Wednesday, February 14, 2007

'Beauty and the Geek' ...

I don't watch reality television. I've never seen an entire episode of Survivor. I've seen one episode of American Idol, and that's because I was with friends who watch the show. The Bachelor? The Bachelorette? Fear Factor? The Amazing Race? No, no, no, no.

Oh, wait, I did get kind of sucked into America's Next Top Model this fall. And right now, on the telly, is the season finale of "Beauty and the Geek." So let me amend my first sentence to "I don't watch much reality television." As reality shows go, I think the premise of this is brilliant. I wonder if Ashton Kutcher was a bit of a geek in high school and one day he thought, "Damn, who ever thought a geek like me would be married to Demi Moore?" and the idea of the show was born.

SPOILER ALERT (for all my readers who TiVoed the show - I have no idea if that applies to any of you):

I happened to see an early episode of the show, so I'm familiar with the contestants. Megan (Playboy model) and Scooter (graduate of Harvard in social anthropology) and Cecille (bikini model) and Nate (studying anthropology at Harvard) were the final couples. And all the eliminated couples decided the winning team based on who had made the biggest transformation during the course of the show.

Reality shows are popularity contests to a large degree, but there's strategy involved, too. Pitting members against each other, forming alliances, may seem sound at the time, but oooh, when those you plotted against return to decide your fate, suddenly your scheming returns to bite you in the ass.

Such was the case tonight. (The show is over now; I've moved on to a repeat of last week's "Lost.")

Cece (or is it Ceci?), her head as full of herself as her bikini was full of her breasts, made a lot of enemies over the course of the show. In the last 24 hours, she had the opportunity to make nice with her former competitors to try and salvage the competition for herself and Nate.

But Cece wasn't about to start kissing ass. She remained as self-centered and defiant as she'd been throughout the course of the show. Contestants who didn't like her then didn't like her in the end.

Which just goes to show you that it pays to always treat people with respect, because you never know when those people will re-enter your life in impactful ways.

One of the geek contestants asked the well-liked Nate why he should vote for Nate's team. And Nate, displaying a staggering amount of maturity, replied, "I'm not so sure you should." And then proceeded to campaign against his own win.

In the end, he decided it was more important for Cece to learn a lesson - that it's not OK to treat people the way she does, that such behavior does indeed have consequences - than for him to walk away with half of the $250,000 prize.

And contestant after contestant lined up behind Megan and Scooter, but not before telling Nate that he's a great guy but that Cece didn't deserve their vote. And Cece pursed her lips and copped yet another attitude and was ungracious to the, literally, bitter end.

Next week is the "reunion" show. It was Nate's hope that Cece would someday realize the reason why she didn't win. It'll be interesting to see if it's sunk in or whether she's the kind of person who never learns.

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