‘American Idol’ Season Two Winner Ruben Studdard Joins ‘The Biggest Loser’ To Reduce Weight Following Split From Wife

 @Keemohan
on July 02 2013 2:34 AM
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Ruben Studdard from Birmingham, Alabama, performs on American Idol during the show's live finale in Los Angeles, May 21, 2003. Reuters

Singer Ruben Studdard, the winner of season two of Fox's ‘American Idol,’ will now appear on another reality show -- NBC’s ‘The Biggest Loser,’ when season 15 of the show premieres on October 8.

Studdard, 34, is the first celebrity to take part in the weight-loss show, and according to the Los Angeles Times, shooting is already underway at the Biggest Loser Ranch outside Los Angeles.

The singer, who is popularly known as the Velvet Teddy Bear, had been battling weight issues for a long time, and his attempts at shedding weight have not always been fruitful.

"I was losing weight, but I was exhausted,” he told People, during an interview in 2006, while undergoing a fitness regime that combined rigorous exercise with a food intake of 1,200 calories. "I'm a big man. There was no way to do those workouts on that amount of food, so everything was contradicting itself."

The same year, he came on the ‘Today’ show, where he expressed his desire to lead a healthy lifestyle before diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and other heart-related ailments got the better of him.

The R&B singer managed to shed nearly 100 of his 400 pounds during his marriage to Surata Zuri McCants in 2008, but he piled on nearly as much weight following their split in 2012. At the time, Studdard had blamed stress-eating for his weight gain.

Speaking to the Huffington Post last year, Studdard said that, now that he is in his 30s, health had become a top priority.

“I never want to try to be a spokesperson for health and wellness because I most definitely am not the most in shape person in the world...But everyone has different obstacles that they have to conquer and I'm looking forward to having the opportunity to conquer mine.”

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