In the wake of the absolute uproar over Biggest Loser winner Rachel Frederickson's shocking weight loss, all the key players in the controversy -- from Rachel's trainer Dolvett Quince to fellow BL trainers Bob Harper, Jillian Michaels, and NBC -- have responded. Even Rachel herself hopped on a media conference call yesterday to talk about her win and what many (including yours truly) have called worrisome weight loss.
While she repeatedly dodged questions, reading between the lines of what she did reveal only seems to add fuel to the fire.
Rachel repeatedly referenced "balance," as in, after being asked if she's at her goal weight:
I'm very excited to be in this next part of my journey as my body balances and it really kind of finds its rhythm in my own lifestyle.
Fair enough. She also emphasized how she wants to be "healthy and strong," and continue to "maintain a healthy lifestyle," which all sounds great. So does what she had to say about eating five times a day (which is "better for your metabolism") and making sure every meal has protein. But her admission about the exercising she's been doing was definitely an eyebrow-raiser:
I actually have a walking treadmill that I can edit while I work out. While I'm working, I can be on my treadmill. ... When I had down time, my butt was in the gym! ... When I'm walking and I'm working on my treadmill, I work kind of all day. So, I'm walking or I'm standing. ... And then I would take maybe three or four classes a day and just really have fun with all the people in the room.
Okay, so perhaps she didn't articulate this correctly, but did she really just admit she'll spend "all day" on the treadmill and then take "three or four classes a day"?! Sounds like obsessive overkill.
In the meantime, Dolvett had this to say on his Facebook page:
Last night's Biggest Loser Finale has sparked a huge reaction and I do not want the day to end without addressing it. 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!
NBC and the production company Shine America released the following statement:
We support 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."
Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels together weighed in with:
Later, Jillian went on to have her rep say:
Jillian Michaels will not comment on Rachel's journey as she was not her trainer. She is celebrating the at-home win of her contestant, [Tumi Oguntala]. Any questions about any of the other contestants on The Biggest Loser should be directed to the show's producers.
Wow. All in all, everything we're hearing from the "defense" makes it seem like Rachel's so-called journey might not have led her to the best possible place after all. We can only hope it's a journey that isn't complete, as Dolvett noted, and in her next chapter, she will strike that coveted happy, healthy balance.
What do you think about Rachel's, the trainers', and NBC's response to the controversy?
Image via Trae Patton/NBC