Jillian Michaels “used by” producers to bring Ruben Studdard back to Biggest Loser

Ruben Studdard left The Biggest Loser last week, after losing just five pounds and being eliminated automatically. But he returned to the competition this week. Instead, Jillian Michaels says that was a set-up by the producers to bring Ruben back.

At the end of last night’s episode, Alison Sweeney said–and by said, I mean dragged out with pauses in which the show could have fit an entire commercial for some awful product–“Jillian broke the rules and gave caffeine supplements to each member of her team without the doctor’s permission. Because of this rules violation, Jillian has been penalized” with a one-pound penalty for each person on her team. “For fairness reasons, the last weigh-in is invalid, so tonight, the blue team will have the immunity they won the previous week, and the eliminated player will return to the ranch tonight,” Alison said.

Jillian looked, shall we say, annoyed, and the only thing she said that made it into the episode was, “I stand by my opinion, a caffeine supplement is significantly healthier than unlimited amounts of coffee. My only regret is that my team–they’re the ones suffering the consequences of my professional opinion.”

But on Twitter, Jillian confirmed with three words that this was basically a set-up by producers who just used the caffeine pills as a convenient excuse to create drama and bring back Ruben:

The first time she quit the show, Jillian complained about the editing and how it allowed producers to construct “whatever kind of BS story they want to create” and said she “started to feel limited by the portrayal.” She’s since returned twice.

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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.