Marty Okland proposes to Stacy Leutner in 'Who Wants to Marry My Dad? 2' finale
By Wade Paulsen, 08/04/2004
The finale of NBC's Who Wants to Marry My Dad? 2 produced something that hadn't been seen on a reality-dating show for a long time: a formal proposal of marriage. Whether it will produce something that has only been seen once -- a wedding -- is less clear.
In the series conclusion, the three daughters of "dad" Marty Okland, 47, a Frito-Lay sales and distribution specialist from suburban Denver, Colorado, selected Stacy Leutner, a 39-year-old accountant/office manager from Ponder, Texas (near Dallas/Ft. Worth), as his potential wife. Marty immediately proposed to Stacy, who accepted -- although the happy couple has some sizable obstacles to overcome before they get to walk down the aisle.
The daughters -- Nicole, 28, Jennifer, 27 and Brooke, 25 -- chose Stacy over the other finalist, 39-year-old mortgage broker Suzanne Penny, in large part because their father asked them to do so. However, Suzanne failed to present herself in an appealing light in the finale, which opened with Suzanne telling Stacy that Stacy didn't deserve to be one of the final two and ended with Suzanne's supreme confidence that she would be the chosen bride shattered into tear-filled shards.
So will Stacy actually end up marrying Marty? One problem with that outcome is simple geography. Stacy and her 14-year-old daughter Ashton live in Texas, where she works (according to the Ft. Worth Star-Telegraph) for Syracuse's Italian Sausage Co. (also in Ponder), and Stacy is a native of Ardmore, Oklahoma. By contrast, Don is a native of the Midwest who has lived in Longmont, Colorado for years. One of the two would have to move from a settled life.
In fact, the relocation problem was part of the reason that Marry My Dad?1 couple Don Mueller (from Cincinnati) and Christena Ferran (from San Diego) broke up. However, it wasn't the only reason, since many viewers noted that Don seemed far from ready for another marital commitment, and he later admitted that he appeared on the show simply to "spend three weeks of my life with my kids as adults."
We note that, unlike Don Mueller, neither Marty nor Stacy seem afraid of marriage, though they haven't been particularly good at it. This would be the second marriage for Marty and the fourth for Stacy, and all of the previous attempts ended in divorce -- although, in fairness, two of Stacy's prior marriages were to the same man.
Interestingly, Stacy is another of the growing number of reality-show contestants who didn't apply to be on the show. Instead, some of the casting people from Who Wants to Marry My Dad? met friends of hers in a Dallas nightspot. After meeting Stacy, the producers thought she was perfect for the show. Scott Satin, the co-executive producer, told the Ft. Worth Star-Telegraph that most potential contestants were seeking fame and visibility, but "Stacy really wanted to meet that special someone and would have been a part of this process even if it wasn't on TV."
We offer our congratulations to the happy (for now) couple and also to Satin and co-executive producer Bruce Nash, who appear to have found people looking for love instead of looking to parlay their reality-show appearance into 15 minutes of fame. Nevertheless, appearances can be deceiving, as the 0-for-5 record of relationships on ABC's The Bachelor and the 0-for-3 record on NBC's Average Joe illustrate.
We'll see whether love is stronger than snack food or Italian sausage.