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The Biggest Loser kicked off its 15th season last night with its biggest contestant to date.

Not literally. Though not that far from it, either.

Former American Idol champion Ruben Studdard became the show’s first-ever celebrity competitor, but the Alabama native isn’t appearing on the series as any kind of publicity stunt: the singer’s weight recently ballooned to 462 pounds.

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"I just want to be Ruben Studdard. I’m tired of being ‘Big Ru,’" he told trainer Dolvett Quince of why he’s joined the cast. "Since I was 11 years old, it’s always been B-I-G in front of my name. And my mama didn’t name me ‘Big.’”


Studdard went on to say he aims to be the "best singer in the world” and he knows he can’t exactly die young if he wants to accomplish that dream.

Fortunately, the artist is off to a strong start. He dropped 21 pounds on the opening episode, 17 pounds fewer than the top weight loss-er but good enough to remain part of the competition.

"This group was put together for a reason, we all seem to get along really well and that doesn’t really happen that often," Studdard told People of The Biggest Loser cast, adding as a tease:

"You will see personality conflicts quick in intense situations like this. It only takes a second for someone to get on your nerves after those exhausting workouts, and that hasn’t happened. It has just been really jovial and everybody really likes each other. I think this is going to be one of the best seasons they’ve ever had."

We wish Ruben and all the other Losers the very best of luck!