Anna Kournikova joins 'Biggest Loser' as celebrity trainer for next season

The Biggest Loser has netted a new celebrity trainer: Tennis star Anna Kournikova will join NBC’s popular weight-loss competition next season, a network spokesperson confirmed today. The 29-year-old Russian is filling the  slot that is being vacated by Jillian Michaels —  who announced her impending departure back in December — though the Biggest Loser team is not viewing Kournikova as a substitute. “We intentionally tried to not replace Jillian,” executive producer Todd Lubin told Vulture, which first reported the news about Kournikova, who appeared on an episode during Biggest Loser’s tenth season. The direction of the show will be “getting slightly away from just the tape measure, and getting into overall well-being and health,” added Lubin. “That’s where Loser needs to go.” UPDATE: An NBC spokesperson also confirmed to EW that current Biggest Loser trainers Brett Hoebel and Cara Castronuova, who joined the series this year, will not return for season 12. The season 11 finale airs tonight.

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  • Craig

    Great choice!

    • RafMaf

      Makes sense, she’s been a professional loser her entire tennis career.

      • proby

        YOU are a loser, mate. Stop talking nonsense.

      • Bob

        Good one, Raf.

      • UGH

        fap fap fap fap

      • KC

        Not a bad idea. She could give the male contestants the incentive to “hit it” if they lose a certain amount of weight.
        Sign me up.

    • Sam J

      I’d Kourn her kova.

    • Natester

      I heard that Brett and Cara was returning next season. What happened with that?

  • trystan

    When did she become a trainer?

    • el

      Yeah this seems kinda odd. Being an athlete doesn’t automatically make you a great trainer I’d think.

    • HR

      Who the f*ck cares? She’s much easier on the eyes than that over the hill lesbian they got now.

      • Ha

        R u talking about JJillian i think she would be better that this loser

      • Ha

        i meant that Jillian would be better than this Anna chick she can’t do as good of a job as Jillian.

    • Rodney

      About the same time she became a tennis player.

  • Hoboken Loser

    Where the heck was Rulon, the Olympic Champion that Biggest Loser loved to promote incessantly tonight? Did he put weight back on? Did he leave the show on bad terms?

    I am a huge BL fan, but Anna K. is NOT a good replacement for Jillian Michaels. I do kind of hope that Brett and Cara come back, I was starting to warm up to them.

    God forbid, I thought the new trainer might be Jackie Warner from the Bravo Show work out. She would be more in line with this show.

    Bring back that super hottie, Kim Lyons from a few seasons back. She was unfairly judged against Jillian AND she is hotter than Anna K, imho.

    • John

      Rulon left the show but the story is he was sneaking phone calls home and that was against the rules.

      • Hoboken Loser

        Thanks for the update. You figure they would at least mention his DQ. They promoted the crud out of him and his story. Don’t you think fans would wonder a little bit where he was?

        What is BL going to do if people get to pick trainers next year. Bob’s entire team is going to fill up before Anna gets one by default!

      • Marianna

        I’ve only been watching the show intermittently these past few seasons but but I did catch the weigh in where Jillian expressed that Rulon had “gone rogue” and something to the effect that it was almost impossible to train him because he wasn’t taking direction and pretty much did as he pleased. Far from being contrite at being called out he just stood there brazenly smirking. That combined with what John says about sneaking phone calls home just indicates that Rulon has neither regard nor respect for the rules that govern the biggest losers during their time at the ranch. They were probably promoting the living daylights out of him because they were looking for another success story like Mike from a few seasons back. They want to validate themselves as a safe way to lose weight for the super ginormously obese.

      • Zakry

        He definitely left on bad terms. He acted like an ass – why reward his behavior? They did EXACTLY the right thing by completely omitting him from the finale.

    • SaraS

      I was wondering the SAME thing!! EW, can you do a post on this?? Where was Rulon? I thought other contestants had chosen to leave the show (i.e. one of those twins tonight..) and got to weigh in at the finale.
      Did he just balloon back up or what?? Was it his choice not to return, or the show’s?

      • bootsycolumbia

        The twins didn’t quit the show. They were unmotivated and whiny, but they left after asking the other contestants to vote them off. Rulon, on the other hand, did quit. He stood on the scale at the beginning of one episode and said something like, “I’ve done all I can here. I have family commitments and I want to go home.” Then he walked off the set. I’m assuming that he was DQ’d for that reason. Good riddance, when you consider all the people who applied who would have tried to make it to the end. I was glad he wasn’t at the finale.

    • TJM

      Rulon left thus he was no longer part of the “competition” and ineligible to participate. This was the first time this happened int the US, but it has happened on the franchise in Australia and was treated the same way..if you chose to leave, you are no longer a part of the show. All the others who left were eliminated thru regular show course.

  • Abby

    ha, after 10 minutes of Anna, the world will be “Jillian WHO??” glad to see the end of her. I couldn’t decide which personality of hers I hated more, the SCREAMING in your face, or the treacly sickeningly fake ‘trauma counsellor’ Ugh she was insufferable.

    • SaraS

      I am sooooo glad they aren’t bringing back those two martial arts trainers. They were super boring and uninspiring.
      I wish Jillian well, she was awesome.

      • Soumadeep

        Hi there,I am very interested in atdenting one of your newborn workshops. I live in a remote area of Northwestern Ontario (nearer to the MB border) and have had great difficulty finding resources to help me move foward in my photography. Your work is beautiful. Please let me know if a spot is available in your workshop, or how I could possibly get into one in the future. Thankyou so much and take care,Kaija

    • Dilly

      Couldn’t agree with you more. Jillian was a bad trainer, a bad actress and I never believed anything she said. I’m looking forward to being able to watch the show again instead of fast forwarding through most of it to avoid all of her bull droppings.

  • JJ

    Kornikova couldn’t capture a grand slam win in her entire career and only ended becoming famous because most tennis players before her were not considered to be “hot”. She’s never been known to have an amazing body even in the world of tennis and she’s never struggled with being overweight or trained normal every day people to personal success. NBC is now trying the celebrity route given the success of The Voice. No thanks, bring back Kim from the first time Jillian was gone.

    • anonymous

      Just to clarify, Anna Kournikova is not nearly the tennis slouch that people make her out to be. While she never won a singles title, she did reach the top 10 in singles as well as a Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon in 1997. She’s also a former world number one in doubles, with two doubles Gran Slams to her name. While her fame might have had more to do with her looks than her tennis, you can’t deny that she was actually a pretty good tennis player.

      • Em

        um… she really wasn’t that great. in fact, compared to most, she wasn’t that good. signed, all the tennis fans

      • anonymous

        How many tennis players have been ranked number one in either singles or doubles? How many have won multiple slams, even if only in doubles? How many have been ranked in the top 10 in singles? I’m not saying she’s one of the greatest of all time (or even close to being one of the greatest), but she’s done a lot better than most professional players ever will.

      • argo

        Anyone that slams Anna’s tennis accomplishments are just ignorant failures in their own lives.

      • tennisfan

        Thank you, anonymous & argo, you’re exactly right.

      • Zakry

        anonymous: I never agree with *ANYTHING* you say, but this time you’re right. Anna K was a world top ten tennis player and nice success in doubles. Unfortunately, she happened to hot and that was what people focused on.

        I think she deserves a shot. She seemed really excited and motivated to help the contestants – what else could you ask for?

      • Barbara

        Anna was a really good tennis player that ended up having to retire too soon with injuries. I think she will do a good job as a trainer.

    • Bonnie

      It’s not that I doubt AK’s credibility as an athlete, but via Cara we saw that being a good athlete doesn’t make you a good trainer. I think they need to find someone who can get down to the basics of healthy living, including the varied workouts that Bob gives the contestants and well as some cooking and dietary lessens. Let them bring on a “food trainer”. We completely miss that part of the Biggest Loser on a weekly basis. All we get is commercials for gum and Subway.

      • Sean

        Bonnie, you hit the nail on the head. Let’s get more on nutrition. I’m tired of the shameless plugs for extra gum, subway, laura bars and jennie-o turkey. I want to know what they are eating daily. They can cut out the psychological counseling and focus more on the workouts as well. Oh yeah, how about a new hostess, Allison is boring and annoying!

  • Mermaid

    Abby – You are SO right! I just know that if I had ever encountered Jillian offering me any type of her version of “encouragement,” I’d have wanted to haul off & slap into next Tuesday. And I’m not a violent person. She’s just that aggravating, annoying, offensive…I could go on. And then when she decides to dig deep into contestants past lives to help them figure out “the why” – when did she become a certified trauma specialist?

    Now, I don’t know a whole lot about Anna K, but what I do know is that a lot of guys think she’s very HOT stuff. She’s a very fit tennis player (who’s never won a major singles tourney). Male viewers are gonna love her!

    And Biggest Loser – sure wish they wouldn’t call the show “Couples.” This implies a romantic relationship between the 2 contestants. The pairings can be anything – husband-wife, parent-child, siblings, friends, co-workers, random, etc. How about “Pairs,” just like tennis? jmho

    • bootsycolumbia

      Or “Teams”?

  • kate middleton

    Total stunt choice to get press. She is a decent (at best) tennis player who only got by on her looks. Not a trainer.

  • pat day

    this show is not about hottie trainers or about a persons sexuality it is about changing lives so lets focus on that and leave the negative comments out of this forum

  • george bush

    Pat day I think you need to enlist and lighten up

  • jean louise

    NO ONE gets in the top ten of a professional sport on their looks! The media made it about her looks…oh my, wow what a shocker! You gotta be a whole lot more than pretty a professional tennis player. duh!

  • maryb

    I’m gonna miss Jillian,she’s my favorite. Anna will b a good trainer too. Hope they do more training and less talk!

  • Denise

    Roulon quit the show therefore was not back on the final show.
    The weight lose was great but I am a little surprised that there was not more. I guess a hundred thousand was not much incentive for the contestants. I really was hoping Irene would win. I found the sisters fake and annoying. I guess her 13 year wait to have children story was only to get her into the finals. Great liar .

    • kelly

      I agree that Olivia could be a bit over the top and annoying. However, to make the comment that her having children story was only to get her into the finals is ridiculous. Did you expect her to show up at the finale pregnant? Let her celebrate (and get used to) her great achievement for a while before moving on to the next chapter in her life.

      • Sean

        I agree that both Hannah and Olivia were annoying. Good on them for the hard work and effort that it took to make it as far as they did, but the “bobblehead” interviews, the underdog talk and constant “I love you”, no “I love you” blah, blah, blah was too much. I would have liked to have seen Irene or Austin make it all the way.

    • Zakry

      That made no sense. Her desire to have children had nothing to do with how much weight she lost, and that is what got her to the finale.

    • mm15

      I totally thought the same thing about Olivia!!! She had that sob story about how she hadn’t told anyone that she had really come to lose weight so she could have children and then in the end it was all about her career and being the sexy singer now!!! Nothing about how she was so excited that she was FINALLY hoping to start a family like she made it sound. I didn’t expect her to show up pregnant, but I have a LOT of friends who have FOUGHT to have children and suffered through infertility for various reasons – some unknown – and when you really feel it like she said she did, it is EVERYTHING to you like she said it was. Totally disappointed that she would play on emotions with such a sensitive topic just to stay in the race!!!

  • Anthony

    Nice gimmick, but it won’t work. This season has done a lot of damage to the shows reputation. The ratings will be down, far down come next seasons premiere.

  • April

    There will be other trainers right?

  • bootsycolumbia

    When they announced Anna Kournikova as the new trainer, I decided I’m done with this show. Love Jillian or despise her, you have to admit, she has a personality and her approach to her contestants gets results. Anna Kournikova has the personality of a grape, I don’t remember her being that great of a tennis player, and I can’t see her actually training anyone. I wish they’d kept Cara and Brett, and brought back Kym. I liked Kym. She worked hard with the contestants and I had the feeling she really cared about them. I agree with the person who said she was unfairly judged against Jillian. I hope the producers reconsider.

    • M

      I couldn’t have said it better….I am thinking “Jump the Shark”!

    • Zakry

      I’m thinking: relax. Anna may kick a$$ as a trainer. Your statement that you are done with the show is BS. You’ll be watching. In fact, no you won’t! I forbid it! You are banned from watching BL for the rest of your life!!!

      • bootsycolumbia

        Zakry, thanks for the laugh! I hate it when people say they’re done with a show, but I really do mean it with TBL. I’m not a Jillian fan–her whisper talking motivational speechifying makes me want to gag. But Anna Kournikova bored me silly as a tennis player and I don’t care about her career transformation as a personal trainer. When they announced a world class athlete during last night’s show, I was hoping for Laila Ali. I’d watch the show if she was on.

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