Fox's The Choice is a new dating show that cheekily ripoffs NBC's singing competition The Voice — with none of the latter's breakout potential. Hosted by So You Think You Can Dance's Cat Deele, The Choice sits "celebrity" bachelors — last night's episode starred Jersey Shore's Pauly D, rapper/Dancing With the Stars alum Romeo, Dean Cain, and General Hospital's Jason Cook — in The Voice's famous swivel chairs with their backs to the stage while single women make appeals to be their dates. If the men like what they hear, they spin their chairs around — it's The Dating Game for today's D-list-celebrity-obsessed society. Critics are predictably trashing the gleefully trashy show. Is there anything redeemable about it?
Not one thing: This is "the worst new show of the summer so far," says Verne Gay at Newsday. "'Awful' doesn't' begin to do The Choice justice." The conceit, based shamelessly on The Voice, offered potential for a strange, even witty, guilty pleasure. But as contestants try to sell themselves with moronic, monotonous lines like, "I'm a cutie with a booty" and "I have brains and booty" — and the celebrities turn their chairs for such nonsense — you're more likely to "wince and weep."
"The Choice on Fox is bad love"
It's far too long: The appeal of all dating games is watching two attractive people pair up, says Brian Tallerico at Hollywood Chicago, but The Choice goes about it so superficially that "it almost makes The Dating Game seem like true love." The notion that blind auditions force the celebs to assess a girl's "personality" is bogus. These guys are just trying their damnedest to figure out if she's hot without looking at her and relying heavily on audience reaction. Cat Deeley tries to class up the proceedings, but is too talented for this dreck. Even so, I can't help but wonder if The Choice could've been "a goofy diversion at half its running time" — at an hour, it just wears out its welcome.
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But somehow addicting: The chairs swivel far too often to make for an exciting gimmick, and the girls spend too much time talking about their physical appearances instead of their personalities, which is what was supposed to set this show apart, says Carter Matt. But I'd be lying if I said I won't be tuning in again. The show is wise to introduce new celebrities each week, "and on the basis of that alone we're tempted to watch again." Let's just hope future episodes are more original.
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