The choice is yours: Will you watch another blatantly derivative dating show this summer if the concept is cool enough? Betcha will.
In a promo during American Idol Wednesday night, Fox gave viewers an early glimpse at its latest bid for viewer love, The Choice -- or as the promo set it up: "Four celebrities. Blind auditions. Spinning chairs. But it's not what you think."
No, of course it's not The Voice. It's a rip-off of The Voice. And frankly, it sounds... hilarious! Reality TV producer Mike Darnell has taken the campy formula for that singing competition and applied it to dating. Just as Christina Aguilera and her cohorts judge contestants on their voices alone, swinging their chairs around for the talented ones, the celebrities of The Choice will experience their first impression of potential dates without the benefit of sight. "Many people say its what's inside that counts,” Darnell told Entertainment Weekly. "Now we'll see."
It probably won't surprise you that Darnell is also the guy behind Joe Millionaire, that show that took the formula for The Bachelor and reworked it with an ugly final twist. (Remember: "Psych! He's actually a pauper! Ha! Ha!")
"I think there's a big hole in the dating show world," said Darnell. "There hasn't been a new hit since The Bachelor, and there hasn't been an in-studio one that's worked since The Dating Game 30 years ago. I was thinking about how to do a blind-date show without using a wall or blindfolds, and the spinning chairs seemed like a great way to do it."
The show, which debuts June 7 at 9 p.m. ET, will feature four single celebrities (to be announced later) who will listen to non-celeb singles describe themselves. If the star likes what he hears, he'll pull a "love handle" to pivot around and see his potential date.
Obviously, this would pack a real punch if some of the contestants were, say, covered in warts, or plain janes with thick glasses and mustaches. But that won't be the case: All the contestants will be attractive, ostensibly pulled from the same gene pool where Bachelor contestants frolic. Even the host, Cat Deeley, is model-pretty.
In subsequent rounds, the contestants will have to amp up their sparkling personalities to convince the celebs to choose them. The ultimate prize is a date with the star.
Fox hasn't announced any of the celebrities on the panels -- only that five episodes will feature famous guys, and one episode will feature female stars.
Now, the big question: Which single Hollywood dudes would make this show worth watching? Here are some suggestions...
Despite rumors to the contrary, E! News reports that two out of the three Jonas brothers (Nick and Joe) are still available. Now, that would attract that coveted young viewer demo!
Zachary Levi is cute, single and now an employee of Fox. (The Chuck star plays the lead in that network's upcoming pilot, Let It Go.) Putting him in a swivel chair is a no-brainer.
And what about Chace Crawford, who could stop by the studio during his summer hiatus from Gossip Girl? He recently told Closer magazine that "I haven't had a girlfriend in a while... I can't find 'The One.'" Why not let a TV show help out? Really, what could possibly go wrong?