.
Alison asks them to reveal their votes. Lori says she voted for this person because she isn’t sure they want to be here. She votes for Andrea. Andrea voted for Damien. Damien then says he thinks the person he voted for is wasting the opportunity and votes for Chandra. He says he knows she can do it but isn’t sure she believes it.
Chandra says she talked to this person and knows they’re struggling here and has a great support system at home. She also votes for Andrea. Jackie votes and says she feels like she needs someone who is there for her and also votes for Andrea. With three votes, Andrea is out. We don’t see who Gina voted for. Andrea says she told Jessie she wanted to go home, but she doesn’t want to.
She says she feels like she’s given away an incredible opportunity she won’t ever get back. Her car pulls up and she sees Bob open her door. He tells her it ain’t game over and she’s in shock. We see Zina talking about how much weight she’s lost. She’s a tennis coach and her star Taylor Townsend is up against Serena Williams at the US Open.
She says she thinks about that sand dune challenge that she lost. We see her jogging stadium stairs with Taylor and they high five. She’s down to 223 and still getting in bigger shape. She thanks Biggest Loser for the help.