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‘Idol’ winner tries to be ‘Loser’

“American Idol” winner Ruben Studdard is joining the cast of “The Biggest Loser,” becoming the first celebrity to compete on NBC’s weight-loss reality show.

The balladeer nicknamed “The Velvet Teddy Bear” was crowned the winner of “American Idol” Season 2 in 2003, edging out Clay Aiken in one of the tightest votes in that show’s history. Studdard used the win as a platform to launch a singing-and-performing career, and also earned a Grammy nomination.

One thing he hasn’t been able to tackle? His weight.

The super-sized Studdard becomes the first celebrity to compete on “The Biggest Loser,” and it raises many questions. Will Studdard get the celebrity treatment at the ranch? Will the other competitors feel compelled to treat him differently? Will he arrive with his own cook, cellphone access and driver?

Or will trainers Bob Harper, Dolvett Quince and Jillian Michaels treat him like everyone else?

This much is clear: Studdard will be sweating off the weight, no matter how long he manages to stay at the Biggest Loser Ranch outside Los Angeles.

Studdard’s weight-loss journey will be seen in the fall, when Season 15 of “The Biggest Loser” is slated to air.

‘The Bible’ saga to continue

“The Bible” is getting its holy sequel.

NBC said Monday it was teaming with resident producer Mark Burnett (“The Voice,” “Celebrity Apprentice”) for “A.D.: Beyond the Bible” (working title), the follow-up to this spring’s popular cable miniseries “The Bible” from Burnett and his wife, Roma Downey. It’s the first announced project under the network’s new miniseries initiative.

“NBC is thrilled to bring this highly anticipated sequel to Mark and Roma’s ‘The Bible’ to network television,” said Jennifer Salke, the network’s president of entertainment, in a statement. “There was huge interest in this project within the television community and NBC is gratified by Mark’s confidence in our ability to partner with him and position this miniseries as true event television.”

The series will be produced by “The Bible” team of Downey, Burnett and Richard Bedser. No word yet on when it will roll out.

Judge tosses 3 ‘Elmo’ suits

Three lawsuits brought by men who said former Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash sexually abused them when they were underage were tossed out by a judge who said in a decision published Monday that the men waited too long to sue.

U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl said the claims must be barred because they came more than six years after each man should have become aware of Clash’s alleged violations and more than three years after each turned 18. One other lawsuit is pending in Pennsylvania.

Clash resigned from “Sesame Street” in November after college student Cecil Singleton sued him for more than $5 million, accusing Clash of having sex with him when he was 15.