Scottsdale teacher is in hot water over reality show
Sean L. McCarthy
The Arizona Republic
Jan. 19, 2004 12:00 AM
SCOTTSDALE - Starting tonight, Randi Coy of Scottsdale will be known nationwide, not as a yoga instructor or first-grade teacher at a Catholic school, but as the 23-year-old woman with a Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance.
Coy is the unwitting "star" of the Fox series that debuts at 8 tonight on Channel 10.
Last summer, between graduating from Arizona State University and beginning life as first-grade teacher at Pope John XXIII Catholic School Community in northeast Phoenix, Coy attended an open casting call at Drift restaurant in downtown Scottsdale.
She wound up in My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance, produced by Rocket Science Laboratories (Joe Millionaire, Temptation Island) and hosted by former Channel 3 reporter Claudia DiFolco.
Even before its premiere, the show has gotten Coy in hot water with her Catholic school superiors. Coy interrupted her first year of teaching at Thanksgiving break to begin taping the show.
She remains on leave.
"She hasn't actually said anything about the show," said Coy's boss, Principal Bill Langley.
"All I was told when she left was that she was auditioning for a reality show."
The show's producers led Coy to believe she was one of several contestants for a million-dollar prize. Producers picked Coy and a man named "Steve" as finalists.
For Coy to win, she needed to convince her family that she met, fell in love with and planned to marry "Steve" without revealing that their pairing is a farce.
She thought "Steve" was competing for the same prize.
Except the true farce was played on Coy. "Steve," his friends and family were actors, paid to sabotage the staged wedding.
Langley understands if some parents have concerns.
He sent a letter to parents, alerting them to Coy's leave and upcoming TV appearance.
The school's mission statements vow to teach students to become Christian leaders and responsible citizens.
Its faculty signs off on a vision statement with goals such as teaching "Gospel values and self-discipline," which might come into conflict with marrying a stranger on television for money.
"You can't be teaching and do a show like that," Langley said.