A rainy Monday night and for whatever reason, I’ve booked (free) tickets to be in a television studio audience of a dating show. I had asked The Husband if he wanted to come. Bearing in mind that I have previously dragged him to the first taping of Britain’s Got Talent I wasn’t entirely surprised when he gave me a gentle ‘nah, you’re good’ response. Once bitten and all that.
And yet, as I love seeing how these things are put together (University Challenge for example does not stack the contestants on top of each other), I still wanted to go. I needed an accomplice. Local Manchester girl about town, Red, had never been to a studio taping and was vaguely curious. So she came. What a good sport.
The premise of the show (hosted by Brian McFadden) is that there are four guys and forty girls. During each round, the girls find out a little more about the guys and based on whether they like what they hear, they stand in a queue for the guy. The guy with the biggest, ahem, queue then gets to choose a lucky lady to take on a date. This is really a poor girl’s Take Me Out, I know.
I told Red there would be beer. And I was half right. There was fake ‘stage beer’ in plastic bottles glued to the tables – not even enough to get us fake hammered. Sorry, Red. Being a single lass (shocking, I know!), I also encouraged her to sign up to take part in the show, but thankfully she declined. You’ll see why shortly…
Cameras not strictly permitted in the studio, but by the time I took these shots I was bored enough to actually want to be kicked out. Anyway, this will give you an idea of the contestants on the show. Full of scantily clad fame-seeking attention whores, pouting incessantly whenever a camera was in front of them, scowling like a woman scorned when it wasn’t. Dancing to the club music, trying to look sexy, it’s what I imagine the inside of Tiger Tiger looks like at 3am right before the fights break out.
The stilettos caused so much damage that the production team were frequently gaffer taping the floor back down. Given how often the contestants were collapsing in aching heaps on the floor, I can only imagine what the shoes were doing to their feet. The show took a bit longer than expected to record; could have been the newness of it, the challenge of directing a group of girls who were all sharing a single brain cell or the fact that Brian McFadden is not good at reading an auto cue. Or all of the above.
Eventually a winner was announced and they were awarded a night out at a curry house. For reals. I’m not making that shit up. It wasn’t even a holiday to some shitty part of Tenerife. No wonder the 39 little darlings who didn’t win were pissed off; they’d just spent four hours standing around in uncomfortable shoes while an ageing boy band member made fun of their tits, voting for some guys who would eventually reject them. And they didn’t even get bus fare home. A sad day for forward-thinking women everywhere.
It was enough to make you weep into your fake beer.