Biggest Loser 9 includes three heaviest people yet, including a 526-pound man

NBC has announced the cast of The Biggest Loser 9, and it includes the heaviest contestant yet.

Michael Ventrella weighs 526 pounds, and takes the title of heaviest contestant ever from season eight’s Shay Sorrells, who weighed 476 pounds at the start of the season. (She lost 172 pounds and has a special incentive to keep losing more.)

Two identical twins from Orlando also beat her record, as James and John Crutchfield weigh 485 and 484 pounds, respectively. Overall, the cast consists of eight parent and (adult) child teams, and three other teams of family members, cousins, brothers, and spouses. The new season debuts Jan. 5.

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.


Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

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.