Playing It Straight
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|Playing It Straight|
|Presented by||Daphne Brogdon|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||8|
|Running time||45–50 minutes|
|Original run||12 March 2004– 2 April 2004|
Playing It Straight is a 2004 American reality show in which one woman spent time on a ranch with a group of men in an attempt to discern which of them were gay and which of them were straight. All of the men pretended to be heterosexual. The woman went on individual dates with the men, in addition to engaging in group activities with them. Over the course of the episodes, she voted to eliminate the men she believed to be gay.
At the end of the show, the woman had to choose one man. If he was heterosexual, the man and woman would split the prize money, but if he was gay, then he would receive all the money (and the woman would receive nothing).
The show was first broadcast in the United States on the Fox Network and premiered on March 12, 2004. The program was set on a Nevada ranch, and featured Jackie, a college student. Jackie spent time with 14 men (some gay, some straight) with a chance to win $1 million. If Jackie picked a straight man, they would both split the money, but if she picked a gay man, he would win the entire $1 million.
|Gust||Eliminated week 1||Straight|
|Louis||Eliminated week 1||Straight|
|Alex||Eliminated week 2||Gay|
|Ryan||Eliminated week 2||Straight|
|Eddie||Left the show week 3||Gay|
|Chad||Eliminated week 3||Gay|
|John||Eliminated week 4||Gay|
|Lee||Eliminated week 4||Gay|
|Bradley||Eliminated week 5||Gay|
|Luciano||Eliminated week 5||Gay|
|Bill||Eliminated week 6||Gay|
|Chris||Eliminated week 8||Gay|
|Sharif||Eliminated week 8||Straight|
|Banks||Winner week 8||Straight|
In 2005, nearly one year later after the show was recorded, Fox issued a press release stating that Jackie and Banks were still together. After the show, Jackie and Banks dated for about two years. For the first eight months, they had to keep their relationship quiet until the show aired. Banks went so far as to tell friends that he had to leave the show because he broke his arm, rather than reveal he won.
In 2007, Fox Reality reaired the series paired with "Reality Revealed" interviews of the contestants at each commercial break.
Seven Network (Australia)
An Australian version of the show aired on the Seven Network starting October 2004 hosted by Natalie Garonzi. Despite much of the hype surrounding it the shows ratings dwindled and it was moved to a later timeslot. After Rebecca eliminated Campbell (who was gay) Chad, Dane and Evan were left for one non-elimination round before appearing in the final episode. Rebecca chose Chad and he was revealed to be straight, whilst Dane and Evan were both gay.
|Simon||Eliminated week 1||Straight|
|Sam||Eliminated week 1||Straight|
|John||Eliminated week 2||Gay|
|Glenn||Left the show week 2||Gay|
|N/A||Eliminated week 3||N/A|
|N/A||Eliminated week 4||N/A|
|N/A||Eliminated week 4||N/A|
|Ben||Eliminated week 5||Straight|
|Dean||Eliminated week 5||Gay|
|Damon||Eliminated week 6||Straight|
|Campbell||Eliminated week 7||Gay|
|Evan||Eliminated week 8||Gay|
|Dane||Eliminated week 8||Gay|
|Playing It Straight UK|
Titlecard used for series 2
|Presented by||June Sarpong (2005)
Jameela Jamil (2012)
|Narrated by||Alan Cumming (2005)
Alan Carr (2012)
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||2|
|No. of episodes||14 (to 27 February 2012)|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Lion TV|
|Original channel||Channel 4
|Original run||8 April 2005
|Related shows||Playing It Straight|
Series 1 (2005)
The first UK version started on April 8, 2005, as part of their Twisted Dating Season. The series was set on a Mexican ranch and Zoe Hardman is spending time with 12 men. Ten men started the show and two more, Lee and Marco, were added in week 3 - it was revealed when they arrived that one was gay and one was straight. The prize money was £100,000 and the show was hosted by June Sarpong. The series has been repeated on Channel 4's sister channel, 4Music.
Early reporting revealed Ben Harris to be Mr Gay UK and also said: "Ben Harris, a builder, looks to be one of the favourites to win the show after the first episode in which he played to the builder stereotype."
- The Girl: Zoe Hardman
|Raphael||Eliminated week 1||Straight|
|Pritesh||Eliminated week 1||Straight|
|Demetrius||Eliminated week 2||Gay|
|George||Eliminated week 2||Straight|
|Lee||Eliminated week 3||Gay|
|Peter||Eliminated week 3||Gay|
|Jonny||Eliminated week 4||Gay|
|Alex||Eliminated week 5||Gay|
|Daniel K.||Eliminated week 5||Straight|
|Marco||Eliminated week 6||Straight|
|Danny B.||Eliminated week 6||Straight|
- In week three, Lee was not allowed to reveal his sexuality on being voted off, in order that Marco's sexual orienation stayed secret
- In week five, Alex won the contest to dress Zoe, on winning he was awarded with a dinner date with her, after much anticipation Alex decided to confess to Zoe that he was gay. At the week five elimination, Zoe picked Alex to be eliminated, as he told her he was gay during the dinner date
- Ben was picked to win by Zoe, but it was then revealed that he was gay. He felt guilty, hating what he had done, and gave her all the money. She refused to take it all, giving Ben half back. She stated that even though he was gay she was still glad she chose him.
Series 2 (2012)
In October 2011, it was announced that Channel 4 had ordered a full second series. This time the location was set in Spain and the new series was hosted by T4 presenter, Jameela Jamil and comedian Alan Carr provided the narration. The prize fund was decreased 50% to £50,000 (£25,000 each). The second series made its debut on 9 January 2012 at 9pm on E4. The series was set at a Spanish hacienda - Hacienda de los Hombres. The series was also aired on Channel 4's teen-strand, T4 on Saturdays.
- The Girl: Cara
|Fletcher||Left week 1||Straight|
|Filippo||Eliminated week 1||Straight|
|Kyle||Eliminated week 1||Gay|
|Leroy||Eliminated week 2||Gay|
|Andrei||Eliminated week 3||Straight|
|David||Eliminated week 4||Gay|
|Mitch||Eliminated week 5||Gay|
|Levi||Eliminated week 6||Straight|
|Ben||Eliminated week 7||Gay|
|Jordan||Eliminated week 7||Straight|
|Danny||Eliminated week 8||Gay|
|Sven||Eliminated week 8||Gay|
|Sam||Eliminated week 8||Gay|
- Contestants Jordan and Mitch were introduced in Week 4.
- Dean was chosen as the winner. As he was straight, both he and Cara won £25,000 each.
|Series||Start date||End date||Episodes|
|1||8 April 2005||13 May 2005||6|
|2||9 January 2012||27 February 2012||8|
Herken De Homo (The Netherlands)
The original FOX version was a surprise hit on Dutch television, prompting RTL Nederland to create its own version in 2005.
In Herken De Homo (Find the Gay One), the at the time 23 year old Nathalie Biermanns was sent to Mexico. She had to choose between 14 men. At the end, only Marcel remained who turned out to be straight. Both won 50,000 Euro each.
- Boy Meets Boy - a 2003 program on Bravo in which a gay man successfully chose another gay man from a mixed group of gay and heterosexual men.
- Gay, Straight or Taken? - a 2007 program on Lifetime Television in which during each episode a female has to determine which of three men is gay, straight, or already in a relationship.
- Seriously, Dude, I'm Gay - another gay-themed Fox reality program.
- "theVoiceofReason.co.uk, Ben Harris Was Mr Gay UK 1998".