Well, here we are again! It's season freaking FIFTEEN of The Biggest Loser, otherwise known as "RUBEN RUBEN RUBEN RUBEN." But we'll get to that in a moment. First we have to listen to the trainers shouting about second chances as they do exercise-ish things in silhouette. What Jillian needed was a second chance at putting on pants before filming this bit. Yowser. Anyway, there are some changes this season, and the first one we encounter is the trainers playing a key role in casting. They meet with the fifty finalists in L.A. and ask them all sorts of tough questions, with significantly less talking of smizing than when this happens on Top Model.
We're introduced to a few standouts right away. Holley Mangold is an Olympic weight lifter who would like to be a medalist, but her weight has been holding her back. There's Tanya, a pretty lady with a crush on Dolvett who is basically there to represent all of us. There's a guy in a black cowboy hat, leading me to wonder when Clint Black started hitting the cheese puffs. Another woman has a nine-year-old daughter who is 70 pounds overweight. There's a lady who hasn't been able to ever show her fully naked body to her husband of seven years, and a gentleman whose first wife died of brain cancer. There's an adorable and sad guy whose testosterone was too low to conceive his daughter without help, and a woman who used to be quite fit. We don't see Ruben, I guess because he was able to bypass this audition stage for plebeians.
Bob, Jillian and Dolvett go through all the contestants and decide their yeses and nos. They claim not to like the process, but are pretty matter of fact about it and get to their final fifteen quickly. Jillian believes that each one of the finalists deserves a second chance at life (and seriously… drink every time you hear "second chance" and become an alcoholic before the end of episode two!), but the real test will happen on day one at the gym.
And then it's day one at the gym! The contestants arrive at the giant gates of campus and are greeted by flags with the names and weight loss totals of former contestants. We meet David Brown, 43 from Edmond, Oklahoma. He's the one whose first wife battled cancer for ten years, and passed away leaving two little girls. She made David promise that he'd be there to take care of their daughters, and he intends to keep that promise. I mean, not for the next several months, but in the long term, yes. And then there's Ruben! He's 34 and from Birmingham, and tells us that he's a performer. In 2003, of course, Ruben was the second winner of American Idol, besting the Amazing Technicolor Clay Aiken. Now, Ruben would like to reinvent himself - inside and out - and have a long career. Incidentally, he's the heaviest guy on the ranch. Then we meet Rachel Frederickson, 23 from Los Angeles, who used to be a national level swimmer with a bright future. She gave it up for a boy, and wants a second chance to take control of who she wants to be.