Hollywood Exclusive – Biggest Loser Finale Feels Like Graduation for Trainer
"The Biggest Loser" has its Season 7 live finale tonight (5/12) — which, for trainer Bob Harper, is a little like graduation time.
"I feel like a school teacher, living vicariously with my students as they go on in life," says the popular fitness expert. Harper, in fact, does stay in touch with quite a few of his former "Biggest Loser" contestants, "through emails, Facebook, text messaging. Certain people strike a heartstring," he says.
Viewers of the hit NBC show probably won't be surprised to know that among the alumni who keep trainer Bob apprised of their doings are Mark and Jay Kruger, Roger Shultz and Dan Evans — guys from Season 5.
Then there are those who don't. Case in point: This season's Joelle Gwynn, who got into on-camera battles with Bob on more than one occasion and wound up estranged from Carla Triplett, the best friend with whom she entered the weight loss competition.
He's surprised himself by his "yelling and screaming at Joelle this season. There are times you just get your buttons pressed," he says with a sigh.
Then there is the occasional unwelcome news that a former contestant has packed on the pounds again. "I understand why people gain weight," says Bob. "I try to tell people, 'It's a lifestyle change — you have to manage it for the rest of your life. You can't go back to your old ways.' But some do."
Compared to many weight loss regimens, he notes, "The Biggest Loser" has "a really good success rate, about 50-50" of those who manage to keep off the pounds and those who gain back. He cites such "Biggest Loser" successes as Ali Vincent, the Season 5 winner, who is now the spokesperson for 24 Hour Fitness gyms, Bill Germanakos from Season 4, "who does public speaking," and Evans, "has a music career going now, he's done a great job."
PUTTING IN THE GOOD WORD: Charlie Sheen has been staying on the straight and narrow both on and off screen of late, but Emmanuelle Vaugier, who plays his ex-fiancé on "Two and a Half Men," tells us she's coming back to make things interesting.
It certainly must involve some drama, considering his character is engaged.
"I'm back to stir the pot! I seem to get brought back on the show for that reason quite a bit, but I have no complaints. I'm perfectly happy to go stir the pot," says Vaugier of her May 18 episode on the popular CBS series. Working with Sheen is a treat, claims the actress, who insists he's a lot different from his past party boy reputation. "He's a sweetheart. He's nothing like the persona people have of him."
Fans will see Vaugier's more serious side as she reprises her role on Thursday's (5/14) finale of "CSI: NY." "I've been on the show for three years now as a recurring character. The season finale is coming up and it's a very action packed episode with lots of twists and turns. That was a lot of fun to shoot," she says of playing Detective Jennifer Angell. "It's very different from what I'm used to doing because, with this show, the less you do the better. To them, murder is not a big deal, whereas you and I would be like, 'Oh my God, someone's been murdered!' It's so cool, though. I've been able to work with guns, chase people down, and do some of my own stunts."
When asked if we can see more of her next year, she responds, "We will have to wait and see what they muster up next season. I have some ideas but I'm not at liberty to say what they might be doing."
INSIDE INSIGHT: Wayne Brady has made a living doing improv, and while he has become quite skilled at it, he admits he gets nervous every time he goes out on stage. "I get nervous all the time. If I didn't, I would be in trouble," says Brady who is currently starring in his own show in Las Vegas. "If you don't get nervous then you're probably not at the top of your game because nerves keep things heightened and it keeps you on your toes while you're always trying to find that punch line. They're actually a good part of the job."
NEW MEDIA MAN: "My Boys" star Reid Scott tells us he's not just a pretty face on camera. He's about to also be a pretty face behind the scenes as he's set to direct a series of Webisodes this summer. "Directing is what I started off doing. I went to Syracuse and combined directing and theatre into one. I've always loved acting and it's been good to me so that's been my focus," he notes. "I'm going to direct a Web series for crackle.com called 'The Prick.' I'm not sure when that's going to launch, but I'm excited about delving into it. It's easier to branch out now that I'm at a position where I have kind of a regular schedule. I know when I have time off so I can plan around that."
With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster.
To find out more about Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and read their past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2009 MARILYN BECK AND STACY JENEL SMITH
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.