The Biggest Loser contestants just keep getting bigger and bigger. First, Daniel Wright set the record in cycle 7. Then, this past season, Daniel returned and was partnered with Shay Sorrells, who beat out his record weighing in at 476 pounds. Now, they're upping the ante again for Season 9, with three contestants eclipsing her size.
Edging her out slightly are a pair of twins, James and John Crutchfield, weighing in at 485 and 484 pounds. I find it astonishing that they could be that close in size, even though they are twins. It'll be interesting to see if they can lose weight in synch the way they apparently gained it.
But the newest heaviest contestant of all time breaks the 500-pound mark for the first time in Biggest Loser history, according to The New York Times. At 526 pounds, Chicagoan Michael Ventrella is coming in 50 pounds heavier than Shay. I can't help but think there's no way the show can keep doing this. There has to be a stopping point where you say that these people simply can't handle the rigorous requirements of The Biggest Loser Ranch. They have to lose weight through other means to get down to a more maneuverable size before they can tackle Bob and Jillian's boot camp regimen.
I'm no doctor, and I certainly applaud these people's efforts to turn around this crisis in their lives, I just worry that some of the expectations might be too much too soon. There should be a Biggest Loser boot camp for the extremely morbidly obese to get down to a weight where they can work with standard exercise equipment and maintain a routine equitable to the smaller contestants on the show.
Regardless, The Biggest Loser, is always an inspirational journey, and while I don't know how feasible it is for these three to drop down below 200 the way Danny Cahill did by shedding 239 pounds in six months and some change, I'm sure it'll make for compelling television all the same.
Plus, with the new season starting January 5, 2010 at 8 PM ET, it will likely be a longer tenure on the Ranch than Season 8, so these guys will have the benefit of more time with their trainers to get that weight off.
The Biggest Loser: Couples begins Tuesday, January 5, 2010 at 8 PM ET on NBC.