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Interview With Contestants, Host and Trainers of Show, "The Biggest Loser"

Aired January 10, 2005 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, would you risk humiliation to fight temptation for a thinner body and a fatter wallet? They did. The contestants on "The Biggest Loser," the latest reality TV smash that's getting everybody in shape. So why do some people say it's not healthy? We'll get into all that and take your calls with the host, trainers and former contestants from "The Biggest Loser." But first, CBS News fires a producer and asks three others to resign as the report comes out on its story about President Bush's National Guard service. We'll talk with CBS News veteran Bob Schieffer.

And in their first live interview, the two investigators who issued the report, former U.S. attorney general Richard Thornburgh and former president of the Associated Press Lou Boccardi all next on LARRY KING LIVE.


KING: Bob Schieffer, what was the reaction today at the network? I know you sat in for Dan Rather tonight. Was that by design?

BOB SCHIEFFER, CBS NEWS, "FACE THE NATION": Well, they just asked me to do it. I don't know what it was by, Larry. The reaction, I think, number one, it was relief. We've been waiting, kind of hanging in there to see what this report was going to say. So I think once it came out, at least it was out, and now we have a better idea of what happened. I must say, I thought it was a good report. I thought they did a very thorough job. Sadly, it came to the conclusion that some major changes had to be made. But I think when you look at the report and what the report tells us about what happened, Les Moonves, our big boss, had no choice but to stay serious and decisive action, and I think he did that. It's the first step. We've got to all get to work and get our credibility back.

KING: Dick Thornburgh, what in this whole thing, and actually it's a long report, and we'll be delving into it in another show but the period of time allotted tonight, what surprised you the most? RICHARD THORNBURGH, FMR. U.S. ATTY. GEN. INVESTIGATED CBS NEWS BUSH NATL. GUARD STORY: I think the thing that surprised us the most was the haste in which this program was put on air. Just six days from the initial receipt of documents until the airing of the program, it was not nearly enough time to vet the documents, to enable an assessment to be made of the sources that were relied upon. And frankly, it's very hard to imagine why it proceeded with such haste when obviously the stakes were so high, a story affecting a presidential candidate in the midst of a presidential campaign. Clearly, it violated the basic standards of CBS to respect accuracy and fairness.

KING: Lou Boccardi, a very angry Mary Mapes, the fired producer who is disappointed and shocked at the statements of Mr. Moonves and at the report says that she thought they did all they could. There we see her picture. She also says that the report never says the report was wrong. Is that correct?


KING: Right.

BOCCARDI: We didn't say that these things were forgeries. We didn't want to make the same mistake that this program made, which was to say something that they couldn't prove. We say that we find a huge number of reasons to doubt the voracity of these documents, and that's as far as we feel we should take it because that's what we can show. Beyond that, we can't go, and we didn't want to make the mistake that the program made.

KING: Bob Schieffer, was this competitiveness that caused this rush?

SCHIEFFER: Well, I think it was. Other people will have different ideas. It seemed to me, what happened was that this team thought they were on to what they thought was going to be the biggest story of this campaign. They felt other competitors were closing in. They were determined to be first with the story, and they went after it. Frankly, I think they went on the air, in retrospect, it seems to me, far earlier than they should have. They needed to continue to check to see if these documents were real. It's a great thing to be first, but it's a lot better to be right. This time, I think the zeal to be first in some cases just overcame good judgment.

KING: Dick Thornburgh, do you feel when something like this happens a reversal of fortune in a sense that now all networks, cable networks and the like will be so careful that maybe some reporting that needs to get on won't get on?

THORNBURGH: I certainly hope not. We went through great pains throughout our report to emphasize the contributions that solid investigative journalism makes to our tradition of freedom of the press. I think it would be a shame if anyone were intimidated from following a story that was thoroughly investigated and thoroughly vetted because of this report. The recommendations we made to CBS are designed to strengthen their capability in this area, not undermine it. I would hope the rapid action taken by management at CBS to implement those recommendations will make them stronger in dealing with challenges in the future.

KING: Lou Boccardi, was there, in your opinion, a political agenda here or was it merely, we want to beat someone else to this story?

BOCCARDI: We couldn't find a political agenda to the degree that we would feel comfortable making that accusation. Again, just as I said in regard to whether these things were forgeries, we didn't want to charge -- accuse anybody of anything that we couldn't prove. We didn't feel we had in our hands proof. We did cite several things that happened, including particularly the contact with Joe Lockhart of the Kerry campaign that showed gross insensitivity to the kind of dispassion that you have to maintain, especially if you're going to do this kind of heavy investigative reporting. What Dick just said, we felt this point was so important that there should not be a chilling effect, that we said it in the report not once but twice and we hope that message is heard.

KING: Do you agree with the measures, Lou, that CBS took?

THORNBURGH: We were not invited into the personnel discussions so we didn't express opinion about that and we're not going to do that now. I think we both feel that some action had to be taken, and they obviously decided where those actions should flow. But something had to be done. You can't just after something of this nature say, well, we made a mistake and we're sorry. It was too serious for that.

KING: Thank you all very much. We'll be doing lots more on this. Bob Schieffer, Dick Thornburgh and Lou Boccardi. That report in today. One employee dismissed and three asked to resign. And another one shifted to another department.

We'll come back and talk about the "The Biggest Loser" an incredibly successful television show. Don't go away.


KING: A dozen overweight contestants split into two teams, one the red, one the blue. They compete to see which can lose the most weight. Physical challenges. Tonight, only three contestants remain. The winner is chosen. He or she walks away much thinner and $250,000 richer.

We welcome the host of the program, Caroline Rhea. She is a comic and actress, many times seen on television. Also here is Bob Harper, trainer for the blue team, "The Biggest Loser," fitness coach to many celebrities. And his -- one of his main signatures is the function training method. And two of the contestants. Andrea Baptiste. Andrea Baptiste is a 29-year-old pharmaceutical sales representative, a member of Bob's blue team. And Kelly MacFarland, or Kelly Mac as she's known, blue team member and comedian and customer service person from Belmont, Massachusetts. How did this show come about to you, Caroline?

CAROLINE RHEA, HOST: Well, they called and said, do you want to do a reality show? And I said, well, you know, tell me more. And they said, well, it would be about weight loss, which is an issue that -- I was going to say close to my heart, but certainly relatable. And they said, you know, it will be sort of heart warming. And I thought, OK, I want to do something that shows people really doing something constructive for their lives.

KING: Any qualms about it?

RHEA: Absolutely. First of all, I want to tell everyone that the word "fat" is not in the title of this show. Everyone comes up to me and says, "I saw your show, "Big Fat Loser," or they just point at me and say "big fat loser," or "my big fat Greek loser." Yeah.

KING: I mean qualms, do you think they're taking advantage of people in this situation?

RHEA: I think initially people absolutely were very nervous about it. I think that the comment that I hear the most is, I can't believe how different the show is from what I thought it would have been and how absolutely inspiring it is. And how it's so much more than a reality show. People are addicted.

KING: How did you get involved, Bob?

BOB HARPER, TRAINER, "THE BIGGEST LOSER": Well, when I first heard about the show, I got a call from NBC saying they were casting a reality show for weight loss. And when I found out that they were doing it the right way according to me, of diet and exercise, I wanted to be a part of it. That's my passion. So I felt like I wanted to be in this show with them. And they've been so inspirational to me.

KING: Andrea, why did you enter?

ANDREA BAPTISTE, FORMER CONTESTANT, "BIGGEST LOSER": You know, I think I essentially hit what I call my ultimate weight rock bottom. And being...

KING: Or rock top.

BAPTISTE: Yeah, or rock top, exactly. And you know, I got on the scale one day, and I was mortified to see what the number displayed, because, you know, I think I was very good at creating a facade for myself, essentially, and not dealing with who I really was. And I hit that -- I hit that point, and literally two days later the show came about for me. So it was almost like it was meant to be. This was my time.

KING: How did you know about it?

BAPTISTE: The radio, actually. Driving into Boston one morning I heard about it, and I said, you know what, someone's telling me something. I need to do this. KING: And how did you, Kelly?

KELLY MACFARLAND, FORMER CONTESTANT, "BIGGEST LOSER": I have a casting agent in Boston, who...

KING: You're an actress?

MACFARLAND: Comedian. And she called and just said, we have this show, it's for overweight people, and I don't think you're overweight. And I thought, you know, have you seen me? And I just really thought I was on a bad path, an unhealthy path, and I needed to make a change, and I needed something drastic.

KING: Did you use your weight in your act?

MACFARLAND: Yeah, I mean...

KING: Make fun of it?

MACFARLAND: Absolutely. I mean, I make fun of myself, not anyone else, of course.

KING: All right, Andrea, let's see what you look like -- let's see Andrea before and after from the show "The Biggest Loser." First, we'll see Andrea the way she was when it started.

I think we will.

Will we see it?

A little late, but still here. There's Andrea, and there she is now.

RHEA: Wow!


KING: What did you weigh, what do you weigh?

BAPTISTE: I weighed going in 215. And my current weight as of today is actually 155.


KING: ... over 60 pounds.

BAPTISTE: Yes, indeed.

KING: You still want to lose more?

BAPTISTE: You know what? We all -- I could probably stand to lose a little bit more, but it really, at this point in time, is not about me losing weight. It's about the way I feel, it's about the way I look, it's about my inner person, being more confident about myself, and just the lessons that "The Biggest Loser" and Bob taught me throughout this whole experience. RHEA: She's getting the very skinny (UNINTELLIGIBLE) collar bone. That you can put snacks in. They're very, very convenient.


KING: Let's see Kelly Mac, blue team member, and see her before and after. This is Kelly MacFarland, obviously before.

MACFARLAND: That's quite the sailor suit I'm sporting.

KING: What were you, what are you?

MACFARLAND: I was 223 in that picture, and then this morning we weighed in, and I'm 154 this morning.


KING: Has it changed your attitude? Will you lose more?


KING: Are you now terribly weight conscious?

MACFARLAND: I wouldn't say weight conscious, because that's not what it's all about. It's all about becoming conscious of who you are, who you want to be, where you've been, where you want to go. I mean, it sounds really simple, but I just -- I feel stronger, and I feel like I'm glowing, and I just feel excited that I have all sorts of opportunity in front of me. And it's not about diet. It's about I want to exercise.

KING: How often do you work with them, Bob?

HARPER: Well, I was working with them every single day while they were on the show.

KING: For how long a period of time?

HARPER: Well, it depended. First part it was just getting them used to working out, so around an hour or so. But then it really built up to we were working out for four and five hours a day.

KING: And you put them on diets too?

HARPER: It was all about diet and exercise.

KING: Both ladies, Andrea and Kelly, really bonded with trainer Bob. But that doesn't mean the relationship didn't have bad days. Take a look at this clip.


BAPTISTE: We need you now.

HARPER: And where am I?

BAPTISTE: I know that.

HARPER: And I'm going to have to be tougher than I've ever been with you guys.


MACFARLAND: We'll take it.

HARPER: 100 percent!

MACFARLAND: Well, then, let's do it.

HARPER: Right.

MACFARLAND: All right.


KING: Don't you think, Caroline, that that is taking advantage of a situation? I mean, you're creating drama? You've got her crying -- you don't think that's...

RHEA: Well, to be -- you know what? Battling with weight is tears and laughter and all of it. And people really -- you know what I love? I saw people who look like the people who watch television on television in a heroic light. It's everybody's dream. These guys were brave enough to do it in front of millions and millions of people.

KING: Do you have any qualms?

HARPER: Oh, absolutely not. I feel like this show is saving people's lives. They came in with such poor eating habits. They didn't own their bodies anymore. And now, obviously, they own their bodies. They feel better about themselves than they ever -- I feel like this show has done so much to uplift everyone. And I felt like -- I get people talking to me all the time about how much the show has inspired them to want to work out, to eat right.

RHEA: People come up to me and they're, like, I went to the gym today. I'm, like, OK, it's all right.


KING: Has it affected your weight?

RHEA: It has affected mine. All of a sudden, I was watching this show, and I said, I'm (UNINTELLIGIBLE) weight. I make people weigh themselves. And then it occurred to me, I think what I kept on hearing these contestants say is that your weight is something that you sort of think you're fine with, and then you're very conscious of it, and when you realize I don't want to weigh this much at this age or this stage. And suddenly, I was like, oh, I'm going back to exercising right this minute.

KING: Andrea, why do you think the show is so popular? BAPTISTE: I think it's so popular because we're all relatable. You know, as Kelly and I, you know, we developed such a great friendship on the show. And you look at the mass of people out there that are overweight. You know, like we always say, I'm someone's sister, someone's aunt, someone's cousin. You know, I am America, and I'm an example of that. So for me to be on this, going through this wonderful experience and yielding the results that I've yielded, and it's just not about a physical attribute. It's more inward and outwardly.

KING: Even though you didn't win, you were sure helped.

BAPTISTE: Absolutely.

KING: Was it tough to be booted, Kelly?

MACFARLAND: I think it's tough to be booted, but essentially, you win. I've learned a lot...


MACFARLAND: Yeah, a lot of people ask me, they say, do you wish you'd stayed longer? And people ask you really funny questions. Do you wish that you had, you know, won? Do you wish you'd won? And I'm thinking, did you see the show at all? Do you see me now? I'm smiling. I'm catching the bus. I'm packing my lunch.

KING: To have won would have just been strawberry on the cake.

MACFARLAND: Yeah. I mean, you have to put to a point where put your vanity aside. I mean, I was five feet tall, 223 pounds. If I walked away and never did anything from the show, got kicked off, went home and went right back to what I was doing, then I lost. I left the show a changed person, and it's continuing.

KING: Thank you, Andrea and Kelly. And when we come back, we'll meet -- Bob and Caroline will stay -- we'll meet Aaron Semmel, a male member of the blue team. Don't go away.


MACFARLAND: The interesting part about (UNINTELLIGIBLE) is that you're getting them every day and you're doing all this stuff that you never thought you could do. But obviously you didn't take a magic pill when you got here, so you could do it all along, but you just never believed in yourself enough to do it. So it's really kind of a path of self-discovery, and the weight is a great bonus. But knowing that you can, I mean...




RHEA: There was one thing that I forgot to mention earlier. The first team to take a lick, bite or taste while they were cooking would lose 50 percent of the money they earned in the bakeoff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't lick anything.




RHEA: Are you guys sure?

And that team was -- neither of you!



KING: Caroline Rhea, the host of "The Biggest Loser," Bob Harper, the trainer of the blue team. Joining us now is Aaron Semmel, blue team member, 29-year-old writer from L.A. Battled with being the good-looking guy in the overweight and under toned body. Let's see Aaron before and after. Aaron Semmel.


HARPER: That's you.

RHEA: Wow. Look at you!

SEMMEL: So weird!

KING: What did you way and what do you way, Aaron?

SEMMEL: Going onto the show I weighed 261, and this morning I weighed 200 pounds.

KING: You don't even look like.

RHEA: He looks so thin.

SEMMEL: I know. I've got the broad shoulders. I'm from Chicago.

KING: Why did you agree with this?

SEMMEL: Honestly, at the time I was looking for a job. I was trying to find work and saw on a Web site that -- can you lose weight on TV? I was, like, I could do that. I had no idea what it was, but I was like, I know I could lose weight. I was overweight, and I was like, if anyone can do it, I know how to shed pounds. I've done it before, so...

KING: What kind of work do you do normally?

SEMMEL: I work as little as possible. KING: You are a bum.

SEMMEL: Basicly. That's what my mom and dad say.

KING: So, now you're a thin bum.

SEMMEL: I'm a thin bum.

KING: Aaron got a big shock during his weigh in at the end of the first week of training and dieting. Take a look.


RHEA: Aaron, you're up. OK, previous weight, Aaron, was 261. Current weight is -- you lost 20 pounds, Aaron, 241.

SEMMEL: I couldn't believe it. I didn't know what to say. My mouth dropped open. I thought I'd was -- be lucky if I lose 10.

KING: That was one week, huh?


KING: What was the secret. What's the secret of this formula?

SEMMEL: Honestly, I think the thing that really pulled me through that all was the fact that I never got weak. I never let up. I mean, I was sick. I was having problems with -- let's just say toilet issues. I was having issues with what I was eating. I was having trouble keeping food down. It was really hard. And there were times where I was, like, I don't know if I belong here. Like, I don't know if I could do this. But I just kept saying I'm going to listen to Bobby. Like, I remember saying that to you all the time. I said, I'm going to either run until I either drop or until you say stop. And that's what I did every time. And I don't know if that gave me that 20 pounds, but I mean, that's what I tried to do every time. There were times I dropped.

KING: How good was he?

HARPER: There were times where he dropped, but he just picked himself right back up.

RHEA: He was so determined.

HARPER: Aaron was so determined from the beginning. He came in with a focus and a purpose. And...

KING: I don't know what the winners left and who wins, but how was he tossed?


HARPER: That's why it was so...

KING: Who decides who gets tossed? HARPER: The contestants, the team.

KING: Your own team?


HARPER: He lost the most weight, and so he was a threat. The game changed.

KING: That's the fallacy in the game.

HARPER: The game changed.

KING: If the team can toss you off, they're going to toss off the guy who loses the most, so that they stand a chance.

HARPER: Well, not really.

KING: The winner will be a blimp.

RHEA: That will be our big twist tomorrow. And these people that you're meeting are the people who didn't make it to the finals. I mean, I can't -- I haven't seen them yet, but I can't even imagine what they're going to look like.

HARPER: They've been working out on their own. Since they've been home I've been -- contacting them while they've been home, but they've done this all on their own.

KING: So you learned a lot from this?

SEMMEL: I did. I mean...

KING: Never felt used or humiliated?

SEMMEL: No, never once. Not at all. I mean, I really feel like this is what America needed to see. They needed to see fat people on TV in embarrassing awkward situations about their weight, just a little bit, so that it would motivate America, you know, a little bit. We're the fattest country in the world.


HARPER: It was like turning the light on. It would turn the light on when it comes to weight loss. People are so afraid to talk about weight loss. They'll talk about politics and religion before they talk about their weight. And I think that this show says, really kind of just says, you know what, I'm fat. I've got to work out. And that's what they did, and they're so great!

RHEA: Plus it was the last (UNINTELLIGIBLE) where you could of sort of still -- people still make fat jokes about people. It's still something that they're biased against people about even getting a job. And this is an area where people said, look, these are heroic people. Admire them.

KING: Aaron, I salute you, get a job.

RHEA: You skinny bum.

KING: We'll take a break and meet another guy, Maurice Walker, don't go away.


SEMMEL: This is it. It's time to face the fat. I don't care who you are, any guy is embarrassed if he has boobs.

DAVID: Let's face it. I'm not here because I look like Vin Disel, you know.



KING: Total amount of pounds lost by the contestants you'll see tonight, 750 pounds. Caroline Rhea, the host of "The Biggest Loser." Bob Harper, trainer of the blue team remain with us. And we're joined now by Maurice "Mo" Walker, the 30-year-old travel agent from Nashville, Tennessee. Blue team member. That's the way he looked at 436 pounds. This is when he left the show at 380. He now weighs 363. The show wrapped eight weeks ago.

RHEA: That's almost 100 pounds.


KING: Is Mo the most popular guy we'll see?

RHEA: Mo is the most beloved person in America. Everyone comes up to me like, I love Mo.

HARPER: People will grab my phone, could you call Mo right now? I'd really love to talk to him.

KING: What did it do for you, Mo?

WALKER: It just totally changed my life. My blood pressure is normal now. My cholesterol is normal. I just feel 150 percent better. I mean, totally changed my life.

KING: Are you still dieting?

WALKER: Yes. It's a life-long commitment.

KING: Where would you be comfortable?

WALKER: About 225.

KING: So you want to lose over 100 more.

WALKER: Definitely. And I will do it. I have so much support right here.

RHEA: What happens when you go to a restaurant or something? Are people like -- do people know you?

WALKER: Oh, gosh, it's so cool. I'm a trainer and a nutritionist. People say, Mo, what do I need to eat? You've done such a good job! This show is just wonderful.

HARPER: That's when you hand them my card.

RHEA: There's Mo dancing. Mo was a big dancer.

WALKER: I have dance moves.

KING: Were you disappointed when you were tossed?

WALKER: I was disappointed, but what I can say about the whole experience is that I actually had the ground work that was laid early on in the show that I can continue, even though I was no longer on the ranch.

KING: Did you ever feel you were used like a prop for a successful show?

WALKER: No way. This show is the best thing that's ever happened to me. I can say that because now I have nutrition habits. At first, I would just grab food and eat food.

RHEA: Would not eat salad or vegetables.

WALKER: Now I actually eat salad and vegetables.

HARPER: He would come in with that southern charm of his, trying to get him not to make him eat the vegetables. Then he'd cook them -- he'd be like, all right, I'll cook for, what, an hour?

WALKER: So now I just -- it is wonderful.

KING: What was the toughest part for you, Mo?

WALKER: The toughest part would be to run to the gate. That was sort of a landmark...

KING: Hold it right there. We're going to show you do that.

WALKER: Oh, god!

RHEA: It's the most inspiring thing.

KING: Here's Mo in action. Watch.


WALKER (voice-over): I never thought that I would ever be running. I was just basically hoping I would be able to walk without getting out of breath. Now I'm running. I was exhausted, but I don't think I've had that feeling since I've been here at the ranch, just pure, just satisfaction.

Oh, you're the best freaking trainer in America!


WALKER: Oh, boy!

KING: You really get attached, don't you, Bob?

HARPER: I get almost too attached. It's just carrying almost too much for these people.

RHEA: He said I don't want to be your friend, I want to be your best friend!

KING: Has it changed you, Caroline?

RHEA: Completely. I really think -- you asked that at any point did they feel exploited. I really think that with myself, Bob and Jillian (ph), we're so protective of these particular individuals and so attached to them and so, you know -- emotionally involved and everyone watching was.

HARPER: That's why I would get so upset when people that would come up to me and say, they love the show and say I love big fat loser. I'm, like, "Biggest Loser."

WALKER: You would not understand the love we felt from these people. It was a total just positive experience.

KING: How did it get the tag biggest fat loser?

HARPER: I think it was jokes people making about fat people. In the very beginning they would see these really overweight people that was never seen on television walking out in their bathing suits. I think they kind of attached big fat loser.

WALKER: Everybody's been so positive in the real world now. People come up and they make sure I'm eating right. They make sure that I'm exercising. I mean, everybody's been so supportive. If you don't know me, you know someone just like me.

HARPER: More people come up to me all the time and ask me, how is Mo doing? Is he doing great? And he is.

WALKER: America, I am doing great!

RHEA: My mother, who understands the rules of a reality show, she'll go, anyway, darling, how are you? Blah, blah, blah. And then how is Mo? Does he win? I can't tell you, mom!

KING: Are you back to Nashville now?

WALKER: I'm back in Nashville. KING: I leave you with one suggestion, learn to sing and go on "American Idol."

You're a beloved figure already. You're to wind up with your own sitcom.

RHEA: You're going to be running for office or on your own show.

WALKER: One more thing I wanted to add, people talking about everything was exploited. This, a total, a total healthy experience. Tuesday night, you will see the transformation that has occurred with everyone.

KING: Are you going to do another year of it?

HARPER: Yes. We're going back for another season.

KING: Thanks, Mo. And thanks, Bob because we're going to meet the other trainer, too. Thank you Bob Harper and Mo Walker and when we come back, Caroline remains. We'll meet another contestant and the other trainer, Jillian Michaels. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


RHEA: Is there anything that you would like to say to these three people before you leave?

WALKER: I love all you all. I definitely will be there to support you all in the real world. If you all need to call me for support, I'll be there for you, and I know you all will do the same for me.

RHEA: Mo, you have to pack your bags and say good-bye to everybody.

WALKER: See you all. I love you all.




RHEA: Matt, you're up.


RHEA: Your previous weight, 310. Your current weight is 288. You lost 22 pounds!


MATT KAMONT, CONTESTANT, "BIGGEST LOSER": I never thought being called the biggest loser would be a great compliment. If I can accomplish losing 22 pounds in one week, I can accomplish anything. (END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Caroline Rhea remains with us, the host of "The Biggest Loser."

Joining us now is Jillian Michaels, the red team fitness trainer and motivational life coach.

And Lisa Andreone, 26-year-old college registrar (ph) from Orlando, Florida, a red team member who lasted until the eighth episode. Let's see -- Lisa rather, before and after. Lisa Andreone. Woo!

RHEA: Holy cow!

KING: What did you weigh there, Lisa?


KING: Wow!

What do you weigh now?

ANDREONE: One sixty five.

KING: Whoa! Why did you go into this?

ANDREONE: Well, actually I was picked up at a restaurant.

KING: By a guy.

ANDREONE: Yes. By a scout, so to speak. And he -- I was entertaining my friends and he said, you know what, I think that you should audition for this reality weight loss show. And I don't know, he must have read my mind, because I needed to get control of my weight. I mean, I was spiralling out of control. I mean, like everyone has said, this show has totally saved my life.

KING: What attracted you to it, Jillian?

JILLIAN MICHAELS, TRAINER, "THE BIGGEST LOSER": Well, it gave me the opportunity to do what I love to do on national television. I mean, it was just an incredible...

KING: You are a trainer.

MICHAELS: I am a trainer. I own my own gym.

RHEA: Look at her body!

MICHAELS: Thank you, baby.

KING: Do you get the same a Bob? Do you get emotionally involved in with these people?

MICHAELS: Yes. You get very attached. I mean, when you have six people give themselves over to you and completely surrender and say, I'm in your hands. I trust you. There's a tremendous sense of obligation and dedication that goes with that. You feel the need to give them 110 percent and deliver on your end.

KING: Getting the hang of the newest "Biggest Loser" diet wasn't easy for the whole gang, especially Lisa. Take a look at this clip.


HARPER: The exercise, the dieting, it's all catching up with them. And it's affecting some people more than others.

ANDREONE: I think I just overate chicken, I don't know how many ounces it was, and I put barbecue sause on it. I mean, there's no portion. There's no control, everybody's talking. I can't focus on anything. I should be eating less calories.

Do you know what you ate today?

Did you write it down?

Did anybody else in our group write it down?

What is the point of this then?

What is the point?

I don't know what to eat, Matt. I don't know what to eat. Maybe I'm just not eating enough and my blood sugar is low.


KING: You're a college registrar?

ANDREONE: No, I was fired.

KING: No kidding.

ANDREONE: I know, they saw this, and they said, oh, no we don't want...

KING: It's not a funny job. It's not a laugh riot job. You're a riot.

ANDREONE: I mean, losing weight is very dramatic, especially when you're doing it in front of millions of people in America. And God bless us all forgetting in front of the cameras and allowing people to get into our lives and allow them to watch us lose weight. It's not an easy task.

KING: Caroline, you looking forward to another year of this?

RHEA: I'm certainly looking forward to 12 more incredibly brave contestants.

KING: Any drugs used Jullian? MICHAELS: No.

KING: Any supplements?

MICHAELS: No. No supplements.

KING: No vitamin supplements?

MICHAELS: We were not even allowed to give them vitamins, nothing.

KING: It was just diet and exercise.

MICHEALS: It was hard work, blood, sweat and tears, to say the least.


ANDREONE: Oh, This Is crazy, the rope tow.

KING: The 74 story stair climb was probably Lisa's most dramatic moment on the show. Take a look at how the endurance test ended for her about half way up the building. Watch.


ANDREONE: I don't feel good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not resting you, Lisa.

ANDREONE: I'm getting freaked out. I can't breathe. I need air. I've got to open this door, please.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to take your blood pressure here. We're going need to get over to the ambulance, OK.

ANDREONE: No, I'm not going! I have to finish this!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lisa, we did great. Don't worry about it.

ANDREONE: No, I don't want to go!


ANDREONE: I can do those stairs now, by the way.

KING: Lisa, you have a tendency to the dramatic, I've been told that.

ANDREONE: I am the biggest drama queen, yes.

RHEA: That will be the next show, "The Biggest Drama Queen."

ANDREONE: Yes, I will be in that.

KING: The guy who spotted you that night, and came over said into their show, I imagine you were dominating the conversation, weren't you?

ANDREONE: Oh, yes. He could not get a word in edgewise. He just kind of slipped me his card, and was like could you just come to the audition.

KING: Anybody get sick, Jillian?

MICHAELS: Sick as in throw up?

KING: Sick as in -- no, sick as in sick. Anybody have to be hospitalized? Anybody?

MICHAELS: No. Kelly did have some digestive issues, but other than that, no. I mean, they threw up a couple times.

KING: Was there a medical person on staff?


KING: There doctors there all the time right?


RHEA: Take it very medically (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

KING: Take blood pressure and the like.

RHEA: Yes.

KING: So, you don't take any risk in that regard?


RHEA: I'm telling you, I'd be so paranoid if they weren't being medically supervised.

ANDREONE: Loved the doctor on the show.

KING: What's it done for you, Lisa?

ANDREONE: It has changed my entire life. This show saved me. I was spiralling out of control. I mean, if it wasn't for this show, "The Biggest Loser." If it wasn't for Jillian, Caroline, these women have supported me throughout this whole journey. And I'm just so thankful, because I finally got control, I know what I'm doing now.


RHEA: And she's a babe. She gets to go shopping all the time.


ANDREONE: Aww, Larry called me a babe.

KING: Congratulations.

ANDREONE: Thank you, I appreciate it.

KING: When we come back in our remaining moments, Caroline and Jillian remain and we'll meet Matt Kamont and Dave Fioravanti and look at their tremendous experiences on "The Biggest Loser." Don't go away.


MICHAELS: Yes, you can! Yes, you can! Go, go, go, go! Listen to me.

ANDREONE: I don't feel good.

MICHAELS: Yes, I know you don't. And listen, this is as bad as it's going to be right here. I am pushing you so you know this is as bad as it's going to get. All right, so now the worst is over. OK, you'll feel sick. You'll cry, you'll puke. We move on.

ANDREONE: I'm sorry.

MICHAELS: Listen to me. Say this to me. Say this to me, I can lose weight.

ANDREONE: I can do it.

MICHAELS: Say it. I can lose weight.

ANDREONE: I can lose weight.

MICHAELS: Can you? Tell me again.

ANDREONE: I can lose weight.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ryan, made kind of a bad impression. He grabbed a doughnut and fricking straight up ate it.

Seeing all that food laid out there was good thing, because I like to use the word laid out like a body being laid out at a wake or funeral. Like saying good-bye to a loved one.


KING: Joining us now, Matt Kamont, 25-year-old from Slatington, Pennsylvania, member of Jillian's red team. And Dave Fioravanti, real estate developer from Boston. There's Matt Kamont.

KAMONT: Oh, I look lovely.

KING: When he started, and there's Matt Kamont now. What did you weigh to start, Matt?

KAMONT: Three hundred and ten pounds.

KING: And what are you now?

KAMONT: I'm about 240.

KING: And this is Dave Fioravanti, real estate developer from Boston. There's our Dave. What did you weigh, Dave?


KING: Look at Dave now. Is he svelte? What do you weigh?

FIORAVANTI: I weigh 180. Awesome.

KING: Jillian, before we talk to our two guys, what's -- do you have -- I know the place that you and your partner own is Sky Sport and Spa.


KING: In Beverly Hills, right?


KING: You have a special diet you give them?

MICHAELS: Yes. On the show it's called "the eat less diet," but it's really more of a hybrid. We sort of extract all the methods, all the key methods of popular diets out there to put together one unique approach that caters to different people.

KING: It covers Atkins, and...

MICHAELS: Covers sort of carb restriction and metabolic typing and calorie control and emotional triggers. And it's really to educate them about their unique biochemistry and to develop a diet that works best for them as individuals.

KING: Why did you enter, Matt?

KAMONT: Why? Did you look at the picture? I was round and just bubbly all over.


KING: Did you say, I want to put my body on national television? You had to say that...

KAMONT: Obviously that's what I needed to do. I needed to put myself out there in front of America, and it worked. From the cameras. And obviously, it worked. I mean, look at me. I'm still on a roll. I'm still losing weight.

KING: Any hesitation, Dave? FIORAVANTI: No, there was no hesitation. I needed it. I was on a fast track to be dead quick. I just turned 40 a couple of days ago, and it was the greatest gift I could have given myself, really. I mean, I couldn't get on the show fast enough.

KING: So this technically is a show -- even though you're tossed off, as with all reality shows, there are no losers here. I mean, it's called "The Biggest Loser," but there really...

RHEA: That was the appeal.

FIORAVANTI: There aren't any. That's why I wanted to do it, because you know, win or lose the game, we walk away as winners, everybody. You know, they have been incredibly supportive of all of us. And knowing that, that you go into this thing and it's not about really who wins, because the day we started, we all won.

KING: Did anyone, Caroline, not lose weight?

RHEA: Did anyone -- oh, no, they've all lost a tremendous amount.

KING: Everyone lost weight?

RHEA: Everyone. One week Matt had a really tough week, because he had a week of gaining weight, which literally broke -- I mean, that was a heart break.

KAMONT: I even cried when I watched it.

RHEA: I know. That was a heart break.


KING: ... pretty emotional, huh?

KAMONT: Yeah. It can happen to anybody. I mean, everybody who loses weight gains weight, I mean...

KING: I understand that Dave had a reputation for a bit of a hothead. Take a look at him turning the tables on Jillian in this clip. Watch.


FIORAVANTI: Some days I feel great and other days I don't. Getting back to the line. I never lied. And you know something, for you to say in there that I lied to the team is bull (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Don't ever accuse me of lying!

Jillian crossed the line. You don't attack someone's integrity.

MICHAELS: You've made it impossible to train you.


MICHAELS: Here's what I do now: I'm like, all right, Dave, do this and this, and do whatever you want to do.

FIORAVANTI: No, you actually took the attitude, Dave, you know what you're doing, so go do it. I don't need to baby-sit you. Now you're spinning that.

MICHAELS: No, I felt that way.

FIORAVANTI: Conversation's over.


MICHAELS: Dave could have been on "The Apprentice" too.


MICHAELS: In that particular setting, there was a lot of pressure and everybody has a different agenda. And, you know, sometimes tempers flare. Dave and I are both very passionate people. But I mean, look at him. He's 180 pounds.

KING: Looks great.


KING: Matt, I understand you're gay, right?


KING: No, no, I'm asking because...


KING: Is it especially -- I'm a Scorpio, we don't even know what it is. Is it especially difficult in the gay community?

KAMONT: Oh, extremely. All it is is pretty much, I mean, it's all about the looks.

KING: How you look.

KAMONT: And unfortunately, my look was a little big and fat. And I mean, the only word is fat. I mean...

KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) effect to change your love life?

KAMONT: It's picking up. I mean, I'm still single. And...

KING: Are you married, Dave?


KING: Well, how does your wife feel about all this?

FIORAVANTI: She's been supportive, and actually very supportive. And she's been very happy about the whole thing. Because again, with me, it's a health thing, you know. And like I said, I wasn't going to be around too much longer if I kept things up the way I kept things up. I mean, I really lived hard. I was out late every night, drank a lot, ate a lot, you know, was always out drinking heavily, you know, eating tons of crazy food late night, which usually comes after a night of being out entertaining. And because of my job, I entertain a lot. I'm always out eating, and then I get -- it progresses, and then...

KING: Real estate guy, sure.

FIORAVANTI: Yeah, you know, I was entertaining clients. And it was just a huge progression. So...

RHEA: So what do you do now instead when you're supposed to eat?

FIORAVANTI: I'll tell you what I do. Honestly, I try not to drink, but you know, I do drink bacardi and diet Coke, that's been like my saving grace when I do need to drink, because they told us that that is the best thing, you know, bacardi is the least of all the evils. So if I have to, I have a couple of those. The black label on the rocks, those are over.

KING: What was the hardest part for you, Matt?

KAMONT: Hardest part was saying good-bye to everybody.

KING: Really?

KAMONT: I mean, yeah. I'm on my own, and I love and enjoy being on my own, but I definitely miss all my friends and the support they...

KING: So you guys have bonded?

KAMONT: Yes. I believe so.


KING: Dave, what was the hardest for you?

FIORAVANTI: While being on the show, probably the hardest part was just the discipline of giving up everything that I was so accustomed to, and being in such a routine, getting up every day now, you know, early, training real hard, dieting real hard and just not being -- you know, I've always been a rebel and kind of done my own thing. And I was in a structured environment.

MICHAELS: They both also -- not only have they both lost in excess of 70 pounds, but they've both quit smoking as well.


KAMONT: Yes, I have quit smoking. I still -- I have not smoked a cigarette, and I will not smoke another cigarette.


KING: That's great. Well, I congratulate all of you.


KING: You've made a believer of me tonight, and I salute you all. Thank you, Jillian Michaels and Caroline Rhea.

RHEA: Thank you, Larry. You are not a loser.

KING: And Matt Kamont and Dave Fioravanti and all the rest that appeared with us from "The Biggest Loser." Thank you all.

Being overweight and under exercised is a problem for kids today too. Fitness guru and frequent guest show -- on this show, Denise Austin, tackles the problem with her new DVD, "Denise Austin's Fit Kids." There you see its cover. It actually has two workout programs, one for kids to do on their own and one for them to do with their families. There's yoga, stretching, dance and sport movements. Again, it's called "Denise Austin's Fit Kids," just in time for shaping up in the new year.

I'll be back in a couple of minutes to tell you about tomorrow night. Don't go away.


KING: Andrea Yates, as you know, her conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court in Texas. We're going to meet her mother and brother -- we had her husband on last week -- tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE.

Right now, it's time for "NEWSNIGHT," normally hosted by Aaron Brown. Tonight, the screen looks immensely better, you will admit that, because the host of -- there she is.


KING: I like Aaron Brown, but look, come on! We are talking apples and oranges. Paula Zahn will host "NEWSNIGHT." Double duty tonight.

ZAHN: Double duty. And I know you often complain that we don't pay enough attention to those of you who live on the West Coast. Maybe tonight is not the kind of attention you want. You're having some pretty bad weather out there, aren't you?

KING: Unbelievable, Paula. You know, I met a guy today named Noah, and he asked if I knew how to build an arc.

ZAHN: He's probably beginning to believe that he needs one.

KING: Go get'em, Paula.

ZAHN: Well, that's exactly where we begin tonight. Larry, thanks so much.


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