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No wedding? 'Cupid' ends not with a bang, but a whimper


By Wade Paulsen, 09/17/2003 

The idea was good -- offer a $1 million cash prize so that CBS's Cupid would end with a wedding, not with a short-lived romance like most other dating reality shows. So what went wrong?

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In the finale of Cupid on Tuesday, Sept. 16, the voters of America chose Hank Stepleton, 25, an options trader from Chicago, as the mate for Lisa Shannon, 25, an advertising copywriter from Detroit. Hank's selection was no surprise, as Lisa's friend Laura Restum proclaimed him to be her favorite two months ago, and Lisa and Laura lobbied for Hank during the final dates. However, as detailed by CBS News, the finale did NOT produce a wedding, even though Lisa would win a $1 million dowry (ro be split by the couple) for marrying Hank at the end of the show and remaining married for a year.

After Hank was announced as the winner of the popular voting to be Lisa's husband, the couple were escorted over to a pre-arranged wedding ceremony. However, when the clergyman asked Hank if he would take Lisa as his lawfully-wedded wife, Hank turned to Lisa and said that while he adores her, he wanted to get married in a "proper wedding," not a made-for-TV spectacular, and so he had to say no.

Judging from Lisa's beaming reaction, the decision to turn down the $1 million dowry had been a joint decision by Hank and Lisa prior to the finale. Indeed, Lisa went on to add that she and Hank wanted more privacy in their lives, and that she didn't want her wedding to be filled "with flaming hearts and commercial breaks."

We feel obligated to point out that, although Hank and Lisa don't seem to think $1 million is enough to get married in public, others disagree. For example, Bachelorette couple Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter were given $1 million by ABC to have their upcoming wedding televised. Nevertheless, Lisa and Hank still seem to feel they have a future together. Said Lisa, "I came on the show to find the man I want to spend the rest of my life with, and I did. So, for me, the show was a success." We aren't sure that CBS and Cupid creator Simon Cowell would agree.

When asked by the host why he was part of a TV show ending in a wedding if he didn't want to get married in public, Hank replied that he would have been willing to marry someone he didn't care about just for the money, but not Lisa. Although this sounds like a pronouncement straight from Bizarro World, we should note that, unlike all of the other men on the show, Hank did not audition to be on a TV show ending in a wedding. Instead, according to the Ft. Myers (FL) News-Press, Hank was spotted working out in a gym and was asked to join the show. Perhaps that's also why he was the person that Lisa and Laura preferred.

We should note that Hank also said in the interview that "people probably won’t remember my name a couple of months from now." If he really believes that he and Lisa could get married in a private ceremony with no press attention after starring for weeks in Cupid, maybe he really is from Bizarro World.

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