Jillian Michaels is leaving “The Biggest Loser” again, the AP reported. In a statement, NBC and “The Biggest Loser” producers confirmed Michaels will not be returning this fall for season 16 of the reality weight loss competition.
NBC simply said the show and Michaels had decided to part ways. This is the third time Jillian has left the hit TV show. Michaels’ replacement on “The Biggest Loser” has not yet been announced.
Jillian’s departure isn’t surprising in light of her heated criticism of the anorexia controversy surrounding season 15 winner Rachel Frederickson.
Jillian Blamed Dolvett for Anorexia Scandal
In April, a source told People Jillian was concerned about the direction “The Biggest Loser” was taking in light of Frederickson’s anorexia scandal.
She is turned off by the mean-spirited story lines and poor care of the contestants. Michaels wants to distance herself from the ‘Biggest Loser’ brand, especially considering what happened with Rachel. Her feeling is that there isn’t proper attention paid to the contestants’ health or wellness.”
Michaels has been very vocal in her criticism following Rachel Frederickson’s 155-pound weight loss. The 5-foot-4 Frederickson, who previously weighed 260 pounds, slimmed down to 105 pounds by the season finale (on Feb. 5). Rachel has vehemently denied the anorexia reports, and has since regained 20 pounds and looks a lot healthier.
Frederickson’s emaciated appearance on finale night stirred rumors she was suffering from the eating disorders anorexia or bulimia, and drew alarmed reactions from Michaels and her colleague, Bob Harper.
Jillian blamed Frederickson’s trainer, Dolvett Quince, for the anorexia controversy, saying he didn’t properly supervise his contestant to ensure she lost weight in a healthy manner. Jillian said she stays in touch with her contestants after they leave the Biggest Loser ranch to monitor their progress, so Quince should have been kept tabs to make sure Frederickson’s weight loss wasn’t extreme or unhealthy.
Quince, author of the bestselling The 3-1-2-1 Diet, insisted Rachel had lost weight the healthy way, and asked fans not to jump to conclusions.
Show Execs Will Change Show After Anorexia Scandal
Rachel’s super-skinny appearance caused outrage among “Biggest Loser” fans, who said selecting someone who looks unhealthy as the winner sends the wrong message.
Show executives responded to the criticism by saying they will tweak the weight loss competition to provide more check-ins for the contestants after they leave the Biggest Loser ranch.
Earlier this season, Michaels came under fire for giving caffeine supplements to her contestants — a violation of “The Biggest Loser”‘s rules of competition. Jillian said the show intentionally played up the controversy to boost ratings and made her out to be the villain.
Michaels, the author of Slim for Life and creator of the bestselling workout DVD, Jillian Michaels One Week Shred, is currently on a 28-city wellness tour called “Maximize Your Life.”