Fox Fights ‘The Voice’ With ‘The Choice’

Once, Fox network was so confident in its hosting of “American Idol,” that any imitator or competition was barely noted.

Now, in a season where “The Voice” is reaching or exceeding “Idol” numbers, not a week goes by when Ryan Seacrest or Randy Jackson is saying something like it is the only show that produces stars who actually sell records (though a number of “Idol” winners, from Kris Allen to Lee DeWyze haven’t exactly proved to be superstars).

Wednesday, the network unveiled a promo for a summer show that pretty much said it would straight up copy “The Voice” (with a show title that even rhymes with it) in a way that no “Idol” copycat has tried.

“Four Celebrities,” the new promo begins. “Blind Auditions. Spinning Chairs…. But it’s not what you think.”

Instead, the spinning chairs, blind auditions and celebrities are all not for a singing competition but for a dating reality show. The eligible male celebrities listen to women speaking, but don’t get to see them until they decide to spin their chairs around. If more than one turns around, the woman has the power and can ask questions of those competing.

Each gets three women in their posse before whittling them down (in the same episode?) in lightning rounds with challenge questions.

Women will occasionally serve as the bachelorettes in the chairs, Fox says (but it doesn’t sound like it will happen too often).

Cat Deeley will host the show, set to start June 7 on “Fox.” It’s the second speed-round dating show planned for the summer. Fox’s “Take me Out,” hosted by George Lopez is a twist on a British concept (explaining why everybody in the promo has accents) in which a guy faces 30 single women, who light up their podiums if they’re interested in the guy. If there’s more than one, he has the power to choose.

Oddly, it’s supposed to start on June 7 as well: is there room for two dating shows on the same night on the same network?

Eva Longoria’s “Ready for Love” for NBC will find mates for celebrity bachelors, including Tim Lopez of the Plain White Ts, through matchmakers.

Jenny McCarthy has a show too, “Love in the Wild” planned for NBC that will involve physical challenges as well as the usual romantic questions.

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