Jillian shapes up for Perth trip

Before Michelle Bridges became a household name, health fanatics and weight- loss hopefuls looked to American fitness queen Jillian Michaels for inspiration.

The affable personal trainer/ entrepreneur - who was catapulted to global fame in the original US The Biggest Loser series a decade ago - fronted the first season of the Australian version before introducing Bridges to TV audiences in 2007.

"I remember Michelle well, I introduced her on season two," Michaels told AAA from Los Angeles.

"I did the first season then integrated Michelle and Shannan (Ponton) and then they took over.

"I've got nothing but respect for everyone involved. I think the Aussie trainers are fantastic."

Even though the reality weight-loss series is now behind her, the 40-year-old mother of two has anything but retreated from the limelight.

Now focusing her energy on her eponymous fitness empire, which includes her hugely successful weight-loss program, the Jillian Michaels Body Revolution, she is busier than ever.

Having spent the past two years touring the US and Canada with her live tour Maximise Your Life, Australian fans will be able to catch Michaels when she brings her show Down Under in October, including a stop at Perth Concert Hall on October 26.

Marking her first visit to WA, Michaels - who will be accompanied by her partner Heidi Rhoades and their two children, son Phoenix and adopted daughter Lukensia - said she had a few days to spare to explore the city.

"I've been looking at the schedule and I've got about three days between Perth and Melbourne and I'm going to use that time because I hear there are some fantastic areas around Perth," she enthused.

"I like to take my kids with me, especially when I go for extended periods of time. They're my opening act; they like to go out and dance on stage before the show, they warm up the crowd."

With her next plan to take the travelling stage tour to the UK, Michaels won't be returning to TV.

But she was happy to address reports of her sudden exit from The Biggest Loser, admitting her departure was prompted by the controversy surrounding this year's winner Rachel Frederickson, who was criticised for being "too skinny" at the final weigh-in.

"The reality is, there have been some fundamental differences between myself and the people that run that show," Michaels explained.

"Many people felt I was the face of that show and if I am going to be a part of it, then I do have to take some responsibility."

The West Australian

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