Let's face it, the dating scene bites. That's why 25-year-old Lisa Shannon will put her fate in America's hands on Cupid, the new dating show debuting July 9 on CBS. The twist here is that if she and her Chosen One can stick together for one year, they get $1 million. So for the past month, this Michigan copywriter along with gal pals Kimberly and Laura has scoured the country for the 10 lucky bachelors you will vote on. With the manhunt now concluded, she's free to dish the guys, including Cupid creator Simon Cowell!
TVGO: How was the cross-country audition process ?
Shannon: We just wrapped [auditions] in our last city, Los Angeles. Now, we take all the men we've narrowed it down to about 60 or 70 and fly them all out to L.A. That's after their background checks and whatnot. Then, we narrow it down to 10.
TVGO: Background checks? That's better than grilling guys in the local bar.
Shannon: Right! My grandma is freaking out about this, saying, "You can't meet good men this way." I'm like, "Grandma, they're doing background checks and STD checks. This is as safe as it gets."
TVGO: Have your two friends ever fixed you up before?
Shannon: No, I think they know better. But they are very smart women, and they are really good judges of character. They have their own ideas of what I need to look for in a man. This process has been eye-opening, to see the types of guys that they do pick.
TVGO: How do men differ in the various cities you've visited?
Shannon: Guys from Chicago are very well rounded. They are not looking for fame, and the men were very put off with the TV cameras there. In New York, we found a lot of eclectic guys. I think we were probably offended the most by men in New York. We did find some good guys, but the guys that were bad were really bad.
TVGO: So far, could you imagine spending a whole year with any of these guys?
Shannon: I'm not looking at this like, "Who can I spend a year of my life with?" but "Who can I spend the rest of my life with?" I'm not doing this for the money or the fame. I have genuinely not met anyone that I could marry. The guys I've dated have been great, but we haven't been right for each other. How many more men do I have to meet before I find the right guy? This is a speedy way of meeting a ton of guys, in hopes of finding the right one.
TVGO: What exactly are you looking for?
Shannon: I'm looking for a guy I can picture myself with at the age of 85, sitting on the porch swing, drinking lemonade and watching our grandkids playing in the front yard. I know it's so Norman Rockwell, and it seems so unlikely, but I think that's how you have to approach life. You have to look for that person you click with, and is your best friend and you can laugh with.
TVGO: Are you nervous about entrusting your love life to phone-in voters?
Shannon: I think it's a surreal idea, but I don't think it's overwhelming. The decisions that I've made haven't been great, and they have been clouded by my own emotions. The general public gets it right on every other show. Even on American Idol, they picked the best ones.
TVGO: Speaking of American Idol, what did you think of Simon in person?
Shannon: He is really nice I hate saying that because it is so uninteresting, and he probably doesn't want it to get out. I think he was just as intimidated by three women as we were at the idea of meeting him. He wouldn't stand a chance if he had come up to us in a bar. We would have eviscerated the hell out of him and I think he can appreciate that fact.