It's official: The countdown to "The Biggest Loser" premiere on October 8 has begun, and to boost awareness, contestant Ruben Studdard and trainer Dolvett Quince participated in a conference call with members of the media on September 26. Find out what the dynamic diet-wise duo said.
In the September 26 phone interview, Ruben was asked why he's no longer a vegetarian or vegan.
"I was actually a vegan," said Ruben. "I really enjoyed it for the time that I was one, (but) I'm not one any longer."
He linked the tossing out of tofu and the saluting of steak to the intense workouts required on "The Biggest Loser" ranch, where he's training with Dolvett.
As to why Ruben was chosen over the other contestants, Dolvett said he felt Ruben deserved the opportunity.
"I think like everyone on every season that we have, we have individuals who submit to say, “Okay. I've struggled with this long enough,” and they realize that Biggest Loser is a place that they can get extreme help. I think it was a decision on Ruben - for Ruben and himself to get healthy," said Dolvett during the September 26 phone interview.
Weighing 462 pounds, Ruben is the heaviest contestant on the show, reported Reality TV magazine on September 27. That weighty health problem factored into the decision to choose him, said Dolvett.
"Choosing Ruben was a no-brainer for me. Not only am I just a fan of his, but just in general I knew that I could help him find his way. I think it was a good fit for me, it was a good fit for him, and I'd do it all over again."
A new element on the show this season: Trainers can "save" a contestant. Asked to comment on that during the phone interview, Ruben emphasized that it doesn't mean contestants get lazy.
"I think all the contestants were thrilled when we all found out about the trainers having the ability to save one contestant. But at the end of the day, the trainers were very clear that we really count on them ever using the save."
As a result, "they do not build a culture where you can sit around and be lazy or you know become pals with somebody to bolster your ability to be saved at the end of the day. You know, everybody has to work as hard as they possibly can."