If you watched American Idol this week, you may have noticed a commercial for a summer competition show called The Choice, complete with chairs spinning around. It sounds ridiculously cheesy, and we’re completely looking forward to it.
Back in the early days of reality TV, Fox was known for coming up with quick knockoffs of existing shows, but the name and style similarity with The Voice is so obvious, the ad didn’t even try to hide the connection. “Four celebrities, spinning chairs, blind auditions, but – it’s not what you think,” the commercial said with an implied wink.
We already knew it was legal (if sketchy) to borrow the premise of another show, but to play off the name of a show on another network? NBC hasn’t complained – yet. (And Fox no doubt considers this payback for NBC rushing The Voice on the air ahead of The X Factor, which it copies awfully closely.)
OK, so what’s The Choice about, anyway? It combines the look of The Voice with the format of the long-running The Dating Game, in that prospective dates are asked questions without their suitors being able to see them. The other twist is that celebrities will be in those chairs. Here’s the thing: what kind of celebrity is going to go on a reality show to look for a date? (Jennifer Love Hewitt, put your hand down.) Aren’t stars supposed to getting more romantic attention than they know what to do with?
Fox has released the names of some of the stars involved, and not surprisingly, it’s mostly a list of people familiar from other reality shows. Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, his Jersey Shore running mate Pauly D, American Idol graybeard Taylor Hicks, Joe Jonas, Rob Kardashian, Dean Cain (Superman? Really?), and celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito. One of the episodes will feature female celebrities, including Carmen Electra, Hope Dworaczyk, and Rima Fakih (in order, that’s a former Baywatch star, an ex-Playmate of the Year, and a Miss USA – exactly the sort of woman you’d meet in real life).
Cat Deeley will double-dip on Fox this summer, as the charming longtime host of So You Think You Can Dance will handle duties here too. The Choice premieres Thursday, June 7, and will run for six weeks.