The sweetheart of American Idol Season 5, Kellie Pickler, was the first-ever Idol alum to go on Dancing With the Stars, and that ended in a super emotional win for the talented star. Now, Season 2’s winner, Ruben Studdard, will try his hand at winning the 15th installment of The Biggest Loser.
The singer, who was dubbed “The Velvet Teddy Bear” while on the show, will rejoin the world of reality TV go on NBC’s weight loss show to see if he can finally beat his battle with obesity.
As with many of the contestants on the hit show, Ruben had been successful at losing weight at several points throughout his life, but it hasn’t stuck. One attempt was under the careful care of celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson and, although he was on the road to success, he wasn’t feeling well.
"I was losing weight, but I was exhausted. It was making me sick," the 35-year-old told PEOPLE in 2006 after enduring the rough workouts coupled with a 1,200 calorie a day program.
The R&B singer shed some light on why he thinks he didn’t work, saying, “I'm a big man. There was no way to do those workouts on that amount of food, so everything was contradicting itself."
Ruben then turned to vegetarianism which, in tandem with exercise, helped him to lose more than 70 of his 455 pounds.
The “Sorry 2004” singer joked about what it was like going vegetarian in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, saying, "The people at the vegetarian store in Birmingham are like, 'What's he doing in here?’”
Ruben was doing well by writing out his meal plans and keeping track of his calories, but a divorce from Surata Zuri McCants caused him distress, and he began putting the weight back on after the split in 2012.
While Ruben says he’s never “had an issue” with his weight, he knows that he could be in trouble with his health down the line if he doesn’t nip this in the bud now.
“My family has a history of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart-related issues... things I didn't have to deal with yet because I'm young. But I don't want to be worried at 40, and if I don't fix things now, I will be,” Ruben told PEOPLE.
Do you think Ruben has what it takes to be the Biggest Loser?