"Biggest Loser" Casting Call Draws Hundreds

Season 14 contestants competing solo

By Alexandria Fisher and Zach Christman
|  Sunday, Jun 24, 2012  |  Updated 12:07 PM CDT
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Chicagoans showed up by the hundreds on Saturday, for their chance to be big losers.

NBC’s "The Biggest Loser" held a casting call Saturday for anyone with at least 85 pounds to lose. Casting directors hosted the calls at a Chicago Home Fitness in Downers Grove to find the right contestants for the show.

Show casting director Holland Weathers said one of the most important things contestants need is “the drive to win."

Would-be contestants like 23-year-old Jacob Larry think they have just that. Larry is a former professional eater who's won nearly $7,000 in his career, according to the Daily Herald. But now, at 295 pounds, he feels it's time for a change.

Larry brought along a trophy, a giant check from one of his winning competitions, and dozens of T-shirts showing off his career as a professional eater.

Other "Biggest Loser" hopefuls shared the pivotal moments, which turned them from compulsive overeaters, to a new path. Dreams of restored health and happier, longer lives were common motivators. But those who showed up Saturday wanted more -- a chance to win $250,000 and be named this season's Biggest Loser. It's a title that's brought fame and changed the lives of winners for 13 seasons.

This year, the show is switching up the rules and requiring participants to compete alone. In previous seasons, siblings, couples, families and friends competed in pairs.

“Whenever you’re doing this at home it’s probably going to be by yourself, so you might as well do it on the show by yourself,” Weathers told NBC Chicago.

Weathers said she and her casting partner are looking for candidates with “good personalities, the drive to win, the want to be there and not go home, and people that are ready to change their life.”

In the coming days, Weathers and her team will be calling back the "Biggest Loser" hopefuls they met Saturday, who most closely meet those ideals.

In addition to the winning prize, the show also gives away $100,000 for an at-home winner.

You don't have to attend a casting call to get on the show.  You can also apply online.

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