Biggest Loser 9 debuts as Jillian Michaels says she’s bisexual (without using that word)

The Biggest Loser‘s ninth season and third couples season debuts tonight at 8 p.m. ET, consuming a now-normal two-hour timeslot that allows for plenty of product placement and plenty of time for Alison Sweeney to awkwardly say her lines.

The new cast includes the three fattest people ever, including a 526-pound man, and in a Ladies Home Journal profile, both Jillian Michaels and a producer say they “worry” about having increasingly large contestants. “The contestants keep getting bigger and bigger,” she said. “As the trainers we have no say over the challenges. We worry about them, too.”

Executive producer Todd Nelson agreed, saying, “We all worry. You’re setting yourself up for failure if you don’t.” But he says they learn from past experiences “and this allows us to fine-tune the process and reach out to a heavier population.” Jillian also said, “The Biggest Loser is like a funhouse mirror. I’ve loved the show and the platform it has given me, but still, it is the nature of reality TV to manipulate. You never see what’s going on in its entirety. For every 10 minutes we’re on the show, acting like insane people, there are a hundred hours of training you don’t see. The stretching, the icing. Nobody wants to watch that.”

Also in the magazine’s profile of her, Jillian gives weight-loss advice (“Look, it’s simple math. You run, you burn 500 calories; you eat a slice of pizza, you’re fucked.”) and talks about previous jobs, from bartending “at 17, with a fake ID” to opening Sky Sport & Spa with Work Out‘s Jackie Warner.

Finally, Jillian said she’s bisexual without using the word “bisexual,” as she she’s open to a romantic relationship with either men or women. She said, “Let’s just say I believe in healthy love. If I fall in love with a woman, that’s awesome. If I fall in love with a man, that’s awesome. As long as you fall in love…it’s like organic food. I only eat healthy food, and I only want healthy love!”

Jillian Michaels: The Queen of Lean [Ladies Home Journal]

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

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.