'The Biggest Loser': 'American Idol' Ruben Studdard pulls from his reality TV experience
The Season 2 "American Idol" winner is among the new contestants vying to drop the most pounds as Season 15 of NBC's weight-loss competition "The Biggest Loser" starts Tuesday, Oct. 15. "Second Chances" is the theme, and Studdard definitely sees the show being that for him.
"It's one of the most difficult and rewarding experiences I've had in a very long time," he says to Zap2it. "It's very challenging to be asked to work as hard as we're working, and also to be cut off from the world, so to speak. I think the experience would be a lot easier if you were able to communicate with your loved ones, but it's part of the show that we aren't able to do that.
"That also gives us the ability to focus on the task at hand without interruption from outside distractions, whether they be work or family issues. I appreciate everything that I've learned, and I also appreciate the results thus far."
Like all "Biggest Loser" entrants, Studdard is prohibited from specifying his results before episodes air. He believes his background in reality television is a bonus, not only for him but also for his fellow contestants.
"I can explain what it's like to be on a television show," he notes, "and what to expect after the taping is over and you're back home, and people are watching you and trying to learn about who you are ... and thinking they know you when they actually don't.
"It's honestly a blessing for me to get the information about my health profile, and also about how to change that to something that can be inspiring to others. And that can inspire me to continue to get better."
Set to record a new album with veteran producer-composer David Foster after his "Biggest Loser" stint, Studdard was recognized immediately by most if not all of his rivals on the show.
"I think they were shocked to actually see me there," he recalls with a laugh. "And I was shocked to be there. When the opportunity presented itself, it took me a while to think about it - but after I looked at all the pros and cons, it was all positive."