Sneak Preview: “The Choice” Premieres on FOX June 7
by Holley Dey and Louise Uznanski
A cocktail waitress, a Ph.D. candidate and a volleyball coach are among the young women who compete on the Thursday, June 7 premiere of the FOX summer dating show, The Choice. Each hopes to convince one of four celebrity bachelors that she would be the evening’s perfect date. The catch? The all important preliminary round requires that the women use their voices alone to make their case; the men cannot see their potential partners.
Introductions: Host Cat Deeley introduces each of the four celebrity bachelors. On the show premiere, these include recording artist Romeo, sports star/broadcaster Jeremy Bloom, television star Jason Cook and reality star DJ Pauly D. Each of the men is seated in a rotating chair. As the game begins, the chairs are turned so that the mens’ backs face the stage.
Blind Choice Round: Attractive young women are welcomed to the stage, one by one. Each has thirty seconds to describe herself. If one or more men like what they hear, they pull a lever (the “love handle”) to turn their chair and face the stage. If more than one bachelor turns his chair, then the young woman may choose the celebrity she prefers. She is then part of that bachelor’s “dating pool”. When each celebrity has a pool of three potential dates, round two begins.
Speed Choice Round: The celebrities exchange rapid fire questions and answers with the women in their dating pool; fifteen seconds are allotted to each conversation. At the end of the round, the bachelors must eliminate one of the three women in their group.
Final Choice Round: In the last round, host Cat Deeley poses a celebrity penned question to the two remaining women in each dating pool. Based on the responses, the bachelors then select their date for the evening. Footage of the date is aired on the following week’s show.
While the screening version of the show released by FOX may vary slightly from the final edit to be aired on June 7, one thing is clear. The Choice is a dating microcosm. All of the stresses and emotions associated with a first meeting and date are there, condensed and intensified. There are nerves, lots of nerves as each woman takes the stage to plead her case. As one young lady admitted, “I’m really putting myself out there.” There is excitement from the stage and from the audience as chairs turn and smiles rain. There is elation when a woman is selected, and dejection when a candidate is sent home. There is risk on both sides; one of the bachelors sank visibly lower in his chair after twice losing a potential date to fellow celebrities.
Cat Deeley is a skilled and confident host. She keeps the show moving at a brisk pace while engaging both the dating hopefuls and the celebrities. She provides just the right amount of warmth and humor, as well as maturity.
The Blind Audition round provides surprises when the chairs turn, and sometimes when they don’t. When one celebrity failed to turn around, then caught a glimpse of what could have been, his response was “I messed up.” It’s interesting to hear what tidbits the contestants choose to share about themselves in an attempt to win a date. Ranging from matter-of-fact statistics to racy come on to earnest plea, it’s all good, and can be telling.
Although there seemed to be some confusion with regard to the rules, the Speed Choice Round is just plain fun. The short time frame creates a sense of urgency and questions/answers come with spontaneity and some hilarity. One bachelor, for example, asks a young woman raised in farm country to demonstrate how she milks a cow!
As an aside, there did seem to be some uncertainty about the rules of the game from both sides of the stage during more than one round. Pauly D was called out by the host for attempting to break the rules in the Blind Audition round. He denied the attempt; “I saw you” said Cat.
There was limited celebrity cross talk during this episode, but what was there added spice to the proceedings. Give and take between the bachelors is an important part of the fun.
There is no drag here; the variety of tasks and number of participants in the game keep the show moving and interest intact.
The Final Choice Round triggers uncomfortable memories of the Miss America pageant when anxious contestants in satin sashes are required to give spur of the moment answers to topical questions. On The Choice, the contestants wear sashes emblazoned with the name of their celebrity bachelor. The beauty pageant references are unfortunate.
The downside of the rapid paced nature of the show is that it’s difficult to develop an attachment to/root for any particular contestant. No packaged back stories are offered for any of the contestants.
Fun and lighthearted, The Choice is a good choice for some easygoing summer lovin’. Tune in Thursday to FOX at 9 pm eastern/8 pm central time to catch all the action.
Coming soon to The Choice:
The June 14 episode will include Olympic gold medalist Seth Wescott, television star Parker Young, radio personality Mike Catherwood and recording artist Joe Jonas. Catherwood is sensitive to the pressure on the contestants. Asked by TV Guide Magazine whether he regretted not turning his chair for any woman, he replied that he regretted not turning the chair for all of them. “I feel horrible playing into that kind of rejection.”
The June 21 episode of “The Choice” will feature American Idol winner Taylor Hicks, celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito, reality star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and football star Warren Sapp. Speaking with Entertainment Tonight, Hicks specified his personal dating requirements. “She has to take care of her feet. If you can rock some flats and some sandals, you’re good.” Hmmm. Will the lovely ladies put their best foot forward?
©OnTapBlog 2012, all rights reserved