By Nickie Wang/ Manila Standard Today
We were invited to an event that launched ETC Entertainment Central’s newest program, Here Come the Newlyweds. Bonifacio High Street was an apt location for a launch that was attended by chatty disc jockeys from top FM radio stations and some energetic and young scribes from magazines and dailies.
Right smack in the middle of the posh location, ETC set up a huge projection monitor and a couple of LCD screen monitors around the venue. While having sumptuous dinner, the program’s first episode was shown on the screens.
The first installment of the 12-episode show (the US version was actually six episodes and ETC decided to divide each episode into two) introduced seven just-married couples. The fresh-from-the-altar couples are diverse, sexy and competitive, including such pairings as high school sweethearts, couples who fell in love at first sight, an arranged marriage, an interracial couple, and two divorcees who are hoping the fourth time is the charm.
As the seven couples met for the first time, each husband was blindfolded and was asked to choose which kiss belongs to his wife. A sex therapist also gave the couples some interesting advice.
All of us had a hard laugh and some didn’t even mind to stand up from their seats to queue at the buffet table because of the show’s interesting kick-starter. The couples, in the episode entitled My Wife the Backseat Driver, were asked to maneuver, drive, and properly park a car, the husbands were blindfolded and the wives were in the passenger seat giving the instruction (imagine motorists doing that on Edsa).
Because couples can’t live on love alone, the couple that earned immunity on the first task took the money offered by the host, Canadian writer and comedian Pat Bullard. Amidst the couple’s willingness to stay in the reality competition, they were subsequently voted off.
Every other week (make it each week for the original version), one couple will be sent home after every competition. Every challenge requires the couples to compete for a nest egg worth hundreds of thousands of dollars by accomplishing a variety of mental and physical challenges together. The idea is to test their love and passion for one another while completing the tasks, which are not so far from the challenges they encounter in real life.
After watching the first episode, we were asked to go back to our designated tables, and then the host of the evening, Karen Pamintuan, told everyone that the program is not yet over. It was our turn now to have a dip on the exhilarating experience the newlyweds had by joining our assigned team to race and go for egg hunting with a twist. Though we had just finished dinner, we agreed to go for the challenge.
There were seven pit stops, where we had to accomplish a task to get one egg that contained another direction that led us to another pit stop. The challenge tested our endurance as we ran from Rox to Fully Booked, then to The Spa, to Topshop, VMV, and practically around Bonifacio High Street before finally getting to the final pit stop, Coffee Bean. The winning team’s four members each received an egg that contains a three-day vacation package for two in Boracay. The other six non-winning teams didn’t go home empty-handed for they were given gift packs that were quite good enough for a consolation.
When the game was over, some of us quipped that if the Here Come the Newlyweds will showcase the same adrenaline rush we had, the show must be good and an exciting one to watch out for.
Catch the show on ETC every Friday at 8 p.m.; ETC is available on SBN 21, SkyCable channel 16, Destiny Cable channel 30, and CableLink 48.