For The Choice to fulfill its destiny as a guilty pleasure, the new Fox series will need men and women who are in on the joke, or display a little wit. Even though Thursday’s second edition had all of the weaknesses of the premiere, most notably the entire process by which the celebrities select three potential dates as a studio audience screams, a few of the new faces this week lent more humor to the mix.
Much of the credit goes to one of the questionably famous panel members, “Psycho” Mike Catherwood, the Loveline co-host who previously self-deprecated his way to a last place finish on Dancing With the Stars. Catherwood came in with a simple philosophy: that there was no point in pretending The Choice is about anything other than the promise of seeing pretty people arranging a hook-up. So he waited for just the right moment to spin his chair: when a woman promised she was good at giving massages; at the phrase “everything is bigger in Texas;” when someone mentioned she is a gymnast; when a woman says she was born in Italy (because, he said, “Europeans are more sexually liberal”).
Also, at least a few of the women Thursday showed the flash of a personality. The only woman no one spun around for, Lindsay, either acted drunk or really was drunk, showing that even this motley crew had a few standards. Blonde Morgane was terribly nervous throughout, a welcome change from the over-the-top bravado of most of them. At one point, when asked what she’d be if she were an animal, her answer was something that sounded like “fooseth.”
And then there was Becky. She made her appearance when just one of the celebrities, Suburgatory actor Parker Young, had yet to fill out his “team” of three women. When that happens, two women come out and give a quick pitch, with the star naming one as his final pick. While not unattractive, Becky was definitely plainer than anyone we’ve seen yet on The Choice. But she picked a strategy that almost worked for her: seeming not to care. She attacked the other woman vying for Young by implying she was too old. In the second round, she snapped at Young for not asking her any questions, but still, he kept her around. Unfortunately, she didn’t win the date in the end, even though she had the crowd cheering for her by then.
The stars and their prospective dates seemed to have more fun with the rapid-fire question section of the show this week. Joe Jonas asked Amanda if she had ever been arrested. Megan asked Catherwood if he liked penguins (he does). Latika asked Jonas what his feelings were about virgins, like her. “That’s a very common question,” he said wryly. Catherwood wanted to know how important penis size was to Keyonna, on a scale of 1 to 10. “7, 8, 8 and a half,” she said, an answer which presumably had a double meaning. By the way, Jonas didn’t pick the virgin in the end. Our boy is growing up.
The very beginning of the show gave us an update on how last week’s dates went. While two of the couples went their separate ways at the end of the night – totally to be expected – both Romeo and Pauly D managed to exchange phone numbers with their picks. Also to be expected.
The Choice isn’t going to dominate the summer, but at least we’ve seen that the right mix of personalities can make for a nice diversion for an hour.