Sunday, September 30, 2012
Brad Smith: One Lucky Canadian Bachelor
Footballer Brad Smith wanders around the first episode of the new series The Bachelor Canada looking like he's got his hands full.
And he has!
Twenty-five long stemmed lovelies step out of their limoes to meet the lucky guy and mostly he's lost for words.
Of course the gals are young and sexy. The oldest is 33 and she's ravishing. And so are all the rest as they've been fitted into couturier gowns and fluffed and puffed to the adoration stage.
Smith perfectly fits the bill for a TV Bachelor. He's white, upscale, well educated, motivated and surprisingly at ease on camera for a TV newcomer.
He looks tall in the saddle until pitted up against host Tyler Harcott --Brad at 6'1" suddenly looks small against Tyler's 6'6".
Look, The Bachelor Canada defies TV criticism. It will be a hit because it is cagily manufactured to capture the attention of all those love lorn gals sitting at home watching TV.
I've yet to meet a guy who'll admit he watches the show. But the chance to sample such pulchritude all at once is mighty tempting.
Big news is that the Canadian version is even better than the U.S. edition. It's been photographed lushly so it doesn't look like another batch of Reality TV.
About Brad, I'm not sure he knows what he's in for. Being an American Bachelor has meant a one way ticket to obscurity for a whole pack of young guys. Brad told the press conference I attended he isn't thinking about a TV career but he should, he'd make a fine sports announcer.
Born in Quebec, he's 28, the son of a Canadian Senator, Brad graduated from Queen's University and played as a wide receiver for the CFL (Allouettes and Argonauts) --he's now a free agent.
"He has gorgeous teeth," whispered the girl beside me. Teeth? Who looks at teeth?
I'm not sure how much each contestant gets or even what Brad is getting but it must be a fair chunk of change. Even so the Bachelor Canada is far cheaper to make than a weekly hour long scripted series.
And probably more popular, too.
But the producers say the American version is truly top heavy with backstage talent --there's even one gal who spends all day lighting all the candles seen in so many scenes.
Also at the press conference I learned the concept has been franchised out to 26 countries.
It would make little sense for the show to be changed much or viewers might become disgruntled.
First up there's the parade of beauties from their limos as they strut up to Brad and nervously chatter away. So far it was mostly shot in B.C.
It seemed endless to me but I noticed the females in the audience who were previewing the first hour seemed completely enthralled. And gradually I started evaluating the contestants as well.
The bits about the contestants hanging out with Brad seemed hokey to me. But these girls were hardly friendly to each other. They had a job to do --get one of the 10 roses handed out.
I became fixated by their occupations which include everything from a cocktail waitress to a CFL team rep to a --gulp --funeral parlor attendant.
We got to know some of them by their aimless chatter as they swilled champagne. Some were incredibly bitch which is exactly what the producers wanted I'm guessing.
Anyhow I was surprised at some of Brad's choices but it's his show not mine. But the surprises are what keep viewers tuned in.
Turns out Smith had not seen the premiere until it was shown and kept referring to it all as a "journey". Looks like the guy is learning TV lingo really fast.
On the original series the bachelor was supposed to chose and get engaged as quickly as possible. Smith said he understands long term relationships are not likely to be formed.
But I'm still wondering if Smith's very respectful parents will enjoy it --all that smooching and cuddling will last the entire season.
THE BACHELOR CANADA PREMIERES ON CITYTV WED. OCT. 3 AT 9 P.M.
MY RATING: ***.