Spot the Reality

Joe Lavin's Humor Column

Spot the Reality

April 23, 2001

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With all the new reality programs on television, it is sometimes difficult to know exactly how low television can go. This reality quiz might be able to help. Some of the following shows are either on the air somewhere in the world or in development. The others are completely made up. Can you tell the difference? Answers are below.

1. Ten lucky contestants stalk a famous celebrity. Each week, the contestant who knows the least about the celebrity's location is bumped off the show, until finally there is only one true stalker left. Grand prize: The celebrity.

2. Who wants to be a Daddy? Unmarried women, hoping to have children, choose between potential sperm donors on television. Grand prize: The wonder of life itself, not to mention the opportunity to embarrass your child for a lifetime.

3. Each week, a man or a woman looking for love is chained to four strangers of the opposite sex for four days. At the end of each day, the contestant chooses to let one person go, until he or she is shackled to only one. At the very end, viewers learn whether there is a "love connection" between the final two. Grand prize: Possible true love, as well as the chance to remove the chains.

4. Twelve dieters are locked in a house full of junk food with 37 cameras filming them. The six men and six women compete to see who can lose the most weight. Dieters dine on low-calorie meals prepared by a celebrity chef and work out three times a day. These workouts are televised. Every week, a contestant who has lost the least amount of weight is kicked off the show. When only four remain, viewers then vote for one male and one female winner. Grand prize: The amount of weight you have lost in gold; a slender life until you learn that binge dieting doesn't usually work in the long run.

5. Singles are matched up on blind dates, but this time with a twist. Without telling the contestants, producers match up the most incompatible people they can find and then watch the fireworks explode. See how contestants react when the dream date they expect turns into a nightmare. The contestant who endures the worst date gets to come back the next week for more. Grand prize: The chance to be seen on television and not a whole lot else.

6. Every night, six men compete to date a Hooters Girl. After some preliminary questioning, the final two compete in a "baseball round." The men are asked questions, and, with each right answer, they can advance from first base to second base to third base. The first one to reach home plate wins. Grand prize: A date with a waitress.

7. Twenty television programmers, forced to develop a fall schedule despite a possible strike of both actors and writers, are locked in a home with 130 cameras and filmed 24 hours a day. Viewers vote for their favorites, who are allowed to leave. The rest have to stay in the house forever, even after the show ends. Grand prize: A new career.

1. Not real.
2. Endemol, the company behind CBS's Big Brother, is considering this idea for Britain. They prefer the title I Want Your Baby.
3. Now on UPN, it's Chains of Love.
4. Also from Endemol, The Big Diet recently premiered in Holland.
5. Not real.
6. Who Wants to Date a Hooters Girl? is currently in development for U.S. late night.
7. We can dream, can't we?

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