PARTICIPANTS ANNOUNCED FOR SEASON 5 OF THE HIT SERIES "EXTREME WEIGHT LOSS," WHICH WILL RETURN MAY 26 ON ABC
NBA Greats Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Byron Scott and James Worthy
Guest Star in Season Premiere
Other Guest Stars for the Season Include Ne-Yo, Chris Bosh, LeSean McCoy,
Amy Van Dyken, Mia Hamm, Holly Robinson Peete and Mario Andretti
The hit show "Extreme Weight Loss," a uniquely riveting, docu-series about weight loss that takes you on unprecedented 365-day journeys of courageous and resilient "super-obese" people, will premiere Season 5 on TUESDAY, MAY 26 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET/PT) on the ABC Television Network. Chris and Heidi Powell return as the transformation specialists and trainers for EWL, plus NBA greats Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Byron Scott and James Worthy will guest star in the episode.
Other notable guest stars in Season 5 will include three-time Grammy Award winner Ne-Yo, two-time NBA champion Chris Bosh (Miami Heat), NFL star LeSean McCoy (previously with the Philadelphia Eagles/currently on the Buffalo Bills), swimming champion Amy Van Dyken (six Olympic Gold medals), soccer great Mia Hamm (two-time Women's World Cup champion + four-time Olympic Gold medal winner), actress and Autism advocator Holly Robinson Peete, and Mario Andretti (one of the most successful Americans in the history of auto racing).
In each of the 10 stand-alone, two-hour episodes of EWL, the participants -- whose lives have become unmanageable because of their weight -- will undergo a transformation not only of their bodies, but of who they are as individuals. With the proper nourishment, exercise and guidance assured by EWL, they will be afforded a fresh perspective.
Here are the remarkable participants whose one-year weight loss journey will be documented on this season of EWL (their full bios will be posted at ABC.com):
· Robert & Raymond (Monett, MO) - The Season 5 premiere features twin brothers Robert and Raymond, 381 and 378 pounds. After their mother went to prison and their father skipped town, Robert and Raymond - 13 at the time - were left to raise their two pre-teen sisters, who they still look after to this day. Former high school basketball players - and huge Los Angeles Lakers fans - they will get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet Kobe Bryant & Steve Nash, plus play 2-on-2 with Byron Scott & James Worthy at their six month milestone.
· Panda & John (Grand Rapids, MI; Baltimore, MD) - Panda/313 pounds, of Korean descent, is a camp counselor who was adopted and struggled to fit in with his American family; John/531 pounds, is a former pro football player and Army veteran who wants to lose weight before he meets the son he never knew he had. One of them will lose more weight in the first 90 days than anyone in series history, while the other will decide that the program is more than he can handle.
· Kim (Honolulu, HI) - Kim/279 pounds, is an up-and-coming fashion designer who doesn't feel she's taken seriously in her industry because of her weight. She hopes to go from being a behind-the-scenes seamstress to a model on the runway.
· Rachel (Santa Monica, CA) - Rachel/309 pounds, is a former UCLA cheerleader who put on more than 100 pounds after finding out the man of her dreams was cheating on her. She's now a high school dance coach, but she is embarrassed in front of her own team due to her extreme weight.
· Jennifer (Cody, WY) - Jennifer/342 pounds, is a wife and mother of two who has learned her husband's illness has become terminal. Acknowledging the sad reality of his limited time, she's decided to get healthy for their kids.
· Hannah (Austin, TX) - Hannah/310 pounds, is a successful career woman who seemingly has it all together. But after being told by doctors that she's gotten too heavy to have children, Hannah reached out to Chris to help her get healthier and lose the weight she needs to complete her family.
· Mitzi (Dallas, TX) - Mitzi/262 pounds, is a 53-year-old woman who takes care of everyone but herself. When the only man she ever loved left her for their neighbor, she became a hoarder and hasn't let anyone into her home in more than eight years. Now, Chris and Heidi will take on their first ever dual-addiction client, as they try to help Mitzi conquer her obesity and hoarding issues.
· Jackie (Denver, CO) - Jackie/266 pounds, was a fit athlete in high school, but she put on more than 100 pounds after her newborn baby suffered brain damage, the result of Shaken Baby Syndrome. She is hoping to lose the excess weight that continues to hold her back and gather the strength to forgive the nanny who changed their lives forever.
· Josh & Kelli (Omaha, NE; Kansas City, MO) - Josh/399 pounds, is a gay firefighter living in a small town. After losing his father, who was also a firefighter, in a tragic accident, he's decided to change his life; Kelli/331 pounds, is a former college basketball player who went into depression after hoops ended. Now, she wants to reclaim her life and find the man of her dreams.
· "Pearls" (Wichita Falls, TX) - Pearls/296 pounds, was given her nickname because she is always seen wearing pearls (and has different pearls for every situation). But underneath her shiny exterior, Pearls is hiding a dark past: she has struggled with various eating disorders her entire life, from binging to bulimia and anorexia. Now, for the first time in her life, she wants to develop a healthy relationship with food.
In addition to working one-on-one with Chris and Heidi, the EWL participants will also spend the first 90 days of their weight loss journeys at the renowned University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center in Aurora, CO. Chris and Heidi, along with CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center Medical Director and CU School of Medicine Associate Professor Holly Wyatt, MD, will guide participants on their journeys to safely lose up to half their body weight, as well as the emotional baggage that often holds one back. The CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center offers some of the country's most advanced research and science-based expertise, focusing on a comprehensive weight loss approach, including fitness, nutrition and wellness services.
Separately, the weight loss resort -- "Extreme Weight Loss: Destination Boot Camp" - was recently launched at the CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, which operates the program.
"Extreme Weight Loss" is produced by 3 Ball Entertainment. JD Roth, Todd A. Nelson, Matt Assmus and Brant Pinvidic are the Executive Producers.
For more information on "Extreme Weight Loss," visit ABC.com