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Scott D. Pierce: Is Utahn too nice to win on ‘Biggest Loser’?

By Scott D. Pierce

| The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Oct 03 2013 09:42 am • Last Updated Feb 14 2014 11:35 pm

Hap Holmstead seems like the perfect "Biggest Loser" contestant. The Pleasant Grove man is outgoing, upbeat, unafraid of physical challenges and, at 403 pounds, has some weight to lose.

"I have nothing negative to say," Holmstead said. "It was a very positive experience for me. I loved every minute of it."

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Oh, c’mon! Make a better column for me! Say something terrible about somebody!

"There’s nothing!" Holmstead said, with a laugh. Heck, he even described uber-tough trainer Jillian Michaels as "a sweetheart."

But they say nice guys finish last. And, even though "The Biggest Loser" is about losing weight and getting healthy, it’s a reality/competition show with a certain amount of, shall we say, gamesmanship?

Can a drama-free guy be a reality TV star?

"There’s no reason for drama or any of that other stuff if you’re all reaching for the same goal," Holmstead said. "The group that I was with was very positive. Everybody liked everybody. So it was very easy to have a positive attitude going into things."

Holmstead grew up in American Fork and was a Major League baseball prospect — but his weight got in the way. After an LDS Church mission to Ohio, he returned to Utah, got married and is the father of 2- and 3-year-old daughters and an infant son.

His wife was pregnant with their third child while he was away on "The Biggest Loser." But Holmstead was determined to lose weight so he "could be a better husband and father for my wife and my kids."

When he met the other contestants, Holmstead discovered he was already familiar with one of them — Ruben Studdard, the Season 2 winner on "American Idol." And Holmstead is a fan.

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"Yeah, ‘Sorry 2004,’ that was a great jam back in the day," Holmlstead said of Studdard’s hit song. "I love R&B music and soul music, and I was a fan of Ruben’s even before I met him on the show.

"Ruben is a phenomenal person. He has a great personality, and he’s fun to be around."

Not that you’d expect Holmstead to say anything less. About anybody. Even people he’s competing against.

"Obviously, it is a game," he said. "But I’m not about gameplay. I’m about doing what I can do to stay as long as I can stay without throwing somebody else under the bus or stabbing somebody in the back. That’s not my way of doing things."

Is there any hint of anything that’s not as American as apple pie about this man?

"I curse a little bit during the workouts," he admitted, "but anybody that’s going through what I went through. I’m sure they would say the exact same kind of things."

A lot of us would, no doubt, say even more colorful things.

Scott D. Pierce covers television for The Salt Lake Tribune. Email him at spierce@sltrib.com; follow him on Twitter @ScottDPierce.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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