At some point, somebody should have told Bernard Berrian this wasn't a good idea.
In a media world more dominated by TMZ than The New York Times, the reality-show genre has taken off. More times than not, disaster has followed. The shows have chronicled the "scripted" lives of personalities, ranging from Ozzy Osbourne's family to Anna Nicole Smith to Paris Hilton to Hulk Hogan's family to the two Coreys, Haim and Feldman. In many instances, such brushes with behind-the-scenes fame have led to heartache, divorce, drug addiction and, in some cases, death. Reality isn't what it used to be.
If there is such a thing as a lower rung of the reality TV ladder, it is dating shows, where women compete like little more than pieces of meat – and not the prime cuts, either – in a demeaning attempt to find "true love" with a celebrity. Flavor Flav has made a side business of embarrassing slatterns looking for a fast buck. Bret Michaels proved that groupies don't care where they get busy, even on a bus.
But Berrian will find himself in the middle of the latest video sleaze-a-rama, as his buddy Chad Ochocinco surrenders what final shreds of his dignity remain.
Ochocinco is going to be the centerpiece of the latest VH1 production – when exactly did VH1 and MTV stop airing music videos? – in a train wreck called "Ochocinco: The Ultimate Catch." With Berrian serving as his right-hand man, Ochocinco will travel the country collecting women like shot glasses. Set for 10 one-hour episodes, the show will start airing in July.
Weakly playing off his name, and incorrectly-interpreted meaning of his jersey number, 85 women of questionable pride will be herded together in hopes of winning the heart – or something like that – of Ochocinco. And as his pimped-out Ed McMahon will be Berrian. There's no word yet if he will be incorrectly identified as "Ochosiete" or not.
The plan is to whittle the field of 85 down to 16 – four each from the northern, southern, eastern and western regions of the country. The field will be broken down into dogfighting-like competition for the affection of Ochocinco until the field is reduced to two – the winner getting a "coveted Championship Ring," according to a VH1 release.
How something that has never been competed for can now be "coveted" has yet to be seen.
If you thought "The T.O. Show" was doomed to failure before it began, you were right. Something was funny – not "ha-ha" funny, but more like "this milk smells funny" funny. Ochocinco is a narcissist who, like Owens, doesn't seem to realize people laugh at him and near him, not necessarily with him. The fact Ochocinco would take on such a show is not surprising. He basked in his "Dance With the Stars" fame and simply proved he loves a camera – any camera – to be on him.
But what is Berrian's benefit from this? The second banana on a demeaning televised booty call? Yikes!
Hopefully, like Terrell Owens' reality show from a year ago, this one will go away quietly and, in the big picture of things, be forgotten. As a player who has gone from the go-to guy to a third or fourth option in the Vikings offense, going on a TV-17 road trip with Ochocinco doesn't seem to be the best offseason option for Berrian.
But reality is what reality is these days.
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John Holler has been writing for Viking Update for more than a decade.
Will He Change His Name to Ochosiete?
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