Who’s Your Daddy: The New Death Valley for Reality TV Low-Points.
In what could be an all new low for reality tv, let us present to you the latest from FOX (of course), “Who’s Your Daddy?” This is the show in which a young woman who had been adopted as a baby tries to guess which of eight guys is her biological father. And why would any of the men who are not her father go on this show? For the money, of course. There is $100,000 at stake for TJ, the young lady (and by young, I’m guessing mid 30s), if she guesses her father correctly, which may go to the “fake dad” if she chooses one over her real biological father. Why yes, this is repulsive. And who better to cover this atrocity than the recapping duo of Duckgirl and LG. Veterans of such reality articles as “I saw Andrew Firestone’s Buttcrack” and an entire season of Temptation Island III and Bachelorettes in Alaska, Ducky and LG are uniquely qualified to bring you this recap. Either that, or we were the slowest ones running away from John when he presented this assignment. Ooooh, if only he didn’t have those incriminating photos.
Here to introduce the show is Finola Hughes, former soap opera diva who has apparently hit rock bottom in the entertainment industry, but not before bumping against every single hair-color branch on the tree on the way down. In a two-toned dye job that can only be described as “Modern Pepe LePew” Finola has joined the ranks of illustrious hosts of terrible reality tv shows like Mark L Walberg, JD Roberto, and Monica Lewinski. Insert your own cigar joke here.
Finola introduces us to TJ, the lady in question, who appears in a limo for no particular reason. The last “TJ” I saw on tv was Bill Shatner as TJ Hooker, as show which featured a young Heather Locklear and Adrian Zmed as beefcake. Ah yes, suspend your disbelief with me as the acting on this show is Shatner-esque, but what do you expect, this is supposed to be reality. Right, like these situations ever happen. Well actually you can see this scenario play out practically every day on the Maury Povich show, but those baby-mommas trying to pin down the right baby-daddy to pay the child support aren’t doing it for $100,000, as they’re just on tv for the year long supply of Rice-a-Roni I fear.
Now it’s time for a word from our sponsors. No, not an ad, but a product placement for the two imbedded sponsors who provided services for the show in exchange for a shout out. Check ‘em out at reunitetoday.com and DNA Diagnostic Centers, as that is how the producers located TJ and confirmed the identity of her dad. And you thought Maury had cornered the market on locating lost relatives with DNA tests. Hopefully no one starts jumping up and down and screaming “I told you! I TOLD YOU!!” Oh, Montel does this too. Well I know Maury isn’t sharing that market with Jerry Springer, as he never springs for DNA tests, as he just lets people shout it out and then ends the show with silly platitudes. Do you think we’ll hear any silly platitudes tonight? I think that at the end of the day, this whole process is an amazing journey when she gets to make a connection with her dad to start the first day of the rest of her life. Thanks UncleScott for stringing together all of our mumblespeak into one quasi-coherent sentence.
Eight well dressed men file out and stand in strategic places on the steps. TJ gasps and cries and talks all breathy and squeaky in the most horribly inappropriate dress I’ve ever seen to meet your own father in. Hey dad, how are things? How do you like my gigantic fake breasts? You can see them really well in this dress! TJ has the most annoying voice this side of Trista from The Bachelorette. Now if any of the guys has that voice, we’ll have our man.
Here are the guys: Carl, Scott, Charlie, Peter, Ray, Rick, Jerry, and Sam. There are no pictures of these guys on the FOX website, as FOX didn’t even bother to se up a website for this show. Oh, and that isn’t their real names. The names were changed to protect the innocent. But what about other innocent guys named Carl, Scott, Charlie, Peter, Ray, Rick, Jerry and Sam? They’re ticked, frankly. Why not Frank? Why not Bob? True, Bob Guiney has pretty much single-handedly wrecked that name for all mankind. Why don’t we steal a page from Reservoir Dogs or Mr. Personality and name them after colors? Or name them after their distinguishing features, like California Teeth over there? Or lets not even bother to name them, as half of them will be gone within the first 30 minutes of this show, thank god.
Ever the helpful network, Fox makes sure that we know that Scott, Charlie and Sam are the ones to watch. TJ goes to a “cocktail party” with the men where they stand around hightop tables in pairs sipping highballs while TJ asks them uncomfortable questions, like “what kind of freak would go on a show like this and try to get money by convincing me that you’re my father when really you’re not?” Members of the Hairclub for Men, that is a certainty. Say, isn’t that Cy Sperling standing at the 3rd table?
They have insightful conversations where TJ discovers that she and Carl both like M&M candies. This reminds me of the episode of Friends where Phoebe meets her real mom and they realize that they both like the Beatles. What are the odds of that? It’s amazing, really. An incredible journey. For crying out loud, it's M&Ms. It's not like he expressed a strong attachment to NECCO wafers.
Now we get to hear Dad’s thoughts while his identity is obscured by shadow shots and a voice disguiser. The truth is out. Darth Vadar is TJ’s father. Darth tells us that not only is he TJ’s father, but that he was jealous having to meet his daughter while surrounded by these seven other guys. Dad, I am with you. Seven guys your age who keep saying how much they’d like to have their DNA in your daughter had got to be quite disconcerting.
TJ leaves the cocktail party while the guys dig in to a buffet. These guys may not even know about the financial incentive and may just be appearing on the show for the free eats, as they’re all up to their elbows in comped food. Perhaps they thought they were in line at Old Country Buffet instead of appearing on a reality tv show.
TJ exits to ponder which 4 she thinks are most likely her dad, and Finola now introduces the secret spy room which FOX hasn’t used Monica Lewinski broke it in during Mr. Personality. Let’s hope someone sent a cleaning crew in the intern, I mean interim. They watch they guys eating and try to figure out if Dad has similar tastes in food. TJ gets all excited because one of the men eats ice cream and she likes ice cream. Hon, my cocker spaniel likes ice cream too. Doesn’t mean she’s my long lost father. LG’s dad likes herring and pickled pigs feet. Let’s just say not all food tastes are inherited.
The first eliminations are very emotional for TJ. Not because she finds out anything or won’t get to meet her real dad if she picks wrong. Nope, she’s all choked up because she loses the chance to win the full $100,000 and can only win $75,000 if her dad isn’t in the half that she thinks, making this the most dramatic gazebo ceremony ever! Seriously FOX, a gazebo? I guess it’s more appropriate than these fake fathers giving her a pearl necklace. Finola tells us for the first of many times that she cannot eliminate her dad. I didn’t realize that actual elimination was an option. That would only be possible if Schwartzenegger was the host of this show. I can picture that now: “Guess right, or your Dad dies.” Now THAT would be some real drama in primetime.
TJ selects Carl, Charlie, Rick and Scott to stay. She talks about how some of the fake dads looked proud of her, and how Sam couldn’t stand to look at her. Sam was trying to hide his disgust at being a part of this charade. You’re on Who’s Your Daddy, it’s not like this is a high point of his life. She also thinks Rick’s oversized porcelain veneers look like hers, so maybe he’s her dad. TJ explain the rest of her choices, but her voice is so annoying, I just can’t stand to listen to it. Finola lets her know that her money is safe because she has guessed correctly. TJ weeps with joy to know that she hasn’t lost $25,000, oh, and that she’s close to meeting her Dad.
Those four other guys whose fake names we’ve forgotten let us know that their real names are Ed, Craig, Robert and Al. Wasn’t that enlightening. Robert gets choked up for no apparent reason, unless the reason is he’s out of the running for the money. Finola also mentions that there’s a surprise coming up, and I instantly think of Paradise Hotel, with a surprise twist around every corner. I wonder if her dads are going to have to wrestle Toni for the money if TJ guesses wrong.
Most reality show feature asides where contestants speak their confidential thoughts to the camera. TJ breathey talks to the camera about what a tough choice this is (to make sure she doesn’t lose out on any money), and that she’s leaning towards Scott or Charlie. Then it’s time to make these 50+ year old men get down and boogey.
Finola keeps a straight face while she tells them that Dad won a dance contest and now the guys need to show TJ their dance moves. They’re doing the funky chicken. TJ asks them if they know how to count. I’d say that this is the whitest group of dancers I’d seen since, well, the last time I went to a club in Minnesota or Canada. Theses guys have some moves, eh? All they need is some nifty flannel shirts. Carl is doing the mashed potato, or trying to start his lawn mower, or he’s been stabbed in the back (for all the Airplane! Fans), but he’s definitely in pain. As are the viewers, from laughing at them. Fox is loving this, as we’re treated to clips of their dancing skills for the rest of the show. Oh, if only this was a series and not just a special. Riiiiiight, like any of us would have stuck around for more than one week of this. There's not enough alcohol in the world to make us stick around for 3 more weeks of this crap.
Next we steal a page from Survivor and TJ gets to have an internet chat with her real dad, luckily sans Darth Vadar voice effects. I’d be worried if I were TJ, since she’s having a chat with someone who calls himself Daddy. In my experiences online chats with people who call themselves Daddy don’t often get past a/s/l before taking a disturbing turn. She doesn’t get to ask any really telling questions, so instead she asks if her birth mother is attractive. TJ, you’ve seen the guys. Let’s hope you get your looks from mommy dearest. Cyber-Dad says that he wasn’t wild about the dancing. This makes TJ wonder if Rick is the one emailing her, as he was the most reluctant to cut a rug. But no, at elimination time, something in Ducky’s house breaks. My drunkenly written notes insisted that I tell you something broke, and it was a heating vent that fell out of the ceiling. So there you go. Drunk me will be happy.
Back to the trainwreck, TJ picks Scott and Charlie, and was once again tearfully relieved to have her full prize money in tact. “Carl” and “Rick” tell us their real names for no apparent reason, then leave.
It’s down to final dream dates with the last two men standing. Or that’s what it seems like, and it’s just creepy. Like sooooo many bachelor derivatives, they go for a stroll on the grounds of the estate where she speaks with each one and they make their play for TJ. Scott goes first and presents TJ with a stuffed black lab toy, because TJ has a German Shorthair and that’s a dog and so is a lab. TJ is duly impressed as labs are really her favorite breed of dog. I’m sure her German Shorthair is thrilled to hear that.
Charlie comes out next and presents her with a picture that he drew of what he thinks his daughter, that he named Tammy Michelle, would look like. The picture is a darker haired Jan Brady, and reminds me of the portrait that Joe Millionaire presented Melissa with, to the mocking of all of the other women on that show. Charlie is laying it on pretty thick. Either he’s the real deal or he’s really, really motivated to take the prize. As we go to commercial break, TJ is hugging the picture and resting her head on it. It looks like she’s realizing she’s on a FOX show called Who’s Your Daddy and is trying to papercut her head off.
TJ stands in front of a darkened doorway with the silhouette of her Dad, while she needs to proclaim her guess. The girl is three for three and gets all $100,000 in prize money when she says that Choo Choo Charlie is her dad. And she’s right. Only he isn’t Charlie, he’s really Robert something. And he brought guests. His wife and three daughters, all of whom look like the picture he drew (guess where he got the idea), and as a final surprise we meet TJ’s mom. She’s a rougher, older version of TJ, and explains that she was still a teenager when TJ was born and that she didn’t really have a choice but to give her up. It was touching. And irritating, as TJ’s annoying voice is inherited from her mom. Let’s hope that Trista and Ryan’s offspring get the fireman voice, as I’d hate to think of that gene passing along.
Please join us next time hell freezes over and Ducky and LG decide that it is once again time to recap what is being heralded as the newest “all-time low” in reality tv. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org m and email@example.com