Ask a Blind Date Contestant
If you measure reality TV on a ratio of production cost to resulting entertainment value, Blind Date would emerge as the greatest reality show of all time. And if you live in Los Angeles long enough you’ll eventually know someone who appeared on Blind Date. As a special Valentine’s Day public service, I asked a recent contestant, Linda, about her experience with the show.
How did you get on Blind Date?
They contacted me via a dumb/funny dating post of mine on craigslist. They had me audition and called me several weeks later, last-minute one morning, as a replacement for a flake (strange, those folks are rarities in losanjealous).
Is the show real or was it scripted?
Most of the show was real. They let us talk and be ourselves. Which of course, was a mistake for my date. I’d feared that I would look like the asshole, but about 5 minutes in, I realized that my date had the market cornered on asshole. The crew hated him. I hated him. But he was a nice guy.
So which parts of your date were fabricated?
The fake parts were at the beginning, when they had me throwing a football because I’d said I like to WATCH sports. I hate football though, even as a spectator. They had me polish my nails whilst wearing a tiara, sitting in an SUV. I’d never do that (the SUV part). The ending, where you talk about how much you loathed the date was largely contrived (except for the part where I said I’d loathed the date). They lead you with questions and answers the producer has noted during the date.
How was your date overall?
My date, on-camera, was a real tool. He was “newly enlightened” (aka into Jesus and Tony Robbins, et al.), which meant that he was annoying and stupid, for the most part. We went to an actual, real-live dinner at the Wine Bistro, which is somewhere in the Valley. I highly recommend it but without a TV crew, and without my date
What was the most unusual part of the experience?
It’s strange to have a couple of guys in the backseat of your SUV while you’re on a date. But that’s what “blind date” is all about. It’s about the real and the unreal, all wrapped into one, while you suffer both needlessly and tediously so that other lonely people can laugh at your follies and thank the good lord that it wasn’t them.
What’s Roger Lodge like?
He’s like the Wizard of Oz…you don’t get to meet him just because you’re on the show. As far as I know, we were never even in the same zip code at the same time–in fact, I’m not sure he even really, truly exists in our reality/time plane.
Were you compensated at all?
I got $100 i think. Still not worth it.
But at least it didn’t cost you anything
It cost me nothing but a loss of self-respect and dignity and a good 8 or 9 hours, for maybe 8 minutes of tape.
Any advice for aspiring reality TV stars?
Let’s face it: if you live in L.A. and have NOT been on a reality show, you’re not even trying!