Almost four years ago, Erin Willett was singing her heart out on national television, hoping to be crowned the second victor of The Voice. The Team Blake Shelton semifinalist left her mark on the show with her killer vocals and heartwrenching story of losing her father while filming the NBC competition series.
Willett, now 26, did not make it to the finals, and instead Team Blake contestant Jermaine Paul went on to win that season. Cut to four years later on Monday, January 4, when another hit NBC competition series premiered. Willet is now a contestant on The Biggest Loser, where she will be in a very different battle, this time with herself.
“I was just tired,” Willett tells Us Weekly of her journey to the show. “Tired of not fitting in clothes. Tired of trying to fake being happy. Tired of wanting change and not doing anything about it. It was exhausting keeping up the act. I just wanted true happiness in my life, and I just couldn’t figure out how to get it. How I viewed myself was affecting my career and what I thought I was capable of. It was time for change, and though it was scary, I knew it was now or never.”
So the New York–based singer-songwriter signed up for the show, joining Dolvett Quince’s Team Red. Though she sang her heart out every week for America on The Voice, Willett admits that this new series has pushed her much harder.
“The Biggest Loser was definitely more challenging for a lot of reasons,” she says. “They were both such emotional journeys, but at The Biggest Loser I really started dealing with all the emotions I had pushed deep down inside. As much as The Biggest Loser is about losing weight from your body, for me, it was really about losing the weight from my mind and my heart.”
And Willett certainly isn’t the first musician to hop reality competition series. In 2013, American Idol winner Ruben Studdard joined The Biggest Loser, dropping 112 pounds on the show.
Willett watched Studdard’s season and was able to relate to it more than the average viewer.
“I feel like there is an unspoken bond between competition show contestants,” she tells Us. “We all respect that each other have been through the process. Ruben especially is someone I looked up to because he is incredibly humble, talented and cultivated a truly successful career post-Idol … As entertainers, I find sometimes we lose ourselves in the process of making others happy, and I am learning through this process how important it is to make myself the priority and give myself that chance.”
Willett has plans to release a new single, “Out of the Darkness,” soon. The Biggest Loser airs on NBC on Mondays at 9 p.m. EST.
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