Michelle Bridges will not return for the 2015 season of The Biggest Loser because she has gotten "too expensive" for the show that made her a star.
A source at Network Ten reportedly told TheFIX that producers are currently in the process of sourcing her replacement. "Michelle costs quite a lot of money,” the source said. “The show just can't afford her anymore."
Network Ten has been under notable strain as it struggles to survive, cutting hundreds of staff from the across the network, with newsroom staff being hit particularly hard.
With the Network failing to bring in any major big-rating hits for several years now, it’s little wonder that they can no longer afford the rates demanded by an international star like Michelle when they cannot even afford to keep many of their loyal local staffers on board.
Michelle may have been little known before she first appeared on The Biggest Loser as a trainer but since then she has gone onto become a hugely successful business entrepreneur, with BRW reporting last year that her Body Transformation empire pulled in over $67 million for that financial year.
As well as her online weight-loss program “The Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation (12WBT)”, Michelle has also released books, DVDs and endorsement and her own range of dietary supplements and protein products.
Add to this endorsement deals with Blackmores and her fitness clothing range at Big W, and you’ve got one savvy business woman. It’s little doubt that The Biggest Loser can no longer afford her appearance fees which no doubt would be escalating into the millions.
There were rumours earlier this year that the weight-loss reality show would be scrapped altogether. Meanwhile, Michelle’s focus is on cracking the US market as the popularity of her own weight-loss line continues to increase internationally.
As to who will replace her, it seems the show’s production company Shine Australia has put out a call-out asking for new and experienced trainers:
"You must be aged 25-45, be Sydney-based, a qualified personal trainer who is confident, passionate and comfortable to be on TV. We're after males and females who are successful trainers with an empathetic ear who sympathise with our contestant's journey to lose weight."
So now we just have to wait and see who will be on-air in 2015. There’s no doubt The Biggest Loser will never be the same without Michelle though!