MEDIA: ELIMIDATE - AN EXPERT'S VIEW. Robert Mayes wasn't wooed by ITV's dating show, lacking as it was in wit, charm or sex appeal

So there I am, curled up on the sofa at 10.30pm with my cocoa, eagerly awaiting half an hour with the ex-Atomic Kitten, Kerry "Katona" McFadden, host of ITV's "sexy new dating show Elimidate.

It's a successful US concept whereby: "Four suitors are pitted against each other for the hand of one lucky single. These candidates, three of whom will be eliminated over the course of the game, need to outflirt, outsmart and outlast their competition using their wit, charm and sex appeal. Sounds like the average pitch process.

Billed here as "Blind Date meets Survivor", the show kicks off with fireman Michael taking his pick from funny, ambitious and intelligent" Caroline; "cheerful, loud and mad Claire; "crazy-sexy-cool Hannah and "charismatic, fun and creative Naomi.

Meeting Michael, Hannah sets the tone perfectly, declaring: "I've always wanted to slide down a fireman's pole. Indeed. Lucky Michael has to eliminate one of the girls after each of three rounds - in this case eating conch, playing beach cricket and, finally, after a beach picnic.

Just as the highlight of Blind Date is when the contestants bitch about each other, the intended highlight of Elimidate is clearly the interspersed put-downs emanating both from Michael and, more especially, the girls, about the other girls. Such insightful pearls as Naomi declaring "I hate Claire so much spring immediately to mind.

As a concept it may work if the contestants actually had any "wit, charm or sex appeal". But when the level of sophistication is encapsulated in Naomi's ambition "to marry a Premiership footballer and live like a princess you ain't got a lot to work with.

I like ads. After watching the first 15 minutes of Elimidate, I love ads. The break featured brands such as Kronenbourg, Maynards Wine Gums, Vauxhall, Care Free Flexi Form, Febreeze fabric cleaner and police recruitment - all, I guess, hoping to appeal to the late-teens to early-30s brigade.

Cue "lively, ambitious and happy Janine who takes her pick from "hunks" Jamie, Donovan, Nicholas and Gary. Gary won, declaring to his last rival: "You've been a turd all day. The best man won. Oh to have such verbal prowess.

OK, I'm not an avid fan of "reality TV", so in the interests of balance I conducted a poll of those more disposed to this TV genre. Alas, Elimidate didn't set their hearts aflutter either, the highlight being the occasional feeling of sadistic enjoyment derived from the sheer awfulness of the whole thing.

I fear ITV won't woo too many people with this one. A case of unrequited love. Perhaps a post-pub closing slot may do the trick. It must be funnier when you're pissed. It really must.

Channel: ITV 1
Frequency: Thursdays at 10.30pm
Audience: 2.5 million

Advertisers include: Frijj (sponsor), OK!, Kronenbourg, McVities, the Police, Febreeze ]]>

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