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Dolvett Quince, Alison Sweeney and Bob Harper from NBC's `The Biggest Loser.` (photo by Mitchell Haaseth/NBC)
Dolvett Quince, Alison Sweeney and Bob Harper from NBC's "The Biggest Loser." (photo by Mitchell Haaseth/NBC)

'The Biggest Loser' returns with a shocking surprise for season 13

by jmaloni
Wed, Dec 14th 2011 09:15 pm

"The Biggest Loser" returns with a bang for season 13 on Tuesday, Jan. 3 (8-10 p.m.), when the contestants arrive at the ranch and get one of the biggest surprises ever in the series' history. They arrive in teams of two - including mother/daughter, father/son, brother/sister and husband/wife, all eager to change their lives together. But they're shocked to discover that they will not only be split up - they will also be competing against the person they came with. They'll be pushed out of their comfort zones in a way they have never been before - and one team won't even make it on to the ranch - as the season of "no excuses" begins.

All of the contestants have the same goal: losing weight and getting healthy. But they all have different excuses for why they never lost the weight before, ranging from being too busy, not knowing how to eat right, being emotional eaters, knowing they could always start a weight loss program "tomorrow," and more. So the season of "no partners" will also be a season of "no excuses" - as week in and week out, all the typical reasons for not getting in shape will be addressed.

The contestants will hit the ground running with a three-part challenge as soon as they arrive, and though 18 of the 20 contestants come to the ranch with loved ones, two will initially be paired as strangers. Once divided, the two groups of players will be trained by Bob Harper and Dolvett Quince, both fiercely competitive and determined to whip their contestants into shape, and deliver the season's $250,000 grand prize winner.

Hosted by Alison Sweeney, "The Biggest Loser" will feature new contestants including Nancy Rajala, who has 13 children and 55 grandchildren and didn't gain weight until she became a widow at 52; Kim Nielsen, a former professional wrestler and single mother of three whose career ended when she broke her back in a wrestling match; and Roy Pickler, a Santa Claus and scout leader who wants to get in shape so he can continue taking scout troops on adventures as he has for almost 25 years.

Also competing this season will be former Junior Olympic weight lifter Emily Joy; music producer Adrian Dortch, who has been a background vocalist for artists such as Seal and David Foster; Ben Shuh, a father of nine children with a 10th on the way; and Cassandra Sturos, whose weight has held her back from pursuing her dream to move to New York and be a writer.

The new contestants competing for the $250,000 grand prize will be:

Parent and Adult Child Teams:

  • Gail Lee (Realtor), 57, and her daughter, Lauren Lee (exercise physiologist), 26, Poolesville, Md.
  • Mark Cornelison (youth pastor), 43, and his son, Isaac "Chism" Cornelison (student), 19, Magnolia, Texas.
  • Kim Stone (registered nurse), 48, and her daughter, Megan Stone (student and support staff for organization that assists disabled adults), 21, Dittmer, Miss.

Grandparent and Grandchild Team:

  • Nancy Rajala (retired), 63, and her granddaughter, Cassandra Sturos (in-home senior caregiver), 25, Fowlerville, Mich.


  • Conda Britt (nutrition health services tech), 24, and her brother, Jeremy Britt (banker), 22, Rockford, Mich.
  • Adrian Dortch (music producer and community activist), 34, and his sister, Daphne Dortch (paralegal/Kids activity team member), 37, Evanston, Ill.
  • Joe Messina (truck driver), 38, Auburn, N.Y., and his brother, Mike Messina (cook), 41, Oakland.
  • Allen "Buddy" Shuh (pastor), 42, Wayne, Mich., and his brother, Ben Shuh (retail store manager), 34, Howell, Mich.


  • Christine Pickler (self-employed), 42, and her husband, Roy Pickler (Self-employed/Santa Claus), 63, Middlebury, Ind.


  • Emily Joy (Teacher), 29, Huntersville, N.C., and Kim Nielsen (Former professional wrestler), 38, Roswell, Ga.

Follow the show online at www.nbc.com/the-biggest-loser/.

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