Popular weight loss show “The Biggest Loser” took another step to further establish itself as irresponsible television entertainment: the producers hired former professional tennis player Anna Kournikova to replace Jillian Michaels in the role as trainer.
Topping Jillian Michaels
While already Jillian Michaels’ credentials as a fitness trainer were rather questionable, signing up Kournikova takes this to a whole new height, fully destroying the show’s thin pretense of having the participants’ health and fitness in mind.
Looking over Kournikova’s career as a professional tennis player, we see that she won zero WTA titles and her highest ranking on the best player list was 8. In a statement published by Reuters, she mentions that she is a “certified trainer”, but on her website no further information on this can be found. On there, she now simply wrote:
I can’t wait to get started on the show and to share everything that I have learned throughout my years as a professional athlete, and I really feel like this is going to be the perfect fit! Living a healthy lifestyle has always been such a huge part of me, and I am beyond excited to get to work!
But there is an area where she has been very professional, outshining formers players like Martina Hingis (209 weeks as No. 1, 43 WTA titles) or Steffi Graf (377 weeks as No. 1, 107 WTA titles) by a league: From skimpy tennis dresses as the age of 15, over marketing sports bras at 19 (“only the ball should bounce”), to erotic pictures in men’s magazines and dating b-league celebrities, Ms. Kournikova played the marketing game in perfection.
Don’t Miss This, Ladies And Gentlemen!
A couple of hundred years ago, traveling fairs had freak shows, where the shocked and awed visitors could see a bearded woman, the world’s fattest man, a calf with two heads and wrestling dwarves. Often a very alluring woman served on these as announcer and a form of contrast principle, making these poor creatures look even more terrible.
By signing Kournikova, the producers of “The Biggest Loser” made it clear that they see themselves in a continuation of that tradition and that the good old formula of “The Beauty and the Beast” is still working. The only difference is that now the beasts are made suffer in front of a nation-wide audience of rubbernecks.