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"Paradise Hotel" Review

By Shawn McKenzie 06/29/2003

I’ve heard of audience participation, but this is ridiculous.  Sure, FOX started the whole audience participation thing by letting home viewers vote for their favorites on “American Idol,” but on their new show “Paradise Hotel,” the home viewers can literally join in on the action.  I think if I thought there was the slightest possibility that an actual “real” person could get on the show, I’d be more interested in it.


Eleven single men and women are given the opportunity to live together in an exclusive resort they have dubbed Paradise Hotel.  The object of the game is to stay at the hotel for as long as possible.  They do this by hooking up with someone of the opposite sex.  Each week, one hotel guest will be eliminated to make room for someone new.  The home viewers can become the new guests of the hotel by logging onto www.paradiseonfox.com for a chance to become a contestant (I can’t confirm this, but since this is FOX, you probably have to be smoking hot.)  Two contestants (alternating between men and women each week) play a studio game where the hotel guests decide which contestant will join them at the hotel.  The contestant who wins immediately leaves for the hotel after the show.  The show airs twice a week, on Mondays and Wednesdays.  On the Monday shows, they will boot out one of the current hotel guests and play the studio game to find the new hotel guests.  On the Wednesday shows, they will show the new drama of the new hotel guest while mourning the loss of the old one.  It’s also the time when the hotel guests strategize on how to hook up again with another single so they can stay in the game.  The host is Amanda Byram, a UK television personality.  I won’t bother to tell you about the contestants, since they will be changing each week (other than Toni, the bug-eyed woman who was a contestant on FOX’s dating show “Love Cruise” from two years ago.)  They start out with the females being the lopsided sex.  After a meet-and-greet, the females have to choose a guy they want to share their room with.  They can choose any of the guys they want, but if more than one female chooses the same guy, that guy must choose which female he wants.  The guys have necklaces that they put around the neck of the woman they are going to room with.  The woman who is left guyless has the rest of the week to try to break up one of the couples and hook up with the man in that couple.  That might not be as hard as you think, since the guys who were chosen by only one woman may not necessarily want to be with that woman.  The woman who is without a guy by the end of the week is eliminated.  The studio game then adds a new guy, making the guys the lopsided sex, and the stuff above happens in the reverse gender order.


Now, do I really expect ugly people to make it on this show?  No, I don’t.  Even if I believed FOX allowed ugly people to compete, they wouldn’t get very far, since no one would hook up with them, and the whole rotation of people wouldn’t flow regularly.  It would stay mostly the same people.  The problem with these people is that they are so shallow that they aren’t very interesting.  “Real” people are more interesting, but as I said above, they don’t have any chance at all to make it on this show or survive in it.


The other problem I have is that I won’t be able to keep up with who’s who.  Since they will always have the same number of people, it will be too many people to keep track of, and they will change every week.  At least on other competitive reality shows where they boot someone out each week it is easier to recognize the contestants as the player numbers dwindle.

I heard that FOX will keep “Paradise Hotel” as an ongoing show if it is a hit.  I would be more glued to it if I felt like a goofy, overweight geek like me had a chance on the show.  I will give it a couple of weeks, but if it doesn’t get more interesting, the next viewer to be booted out of the hotel will be me, since I won’t watch it anymore.


Ratings System:


Try to catch this show every week...

If a better show is on, tape this one...

If nothing else is on, maybe this will be good...

If this show is on, change the channel immediately!


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