Flower Mound resident Kelli Calabrese received an unexpected phone call from a casting producer for NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” reality show last month. They were searching for a new trainer to replace Jillian Michaels and become a part of the show next season.
“At the time I received the call, I was boarding a plane headed to a nutrition conference in Phoenix. I asked them to call back on Monday if they were serious,” said Calabrese.
Monday morning the phone rang and the producer said to Calabrese, “I came across your credentials and they blew me out of the water. We want to come to Dallas this weekend to meet you.”
Calabrese says she was honored to be selected from over 200,000 personal fitness professionals, and then spent some time gathering the information they requested such as a bio, resume, references, video, and photos. The casting producer and camera crew wanted to interview Calabrese and also see her in action training clients. With the enthusiastic permission of Anytime Fitness owner Chase Rojas, the meeting was set in Roanoke and he offered two of Anytime Fitness’s clients as subjects for the workout.
Calabrese was instructed to show up in fitness attire with minimal make up. The crew was very friendly and accommodating and spent the first 30 minutes of filming finding out about Kelli’s credentials, experience, training philosophies, success stories, personal fitness accomplishments and interests.
Next was the workout. Dayna Martinez of Argyle and Joey Tidwell of Fort Worth cheerfully volunteered to be her subjects for the screen test. Calabrese was instructed to give them a 10 minute workout of her choice. She decided to use partner exercises where they worked together pacing the exercises within the upper limits of their intensity.
“Dayna and Joey were great sports. They had no idea what to expect,” said Calabrese. “They were not used to my cues, style or techniques, yet took it all in stride working very hard and doing their best.”
The video went on for about 20 minutes as they continued to capture how Kelli handled certain situations such as when Joey said he could not jump rope. The entire interview lasted for about 90 minutes including filling out responses to a three page questionnaire. The whole experience will be whittled down to a 90 second clip which will be viewed by the casting executives at the “Biggest Loser” this week.
If Calabrese is selected among the finalists, she will be sent to LA in April for a final round of interviews. Shooting for ‘The Biggest Loser’ begins in May and lasts for four months. Calabrese posted something on her Facebook page about the interview and was pleasantly surprised at how many people responded saying they would like to see an encouraging and educated professional in that role.
“Many fitness trainers, as well as viewers, have mixed opinions of the show because of their somewhat extreme methods to help clients lose weight. Most of the contestants are in dire health with many compromising medical risk factors, horrendous lifestyle habits and low self-esteem,” said Calabrese.
If she is chosen, Calabrese has already informed the casting crew that her style is very different than Jillian’s and she will help contestants achieve dramatic long term results in a way that is supportive, educational, and encouraging, yet very challenging.
Calabrese said that she does not know if she is right for the show or if the show is right for her.
“It is a great opportunity to do an interview like this one. It will be a career maker for someone, but I’m not sure if it’s me,” she added.
As much as the thought of being able to reach millions of people with her health and fitness message is a dream of hers, she said that her family will always be her priority. For now, Calabrese is working on many exciting projects including creating a new boot camp drill book, sharing Isagenix Cleansing and Re-Nourishing products, keynote speaking and developing an online health platform for a national network of CPA’s.
She said that she still loves to start each day out at Argyle Adventure Boot Camp helping the women and men of Denton County to be their physical best. This is the only in-person training Calabrese continues to do and she would love to invite men and women of all ages, sizes and abilities to join her.