If Jackson Carter is lucky, he’ll be known across America as a huge loser: The 21-year-old Utahn is the first openly gay contestant on NBC’s The Biggest Loser, which returns for its 14th season on Sunday, January 6.
“I think the biggest thing for me, not being accepted by my peer group and fitting in, I became a people-pleaser and never took care of myself,” Carter tells the Salt Lake City Tribune. “I put everyone else’s needs before my own. [I am now] aware of it and can try to fix it.”
He admits facing emotional issues on Loser can be more grueling than running on a treadmill for an hour. “The hardest work [on the show] is not the workout,” he says. “You have to deal with people who have shut themselves off from their emotions. I don’t want to do that one on one, let alone 22 million on one.”
While it appears Carter is the first queer competitor, he’s certainly not the first Friend of Dorothy to appear on Loser: Trainer Jillian Michaels, who returns to the show after two seasons away, came out as bisexual several years ago. Her replacement, Cara Castronuova, is dating lesbian rapper God-des. And while DILFy Bob Harper doesn’t discuss his personal life, his sexuality is something of an open secret.
The Biggest Loser returns to NBC on January 6 at 9pm