Jillian Michaels Is So Much More Than 'The Biggest Loser' Bully
The Biggest Loser is once again losing a trainer, and now she's revealing why she left. After coming back for two seasons, Jillian Michaels is departing for good because she's tired of being painted as the bully. "In the beginning of the show, it was tough love. You saw the tough, and you saw the love," she told People. But this past season she complains that, "You saw none of the relationships, none of the bonds that I build with my clients."
The biggest deal breaker was when people started badmouthing her to her children. Last season, Michaels gave her contestants caffeine pills in place of coffee, and it caused her team's results to be declared void for the week. Michaels stands by her decision, but not all of America did. When she picked her daughter up from camp one day she reported someone had told her, "I know who your mom is – she's a cheater. I saw it on TV."
Michaels laments that "millions of people have this warped negative perception" of her, and quitting was a way to take her image out of NBC's television editors' hands.
There is no denying that Michaels was tough on the contestants, but there's a lot more to her than her gruff attitude. Here are six times she was more than the abusive trainer TV painted her to be.
1. WHEN SHE BONDS WITH HER CONTESTANTS
Most notable of her bonds was with Season 14 winner Danni Allen. Most of Allen's teammates were eliminated early in the show, leaving Allen as Michaels' only client. In the end, that paid off for the pair as Allen won and they formed a close bond. "I can actually call Jillian Michaels not just a trainer, but a friend. And you know, she was there for me 100 percent," Allen later said. "Jillian Michaels seems like this hard, rough exterior, but she is a beautiful person inside and out."
2. WHEN SHE GETS CONTESTANTS TO UNDERSTAND THEIR DEEPER ISSUES
Part of why Michaels is so tough is she wants to break down the walls so the contestants can see and feel their true emotions. This is something Allen stood by, saying, "She was there for the physical part, but she was also my therapist. She was there to really help work on me mentally, because she knew we couldn't get anywhere without fixing what was behind the scenes and what had been guarded."
3. WHENEVER SHE'S INTERACTING WITH BOB
Bob Harper, one of the show's other trainers, is Michaels's best friend, and the two of them are beyond adorable together. Anyone capable of this kind of emotional display of affection can't be 100 percent mean.
4. WHEN SHE GETS MOTIVATIONAL
Her words have inspired people to change their lives both on and off the show.
5. WHEN SHE GENUINELY CARES ABOUT PEOPLE'S HEALTH
When Season 15 winner Rachel Frederickson freaked everyone out with her dramatic weight loss, Michaels was legitimately concerned. In fact, not agreeing with the end of the show and the message it sent was part of why she ended up choosing to leave.
6. WHEN SHE BECAME A MOTHER
At the end of the day, Michaels is more than a trainer: She's a mom with a family and nothing makes a person softer than having kids. She really loves and cares about them, and no doubt they've helped change her outlook on the way she treats people going forward.
So even if she was the mean, tough person we saw on TV, she's not now. She's demonstrated that time and time again. Now that the show is behind her, hopefully people will get to see that side of her even more.