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 TV Bites With Neena Louise

Who Wants to Trash a Millionaire?

by Neena Louise

I snickered when I first saw the promos (and endless hype) for Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire?. My first thought, as I rolled my eyes, was "only on Fox". Much to my amazement, however, the ratings for this sad, pathetic joke-of-a-show were HUGE!

I can't believe these two people were so stupid to do something like marry a total stranger on national television. What were their motives? Why would they do such a thing? In short: What the hell were they THINKING???

Though I didn't watch the original broadcast, you'd have to be dead (or TV-less, which is much the same) not to have seen snips of it in the wake of the disastrous aftermath. Rick Rockwell (what kind of name is this, anyway?) turned out to be the epitome of "pig"; Darva Conger appears to be the epitome of "dumb blonde". If you ask me, they deserve each other.

Rockwell continues to claim he really, truly, was looking for a mate (yeah, right) and picked Conger because she's "a woman that likes hockey. What more could you ask for?" (oink, oink). Double oink when he thought that his restraining order would be expunged after 7 years (read: he didn't think the producers would find out). Triple oink when he stated that if a woman wore shorts and a T-shirt instead of a bathing suit in the "beachwear" segment, she probably would not have been selected. Men like this give all men a bad name.

As for Conger, I'm bewildered as to why she would go on the show, agree to marry a total stranger, then later claim if she isn't married in a church before God, she's not really married. Conger has not really explained her motives (other than "I wasn't really thinking"). She claims to have been "shocked" to have been selected and portrays herself as an innocent victim that made a naive mistake and has been whining at length about how she's now under seige by the press. Pu-LEEZE! At 34 (and claiming to be a Gulf war veteran, though she never actually went to the Gulf), just how stupid do you have to be to make a "mistake" like this? As an ER nurse, one would hope she would have better judgement (especially if someone's life depended on it!). Women like this give all women a bad name.

Jay Thomas, the host of the program, is outraged and furious with Rockwell for being less than honest and gyping him out of his next gig (the proposed program featuring men vying to marry a multi-millionairess); the producers claim they didn't know about Rockwell's background and cancelled the rebroadcast and proposed sequel; Conger claims her life is a mess... Can't you just hear the lawsuits being filed?

Considering all the publicity (before and after) this sick program, I'm left genuinely curious about people's fascination. The snips of the show I've seen remind me of the television broadcasts in the movie RoboCop: silly and exploitive, thus embarrassing and ridiculous. So what is it that made Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire? so popular? Are people living out some sort of vicarious fantasy about marrying money? Was it just a jiggle show? Or were people simply curious about what kind of losers would legally marry a total stranger on national television?

Whatever the reason, the fact remains that you just can't buy publicity like this! I think the show should've been called How to Make Fox Multi-millions
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