by Najja Parker, JET
Our beloved “Velvet Teddy Bear,” Ruben Studdard, may need a new, more slimming nickname after joining NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” cast.
Studdard has signed on as a contestant for the 15th season of the weight loss reality show, taking a second shot at reality TV and becoming the first celebrity competitor on the show.
Weight loss has always been a challenge for the Alabama native, who beat out Clay Aiken for the season two title of “American Idol.” After dropping more than 70 pounds in 2006, he gained it back a few years later once faced with money woes and a divorce from his wife, Surata Zuri McCants, of three years.
The first single, “June 28th,” from his March 2012 album, Letters from Birmingham, got its name after Studdard’s wedding date.
Now, with the divorce behind him and weight loss in front of him, we’re rooting for our idol when the show airs Oct. 8.