Season 14 will also add a new element to the show — teenagers. The new “mission” of the show will be to combat childhood obesity. Teens between the ages of 13 and 17 will now join the teams trying to lose weight.
Unlike the adults who are competing for the $250,000 prize, the teens will not be subject to elimination and will not be weighed for the television broadcast.
Michaels says on “Today” of this new element, “It’s brave, it’s bold and I’m sure it’s going to be controversial, and we’ll do the best we can to handle it in the most positive and effective way possible.”
She also says that it’s about getting the kids “on the softball team, not into a size four,” adding that it’s about health and not weight.
The 18 contestants will be divided into three teams of six and each team will include at least one teenager. The show returns January 2013.