Reality TV

‘The Biggest Loser 17’ Cast Includes ‘Survivor’ Winner Richard Hatch, ‘The Voice’ Finalist Erin Willett

The Biggest Loser returns for its 17th Season in just one month, and NBC has revealed that the cast for the new season includes two familiar reality TV stars!

Richard Hatch, the very first winner of Survivor, is part of the cast for this season. Joining him is The Voice Season 2 finalist Erin Willett, who competed on Team Blake. For those unfamiliar with these two…well, here’s the short version: Richard Hatch is credited with inventing the strategic approach many people still use on Survivor to this day, forming alliances that maintain a majority, while knocking off minority alliances one by one. While you could argue anyone would have figured that strategy out eventually, I think Hatch was a huge reason for why Survivor was so successful in its first season, since he offered up a charismatic villain around which the narrative of the show could be centered. Since then, he’s had ongoing trouble with the IRS over his failure to claim his million-dollar winnings, but he’s remained busy in the reality TV community, appearing on Celebrity Apprentice 4 in 2011. As for Erin Willett, she was one of the strongest performers on Team Blake on The Voice Season 2, delivering several showstopping performances including “Without You”, “Set Fire to the Rain”, “I Want You Back” and “Living For the City”. She made it all the way to the semifinals.

'The Biggest Loser 17' Cast Includes 'Survivor' Winner Richard Hatch, 'The Voice' Finalist Erin Willett

Credit: NBC

The theme for this season is Temptation, as the contestants must face the same temptations they’d encounter in the real world, “from food to money to electronic devices,” according to the official press release. In a departure from other seasons, the contestants will also spend far more time away from the Biggest Loser campus, in order to better confront the temptations they’ll face in every day life.

Of course, with this new theme comes an updated gym, a new logo, the return of the team vs. team format, and a brand new host, in the form of Bob Harper. But we’ll get several familiar elements as well: namely, trainers Dolvett Quince and Jen Widerstrom, who will coach the two teams that will be competing. These two teams will be made up of smaller factions within the cast, such as groups of spouses, parent/adult child, siblings, relatives, and best friends.

As for that new gym? Well, in addition to new, state-of-the-art workout equipment, the new gym will feature eight high-tech monitors on the walls of each side of the gym to keep track of heart rates and calories burned so far. Half the gym will belong to Team Dolvett while the other half will belong to Team Jen. Another change comes in the form of the new weigh-in format: this season will feature double scales, allowing contestants on opposing teams to weigh-in side by side.

But who are the contestants competing for the $250,000 grand prize this season? Check out the full cast list below:

The Biggest Loser Season 17 cast

Credit: NBC


Best Friends
Whitney Clay (Nanny), 30, Raleigh, North Carolina
Felicia Buffkin (Nanny), 29, Raleigh

Parent-Adult Child Teams
Vicki Clark (women’s health care nurse practitioner), 54, Bladenboro, North Carolina
Lauren Clark (nutritionist), 32, Bladenboro
Rob Kidney (small business owner), 56, Warner Robins, Georgia
Sarah Gilbert (makeup artist), 27, Perry, Georgia

Relatives (Aunt/Niece)
Tonsheia “Toy” Grandison (store manager/part-time caretaker at a girl’s group home), 35, Statesboro, Georgia
Britney Anderson (health unit coordinator and makeup artist/hairstylist), 27, Kissimmee, Florida

Luis Hernandez (physical/health/driver’s education teacher), 36, Chicago
Roberto Hernandez (physical/health/driver’s education teacher), 36, Burbank, Illinois

Jacky Kmet (high school counselor), 42, Hainesport, New Jersey
Stephen Kmet (pharmaceutical sales recruiter), 43, Hainesport
Hope Wright (housewife), 35, K’Ville, Georgia
Colby Wright (car dealership salesman), 31, K’Ville

Richard Hatch (television personality), 54, Newport, Rhode Island
Erin Willett (singer/songwriter), 26, Brooklyn

The Biggest Loser: Temptation Nation premieres Monday, January 4 at 9:00 PM ET on NBC.

For more reality TV news, find out who had a disastrous, lyrics-forgetting sing-off performance that resulted in elimination on The Voice last night!

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