Trainer Bob Harper takes on new role giving contestants a second chance at "Comeback Canyon"
New trainers Jessie Pavelka and Jennifer Widerstrom join Dolvett Quince for show's 16th season
Twenty former athletes, including NFL players and Olympic gold medalists, will aim to change their lives on the upcoming season of NBC's hit franchise "The Biggest Loser: Glory Days," premiering Thursday, Sept. 11 (8 p.m.).
The contestants will work with new trainers Jessie Pavelka and Jennifer Widerstrom, as well as veteran trainers Dolvett Quince and Bob Harper. Alison Sweeney will return as host.
The contestants are led by former NFL players Scott Mitchell (12 seasons in the NFL) and Damien Woody (two-time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots), as well as Olympic gold medalist and former professional tennis star Zina Garrison. Other contestants striving for weight loss include former WNBA standout Vanessa Hayden, three-time Olympic gold medal softball player Lori Harrigan-Mack, and a mix of former college and high school sports standouts.
Season 16 of "The Biggest Loser" also will feature trainer Harper in a new role, giving contestants a second chance at life on the show. Just when the eliminated contestant each week thinks he or she is headed home, said contestant will actually be whisked away to a secret location called "Comeback Canyon." There, he/she will be trained by Harper, competing at a separate, secret weekly weigh-in for the chance to return to the competition and a shot at "The Biggest Loser" title and $250,000 grand prize.
The new contestants competing to be "The Biggest Loser" will be:
•Jordan Alicandro (former high school baseball standout; currently regional sales manager), 32, Surrey, BC, Canada
•Rondalee Beardslee (former high school basketball, football and softball player; currently nursing student), 28, New Lothrop, Michigan
•Blake Benge (former high school soccer, track standout; currently student), 18, San Clemente, California
•Howard "Woody" Carter (former Arena League football player; currently car salesman), 46, Las Vegas
•Toma Dobrosavljevic (former high school soccer, football, volleyball, baseball player; currently senior project manager), 33, Addison, Illinois
•Zina Garrison (gold-medal winning tennis player; currently professional tennis coach), 50, Hyattsville, Maryland
•Rob Guiry (former rugby player; currently head rugby coach, 26, Western New England University), Springfield, Massachusetts
•Gina Haddon (former cheerleader; currently make-up artist/photographer), 41, Rowlett, Texas
•Lori Harrigan-Mack (three-time Olympic gold medal-winning softball player; currently director of security for a Las Vegas hotel), 44, Las Vegas
•Vanessa Hayden (former WNBA basketball player; currently a child welfare specialist), 32, Orlando, Florida
•Sonya Jones (former All-American softball player; currently PE teacher/coach), 39, Springfield, Illinois
•Chandra Maple (former high school softball, basketball standout; currently optometric technician), 26, Dodge City, Kansas
•Matthew Miller (former high school football standout; currently business entrepreneur), 31, Grove, Oklahoma
•Scott Mitchell (12-year NFL veteran quarterback; currently bill collector), 46, Mapleton, Utah
•Emmy Lou Munoz (former high school softball, volleyball and track and field standout; currently teacher), 32, Woodson, Texas
•Mike Murburg (former Princeton University football player and wrestler; currently an attorney representing the disabled), 58, Darby, Florida
•John "JJ" O'Malley (former Arizona State University football player; currently bouncer), 22, Scottsdale, Arizona
•Jackie Pierson (former high school basketball MVP; currently clinical care coordinator), 36, Pacifica, California
•Andrea Wilamowski (former high school cheerleader; currently vice president of operations, Detroit Pride Cheerleaders), 43, Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan
•Damien Woody (two-time Super Bowl champion; currently an ESPN analyst), 36, Mendham, New Jersey