The Swan (TV series)

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The Swan
Swanlogo.jpg
Format Reality show
Developed by FremantleMedia
Presented by Amanda Byram
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 18
Production
Executive producer(s) Arthur Smith
Nely Galán
Running time 45–50 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel FOX
Original run April 7 – December 20, 2004 (2004-12-20)

The Swan is a 2004 American reality television program broadcast on Fox in which women who were judged to be ugly were given "extreme makeovers" that included several forms of plastic surgery. The title of the series refers to the fairy tale The Ugly Duckling, in which a homely bird matures into a swan.

Each contestant was assigned a panel of specialists – a coach, therapist, trainer, cosmetic surgeons, and a dentist – who together designed a program of total transformation. The contestants' work ethic, growth, and achievement was monitored over the course of three months. Each week, two women were featured, and at the episode's conclusion, one went home while another was selected to move to compete in the Swan pageant at the end of the season for a chance to be deemed The Swan.

The first two seasons both aired in 2004. A third season was tipped to happen, but the show was cancelled in early 2005 after ratings continued to drop.

The plastic surgeons on the team were chosen for their ability to perform often startling transformations. Drs. Terry Dubrow and Randal Haworth, both board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, were selected by the producers of the show to perform the multiple plastic surgical operations for each of the two aired seasons.

Season 1 (2004)[edit]

The Swan debuted on April 7, 2004.

EP Contestant #1 Contestant #2
1 Kelly Alemi Rachel Love-Fraser
2 Kristy Garza Christina Tyree
3 Cindy Ingle Tawnya C.
4 Beth Lay Kathy Rickers
5 Andrea Morris Belinda Bessant
6 Sarina Voight Kelly Becker
7 Marnie Rygiewicz Dawn Goad
8 Tanya Slovich Merline Norman
     Through to the pageant
     Wildcard
     Contestant Tanya dropped out of the show (on her own accord) after being caught with a mirror (which is against the rules of appearing on the series), so Merline was automatically in the swan pageant.

Swan pageant[edit]

At the show the judges would score in every category with the swan contestants competing, eventually being whittled down to three finalists. The judges at the show were:

The prizes awarded to the winner were:

Final competition scores[edit]

After 9 episodes and 16 makeovers it was announced that Rachel Love-Fraser had won the swan pageant. Beth placed runner-up, with Cindy second runner-up.

Season 2 (2004)[edit]

Season two debuted on October 27, 2004. Kari and Gina. B from episode 4 were sisters.

EP Contestant #1 Contestant #2
1 Jennifer Patten Kim Wilburn
2 Gina Davis Lorrie Arias
3 Christina Ozuna Erica Moore
4 Gina Bravata Kari Bravata
5 Cinnamon Smith Patti Chedohan
6 DeLisa Styles Lorraine Norris
7 Marsha Meddleburg Sylvia Cruz
8 Amy Williams Dore Weber
     Through to the pageant
     Wildcard

Swan Pageant[edit]

At the show the judges scored the swan contestants in several categories, whittling them down to three finalists. The judges at the show were:

The prizes awarded to the winner were:

Final competition scores[edit]

After 9 episodes and 16 makeovers it was announced that DeLisa Styles had won the swan pageant. Gina B. placed runner-up, with Erica second runner-up.

Criticism[edit]

Journalist Jennifer Pozner, in her book Reality Bites Back, calls The Swan "the most sadistic reality series of the decade".[1] Journalist Chris Hedges also criticized the show in his 2009 book Empire of Illusion, writing "The Swan's transparent message is that once these women have been surgically 'corrected' to resemble mainstream celebrity beauty as closely as possible, their problems will be solved".[2] Feminist scholar Susan Douglas criticized the show in her book The Rise of Enlightened Sexism for its continuation of a negative female body image, claiming that "it made all too explicit the narrow physical standards to which women are expected to conform, the sad degree to which women internalize these standards, the lengths needed to get there, and the impossibility for most of us to meet the bar without, well, taking a box cutter to our faces and bodies".[3]

It attracted further criticism internationally as British comedian and writer Charlie Brooker launched attacks on The Swan during his Channel 4 show You Have Been Watching, where guest Josie Long suggested the show be renamed "The bullies were right".[4][5]

In 2013, second-season contestant Lorrie Arias spoke publicly about problems she attributed to her participation in The Swan, including unresolved surgery complications and mental health problems she says were exacerbated by her appearance on the program.[6]

The show was ranked at #1 in Entertainment Weekly's 10 Worst Reality-TV Shows Ever.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sanneh, Kelefa (May 9, 2011). "New Yorker The Reality Principle". New Yorker. Retrieved May 18, 2011. 
  2. ^ Hedges, Chris (2009). Empire of Illusion. New York, NY: Nation Books. p. 25. ISBN 978-1568586137
  3. ^ Douglas, Susan J. (2010). "The Rise of Enlightened Sexism". New York, NY: St. Martin's Press. p. 223. ISBN 978-0-312-67392-5
  4. ^ Bianco, Robert (April 12, 2004). "USAToday.com There is nothing beautiful about the swan". USA Today. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  5. ^ "imdb link". 
  6. ^ http://www.bittenandbound.com/2013/02/21/lorrie-arias-claims-the-swan-ruined-her-life/
  7. ^ 10 Worst Reality-TV Shows Ever

External links[edit]