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 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.