Jillian Michaels: Biggest Loser “a gift” but “How many times can I scream last chance workout?”

The Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels is leaving the show after its 11th season, and while she calls the show “a gift,” she said, “How many times can I scream last chance workout?” Meanwhile, Bob Harper promises he’ll never leave “as long as there is a show” because “Every new group that comes in here consistently inspires me.”

Jillian’s question about saying the same line over and over again is a good rhetorical question, and reminds me that while its 10th season ended last night, but like other aging shows such as Hell’s Kitchen, it’s become so repetitive and so boring that I just don’t care any more. Next season will introduce a twist that allows contestants to leave the ranch and train with Jillian’s replacement(s) for a month instead of possibly being eliminated, but the problem with the show is not its structure, it’s the editing and filler and product placement and repetitiveness.

Anyway, Jillian told the media, according to the Los Angeles Times, that “There’s still so much more that I need to be doing,” and that includes these things: “I want [physical education] back in schools. I want better food in school cafeterias. We need to teach kids that wellness is fun. That’s my calling.”

As to her future as a mother, Jillian plans to adopt a child from Africa. “I loved being there, I loved the people, I want Africa to be part of my life,” she told the media.

But here’s my favorite part of the story: Some journalists have known that Jillian was leaving for a long time, but ignored the news last week because they were contractually prohibited from reporting on what they learned at a media day earlier this year.

Embargoes are standard–I’ve signed one agreeing not to reveal the Survivor cast until it was announced–but one of two regular cast members leaving a major network reality show is pretty big news to have to sit on while people who didn’t sign the contract reported on it. So it’s even funnier because when Jillian broke the news last week, the journalists who were there had to twiddle their thumbs for a week until they were allowed to write about it.

The Los Angeles Times described it this way: “Michaels talked about her decision to leave earlier this year, when a media day was held at the new Biggest Loser Resort in Malibu, not far from the ranch were the NBC weight-loss show takes place. The media in attendance was barred from discussing the departure until Monday’s formal announcement of Season 11. But that didn’t stop Michaels from scooping everyone last week, when she tweeted that she was leaving.”

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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.