Shannan Ponton Defends The Biggest Loser's New Format
Biggest Loser trainer Shannan Ponton has told Jodie & Soda of his disbelief, after a contestant on the revamped series was slammed online for not being fat enough.
On Tuesday night's premiere viewers were introduced to 25-year-old Nikki, who vowed to change her physical and mental health on the latest series of The Biggest Loser Australia.
Her 78kg frame quickly became fodder for Twitter trolls, who claimed she "isn't even that fat."
"I couldn’t believe it. It was really quite bizarre because we always knew the Biggest Loser was coming back totally different this time around and one of the things that people noticed first off was the contestants are a lot smaller than we’ve ever had," Shannan told Jodie & Soda.
The veteran Biggest Loser trainer said the last thing he expected was hearing judgement coming from all corners and he assumed some of it has stemmed from jealousy.
"I’m guessing that the judges are the people who’ve been overweight and think they deserve her spot more, who have been the judged by society and are now doing the judging, which for me is a very uncomfortable thing. It’s almost a little bit like Lord of the Flies," he said.
While Shannan confirmed Nikki was the show's lightest contestant, he said her weight is adversely affecting her life in a huge way.
"She’s been with her partner for three years and he’s never seen her naked. She will not go to the beach and feeling uncomfortable in you body is not done on pro rata," he said.
"Being overweight and having the weight affect your life is not only about morbid obesity. We now know that unfortunately 75% of our population are at least over weight," he continued.
"Now that’s affecting a hell of a lot of people. Now if we can help someone like Nikki who just had a baby...we’ve done an amazing thing and I just can’t see how people are sort of judging that."
The revamped shows sees the scales become obsolete after week 8, which provides the trainers the opportunity to put some healthy muscle on the contestants.
"Just a wonderful update to an otherwise fantastic program. It’s brought Biggest Loser into what’s current in fitness now," Shannan told Jodie & Soda.
Hear the full chat here: