Monday, October 31, 2005

VH1 Debuts New Reality Show

Continuing its successful franchise of "celebreality" programming, the VH1 network last night debuted a new show called But Can They Design a Roller Coaster? Hosted by Ahmed Zappa, the show pits nine celebrities in a roller coaster design battle. At the end of each episode, the coaster designs are showcased before a studio audience and judges, whereupon the people of America vote for the winners.

In the first episode, airing immediately after the popular trilogy of VH1 shows 80 Hottest Hotties Over 80, Peter Brady Plows Some Bimbo, and C*ck-Punching Danny Bonaduce, the new program showcased the coaster design talents of such major celebrities as Antonio Sabato Jr., Larry Holmes, and Morgan Fairchild.

Celebrities were allowed to enter any coaster design they chose in the first week of competition, and some of the designs were more successful than others. The winning entry came from Holmes, who produced a wood twister called The Knockout that featured remarkably smooth transitions and good airtime.

Others left much to be desired. For instance, Fairchild's entry was a steel looping ride that featured sustained forces in excess of 12 G's over the course of its seven consecutive non-clothoid loops taken at eighty miles per hour. Although riders reported a great feeling of excitement, the fact that all of them passed out, and most ended up covered in their own nose blood and vomit, led to points being deducted by many viewers at home. Joe Pantaliano constructed an aesthetically pleasing inverted coaster that seemed like a lock to achieve victory, but he unfortunately forgot to connect the track sections together in one location, leading to entire trains of passengers diving into the ground at fifty miles per hour; this modest defect caused him to be sassed by the judges, and Pantaliano finished a disappointing fourth.

The weakest ride design, however, was definitely that produced by Bai Ling. In her creation, passengers rode a kiddie coaster in circles over and over again while Ling herself wailed her horrifying rendition of Like a Virgin at full volume. The themed coaster experience was described by one passenger as a "visit to Hell itself," and viewers agreed, voting Ling off the show entirely.

But Can They Design a Roller Coaster? moves into its second week next Sunday, when the contestants vie for supremacy in the difficult Standup category.