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Ruben Studdard, 112 lbs lighter, gets third chance to return to 'Biggest Loser'

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Third time's the charm? "The Biggest Loser" seems to have turned into "The Ruben Studdard Show" as the newest twist in the fat-focused reality show offers the first celebrity contestant the opportunity to return for a third time to the ranch, reported the Los Angeles Times on Dec. 18.

For those who missed the boomerang story of Ruben on "The Biggest Loser," he was initially eliminated several weeks ago when he did not lose enough weight. The following week, however, host Ali Sweeney announced that because trainer Jillian Michaels had "cheated" by giving her team unapproved caffeine supplements, the previous week's results were invalidated. Voila: Ruben, the show's first celebrity contestant returned.

When Ruben was then eliminated for the second time, he and producers emphasized that the first time had not been planned. Ruben emphasized that he hoped to win the at-home challenge and talked about losing more than 100 pounds (click for details).

But now it seems that he will receive a third chance.

At the end of the Dec. 17 episode, Ali announced that all the competitors eliminated thus far would return to the ranch. Back in weight loss land, they would be given the opportunity to return if they won a challenge.

Or, as Ali framed it in her Dec. 18 blog for People magazine, the last two eliminated contestants and the others got good news at the end of the show.

"Just when Hap and Matt thought they were saying goodbye to their trainers and the ranch, I had another twist for them and the other contestants – that one of the eliminated contestants would earn a spot back on the ranch. Make sure to tune in on Jan. 7 to find out who will be back on the ranch!" she urged in a reference to the hiatus that the show will take over the holidays.

Asked to comment about the fact that Ruben now has a third chance to return, the producers kept it generic.

"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," they claimed.

"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."

Or maybe a "third chance?"

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