For hundreds of aspiring reality TV stars, an impending thunderstorm wasn't going to keep them away from a chance to significantly improve their lives.
An open casting call for Season 13 of NBC's "The Biggest Loser" was held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Chicago Home Fitness location in Lincoln Park.
For hours prior to the start of the casting call, wannabe contestants -- including at least one woman who'd driven 11 hours from Upper Michigan -- lined up outside the shopping center, down the block and around an alley.
Despite a chance to win $250,000, many of those who turned out said the prize money wasn't their prime motivator. They want to improve their health to ensure they're with family and friends for a long time, and they want reconnect with the smaller person they remember in their minds.
"The show will provide a focus, one goal -- away from the distractions of jobs and family," one woman told NBC Chicago.
In order to be eligible, contestants must have at least 85 pounds to lose and be a U.S. resident over the age of 18.
Chicago was just one stop for the producers' 13-city tour. The casting calls began July 30 in Austin, Texas and finish up next Saturday in Los Angeles.
Potential contestants were able to apply as an individual or with a partner. Casting information is available at BiggestLoserCasting.com.