Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you haven't yet watched Part 1 of NBC's The Biggest Loser Season 14 Premiere.
We've all been waiting and now it's happened ... Jillian's back! After two seasons away, during which she and her partner welcomed two children into the family, America's favorite trainer has returned to the gym and she's not wasting any time. During the first part of The Biggest Loser's Season 14 premiere, three of Jillian Michael's five teammates collapsed in the gym and one quit for good.
But despite her histrionics and real talk, Jillian wasn't the true star of last night's show. That distinction went to the three obese teenagers: 16-year-old Sanjana "Sunny" Chandrasekar and 13-year-olds Lindsay Bravo and Noah "Biingo" Gray. The three teens opened up about what it was like to face the judgment of peers and to have to sit out from their friends' activities because of their weight problems.
"I always feel like people are looking at me and judging me for my weight, not for the person I am," said Sunny in one particularly emotional moment.
The young contestants will remain on The Biggest Loser campus for only the first week and will then move their weight loss efforts back home. They won't participate in weigh-ins or be eliminated, but they will be a major part of the show, which is trying to spotlight the nation's high rates of childhood obesity (which has tripled in the past 30 years).
"With the kids, we wanted to do exactly the opposite of when we work with the adults," trainer Bob Harper told journalists assembled at the 2013 Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour. "We do no breaking down, just lifting up ... It's about getting kids to move around again and getting kids to be kids."
The season premiere of The Biggest Loser is taking place over two days, with the second part Monday at 8 p.m. But during the first two-hour show, we've already caught a glimpse into the struggle of obesity, and it isn't just physical.
"This is far more emotional than I could have ever imagined," said Nicole "Nikki" Davis, a 26-year-old make-up artist from California. During a workout with Jillian, Nikki broke down and admitted that she wasn't ready for a change. The show hinted at underlying emotional problems without ever fully addressing them.
"The reality of it is that there are people who are not ready for the process, and I tend to find that when they are not ready, it's far more damaging than positive to push them. So I never really got anywhere with her -- never even got to engage in any in-depth conversation," Michaels told the Examiner.
"We know she has a very dark past, and I personally don't feel qualified to have handled Nikki's situation. And I don't feel The Biggest Loser was the place she needed to undergo the things she needs to get better."
That's an important message for viewers: do not judge the quitters. In many instances, they are bravely taking care of themselves, despite the disappointment they'll face.
But Nikki wasn't the only one who struggled emotionally. TC, the season's first dismissed contestant, collapsed during a five-mile walk on a treadmill. In response, Jillian ordered him out of the gym, embarrassing him. "I felt worthless," he told fellow contestant, Kate.
"We've been feeling worthless all our lives," Kate sympathized.
During an emotional weigh-in, Jillian's four-person team lost another member when TC -- a 30-year-old father of 3 -- was automatically eliminated for losing the lowest percentage of his body weight. But don't get too upset: in a reveal after the show, TC was shown racing around with his children, 41 pounds lighter and still losing.
Did you watch? What do you think of the new season so far? Tell us in the comments!
Be happy with yourself regardless of where you are on your weight loss journey. It’s about health- not self-worth! @BiggestLoserNBC #BL14
I feel like a lot of us can relate to David's story. Weight loss is always linked to emotions in one way or another. #BL14
Believe in yourself, trust the process, change forever. ~ Bob Harper #biggestloser #BL14 @MyTrainerBob
The desire to change has to outweigh the pain and the fear. #biggestloser
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