Photo Credit: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Gospel Music Association
Ruben Studdard left American Idol a winner, and now he's returning to TV as a loser. The R&B singer, who beat Clay Aiken for the No. 1 Idol spot in 2003, has signed onto NBC's weight-loss competition The Biggest Loser. It will be the first time that the show has featured a celebrity -- which is usually the domain of its cable competitor, VH1's Celebrity Fit Club.
Studdard, 34, hasn't spent much time in the public eye lately, so we don't know how severe his weight problem is. (We're a little scared to find out, to tell the truth.) Fans have certainly seen his body fluctuate over the past decade, with a 70-pound weight loss in 2006, and then a major weight gain after his 2011 divorce.
"I never want to try to be a spokesperson for health and wellness because I most definitely am not the most in shape person in the world," he told The Huffington Post in 2012. "It took me to be in my 30s for it to become somewhat of a mission for me because I grew up in the South. So we used to eat everything. And still to this day I have a problem with sweets, which is something that I hope I can get control over in the near future. But everyone has different obstacles that they have to conquer and I'm looking forward to having the opportunity to conquer mine."
Looks like his opportunity has arrived! Studdard's casting makes us wonder if The Biggest Loser is vying for more celebrity contestants. Could it become a go-to opportunity for B-list stars to shed pounds -- like Dancing With the Stars, minus the fun? That role has been filled by Celebrity Fit Club in the past. However, the VH1 show hasn't aired since 2010, and seems unlikely to make a comeback now. Especially if a network show has taken over their schtick.
Speaking of comebacks, wouldn't it be nice if Studdard got one out of this? We all know the guy has talent. Sadly, he never found his groove outside of American Idol, and hasn't landed a single on the charts since 2004. A weight-loss competition isn't exactly the surest vehicle for getting back on the public radar. On the other hand, it will make TV audiences root for him -- which is how he became famous in the first place. Maybe he'll get a good producer out of it, and the rest will be history.