Rulon Gardner explains why he quit Biggest Loser

Olympic gold medalist, wrestler, and near-death experience survivor Rulon Gardner quit The Biggest Loser on Tuesday’s episode, although that was badly timed because he then showed up as a contestant during the cross-promotional challenge on Top Chef Masters last night.

While he said on the show he was leaving for personal reasons after losing 188 pounds, and NBC would only say the same thing (“Rulon chose to leave the show for personal reasons, and we respected his wishes,” the network told Reuters), he released a statement that gave more insight into his departure, and it involves returning to wrestling:

“Participating on The Biggest Loser was a fantastic experience. I went on the show to get my life and my health back and I have accomplished that goal. I want to thank the trainers and all those connected with the show who helped me in that endeavor. Once I reached my goal and started feeling like my old self, I felt compelled to return home and support my wife, Kamie, in the ongoing management of our personal and professional affairs. The real prize for me in participating on the show was regaining my life back and thanks to the show I have accomplished that. Another exciting outcome is that I am strongly considering a return to competitive wrestling.”

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.


Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.