Frankly we're shocked how the showerheads tallied up. A show that promised to bring two dating-weary singles to the altar, the sleaziest? What about "Real World: Las Vegas," with its wanton acts of sex and drinking, or "Survivor: Amazon," where Heidi and Jenna spent what seemed like days scrubbing each other in the river? Or "Are You Hot?"--about which we have just two words: Lorenzo Lamas.
It wasn't even close. "MBA" finished more than a half 'head over "Real World," with its 3.1 average. "Survivor" finished a tame fourth, with 2.25 showerheads per week. The final standings for the 11 shows we tracked are below, followed by this week's wrap-up.
We weren't the only ones who weren't keeping our eye on "MBA." Beliefnet users voted "Are You Hot?" the sleaziest show on our poll before it got cancelled, switching to "Mr. Personality" in the late going. Perhaps they too were blinded by "MBA's" promise of holy matrimony. Before we did the math, we'd have guessed "Survivor"--which indeed had the highest raw score of showerheads at 22 and a half--would win it all.
Looking back, though, we can see how "MBA" rose to the top. For one couple on "Married By America," the long walk up the aisle began with sex in a bathroom, and the gals dressed up as French maids and naughty schoolgirls long before they got fitted for their white gowns. We agree with Tony, the man America betrothed to Billie Jeanne, that she's a good egg. But she did lick whipped cream off a stripper's stomach.
Needless to say, we learned a lot about ourselves, just like the producers of reality TV shows probably intended. What consistently elicited showerheads from Sleaze-o-Meter was unprotected sex, sex with strippers, "girl-on-girl action" and insulting, drunken speeches. We wish something more subtle set us off--like the way "Real World," pixillates out brand names on cans and t-shirts as much as breasts and butts, in a weird equivalence of no-no's. Turns out Sleaze-o-Meter is just old-fashioned. We don't want to bemoan what's happened to our society. We want to know, "Where are these people's moms?"
Still, we're proud to have "Married By America" as our first-season victor. The show's raunchiness was cited recently as a reason for reality TV's fading prospects in Hollywood. And as the game-show format replace the documentary as reality TV's inspiration, "MBA" is the sign of things to come: it veers closely toward an odd form of pimping, in which people are offered prizes for having sex with near strangers. Like "The Bachelor" and other shows, it offers matrimony or money as a balm, to make it all seemly. But it's worth noting that reality TV has a better record for placing people in Playboy than in happy relationships.
|Final Ranking||Cumulative Shower
*Episodes still remaining
**Moved to ABC Family Channel