Between the rotating chairs and a name that conveniently rhymes with "voice," FOX's new dating show seems to be taking all of its cues from NBC's hit singing show. "The Choice" debuted last night and proved to be an amalgamation of what makes reality television so popular. It had all of the elements of successful shows, but did they work together? Let's take a look at the evidence.
The basic concept of the show is that four celebrities (which is using the term somewhat broadly, if you ask me) are sitting in said chairs and a parade of girls are trotted out to explain why they should be asked out on a date. The girls have a total of 30 seconds to give their elevator pitch and if the guys like what they hear, they pull their "love handle" and see what they've won. I mean, see the girl that they get to connect with on a deeply romantic level. If multiple guys turn out, the girl gets to choose which guy she'd like to go out with. Once the guy gets three girls that choose him, he can no longer choose any of the future contestants and he'll pick from that pool of three. It should be noted that one of the episodes in the season will feature four actresses looking for an eligible bachelor. That was sure nice of them to think of us ladies.
For the premiere episode, our gentlemen are Romeo (formerly Lil' Romeo), Jason Cook ("Days of our Lives"), Jeremey Bloom (Olympic skier), and DJ Pauly D ("Jersey Shore"). The first girl out is named Rachel. She's wearing an adorable dress and loves taking care of her grandmother. She describes herself as both a "cutie with a booty" and "cutie with a capital Q." I'm not entirely sure what that last bit is supposed to mean. She chooses Jeremy and the game is on.
The next girl, Elyse, walks out and the crowd goes absolutely wild. Pauly D flips his chair around so fast that he doesn't even remember his name. I'm not going to go through every single girl because after a while they all start to blend together. Amber grew up on a small farm and Jeremy grew up in a small town, so naturally they're made for each other. Elizabeth claims to have a PhD in melting hearts. Nia describes herself as a giver and will cook you dinner. In one wonderfully Freudian moment, Pauly D picks Donna because she has the same name as his mother. Angeliesa is a comedienne from New York and describes herself as "Jessica Rabbit," which is eerily accurate. Ashley is the only girl wearing pants (GASP) and talks about her superhero alter-ego, Kitty Kickbutt. Nobody picks Ashley and it's legitimately sad. Pauly D is the only one with two girls to his name, so Cat Deeley brings out two girls for him to pick. He passes up on Italian Asia and picks Alyssa, who uses the word "spontanuity" during her pitch.
Once all of the girls have a guy, they are donned with sashes and I can hardly even handle it at this point. The speed dating portion gives them the opportunity to ask as many questions as they can in fifteen seconds. Naturally, they ask about stuff like family, God, and Vegas. It's just SO AWKWARD and I can't look away. Pauly D asks not one, but two of the girls who their favorite DJ is. (I'd be like, "Uh...Jazzy Jeff?") The guys take their turns eliminating one girl from their pool. With just two girls left, Cat Deeley (who's really quite good at this, I should add) asks the girl a question on behalf of the guy. Pauly D's question is about whether men and women can be just friends and in that moment, with his goofy grin and gravity-defying hair, I kind of love him a little. Only a little, let's not get carried away here. Jason's question is "How would you recommend that I get over a broken heart?" The trembling Nia answers, "With a little coffee for your cream." It's that kind of sass that the show needs. When Annapurna, our Nashville musician, answers the question with "Um...chocolate?" it's all over from there. Sweetie, you never had a chance. Romeo chooses Lisa and Jeremy picks Rachel, because he's got a thing for Taylor Swift.
In the space of one hour, with four guys and a dozen girls, there is no time to form a real connection with any of these people. I don't have anyone to root for from week-to-week and I feel that may damage the longevity of the show. Oh, who am I kidding? We'll be watching this for years to come. Our time is up and if we want to find out how the dates went, we have to tune in next week. Curse you, programming gurus! Of course I want to find out if Elyse is going to become the next member of the "Jersey Shore" entourage!