Casting call for NBC's Biggest Loser on June 27 in Tampa
Producers casting for the ninth cycle of the network's popular weight loss show The Biggest Loser will be in Tampa on June 27, screening family members of two for the brutal competition that gives $250,000 and a new physique to each winner.
The call is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, 1010 MacInnes Place, Tampa. Organizers ask you don't show sooner than three hours before casting starts; we're among more than a dozens cities the show plans to visit.
This year will be the show's first in Tampa; past casting sessions have been held in Orlando and Miami (who would have thought they'd have trouble finding weight loss candidates on South Beach?).
Applicants have to be over age 18, at least 100 pounds overweight and willing to take off from their lives for up to four months -- the amount of time you'll be on the Biggest Loser training ranch if you survive to the show's end.
Be prepared for between 500 and 1,000 people to show up for auditions and bring photos of yourself and a loved one -- current photos and images from before you gained your most weight.
Casting director Jackie Topacio also advises applicants to come with lots of personality and a compelling story for why you want to be thin. Talk about using seat belt extenders on airplanes or hoping to touch your toes won't cut it; they want to hear about how you need to drop pounds to have your first child, or get control over a killer case of hypertension.
Expect to shed lots of tears.
Topacio wouldn't admit it, but the show also seems to excel at picking contestants who will look really attractive once they shed their excess weight (Tara Costa, above left, was a model before gaining her excess weight). Do well here, and you might be invited to another casting call in Florida or flown directly to Los Angeles.
If you can't make the casting call, you can apply online by clicking here. Past competitors offer advice on how to audition for the show online, including Matthew McNutt, Pete Thomas, Dr. Jennifer Kerns. Mostly, they advise applicants to show lots of personality, show casting directors how their lives could fit into poignant reality TV storylines, and try hard to make an impression.
Time to show Hollywood just how out of shape we can be!