'Cupid' duo Lisa Shannon and Hank Stepleton still together despite $1,000,000 veto
By Wade Paulsen, 12/23/2003
Maybe the solution to the dearth of romance in reality-dating shows is simply to let the women pick their potential husbands, instead of vice versa.
Through four episodes of ABC's The Bachelor, the score stands Couples 0, Breakups 4, as each of the bachelors seemed eager to dump his bride-to-be to get back to chasing skirts. Only The Bachelorette produced a lasting romance ... including the first reality TV wedding, one aided by a million-dollar dowry. Additionally, recent reports say that For Love Or Money 2 couple Erin Brodie and Chad Viggiano have moved in together, perhaps aided by their prize winnings (about 1/4 mil for Chad and three times that for Erin).
There is one other reality-dating couple (again, with the woman making the selection, although the viewing audience had to ratify it) that is still together -- and it may be the most unlikely one of all, because the couple left $1 million waiting at the altar. According to the Detroit News, Lisa Shannon, the star of CBS' Cupid, and her beau Hank Stepleton now live together at Hank's apartment in Chicago, with frequent visits to Lisa's family in suburban Detroit.
Neither Lisa, 26, an advertising copywriter, nor Hank, 25, an options trader, have worked since the conclusion of Cupid in September -- although both intend to look for work in January. Instead, they have spent their time visiting friends and sharing experiences, such as their visit to Hank's old school in October. Frankly, they've made a much more romantic life for themselves so far than Cupid offered with its "quickie" marriage.
Are there any regrets about passing up the money after spending three months together anyway? Not yet. Says Lisa, "One million dollars is not an incentive to throw your life away." Hank agrees. adding, "We discussed it, and Lisa had no interest in getting married for the money and neither did I."
As that statement might indicate, Lisa appears to be the primary decision-maker in the pair. Hank notes, ""I know I should be apprehensive, but I'm not. She's very driven and knows what she wants, and we'll be fine." So, has Lisa decided that she might like to follow Bachelorette couple Trista and Ryan down the aisle, money or no money? Again, not yet. "It's too early to tell," she says.
It's also too soon to tell whether she will ever again be close with her galpals Laura Restum and Kim Tartar, who gave her advice during the six-month commitment of Cupid; they haven't talked since shortly after the end of the show. However, Lisa has no doubt that this isn't the end of the line for the trio: "We'll stay friends because we went through an experience very few people go through." Or would want to go through.