Biggest Loser Winner Ignites Firestorm for Dramatic Weight Loss

By Ran Aubrey Frazier

Originally published on Advocate.com February 06 2014 3:26 PM ET

Earlier this week, Rachel Frederickson, 24, took the season 15 title on The Biggest Loser, collecting a $250,000 grand prize.  But her win proved more controversial than celebratory, as viewers took to social media to express their concern over the drastic weight loss.  

Frederickson, who arrived at the show weighing 260 pounds, lost nearly 60 percent of her body weight over the course of the season. She appeared on stage for the finale episode at a new weight of 105 pounds.  

When Frederickson's final weight was revealed, out celebrity trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper looked on in what appeared to be shock, clapping very slowly, Michaels's mouth slightly agape. 

Later, in response to backlash from viewers, the trainers tweeted a joint message from Harper's account, distancing themselves from the training that resulted in Frederickson's new physique. "We're not comfortable commenting on Rachel's journey because we weren't her trainers and weren't given an opportunity to work with her at any point," Harper wrote, before directing any questions to the show's producers.

Last night, Frederickson's trainer Dolvett Quince took to Facebook, breaking his silence due to the "huge reaction" about his client's dramatic weight loss. Quince wrote, "Biggest Loser is a journey which has its ups and downs. Please try not to look at one slice of Rachel's journey and come to broad conclusions. Rachel's health is and always has been my main concern and her journey to good health has not yet ended!!"

In a statement published in Us Weekly, NBC and Shine America, which produces the show, expressed support for "Rachel and all of the Biggest Loser contestants who have shared their journeys over the past 15 seasons. We remain committed to helping contestants achieve healthy weight loss and live healthier lifestyles, and to inspiring viewers to do the same."

Contributor: 
Ran Aubrey Frazier