Raleigh women appear on ‘The Voice’ and ‘The Biggest Loser’

sbarr@newsobserver.comOctober 5, 2013 

— For years, you could catch musician Kat Robichaud onstage at local places like Lincoln Theatre or The Pour House, fronting the rock band The Design.

Now you can see her on your television.

The Raleigh-based Robichaud, who cites Queen and David Bowie as major influences, is a contestant on the newest season of the NBC’s “The Voice.”

A few weeks ago, audiences watched as Robichaud rocked a rendition of The Kiki Dee Band’s “I’ve Got the Music in Me” that left three of the show’s four judges fighting for her to join their team.

Robichaud picked CeeLo Green as her coach, thinking their shared musical tastes and love of performance would help her go far as she enters the show’s battle rounds.

“I want a fresh start. I want to learn,” she said. “I want to grow as an artist.”

Robichaud, a North Carolina native, came to Raleigh to attend N.C. State’s College of Design. After she graduated in 2006, she joined the band, thinking it would be just a hobby. But The Design toured until last year, performing both covers and original songs.

Robichaud is mum on how she’s fared on the show, which pre-tapes its episodes except for the final live elimination rounds. But she can say that she’s been impressed by everyone from the audience members to her fellow contestants and the show’s band.

“I feel really lucky,” she said.

“The Voice” airs at 8 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays on NBC.

‘The Biggest Loser’

Robichaud isn’t the only Raleigh resident vying for a title on a reality show this fall.

When “The Biggest Loser” premieres this month, it will feature Chelsea Arthurs, a 28-year-old clinical research professional who wants the show to help propel her into a new healthy lifestyle.

So far, so good.

Arthurs also can’t reveal how she fared on the pre-taped show, but she said that she’s thrilled to have participated.

“I have the glow back that I used to have,” she said. “I feel more happy.”

Arthurs, who grew up in Cary, said she started gaining weight as a teenager when her parents went through a divorce.

“I kind of forgot about myself,” she said.

During the next decade, Arthurs tried countless diets but kept gaining weight. When she reached 241 pounds and found herself suffering from high blood pressure and joint pain, she decided she had to do something drastic and interviewed for the show.

Arthurs said she went on the show hoping to learn more about how to find the healthy foods she enjoys and stick to an exercise plan. She wanted to lose about 100 pounds to be at a healthy weight for her body type.

“I kind of felt like ‘The Biggest Loser’ could really help me to completely change my life,” she said.

The show’s new season at 8 p.m. Oct. 15 on NBC.

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