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Thread: Mark Cuban offers sneak peek at "The Benefactor"

  1. #11
    I like them silent WomynLee's Avatar
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    Mcuban!

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    Actually its the purest form of competition

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    Welcome to the site, Mark. As you can probably guess, you'll find comments here that run the spectrum, especially while the show's going on. It'll be interesting if you're willing and able to share your views on what we see and how we react to it. I hope you stick around, it'll add an interesting perspective.

    To pass the time, I'd be interested in hearing about your selection criteria for candidates. What you were looking for, etc. Since the prize seems to be based not so much on competition, but on who you decide gets it, the selection would seem to be the most important part of the process.
    .

    In picking the contestants for The Benefactor, I wanted a wide range of experiences, backgrounds, education and personalities. There were 8 guys and 8 girls, ranging in age from 22 to 42. The common trait that I was looking for was competitiveness and the williness to stand out, rather than fit in.

    In every other reality show, everyone does the same thing. Thats not real world.

    In the real world we either challenge ourselves to figure out how to reach our dreams and goals, or we find ourselves doing the same thing day to day wondering what it will take to find the lives we want. I wanted people who would challenge themselves to go after the million dollar prize knowing it could enable them to change their lives in however they saw fit.

    In the realworld, you walk into a job interview , there isnt a scoreboard above the interviewers head saying where you stand. You have to be prepared to compete as yourself, on your own, using your brains and experiences to get the job. But in the end, its one person's subjective opinion of you that determines your fate, and you go crazy knowing how and why you were or were not picked.

    In real world, if you start a business, its your business, and the brains, creativity and effort you put in to it determine if you survive or go out of business. Until you know, you are at the whim of your prospects and customers, hoping you vision met their needs.


    In the real world, everyone thinks there is something special about themself.
    If they only had the chance to show it, and somehow enable it, they could stand out from the pack. Some do. Most dont. This show is about giving a shot to 16 people to show how they can stand out from the pack. Its my job to pick the right person. Its a job I took very seriously.


    The Benefactor is about my creating open ended challenges that push each of the 16 contestants to challenge themselves to stand above and apart from their competitors, knowing that 1mm is at stake.

    There are challenges that I think reflect what we all face every day trying to make our dreams, whatever they are come true. Unlike the real world, I had cameras on them all the time to see not only how they responded to the challenges, but how they responded to and competed with each other. Lets just say some contestants came to the early realization that they werent going to win on talent alone and having the cameras certainly helped me out quite a bit.


    To give you an idea of the challenges...

    In one challenge I gave each contestant 1k dollars, and 24 hours to prepare a 15 minute presentation to me that showed what was special about them. A completely individual task where they had complete creative control. I told them I wanted to see them step out of their comfort zones and do something that showed how they could shine.

    Its not an easy challenge if you think about it. They had no idea what the other contestants would do. Some were so freaked out about this challenge they tried to find out.

    How and what do you present about you, or from you, to show me that there is not just something unique about you, but something that makes you stand out more than the competition ?

    It was really hard on the contestants, but it turned out to be one of the easiest challenges from which to make cuts. It was obvious who opened up and pushed themselves, and who took the completely safe route and did nothing to differentiate themselves. The only risk to me was if someone complete fooled me about who they were. If they completely lied........


    Another challenge was based on the premise of time being more valuable than money. I put them in teams of 4 and gave each team 3 hours of my time. My instructions were simple. You have 3 hours, dont waste my time.

    Two teams just blew me away. You know how there are always things you always say you are going to do , but never find the time to do because of kids, work, whatever ? They understood the concept completely. They had me doing things that I never thought I would find the time to do...I was suprised and I had a blast.

    These were just two of the many challenges. I also had character tests to weed out the kiss-ups early.

    Honestly, going into the show, I really didnt know what to except. I did the show because I wanted the experience for myself. I got far more than I expected. I really had a blast with it. It wasnt easy by a long shot, but it was fun.

    I became far more participant than host or judge. I really got to know and like most of the contestants. Some I thought I would like, and didnt, but I couldnt cut them because they were so talented and surprising. Others, I thought I knew, and found out I was completely wrong about them. Each cut was painful not just for the contestants but for me as well.

    Fortunately I decided to go visit the contestants to spend a full 24 hour day with them. I got to meet their families, their friends, see where they grew up, find out what their friends and family thought of them. It was eye opening.

    Thank goodness I did it too because its where I found out someone had been lying about themselves. In another case, this person's family warned me that they thought the contestant's significant other was pure golddigger, and if this person won, it could hurt more than help...And then we get the significant other on tape acting the part. On top of that, in one of their interviews, the contestant talked about his/her biggest fear being not wanting to go down in history as the one reality show winner who blew the million dollars in 6 months or less and had to go back and beg for the job they had before the show. Talk about putting me in a damned if I do, damned if I dont situation. Do I cut because of this, or give the contestant the benefit of the doubt and let them deal with it if they won ? I really, really liked this person and I lost a lot of sleep and made up and changed my mind dozens of times before I made my decision.

    One of the hard parts for me was that I really wasnt allowed to talk to anyone to get advice. I could ask questions about what a contestant did or said, or ask to see what they did on tape, but there was always someone from ABC right there to make sure the decision was 100 pct mine. As the numbers got smaller the decisions got more and more painful for me to make.


    The other thing that was realy cool about the show was that I found myself truly impressed with many of the responses to the challenges and more than a couple times I realized that if I were in their shoes, there is no way I could have come up with the answers and responses that they did.

    In the end,I think I made the right choice, and Im proud of the person I picked. I had fun doing the show, and would do it again in a heartbeat.

    Hopefully people on the board will watch and let me know what they think...

    m

  3. #13
    Swinging in the hammock Ilikai's Avatar
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    after reading that, I have to tune in. That has to be one of the most insightfull pieces about a show, that doesn't give up any spoiler type info that I have read. Thanks MC.
    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!" -- Steve Parker

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  4. #14
    I like them silent WomynLee's Avatar
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    In the real world, unlike a reality tv show, 1 milllion dollars is not at stake.

  5. #15
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    great to have you here, mark! thanks for the insight. i have a question... do you remain friends with the person you picked? i mean, ultimately, since it was you choosing who won the mil, does that mean you liked this person better than the rest? unlike "the apprentice" where trump was looking for an employee, you were looking for... the person you liked best? the most individual personality of all the contestants? the person that deserved the money the most?

    i think this is going to be a fun show to watch! i sent a friend of mine to the tryouts here in dallas b/c i thought she would be PERFECT for this show, but she got there and said the line was days long. good luck to you and i hope you find success with your show. you have a killer timeslot, so that can't hurt either.

  6. #16
    I like them silent WomynLee's Avatar
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    I am perceiving this show to be a combination of The Apprentice and Fear Factor. Interesting combination but nothing conceptually new. I'll be tuning in as I'm sure it'll be fun to watch. Thank you MC for your time and input here. By the way, I love the Mavs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WomynLee
    In the real world, unlike a reality tv show, 1 milllion dollars is not at stake.
    thats what I used to think when I was living 6 guys in a 3 bedroom apartment...Every decision you make in "the real world" has 1mm dollars at stake if one of your goals is making a million dollars.

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    [QUOTE=sher]great to have you here, mark! thanks for the insight. i have a question... do you remain friends with the person you picked? i mean, ultimately, since it was you choosing who won the mil, does that mean you liked this person better than the rest?

    Im still friends with everyone on the show. I liked the person I picked, but they werent the person I would be most likely to call up and hang out with. I picked this person because they earned it. They competed, excelled at the challenges, got a little lucky and passed the hidden tests.

    They made me pick them.

  9. #19
    I like them silent WomynLee's Avatar
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    It's a subjective competition valued at a million dollars. It comes down to who YOU think peformed well enough to your standards. Yeah, that is like the real world.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by WomynLee
    I am perceiving this show to be a combination of The Apprentice and Fear Factor. Interesting combination but nothing conceptually new. I'll be tuning in as I'm sure it'll be fun to watch. Thank you MC for your time and input here. By the way, I love the Mavs.
    Nobody has to eat bugs. I dont care who can stand on a tall building. Those arent the kind of personal challenges and stepping out of a comfort zone that mattered to me at all....

    As far as the Apprentice. Great show, but they all had to do the same thing, and they did it as a team only. When you are told to sell lemonade, thats a closed end challenge. When you are told to manage an event, or a restaurant for a night, thats task driven, not much of an intellectual challenge. Its not necessarily easy, but you have a good idea what you need to do, and you are limited by the context of a restaurant, charity event, etc. At least IMHO

    When you are given the challenge of "Make people of Dallas Smile". Whoever does the best job stays, who ever doesnt , goes. That, to me, is far more difficult because there are thousands of ways to approach it and you have to be completely original. What the winners came up with was unique and hilarious.

    So I dont think this even remotely resembles either fear factor or The Apprentice...

    But just as important, thanks for being a Mavs Fan !!!!

    m

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