Cincinnati Bengals player Chad Ochocinco–who now may be just as well known for his spot on Dancing With The Stars–debuted his new reality TV venture last night: a dating show. That’s right, Ochocinco (whose real name is Chad Johnson, but wears the number 85 on his jersey, prompting a surname change) is taking his reality career to the next step, alongside fellow NFL star Terrell Owens, hoping to find a mate on VH1’s Ochocinco: The Ultimate Catch.
Millions of Americans fell in love with the football player’s silly and off-the-walls personality while he was partnered with Cheryl Burke on DWTS (and took fourth place in the dancing competition). So in some ways, this seems like a logical next step for the athlete and VH1, which was also home to Flava Flav and Bret Michaels’ dating shows (who weren’t entirely successful in finding life-long mates).
But we can’t help but wonder, especially in the wake of Bachelor/Bachelorette break-ups between Vienna and Jake, and Jillian and Ed, is there even a point to saying this show is for love? Ochocinco narrowed the field of women down from 85 to 17 on the show’s premiere, and hopes to end up with one love of his life. “…My traditional way of dating has failed me tremendously throughout my wonderful life,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “Why not try my hand at something different and see if I can find that one out of 85?”
Ochocinco insists this show is different from all the other dating shows out there, noting that there’s no facade and it’s 100% real. In fact, he says it’s more real than his dating life pre-TV. “It has disciplined me in doing it the right way,” he said. I have never given a woman the opportunity to really get to know who Chad is. Never.”
We want to believe this is all true; that Chad Ochocinco is really looking to find the love of his life and hopefully start a family, all with the help of VH1 and some camera crews. But we can’t help but tire of all these dating shows–are they just trivializing finding love and the importance of family?