NBC's 'The Biggest Loser': Three Changes for Season 15

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Ruben Studdard backstage at Amateur Night at The Apollo Theater on March 6, 2013 in New York City.

As NBC's "The Biggest Loser" enters into Season 15, it is no surprise that they have made some changes to keep the show as fresh as the food they promote. While the contestants' stories and the path each travels to a healthier self is always emotional -- not only for them, but for viewers, as well -- it makes sense to add new elements to thwart predictability. Here are three changes that have been implemented for Season 15:

The Trainer's Save

There is perhaps nothing more annoying to reality TV fans than seeing a favorite contestant go home, sometimes even causing devotees to lose interest in the show entirely. It seems "The Biggest Loser" is aware of this frustration and has given trainers Bob Harper, Jillian Michaels, and Dolvett Quince a way to hang on to contestants, even if they fail to make the cut.

Each of the three trainers on "The Biggest Loser" is allowed one "save" this season. Basically if one contestant on their team is about to go home, they can save that person, giving him/her a second chance.

Trainers Pick Their Teams

"The Biggest Loser" has had a bit of a mix up with trainers over the past few seasons. Jillian left; they tried several new trainers (including tennis star Anna Kournikova) that didn't work out; Dolvett was discovered; and then Jillian returned. Season 15 features the same three trainers -- Bob, Jillian, and Dolvett -- as Season 14. To keep things interesting, the trainers, for the first time, were allowed to pick their own team.

In the past, the contestants have competed for the opportunity to choose their trainer, but in the latest season, that approach was flipped on its head as the trainers, one by one, made these decisions. It seemed a bit like middle-school gym, wondering who would be picked last, but viewers were informed that the trainers were announcing their choices in no particular order.

The First Real Celebrity

Fans of "The Biggest Loser" no doubt remember the initial attempt to bring a quasi-celebrity on board with Rulon Gardner. Though hardly a household name, many people did have recollections of his Olympic triumph in wrestling. Fans also definitely recall that Rulon's stint on weight-loss competition did not turn out well, as he snuck food on campus, quit the show early, and was noticeably absent from the finale.

Season 15 brings us the first bona fide celebrity in Ruben Studdard. Best known for winning Season 2 of "American Idol," Studdard has since released five albums and appeared on a variety of television shows. Even more than being a celebrity, Ruben Studdard is a truly likable person, who viewers can't help but root for. During the initial episode of Season 15, much attention was focused on Studdard, and one has to wonder if the Trainer's Save was put in place to ensure this popular contestant does not go home before his time.

More from this contributor:

Did 'The Biggest Loser' producers manipulate the show to keep Jillian Michaels around?

Getting to know Jillian Michaels from NBC's 'The Biggest Loser'

Was Adding Kids to 'The Biggest Loser' a Good Idea?

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