Reality romance shows put to the test
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