Playing It Straight

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Playing It Straight
Created by Glenn Hugill
Presented by Daphne Brogdon
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 8
Running time 45–50 minutes
Original network FOX
Original release 12 March (2004-03-12) – 2 April 2004 (2004-04-02)

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 gay men pretended to be straight. 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 straight, 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.


Contestant Status Sexual Orientation
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)[edit]

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.

The Australian show has also aired in the US on FOX Reality. Rebecca and Chad are no longer together.


Contestant Status Sexual Orientation
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
Chad Winner Straight

UK version[edit]

Playing It Straight UK
Playing It Straight UK Version Titlecard.jpg
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)
Location(s) Mexico (2005)
Spain (2012)
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Lion TV
Original network Channel 4
Picture format 16:9
Original release 8 April 2005 (2005-04-08) –
Related shows Playing It Straight
External links

Series 1 (2005)[edit]

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."[1]


Contestant Status Sexual Orientation
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
Ben Winner Gay


  • 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.[2]

Series 2 (2012)[edit]

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).[3][4] The second series made its debut on 9 January 2012 at 9pm on E4.[5] 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
Contestant Status Sexual Orientation
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
Jordan Eliminated week 7 Straight
Ben Eliminated week 7 Gay
Danny Eliminated week 8 Gay
Sam Eliminated week 8 Gay
Sven Eliminated week 8 Gay
Dean Winner Straight


  • 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)[edit]

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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ", Ben Harris Was Mr Gay UK 1998". 
  2. ^ [1] Archived December 16, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "'Playing It Straight' to return to E4 - TV News". Digital Spy. 2011-10-06. Retrieved 2014-01-11. 
  4. ^ "E4 brings back 'Playing It Straight' - Channel 4 - Info - Press". Channel 4. 2011-10-06. Retrieved 2014-01-11. 
  5. ^ "Playing It Straight - Playing It Straight". Channel 4. Retrieved 2014-01-11. 

External links[edit]