Biggest Loser monitors subtly revealed weigh-in results early, spoiling the outcome

On last night’s episode of The Biggest Loser 8, watching the long, drawn-out weigh in was less necessary than usual, because the monitor that showed the two teams’ percentage of weight loss revealed the final totals at the very start of the weigh in.

The pairs were grouped into two teams, black and blue, and as this photo of the monitor clearly shows, the final team percentage of weight loss, 1.98 and 2.65, are visible on each half of the screen. But this photo was taken at the start of the weight-in, before there were percentages to total.

The photo was taken by Jane McGonigal, who tells reality blurred this has been visible in previous episodes, too. She notes in the photo’s caption that besides the numbers, “the blue team’s shadow is higher,” which shows they lost more weight and won:

Biggest Loser screen

Since the actual weigh-in is done in advance and the big scale is all for show–although it is where the contestants first learn of their weight–it makes sense that producers would input their weight and the percentages for those displays in advance. But why does it show up? Perhaps the final totals were written in black, and just turned to white when it’s time for them to be visible? The biggest question: If we can see it, could the contestants?

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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.