The reality television explosion in recent years affords people in all walks of life new and exciting opportunities. Trips to exotic locales promise adventure and/or romance, months long job interviews assure candidates power and prestige as the protégé of a famous businessperson, other competitions promise fame and fortune in the music and fashion industries.
In the case of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” overweight contestants compete to lose the most weight and win $250,000.
The allure of spending ten weeks with a personal trainer, learning the tools necessary to create a healthier life was enough to send three Vinalhaven women to a Biggest Loser Open Call in Boston January 10th.
Caroline Osgood, Dawne Dyer and Kristie Young all traveled several hours to be at The Rack Billiard Club and Restaurant in Boston to join approximately1,000 others in their quest to be chosen for the next season of the weight-loss show.
Osgood described the open call as “pretty laid back.” She and Dyer arrived at The Rack at 3 pm, and the event was slated to last until 8 p.m. Dyer and Osgood were finally called in at 7 p.m.
“The interview was pretty relaxed,” said Osgood. “There were nice people in our group. The production crew asked us questions like who we were, where were we from, and why were there. I told them I wanted to learn the tools for a healthier life. I want to change the cycle.”
Dyer’s main reason for making the trip was to give Osgood some moral support, but when she got there she decided to audition too. After all, watching “The Biggest Loser” is what got Dyer started exercising in the first place.
“What the heck,” she said. “I was really just excited for Caroline. She stole the show from our group. When we got in there she took right off, that’s just her nature. She was really funny, the production crew loved it.”
Osgood was invited for a callback on January 12. She was told that she was called back because “her personality was off the charts,” she said. “That was very nice, very flattering.” During the callback interview Osgood was asked to explain why she would be a good candidate for the Biggest Loser. “I am not fiercely competitive,” she said, “but I believe competition is healthy. I am good on a team, a cheerleader type. If I really want it, I’ll work hard to get it.”
Interviewees were also asked about the places they lived. “I think they really liked hearing about our island,” said Osgood. “I think that is also one of the reasons they called me back.”
At the end of the interview applicants were told to “go home and forget about us,” but the production crew expected to make their choices by the end of February.
Other people have had mixed reactions to Osgood’s notion of being on the show.
“I think they think I’m crazy,” she said. “My mom thinks it is a far-fetched idea, an unattainable dream.” But her fiancé, Mark, is “very supportive.” If she is chosen, “being away from the kids will be absolutely the hardest part,” she admitted. Osgood has two young sons, Frank, 5 and MJ, 3.
Dyer is as anxious for Osgood to make the cut as Osgood is herself. “We made a pact,” said Dyer. “If Caroline is chosen, and she makes it far enough, she is going to choose me for the reward challenge.” According to Dyer,
halfway through the show each contestant is allowed to invite one person from home to come and participate in a challenge. The winning team is treated to an extravagant reward, such as a long day in a spa and a night in a luxurious hotel. Osgood remains optimistic about her chances. She has a babysitter waiting should she get the call. “Some people think I am crazy,” she said. “I think of it as an opportunity. In the long run I think it will be a benefit.”