TBS' 'Outback Jack' reality dating comedy begins with a leap... and later adds a twist
By Reality TV World staff, 06/22/2004
TBS has released some additional details regarding its new "comedic" Outback Jack reality dating show, including information on the show's setup and beginning as well as photos and biographical information about the twelve women appearing on the program and the revelation that midway through its broadcast, the show will feature a Average Joe-like twist.
As mentioned previously, Outback Jack will feature twelve American women as they compete for the love of an Australian named Vadim Dale. The women, who were selected from casting calls which advertised that the producers were looking for "beautiful, adventurous, single women" seeking to "be sexy leading ladies" in series that was looking to "combine the search for love with fantastic adventure," will, unbeknownst to the contestants, take place in the Australian Outback, where the women must rough it alongside Vadim.
However even after agreeing to participate in the show and departing their hometowns for the filming, the women still had no idea exactly how much "adventure" they'd be encountering -- and that they'd actually be traveling to Australia and living in the Outback.
In interview with The Courier-Journal, 21-year-old Outback Jack contestant Natalie Franzman explained to the paper that the women were flown to Los Angeles and driven to a nearby mansion, where they expected, similarly to other dating shows such as The Bachelor and Outback Jack producer Bruce Nash's own For Love Or Money series, to meet Dale and film the program. And while all the women were required to have a valid passport, that apparently also failed to raise suspicion among the contestants, with Natalie explaining that she just assumed the passport to be required for some excursions to nearby Mexico.
Instead, upon arriving at the mansion the women were told "Your man's not here. There's been a change in plans. He's halfway around the world in Australia, and we're flying you there to meet him." According to Natalie, it was only upon arriving in Australia and being once again airborne in a small charter plane that had been tasked with delivering them to their final location that the women began to catch on that perhaps something was amiss. "I remember being up in the plane and I'm like, 'Where is our resort? I don't see anything but trees and kangaroos.' You can't see anything around except desert. And then I was like, 'OK, the joke's on us,'" Natalie said.
Natalie's epiphany came right about the same time as the show's next major twist... the announcement to the women that the plane wouldn't be landing and that the women would have to parachute out of the plane in order to reach their final destination and meet Vadim. Outfitted with bright-pink jumpsuits over the formal dresses that they were still wearing, the girls then proceeded to parachute to the ground one by one, where the bewildered women suddenly began to question if they were still even on a reality show any more. "We're all standing there in our ball gowns in the Australian Outback looking like complete idiots," explained Natalie. "I didn't know if maybe we weren't on a dating show anymore. Maybe this is boot camp for high-maintenance girls."
From there the high-maintenance hilarity began to kick it up another notch (or at least TBS hopes so) with scenes such as Natalie asking Vadim for the location of the electrical outlets, another girl asking about the air conditioning of the remote camp, and witty comments about burning down the outback and building a mall over it.
Then, after a few episodes of exclusively high-maintenance hijinks, the show will take a Average Joe-like twist. "These girls are all uptown, high-maintenance, pampered beauties," Vadim explained to TV Guide. "There's no butch women. But halfway through the show, there's an introduction of a few other tougher, outdoorsy women."
The twelve women initially appearing on Outback Jack are listed below. (NOTE: In a bit of a departure from standard reality TV publicity, TBS has opted not to reveal the women's occupations and instead detailed their level of education. Read into that as you wish... perhaps they felt listing "aspiring model/actress" a dozen times would be overkill.) Full photos of the twelve women are available in our Outback Jack photo gallery.
• Adrienne, a 30-year-old from Los Angeles, CA who is currently attending the University of Phoenix
• Cortney, a 24-year-old from Milwaukee, WI who graduated from University of Wisconsin with a degree in public relations.
• Harmonie, a 26-year-old from Scarsdale, NY who graduated from Syracuse University.
• Jillian, a 24-year-old from Miami, FL graduated from Florida Atlantic with a degree in Communications.
• Laura, a 21-year-old from Jacksonville, FL who is currently attending Flagler College.
• Maria, a 22-year-old from Ottawa, IL who attended Northern Illinois.
• Marissa, a 23-year-old from Ocala, FL, no college listed.
• Mary, a 24-year-old from Northfield, NJ, no college listed.
• Natalie, a 21-year-old from Louisville, KY who attended Indiana University.
• Natasha, a 23-year-old from Freehold, NJ who graduated from Berkeley College with degree in accounting.
• Shannon, a 26-year-old from Titusville, FL who graduated from University of Central Florida with a degree in business administration.
• Summer, a 23-year-old from Orlando, FL who is currently attending Florida State University for Interior Design.