Move over Blind Date and elimidate. A locally produced survival dating show, He’s All That! is poised to take your TV reality show crown.
“He’s All That! is definitely more interactive. As the host, I work to create a more narrative feel,” says producer Scott A. Capestany. “I cut back and forth between contestants, interrogate and badger them. Find out why the guy thinks he’s going to get to first base and why me and his date might not share his optimism.”
Capestany feels Salt Lake is the ideal setting for the show. Statewide, Utah has the youngest population in the nation. Of course, conservative outings like dinner and a movie don’t make for interesting television, so it comes as no surprise that He’s All That! emphasizes the other side of Salt Lake’s dating scene.
“Our show captures the people who enjoy local nightclubs and the city’s nightlife,” Capestany explains.
“We’re looking for people who are single, between the ages of 21 and 34 and not in a serious relationship. But more importantly, people with a really good sense of personality. Very expressive. Obviously, great looks. Basically the people everyone would like to date.”
To help narrow the search for contestants, Capestany has employed Feature Casting’s president and veteran casting director Marty Fresca. Would-be contestants fill out applications complete with quirky, sometimes embarrassing questions—like whether they’ve ever been caught in a compromising position while on a date. Then others—like statuesque blonde Jessica—are sought out directly.
“I was actually approached by casting at a club when I was stuck in a conversation with a guy I really didn’t want to talk to,” the 22-year-old Sandy native and schoolteacher explains. “It was a lifesaver. I’m open to meeting that special someone, but I’m mostly here to have fun.”
Rachael, a 24-year-old bartender from Salt Lake City clad in a leather jacket and beret, has a similar attitude. “I think it’s going to be one hell of a ride. Something could happen tonight, but it’s all in the spark or connection.”
For tonight’s taping, there are four women for Brent to chose from. The handsome, 23-year-old bachelor is optimistic. “I thought this was something to do for fun.”
Rounding out his choices are Erin, a Kate Hudson look-alike; and Angie, a snowboard instructor from Park City.
Soon after the conversation begins, Brent launches into a spontaneous breakdancing demonstration to impress the ladies. Results are mixed.
A few drinks, a little more conversation, and the night’s in full swing. The pacing of the show requires Brent to make a choice of whom to eliminate before going on to the next venue. If you’ve seen those other shows, you know the drill.
“Contestants are trying to impress, outdo each other,” says Capestany. “The audience has a chance to listen in, see who gets rejected. We get a parting shot from those who are eliminated. And we follow the remaining contestants until the last stop of the night.”
Capestany admits dating shows like his are met with mixed opinions. But viewers can’t help watching. “It’s the interaction that drives the show. People thrive on what’s real. People will either hate or relate with the people they see on He’s All That. It’s a Catch-22: People think shows like this are cheesy on one level, but they love it.”
He’s All That begins airing locally Friday, Jan. 17 on KPNZ 24 cable channel 8. With sponsorship from local businesses promoted on his show and his personal drive for success, he has high hopes. His last show, City Beat—a Wild on E!-type program—was a ratings surprise in its purchased timeslot.
“Hopefully, the viewership calls the show its own,” says Capistany. “People here have a unique opportunity to be on this show and a chance at television exposure. Maybe even meeting someone they connect with.”