Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Cheaters & Elimidate

I have a confession to the world -- people in Dallas watch Cheaters.

You may think that people in cities all across this great land of ours watches Cheaters; but Dallasites are worse.


Because 95% of the shows are taped here. We like to watch to see where they are when they are catting around and/or the confrontation happens. Ever since that damn Janet "let's flash my tit to the world" Jackson screw up, Cheaters has been blurring signage more. Sometimes that can make it a bit more challenging, but if you are in the know, 9 times out of 10 you can figure out where they are.

There is a lot of filming that goes on in this city for various commercials, tv shows & films; but without fail, everyone's first thought is "Oh my God, Cheaters is here!" whenever a camera crew shows up.

When I was working with Elimidate, there were so many people asking, "Is this Cheaters?" I would tell them no, it's the show before you need Cheaters. I heard so many stories about the aftermath of Cheaters taping somewhere.

A waiter who worked at a mexican food place in Farmer's Market said that just the week before, one of his best clients was in a secluded table having a lovely dinner. The waiter went into the kitchen to get the flan for dessert and when he came back out there was a full blown brawl going on with his best customer right in the middle of it. He shook his head sadly at the thought and grumbled how he felt that was the last time he would see that customer -- and he tipped so well.

There was a lot of rumbling that the shows were staged and I think for the first season that was probably true because they needed to get show made. But once the viewing audience understood what was going on -- hold back the door. I think every potentially scorned lover in this area has thought of contacting Cheaters.

We all aleady know what is involved -- if Cheaters does the background work and indeed finds proof, you must go on camera with a confrontation otherwise you have to pay them for their detective work. This may sound callous but it makes business sense to me. They are hiring people to get the dirt so they either need content for their show or to be reimbursed.

Now earlier I mentioned Elimidate and a lot of people ask me what that show is really like, so if you are interested in being on it, get your pen and take notes:

Elimidate will breeze into town and hit various clubs, ask potential candidates to fill out questionnaires and have their photos taken. Once they go back to LA, they determine who would be best for the show, then phone the people up to let them know a day they should block off.

Upon Elimidate returning to town a few weeks later to begin taping, they will scout locations on day 1 and then begin taping usually on day 2. They will have production assitants hired, 1 for the "chooser" and 3 for the "contestants".

The PA's must drive to pick up their respective person in the beginning of the day and drive them to the staging area where taping will begin. They typical pick up time is between 8 - 10 a.m.

Upon reaching the staging area, all the "players" are kept out of sight of one another. They will usually be sitting in a car for up to an hour. In the meantime, the PA's are supposed to hit the producers car for cocktails -- and they are to pour with a heavy hand. Yes, that's right, well before noon, the "players" should be getting trashed.

During this time, the producers will go up to the various "players" and do a meet & greet and go over some of their questionnaires. Finally, the call comes through to take the respective "player" to their staging area - yet stay out of sight of their opponents.

When you see the players walk up for the introduction, that is indeed the first time they see one another. Now between takes, the producers are runninng up to the players to let them know some inside dirt gathered from an opponents questionnaire and that is how they get the verbal ammunition to throw at one another.

Also, between takes, the players should be sipping on cocktails....after all, tipsy players make for better programming! If all goes well, the intro is wrapped in a few hours -- that's right, that 3 minutes of fun is usually 2-3 hours of taping.

Once the first player is cut, they tape their "they can kiss my ass" monologue for the camera and then they sashay into the distance. At that point, they gather their belongings and are placed into a hired car (Town Car or Limo) for their ride home. A lot of them want to stay to watch the rest of the taping, but legally, Elimidate has to show proof that the player was returned to their place of origin.

If the player wants to come back o their own, they can, but Elimidate won't allow them to just hang out. Usually after segment 1 or 2, a token meal is served. Their craft services blows -- string cheese & peanut butter and crackers -- yuck!

Now usually for one of the later segments, the players change ito party clothes to go out somewhere. Those clothes are already on hand -- everything the player needs for the day has to have been brought with them. They end up changing outfits in a public rest room. If the female players are lucky, they will have a PA that will carry their purse so that between takes they can touch up. This is a sure fire way to piss off the other players because they know they are wilting while their opponent is looking better. So if you plan on being on Elimidate, ask your PA to carry your purse for you.

The outcome -- of the 6 shows taped in Dallas, 2 of the "couples" actually hit it off and that was usually because they knew the same circle of friends, etc. The other 4 shows were people just wanting to get the hell out of there when it was all over.

Typically, the full shooting day lasts 10 - 12 hours. There is no financial payment for Elimidate; however, you do get air time which is craved by many "MAW's" (model / actress / whatevers).

Also, I don't know if Elimidate will come back to Dallas any time soon (it's been 2 years since they were here), primarily because they had so many problems getting the players to drink. A lot of the players on the show A) had no desire to drink before Noon or B) were very health concious and only wanted water or C) they knew what was going on immediately and choose not to be a drunken buffoon for American viewers.

So there you have it -- everything you might or might not have wanted to know about Cheaters & Elimidate!

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