New Reality Show to Replace Traditional Presidential Election

Written by Katie DeMarco

Thursday, 11 May 2006

image for New Reality Show to Replace Traditional Presidential Election
Simon Cowell shown voting.

LOS ANGELES, CA - In an unprecedented collaboration, the United States government has signed on with FOX, Simon Cowell and the producers of American Idol to create a new reality show to find the next President of the United States.

The idea for the show, aptly titled, American President, came to Vice President Dick Cheney after watching a segment on MSNBC talk show, Scarborough Country. During the segment, host Joe Scarborough discussed the results of two polls related to the phenomenon that is American Idol. One poll published by Pursuant Inc., a Washington D.C. based public opinion research company, reported that one in three American Idol voters believe that their vote counts as much as or more than their vote for president. "This really intrigued me," Cheney said, "so I began to conduct more research on it."

Cheney said he came across an article about the polls. The article stated that one of the study's authors, Melissa Marcello, president of Pursuant, Inc., sees power in the results of the poll. According to Marcello, "People are voting, and they're seeing performers take action, making corrections. Maybe they don't see that with the president [of the United States]."

"This really got the old wheels turning," said Vice President Dick Cheney in a statement. "I was quite sad, though not surprised, to learn that so many Americans feel their vote counts more on American Idol than it does in the Presidential election. I'm also aware that the President's approval rating is quite low at 32 percent. To me, it's obvious that America wants something different; a new kind of leader that really caters to their wants and desires. So, I figured that it was time to give America the chance to discover and choose its next president as opposed to politicians choosing politicians. I felt an American Idol type forum would be a great way to do it."

Another poll by Pursuant Inc. reported that 58 percent of American Idol voters respect Simon Cowell's opinion the most out of the three judges on the show. Jarett Weiselman, senior lifestyle editor of In Touch Weekly magazine, said during an interview on Scarborough Country that, "Simon offers constructive criticism and people take that for what it means. He's honest, and he's truthful. He's like the conscience in the back of our head that tells us what we don't want to hear."

"Listening to Jarett Weaslemanner really made me think this could be a plausible idea," Cheney said. "I know Simon's not American, but Americans sure do trust his opinion. He has quite an impact on their votes. I mean 58 percent of Idol voters listen to him! And the main thing is that he doesn't sugar coat anything like the American government. I'm very confident that George [President Bush] wouldn't be the President now if America had been able to hear what Simon had to say about it."

Concerned that the government would be adverse to such an idea, Cheney was slow to bring the proposal up to Congress. "First, uh, I sent out these secret emails from my secret email address, This at least got the idea in their heads and got them talking about it. Then I talked to a couple of my closest friends who are senators and surprisingly they thought it was a great idea. They felt that most members of Congress were so distraught and fed up with the past two presidential elections and the last 8 years they've had to go through with George [President Bush] that it might be a better plan to have the American public weigh in on the decision more. You know, give their opinion more weight, because obviously we're not doing that great of a job."

After being encouraged by several members of Congress, Cheney proposed the legislation in front of Congress. The Bill to turn the Presidential election of 2008 into an American Idol type forum was the quickest ever passed through Congress and was nearly unanimous. The Bill was passed pending agreements by FOX, Simon Cowell and American Idol producers, but Cheney said he was pretty sure FOX and the rest of them were sure to go for a deal like this.

When the Bill got to President Bush's desk, he eagerly O.K.'d it along with a statement, "Y'all think it's so dang easy then y'all try to do it!"

Initially Cheney contacted Simon Cowell and met him for lunch at the popular Charteau Marmont in Beverly Hills. Paparazzi snapped them taking what appeared to be shots of Vodka with a very underage Dakota Fanning, but her publicist insists, "They were taking shots of water. It was part of a game. Come on, she's 12." Nonetheless, this was the first of many meetings between Cowell and Cheney to develop the idea for the series. Paparazzi have snapped Cheney at Cowell's Beverly Hills mansion, purportedly hiding out while the media frenzy over the hunting accident died down. Cheney maintains the time spent between them, "is just work-related."

After several meetings, Cowell agreed to sign on and with the go-ahead from both the United States government and Cowell, Cheney contacted American Idol producers. According to Cheney they were, "thrilled about the idea." Producer Simon Fuller said during a press conference, "I think it's a bloody fabulous idea. Americans get to choose who's the best leader for their country," and then reportedly erupted in laughter.

The show will begin with a nationwide search in 11 of America's major cities: Boston, New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, Dallas, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and Seattle. Every public and private citizen of the United States between the ages of 28 and 70 is eligible to apply. No prior political experience is required.

The finalists from the 11 cities will be whittled down to 35 contestants in a Survivor type challenge to be held somewhere in the Middle East. Those who survive and/or make it to the final 35 will be faced with physical, mental and emotional challenges as well as talent competitions, debates and the ability to balance a book on their head.

Cheney will serve as an executive producer for the series. "I'm really excited to be working on this project. Since I won't be able to be apart of the presidency the next go around, I'm glad that I can at least have a say in who will be taking my place." According to Cheney, the runner-up of the series will automatically hold the Vice Presidential office.

Unlike American Idol, American President will have six judges. Already signed on to the panel is Simon Cowell, Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Phil, Madonna, Tom Cruise and for the last spot producers are hoping to secure Judge Judy. Alex Trebek has already signed on to host the mental challenge/trivia part of the competition which will be held every Tuesday. Already on to host the show is Ellen DeGeneres who is said to be very excited about the deal. American Idol producer, Simon Fuller said they were thrilled to have her on, "She's the closest thing to Ryan Seacrest we could find. I mean, they're nearly twins."

The show will air Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with the physical challenges on Monday, the mental challenges on Tuesday and a miscellaneous challenge on Wednesday that will be picked out of an Uncle Sam Hat on Tuesday night. These miscellaneous challenges range from emotional challenges such as being faced with a fake death in the family while still having to perform a task, talent competitions and debates. Thursday will be vote off night and will run four hours long.

Simon Cowell would say only this during a recent press conference, "I'm going to bloody run America and all the idiots in it." And everyone nodded in agreement.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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