From ‘American Idol’ Winner to ‘Biggest Loser’: Ruben Studdard Ready to Shed Pounds


American Idol star Ruben Studdard on The Biggest LoserSecond season  “American Idol” winner, Ruben Studdard, is ready to become “The Biggest Loser” as the soulful crooner prepares to compete on the 15th season of NBC’s hit weight loss show.

Studdard grabbed the “American Idol” title back in 2003 and ever since then he has been trying to find ways to drop the pounds and live an overall healthier lifestyle.

While he has been struggling to lose the weight and keep it off, he is confident that the strict “Biggest Loser” trainers will whip him into shape.

His hefty size but gentle demeanor earned him the name “Velvet Teddy Bear” when he was competing on “American Idol” and weighed in at about 350 pounds. Shortly after claiming victory; however, he packed on an additional 100 pounds and tipped the scales at an unhealthy 455 pounds.

His first major attempt to get serious about losing the weight came when he decided to take part in a weight-loss program at Duke University in North Carolina that forced him to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle.

American Idol season 2 winner Ruben Studdard on The Biggest Loser The program was successful and Studdard lost much of the 100 pounds he gained after “American Idol,” but the weight didn’t stay off.

In 2011, Studdard filed for a divorce from his wife, Surata Zuri, and suddenly found comfort in food again.

After starting to gain weight again, he explained to the “Today” show a few years ago why it was important for him to try to lose it.

“On both sides of my family, I have a history of diabetes and high blood pressure and things of that nature,” the 34-year-old German-born star said. “I just wanted to basically combat those issues at an early age. They’ve never been an issue for me, but I wanted to do it while I was still young and felt like working out and looking great.”

Not long after the divorce, Studdard was also hit with tax troubles and owed several hundred thousand dollars in back taxes. It turned out to be the last straw for Studdard to regain the entire 100 pounds he had just lost.

Now he is ready to lose the weight once and for all and will be competing on “The Biggest Loser” when the season kicks off on Oct. 8.

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