It's all a game: First, NBC takes the premise of "X Factor," adds chairs and a blind-selection twist and gets a hit with "The Voice." Now, turnabout being fair play, FOX has taken the chairs and blind-selection twist from "The Voice" and grafted it onto a celebrity dating format for a coyly titled summer offering titled "The Choice."
FOX unveiled "The Choice" with a mighty "Voice"-esque promo that aired during Wednesday (May 2) night's "American Idol." The series will premiere on Thursday, June 7 at 9 p.m.
In "The Choice," four celebrity bachelors will look for love, but at least initially, they'll have to do it without their eyes. Sitting with their backs to the singles, the celebrities have to listen to them talk about their likes and dislikes and whatnot. Based on that, if they're enamored, the celebs will have to yank their "love handle" to turn around and face the contestant. If more than one celebrity yanks their love handle, they have to make their pitches and the single gets to choose.
Next, in the "Speed Choice" round, the women have seconds to convince the celebrities to take them into the final round. And in the final round... Oh, you've seen TV shows before.
"The Choice" will be hosted by Cat Deeley, doing double-duty this summer with "So You Think You Can Dance."
FOX has yet to announce the participating celebrities, but don't worry, there will also be episodes featuring female celebrities blind-choosing bachelors.
"We wanted to put a new spin on the dating game show that gives celebrities 'The Choice' of a lifetime and the chance to prove you really shouldn’t judge a book by its cover," blurbs FOX Reality Guru Mike Darnell.
"The Choice" is produced by A. Smith & Co. Productions, which also brings "Hell's Kitchen" and "Kitchen Nightmares" to FOX.
Darnell has long specialized in quickly produced spins on competitive reality formats. Remember when "The Contender" begat "The Next Great Champ"? Or when "Wife Swap" was going to be big and FOX suddenly had "Trading Spouses"? Or when "Nanny 911" looked an awful lot like "Supernanny"? This may be the first time, though, that Darnell has bitten back after one of his formats was Darnell-ized.
A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.