Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies 

Fox exploits foxes, what else is new?

Imagine the Gnome scientists tinkering with N’Sync.

Picturing a hundred waxed, puny pecked, faked tanned, lisping wussy boys with strategically mussed hair? A group of duh-faced designer clothes wearing pin-ups with the intellectual depth of a Madonna chapbook?

After halftime, if you went to the bathroom to vomit as I did, you might have missed the Proposal competition in which contestants got down on one knee and described how they would pop the question. How tempting it must have been for the host, a tepidly funny Caroline Rhea, not to pop them in their whitened teeth. Virginia Beach skyrocketed to first place at that point by holding Rhea’s mascara caked gaze with his stalker glare. But those scoring at home knew all along that this smoothy had the edge. He consistently scored high with the judges: two soap opera actresses, two models, and Nicole Eggert, the slut daughter from Charles in Charge and washed up Baywatch uniboob. Models and actresses know a well-executed image when they see it. Providing skybox commentary was a couple of blow up dolls wearing more make-up than Leeza Gibbons. They sputtered witticisms throughout the evening such as “That’s beefcake good enough to eat.”

Though it was a challenge to tell the beefcake apart at times, the most shameful denunciation of traditional-- and obsolete?-- manliness came from a guy who incessantly winked and pistol shot the audience. This misled fellow whose hair was gelled, sprayed, dried, and then apparently curled to one side, sang a line from a boy band hit. Look for his album in the fall of 2000 and never. One could just sense the other guys holding their breath as if their fellow contestant might impulsively confess to loving Bette Midler and blow his cover. True, some women swooned over this Backstreet display, but most probably were reminded of that ass who was voted Prom King but is now assistant manager at their hometown Target.

The remaining eight simply fit a stereotype. And what network does a better stereotype than Fox? There was David from Jersey, a guy dressed like a gay Miami housekeeper in capris, a tight pastel T and leather flip flops. Winner of the highest hair award, Mr. Jersey tried to explain that the greatest achievement of his life was being the first person in his family to graduate from college. He punctuated that sentimental confession with “Exactamundo.” Rocky almost walked away with Congenial Genital honors when during the swimsuit competition, he pranced around the stage in testicle hugging hot pants.

Taking home honors for originality was a floppy-eared Illinois cop who cashed in the “Long Walk on the Beach” scenario during the Proposal Talent division when he brilliantly promised to write, “Will You Marry Me?” in the sand on a secluded beach. One can only imagine the beta bitch who would swim upstream for that.

There was a 10-way-tie for Greatest Liar of All Time, but special recognition went to Reed Randoy (not his Playgirl name) for saying that the best part of a woman’s body is her eyes. The only contestant brave enough to forgo hair gel, this sloppily shaven ex-baseball player from Arizona paused before stepping deeper in it. “The soul is what you can see in eyes that you’re looking into. Eyes can be looked into to see the soul.” Amazingly, Reed then ripped his latex mask off to reveal, gasp!, George W. Bush.

Fox could have saved itself a good hour if they just would have jumped to the penis comparison and tongue agility contest. I’m assuming that the word “sex,” was mentioned at the Sexiest Bachelor concept meeting. But maybe that’s unfair. Obviously, the American woman’s idea of what’s desirable is morphing into something that looks and acts just as dainty as them. Gone are the real cowboys with calluses. In their place are men who apply bronzer and wear ten gallons of cologne. According to Fox, the millennial woman needs a man’s commitment, yet the last time I met my girlfriends for Sunday breakfast, they weren’t talking about how big their Saturday night date’s dowry is.

But that’s not to say that the network is totally off-base. They kicked off a season of quality trash that, unlike last night, I don’t hear anyone yelling, “Take it off!”

(You can write Ashley Fantz at ashley@memphisflyer.com)

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