Even as hordes of hopefuls queue up to audition for the honour of becoming Mr Rakhi Sawant, one wonders how long a marriage made on reality TV can last.
A first in India, Rakhi ka Swayamvar is one in a line of several international dating/courtships shows like Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire? and The Bachelor. Curiously enough, out of all the shows and all the seasons, there have been only three successful couples.
Aired on Fox in 2000, Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire? had supposed multi-millionaire Rick Rockwell choose his bride from 50 contestants. Twenty-two million viewers watched the show and the couple got married on air.
Just hours after the show, the match fell apart and the couple even took separate rooms on their honeymoon. They filed for annulment immediately afterwards. Rockwell, accused of having lied about being a multi-millionaire, went on to write a book called What Was I Thinking.
Another show, Joe Millionaire, had an ordinary man pose as a millionaire to choose a life partner from 25 women. If the chosen one stayed on even after learning that he was not rich, the couple would receive a million bucks. The first season’s couple, Evan Marriott and Zora Andrich, split immediately after the show — he said “she lost her sex appeal” and she said “he wasn’t the man she thought he was”.
Season Two winner, Linda Kazdova from the Czech Republic, eliminated herself from the show, was forced back under contract and went on to be chosen by the bachelor, David Smith. The couple was awarded $2,50,000 and recently got engaged.
One of the oldest shows in this format, ABC’s The Bachelor, has had 13 seasons. None of the seasons saw anyone getting married! In fact, one of the bachelors, Brad Womack, rejected each of the contestants. However, Byron Velvick and Mary Delgado, who met on the show a few years ago, are still engaged.
Trista Rehn, rejected in season one of The Bachelor, was made the star of the first ever The Bachelorette. She married the man she chose, Ryan Sutter, and the couple has two children. However, all the bachelorettes since then have broken up with their chosen partners.
Given this success rate of reality TV matrimony, is Rakhi being too optimistic about finding a man she can come home to? We shall know soon enough.
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