It’s difficult to categorize the latest reality series called “I Want to Be a Hilton”. Which premiered on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 at 9 pm on NBC in this year of our Lord.
The concept of the show is to have fourteen Hilton wannabes compete in the world of the super rich with a contestant eliminated each week until a winner emerges. The winner gets a “trust fund” of $200,000 and some other goodies. It wasn’t clear if the winner would gain entry to the world of the Hiltons but one could safely assume that is also the goal.
Thus it is the job of Kathy Hilton to “teach” the low-life contestants how to act in high society.
It becomes a chore not to editorialize over the show’s premise because the show’s premise says more about the contestants and show than the actual reality series.
The first episode dwelt on such important social issues as eating snails, properly tasting, choosing and holding a glass of wine and how to make a proper toast.
As for the contestants, there are fourteen of them. The are all most ordinary people from all walks of life…
No wait, they are not all that ordinary when one thinks about it. For while there’s nobility in striving for the contest prize, these people really have dreams of becoming a Hilton.
That fact right there speaks volumes.
The first contender eliminated was a man named Alain.
34, Los Angeles, CA
“In order to impress Kathy Hilton you have to know about fashion and cosmetics. I use so much product!”
Alain, 34, hails from Romania. He currently works at Bloomingdale’s as a fragrance manager and one day hopes to open his own cosmetic shop. Alain remains close to his family as they all reside in the same apartment building. He travels to Las Vegas often because of the shopping, shows and gambling. If not in Las Vegas, Alain can be found running on the beaches in LA or at the gym.
It wasn’t exactly clear what culture “crime” Alain committed during the premiere show that had Kathy Hilton send him packing, at least to this viewer. Another contestant, Latricia, seemed much rougher around the edges and it was Latricia who made a big faux pas during the first “challenge”
31, Inglewood, CA
Motor Vehicles Clerk
“I’m living check to check.”
A military brat born in Germany, Latricia, 31, moved to the United States at a young age. This Los Angeles DMV worker is a single mom devoted to raising her five-year-old son. Latricia will do anything to ensure her son has the finer things in life. Despite having a routine life, she wants to dip her feet into the lifestyle of the rich and famous.
That challenge was for a representative from each team to join Kathy Hilton and a panel of judges for a dinner at the “21 Club”. The team representatives were fitted with small microphones in their ears into which commands and help were transmitted from fellow team members who were watching all the action in a side room on a video monitor.
So when one team representative was charged with ordering the wine for the meal, his co-team members would instruct him, via the ear phone, how to hold the glass, what wine was appropriate and the necessity of that first sip to test.
Wine should be “swilled” around the mouth and not swallowed outright during such preliminary tests, did you know that?
Latricia was at the mike instructing her team representative. All was going fine as Latricia gave the exact words her team rep should say given the situation upon. At the end Latricia whispered into the mike “say thank you”. Her team rep, sitting at the table with Kathy Hilton and the judges, immediately responded “say thank you”.
Hardee Har Har.
NBC has message boards available for comments about the show. The opening message from
NBC is intriguing in its tone and message:
As part of the Hilton community you are expected to behave with the utmost respect and mind your online manners. Please report any rude or offensive posts to a moderator. Anyone consistently exhibiting non-Hilton-like behavior will be banned.
God forbid I would display “non-Hilton-like behavior” on NBC’s board and find myself banned.
The contestants appear to be “dressed down”. For while the attire worn is quite normal there seems to be no attempt to “pretty” things up for the camera. Thus the contestants look like, well , like ordinary schlubs. Kind of like you and I.
As compared to the schlubs who hang around with Kathy Hilton is what I’m saying here.
It would be easy to dismiss this show as an exercise against every value any author ever prosed; every movie where the good guy wins; any Lifetime cinema event where between tear drops a lesson is dearly learned about what’s REALLY important.
Which is something to the effect that it’s what’s inside that counts.
Of course I must ask WHY, please tell me WHY, anyone on this planet should ever have to eat snails in order to be considered classy? Not to mention actually eating them correctly for heaven forbid we don’t use our snail knife.
I must also ask what mother would ever want her daughter to emulate Paris Hilton, a vapid female with nothing going for her but her sexual organs. Okay, there’s the money but it’s not like every mother’s daughter has the ability to sum up vast amounts of money. While they can dress in scanty attire and stimulate the sex act while washing a car, all for benefit of a hamburger chain.
People are racing to have this woman teach THEM how to exist in high society?
Yet Alain, the first doomed contestant, wants desperately to impress Ms. Hilton with his use of perfume. Laticia, definitely a bit more on the tough side, wants the money. A noble and truthful quest. Except for that wisp of wonder in her sentiment that learning to eat snails will somehow benefit her son.
Will I watch it again?
Because it’s quite amusing if one is bored, to watch the suggestions of high society that would make our lives so much better.
I am reminded of the words of Eliza Doolittle in “Pygmalion” after her final great reveal.
Kathy Hilton and daughter Paris would do well to keep this in mind.
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