Ruben Studdard was sent packing from "The Biggest Loser" ranch twice this season, but don't let those eliminations fool you. Despite his not-so-winning ways in the game, the experience has been a huge success for him.
During his time on the ranch, Studdard lost 70 pounds. Since then, the former "American Idol" winner has kept his promise to still be known as the Velvet Teddy Bear — just "without all the stuffing." He's now lost a total of 112 pounds.
"Wow!" That was Studdard's reaction upon seeing a before and after shot of himself during a Tuesday morning visit to TODAY. "Wow, that's great!"
That's no doubt the same reaction Studdard's fans had too. The singer started the weight-loss competition weighing in at 462 pounds, and the change is significant. It's also exactly what Studdard had hoped for.
"It was really time for me to make a change," he said. "I was about to turn 35, and I was just afraid that some of the things that affected some people that are really close to me would affect me. I most definitely don't want to leave here early from things that I can prevent."
After joining "The Biggest Loser," Studdard learned that he already had Type 2 diabetes.
"That was really tough," he confessed. "I'm glad that I went there, because you can walk around every day and feel that you're healthy and be completely unhealthy at the same time. To get that diagnosis was hard, but I'm doing what I have to do to combat it."
For Studdard that means getting up before the sun for workouts every day and staying on track with what he learned on the ranch.
"It's been an amazing journey thus far," he said.
While Studdard is out of the running for the $250,000 grand prize on "The Biggest Loser," he's still eligible for the at-home title — and the $100,000 that comes with it.
Studdard's newest album, "Unconditional Love," comes out February 2014. As for what's next for his former fellow contestants on the ranch, catch the latest on "The Biggest Loser" Tuesday at 8 p.m.
First published December 10 2013, 7:14 AM