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After much speculation, the rumors have been confirmed: There will be a new butt-kicking trainer to deal with next season when The Biggest Loser returns. Tennis superstar Anna Kournikova will be joining the weight loss series to replace current trainer Jillian Michaels.
The show's executive producer Todd Lubin told Vulture that hiring the Russian-born athlete is part of a Biggest Loser overhaul. "(We plan on) getting slightly away from just the tape measure, and getting into overall well being and health," he says. "That's where Loser needs to go."
"We intentionally tried to not replace Jillian," he says of Michaels, who has been open about moving on to start a family.
Lubin and producers met with hundreds of trainers, but eventually decided to go with Kournikova, who had guest-starred on season 10. The exec said he was impressed with Kournikova's ability to get through to the contestants and even considered developing a new show just for her!
But, in the end, The Biggest Loser was the right fit for the 29-year-old -- and we have a feeling she's going to be quite the force.
"She grew up with very little in Moscow, pounding tennis balls every day when she was 5," Lubin says. "That's the drive she's bringing to the show."