Ruben Studdard will return to "The Biggest Loser" on Jan. 7 after having been eliminated twice this season.
Studdard and all the other eliminated contestants from this season will compete for a chance to return to the "Biggest Loser" ranch on a more permanent basis. Details about the competition have not yet been announced.
This isn't the first time an eliminated contestant has returned to the "Biggest Loser" ranch. Ali Vincent was eliminated early in season five but was brought back to the house and went on to win the final prize of $250,000.
In response to criticism and public outcry, "The Biggest Loser" executives denied that bringing Ruben back is a ratings ploy, explaining in a statement:
If you’ve watched 'The Biggest Loser' in previous seasons, you know that this twist of bringing back eliminated contestants to try and win a spot back in the competition is a common one seen in many seasons of the show. And with this season’s theme of 'Second Chances,' it seemed more fitting than ever to reward one eliminated player with a 'Second Chance' to return to the ranch and the competition."
Studdard, who has lost over 112 pounds so far, has said he's not really interested in winning the weight-loss competition. Ruben said his top priority is losing more weight and managing his diabetes.
The 6-foot-3 Ruben, who once tipped the scales at 462 pounds, now weighs a healthier 350 pounds. He credits a low-calorie diet and grueling six-day-a-week workouts for his amazing weight loss.
Studdard was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes while competing on "The Biggest Loser." He was shocked by the diagnosis, but said it makes him even more motivated to continue with his weight-loss journey.
After he was eliminated the second time earlier this month, Ruben said he had no hard feelings and called his time on "The Biggest Loser" incredibly educational and moving.
"I really appreciate everything that I learned on the ranch," said the Velvet Teddy Bear. "It was a wonderful experience. I met wonderful people that I'll probably be friends with for the rest of my life."
Studdard's new album, Ruben Studdard: Unconditional Love, is out now.