Jillian quit Biggest Loser because of the editing and the show’s artificial drama

Update: This story refers to her departure for season three; in 2010, Jillian Michaels quit the show again to have a child.

On last night’s episode of The Biggest Loser 4, Jillian Michaels told her team, “I missed this job, you know, when I didn’t do it last year, I missed it, but I forgot how much.” With her recent return to the show after a one-season absence, the question lingers: Why did she leave in the first place? She revealed why–in an interview earlier this year.

Comparing the American version to the Australian version, on which Jillian was a trainer, she told Who magazine, the Australian version of People, “For Loser in the States, they just made me look like a crazy person in the gym and it’s not who I am. Yes I am, but there’s a good reason and there’s a method behind my madness, I just started to feel limited by the portrayal so if I did go back, I don’t know. You never say never and if I did go back it would definitely have to be a scenario where I’d felt like I’d already expanded my brand and for it not to be a small facet of my reality and go it’s almost like a character that I’m seeing on TV.”

Jillian also said, besides the editing, she didn’t like the show’s artificial drama. “Bob and I are in, I can honestly say, five minutes of the American show, and it’s whatever kind of BS story they want to create,” she said. “I’m through with that. Through with the, like the whole eliminating 36 people in the lawn then having them all cry. I was like, you know what, find someone else, I’m not going to do it.”

Although it was conducted in February, it’s interesting considering the changes made for the fourth season besides Jillian’s return: For one, the trainers now attend the weigh-in (where Jillian tends to look extremely bored), and are included in the deliberations for who to the team will send home. And while the show did eliminate a group of people and make them cry during the first episode, Jillian came in to train them. But they were still standing there, crying, emotionally manipulated for entertainment.

Jillian Michaels sounds off! [Who]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.