There have been many times over the years that I have thought I should be on the Biggest Loser. There was even a time about 4 years ago that I attempted to make a tape and send it in. (Embarrassing - I know). My friend S. and I had often talked about trying out for the team shows (I have a grievance I would like to discuss with the BL people on this! Please call it "Duos" instead of "Couples". How are a father/daughter, mother/son, father/son, mother/daughter, friends, sisters, brothers, etc a "couple"? THEY AREN'T! Please change it immediately. Thank you). So when the casting was coming to Minneapolis, the discussion was had once again. S said she couldn't take 2 months off of work, so the discussion died there. My friend M from FC was contacted by the BL people, so I talked to him about it a little bit as well - but that didn't really go anywhere. And you needed a current photo - which I make it a practice to NOT keep on hand because I find them depressing as hell - so I had decided it was not going to happen.
While on my return drive to MN on Friday I received a text from my sister. I guess there were a few people who felt like I should go to the tryouts. Crap. So I spent the next 5 hours alternating between "no way!" and "why the hell not?". I put it on Facebook, and was greeted (not shockingly - because my friends are fantastic!!) with an overwhelming amount of support. How could I not do it after that? So I needed a picture. Shout out to Amy for meeting me, and taking a current photo. I got it printed out Friday night, so I could go if I felt the desire to. By the time I left my photo session I had pretty much been talked into it by Amy and my brother-in-law. Really - what did I have to lose? Yes, it was a waste of time (as I was certain I wouldn't get picked) - but as my very smart friend Stephanie asked me "have you ever wasted a day before?". Just so you know - the answer to that is: often.
At 5am on Saturday, I was up and in the shower. I assessed my chances - and gave myself about a 5% chance of getting chosen. At 7am (when the lines were supposed to be starting to form) I walked into the Mall of America. I found myself at 148th in line. Here is where a couple of things became evident:
- I am more "generic" looking than I had thought. So much so, that a lady in the line next to me asked if the girl in front of me and I were twins or sisters. Uh-oh. About 5 minutes later the two ladies that lined up behind us asked the same question. Wow. I am really going to stand out!
- In Minnesota time 7am must mean 4am? Seriously. There was one woman who told the news crew (yes - there was a news camera and reporter there. I hid.) that she'd been there since 4am. That means she waited outside the door. In winter. In Minnesota.
Anyway...we were finally given our short questionnaires. I went through and had mine done in about 5 minutes. I noticed - because I was the first one done - that people were spending a lot more time on them than I was. Is that a negative? Or a positive because I wasn't over-thinking it? Crap. Who knows. I did notice while walking around at one point that there was a girl who had a notebook with her. She appeared to have written out a little speech because it started with "hi, my name is....". I guess she didn't realize what a ridiculous farce this was going to be, either. It was at that point that I realized that some people had put a LOT of effort into this. And there were people there - like the gentleman whose stomach was hanging out the bottom of his shirt - that probably needed this more than I did.
The line finally started to move. My hands were clammy. I didn't feel nervous, so not sure why? It was about 5 minutes later that my new friend P said she'd heard we were going in in groups of 12. Twelve!?!? What the hell?!? I thought that seemed silly, and she probably mis-heard them. Nope. About an hour later I was to the front of the line. It is explained that we will go in in groups of 12, but everyone will have a chance to answer their question. This should get interesting. After talking new friends K and P off a ledge (they were super-nervous) we were taken in to the room where we got to line up again. 3 rows of 12 in the entry of an office area. They really like to pack a lot of fatties in tight quarters! Then the 3 groups in the interview "rooms" (not actual rooms, but sections of open space separated by cloth curtains - while a huge room sat unused) had to walk through us to get out. I started thinking whoever laid out the logistics of this thing could have used some help. That was the least of it, I would soon learn.
Finally group B (my group) was lead into one of the curtain rooms. There was a table, 12 chairs and ONE casting person - - we'll call her "Patsy". Before we even get started, Patsy warns us that if she has to cut it off, we shouldn't take it personally - but we need to keep things moving. There were about 4 rounds of questions asked. I get to answer all of the questions first. The highlights were that I got to share my weight and my occupation - two real bright spots for me. I do not believe I am exaggerating when I tell you that we were in the room for about 5 minutes. Seriously. Beyond getting to share my highlights - here were a couple of faves/questions from the "interview":
- There was one girl in my group that sounded like she was going to cry when they asked our names. For reals, y'all. I wanted to tell her "honey, you don't stand a chance" - but thought better of it. She probably got a 2nd interview.
- Patsy spent 1/2 of our 5 minutes with her back to me
- What do they use as a basis to pick the people for 2nd interviews? You have a 1/12 shot with Patsy - which really turns into worse odds, because she saw a minimum of 200 people that day (probably closer to 300)
- I am beige. I wasn't wearing anything crazy, I didn't have pink hair, I didn't look so sad and beaten down that they had to worry I might not survive one more rejection, I didn't come in hooting and hollaring, I didn't say anything crazy, I answered their rapid questions without crying. I had a stranger-twin for Christ's sake!
- I'm too normal.
So I want to thank all of you, again, for being so wonderful and supportive! I appreciate all of you so much! But this is for the best. I don't have to wear next to nothing on national TV. I don't have to do their silly challenges. I don't have to worry about being arrested for assult after punching Ali in the neck because she is so annoying. It is for the best. There are other people that need this worse than I do. I might be moving at a snail's pace, but I can and will do this on my own. BL wasn't ready for me.