How Jillian Michaels' Rumored 'Biggest Loser' Exit Could Hurt the Show

Share

Get ready for more Biggest Loser controversy. Following a much-talked-about finale that crowned Rachel Frederickson the winner after she dropped more than half her body weight, rumor has it Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels wants to leave the show. She already quit once in 2010 but returned in 2013, because the show "asked her to come back to boost the ratings," a source tells People. But now it seems Michaels is ready to say goodbye to the show for good. "The Rachel thing shook her up," the source continued.

When Frederickson hit the stage for the live finale reveal, Michaels looked visibly disturbed, and many viewers agreed that the contestant looked dangerously thin. Last week, Frederickson announced she's gained 20 pounds and is now at her "perfect weight." But though Michaels can maybe breathe easier about Frederickson's health, the source says she's not so quick to forgive the show that encourages that kind of intense weight loss. "She is deeply concerned about the direction the show has been taking. She is turned off by the mean-spirited story lines and poor care of the contestants," the source said. These comments are backed up by Michaels' own statement following the finale:

Though neither NBC nor Michaels' camp has commented on the rumor, her exit doesn't seem out of the question. Since she has already wanted off the show previously, we know she's okay with leaving, and the Frederickson brouhaha could be the final straw. But if Michaels really does leave, the show could lose a lot more than the trainer and ratings. Despite the fact that the series now has new trainers that have attracted their fair share of fans, fellow trainer Bob Harper is close with Michaels, and even commented on the finale controversy in a joint statement with Michaels. If she thinks something is up, chances are he could jump ship too. After all he looked just as upset as he awkwardly slow clapped during Frederickson's finale unveiling.

Even more harmful to the franchise, Michaels' possible exit could open up a discussion again about NBC's treatment of the contestants. If it's as bad as some have claimed it is, the series could be in trouble. If the show must go on, it's in the viewers and contestants' best interest that the practices be evaluated. If they're as sound as the show wants you to believe, fine. But if they're not, then the Biggest Loser contestants are hardly the only people associated with the show in need of change.

Image: grantland