Love hurts

Re­al­ity ro­mance shows put to the test

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Front Page -

[TV]

SPEND­ING 15 hours a day on a har­vester sure makes it hard to find a woman. With only his iPod for com­pany, that’s the re­al­ity for Vic­to­rian farmer Devon Mill at har­vest time on his sprawl­ing Hopetoun farm.

Which is why he finds him­self on Farmer Wants a

Wife, hop­ing he can swap the iPod for a good woman.

‘‘ I re­ally am a coun­try boy,’’ he says. ‘‘ I just want peo­ple to see the per­son I am. Nice, kind, car­ing.’’

If the show’s suc­cess rate is any­thing to go by, Mill has come to the right place to find his per­fect match.

The show, in its fifth sea­son, has three mar­riages, an en­gage­ment and a baby on its score­board. On an in­ter­na­tional scale, that 75 per cent suc­cess rate makes it far and away the most suc­cess­ful of any re­al­i­tyTV match­mak­ing show.

By com­par­i­son The Bach­e­lor has pro­duced only one mar­riage from 15 sea­sons and The Bach­e­lorette is one out of six.

Farmer Wants a Wife ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Simon Baird says the cast­ing is crit­i­cal to the show’s suc­cess.

‘‘ Through the cast­ing process they get sev­eral ap­pli­cants, so there is quite a fil­ter­ing process,’’ Baird says.

‘‘ By the time they get to the fi­nal six they have some pretty strong con­nec­tions be­cause they have had a chance to read bios, build a strong con­nec­tion, whereas a bach­e­lor-style show is cast for dif­fer­ent rea­sons.

‘‘The Farmer Wants a Wife girls yearn for this ro­man­tic side of the coun­try so they are al­ready in love with the en­vi­ron­ment. To a cer­tain ex­tent there is a con­nec­tion when they first meet, so I think that re­ally helps.’’

Baird also be­lieves the farm­ers’ mo­ti­va­tion plays a big part.

‘‘ We are mind­ful that these guys are gen­uinely look­ing for a re­la­tion­ship. I would not say we are sur­prised. I think it’s a great bonus for the pro­gram, that it works on two lev­els. It works as a good piece of TV en­ter­tain­ment and we are ac­tu­ally match­mak­ing.

‘‘ It is gen­uine and that’s why it works. When you look at a re­al­ity show, some peo­ple say things are ‘ cre­ated’. What we are cre­at­ing is an en­vi­ron­ment for love to blos­som.’’

The Farmer Wants a Wife, Chan­nel 9, Wed­nes­day, 8.30pm

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