Monday, April 09, 2012

First Lady Rolls With 'Biggest Loser' Bob Harper

"I am a huge fan of the show," First Lady says...
First Lady Michelle Obama stopped by the Eggtivity Zone on the South Lawn to greet kids and their families and cheer them on as they made their way through a bright blue obstacle course during Monday's annual Easter Egg Roll. Mrs. Obama was joined by Bob Harper, host of NBC's The Biggest Loser. Mrs. Obama will appear for the second time on the show on Tuesday night. Harper brought his competition weight-loss show to the White House to film a two-part episode in February, and he also joined the First Lady during the kickoff celebration in Des Moines, Iowa for the second anniversary of her Let's Move! campaign, also in February. (Above: With Harper, surrounded by fans)

"I am a huge  fan of The Biggest Loser," Mrs. Obama says on a video promo for the show, adding that she's watched almost every season.

The theme of the day, pegged to the First Lady's childhood obesity campaign, “Let’s Go, Let’s Play, Let’s Move!,” was designed to encourage fitness, healthy eating, and of course, gardening. The morning was bright and sunny, if very windy. Mrs. Obama took her fashion cue from the food of the day, Easter Eggs: She wore a bright yellow cardigan, a bright red camisole, bright purple pants, and blue ballet flats, her hair rolled in a bun. Harper was channeling some other story: He wore a black faux alligator motorcycle jacket, dark sunglasses, and black nylon track pants as he stood beside Mrs. Obama.

The pair worked their way over a series of six-inch high colored bars on the grass, helping kids along who were too little to jump the bars. When one little girl, around 3 years old, fell down and burst into tears, Mrs. Obama picked her up and held her on her hip and consoled her. The crying ended immediately. The child's mother, of course, had never been happier that her kid had cried, and snapped photos of the rare moment.

After that Mrs. Obama and Harper cheered as the kids went through a series of hula hoops on the ground, and then threw themselves at spongy practice tackle dummies at the end of another obstacle course. Redskins linebacker Lorenzo Alexander was one of the many sports celebs on hand to work with the kids. (Above: Mrs. Obama and Harper watch as a daintily clad young guest attacks the tackle dummy with gusto)

Harper joined Mrs. Obama in Des Moines, Iowa to kick off the second anniversary celebration for the Let's Move! campaign.  This season of The Biggest Loser is the second time the show has filmed at the White House. In November of 2009, before Mrs. Obama launched Let's Move!, Loser cast members, including Harper, co-hosts Allison Sweeney and co-host Jillian Michaels (now departed), visited the White House and plucked vegetables from the Kitchen Garden. The First Lady did not appear onscreen; instead, the contestants "cooked" The Biggest Loser Salad in the kitchen with Executive Chef Cris Comerford and Assistant Chef Sam Kass.

On her way back to the East Wing at about 12:20pm, Mrs. Obama stopped to say hi to her print poolers, who noted that her daughters did a great job of reading in the Storytime Stage. Mrs. Obama remarked on how quickly they are growing up. Malia, 13, is now five-foot nine, just an inch and a half shorter than her mother, who said she is 5'11". Mrs. Obama joked that she plans to guard that last bit of height carefully.

"It's all I have," Mrs. Obama said.

During her visit to meet the guests filling her backyard, Mrs. Obama also stopped by the Kids Kitchen in the Play with Your Food area at the bottom of the South Lawn, and joined celebrity guest chef Marcus Samuelsson in cooking shrimp and vegetable tacos. With the President and her daughters, the First Lady also Egg Rolled and read childrens books in the Storytime Garden. The 134th annual Roll was the largest in White House history, with more than 35,000 guests from all fifty states.

DOWNLOAD the 2012 White House Easter Egg Roll Program by clicking here; it describes the events and stations on the South Lawn [PDF]. CLICK HERE for all posts about the Roll, including the talent line-up.

*Top photo by Eddie Gehman Kohan/Obama Foodorama; second by Sonya N. Hebert/White House