Brett, Cara out as Biggest Loser adds Anna Kournikova, makes other changes

Anna Kournikova will join Bob Harper as a trainer on The Biggest Loser 12 this fall, replacing Jillian Michaels, the show confirmed during its Tuesday finale, but new trainers Brett Hoebel and Cara Castronuova will not return as part of changes the show is making.

A badly written gossip report that called trainers “judges” broke the news late last week, so the really surprising news here is that Brett and Cara, who were added this season, won’t be back, according to a magazine report.

Executive producer Todd Lubin told New York Magazine’s Joe Adalian that her addition comes as the show will be “getting slightly away from just the tape measure, and getting into overall well being and health. That’s where Loser needs to go.” Kournikova was added because they “intentionally tried to not replace Jillian” and her guest appearance during season 10 impressed producers.

While the producer wouldn’t say anything about Hoebel and Castronuova, the magazine cites “industry sources” who said they “will not be returning”; the story also says the show “will look noticeably different next fall, with a redecorated ranch among the changes.”

Please, please let the show lay off its horrific product placement and speed up: it is unbearably slow. Maybe every word Alison Sweeney says could be played at 4x her normal speed?

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.