Thursday, August 28, 2003

'Temptation' returns - why?


John Kiesewetter

ABC has The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Fox has more than two dozen of them. Welcome back to Temptation Island.

Four self-absorbed couples test the strength of their relationships by spending 16 days at an island resort with 14 single men and 14 single women "specifically chosen to entice them," explains host Mark Walberg in the premiere of Temptation Island 3 (9 p.m. today, Channels 19, 45).

As usual, Temptation Island opens with the couples professing their love for each other, which makes viewers wonder why they would risk losing their lover for a free vacation and national TV exposure.

"She's gorgeous. She's just a sweet person, and I knew instantly she was the one for me," says Michael, a Long Island bartender about girlfriend Melissa, a former Miss New York pageant winner.

"She's definitely the best thing that ever happened to me," says Jason, a Las Vegas massage therapist, about girlfriend Kara, a receptionist and swimsuit model.

Anthony, a Chicago sales manager, says he has been living with Stephanie, a hairstylist, for seven months. They've been dating three years, longer than the other couples.

Kristin, a student from Farmville, Va., tells boyfriend Eric, a caterer, that they're going to Temptation Island "so everything can be great, and we can have puppies!"

But whatever kinds of families these couples dreamed of starting will be put on hold through Sept. 25 - or maybe forever - as they date and party with young, sexy singles.

Reality soon sinks in, of course, and the tearful whining begins. "I just want to go home," sobs Kara.

Fox executives are banking on a rebound for this reality series. Ratings for Temptation Island 2 tumbled in the fall of 2001 (No. 157 for the season) after viewers witnessed the reality of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks.

But the formula seems so silly after watching The Bachelor/Bachelorette. Searching for true love on those ABC shows seems so noble, compared to these selfish couples choosing personal pleasure over commitment to "the one for me."

97X birthday

Oxford's WOXY-FM (97.7) celebrates its 20th birthday this weekend by allowing listeners to pick the music. (One more year, and the station is legal!)

Listeners can log on to and request songs played on 97X since it became the nation's sixth modern rock station on Labor Day 1983, says Phil Kollin, promotions and marketing director. Listeners will be notified when their songs will be played on the air.

Enquirering Mind

An Enquirering Mind wants to know: When will Jon Stewart's Daily Show reschedule a visit by Sen. Hillary Clinton, which was canceled due to the power blackout two weeks ago?

Not for a long while.

"It looks like the senator's schedule will prevent the appearance from happening before October or November, " says Steve Albani, show spokesman (11 p.m., Monday-Thursday, Comedy Central).

TV today

• Reporter Arthur Kent returns to Iraq for Back to Basra: After Saddam (8 p.m., History Channel).

• Extreme Rides 2003 goes for a spin on Paramount's Kings Island's new Delirium (9 p.m., Discovery Channel).

• Spend the night in Las Vegas with two CSI: Crime Scene Investigation reruns (8-10 p.m., Channels 12, 7), and Las Vegas CSU: A Deadly Game, a look at the city's real CSIs (10 p.m., Court TV).


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Get to it!