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ABC’s newest smash TV hit is Splash.  Premiering on March 19th, Splash has everything; Joey Lawrence (yeah, the one from Blossom.  Whoa!  Also, pretty sure he’s wearing a toupee), Greg Louganis (the guy most famous for this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7I2j6zvDyOg), “diving,” famousish “judges,” a testy live audience, eliminations, and famousish people competing for attention.  This show is apparently based on a previous British or Dutch version of the show (it’s not really clear from what I read on Wikipedia). There’s also an Australian version.  The show has a running time of one hour and airs once a week.

This show is some kind of Dancing With the Stars/Biggest Loser sort of show, but better.  Ten “celebrities” “train” for 6 weeks with their coach, Greg Louganis.  Then, each week half of the competitors perform a “dive” for two “celebrity” “judges.”  They are then “scored” by the judges and told they are talented and driven and overcame some kind of handicap.  There is also a training montage before each “dive,” highlighting the difficulties the competitor had to overcome in order to awkwardly flop into a big pool (it’s mostly a montage of belly flops).  The “divers” are also “scored” by the live audience.  Half their final score is determined by the “judges,” half by the audience.

The criteria for how they judge each dive is unclear.  It seems as if you get more points for being more disadvantaged than your fellow competitors (ie: too fat, too short, too tall, scared of heights, scared of water).  So already having talent and athletic ability actually works against you.  So basically, you can do a really terrible dive but get more points than someone who did a decent dive because you have to overcome more than they did.  Also, it appears as if you get a higher score for diving from higher up.  So, you can do a pretty good dive from 3 meters or you can do a really terrible one from 7 meters.  But the 7 meter one will get scored higher.  The whole idea seems to be focused on overcoming a disadvantage, not actually doing something well.

After all the “dives” have been completed and the scores tabulated, the bottom two competitors have a “dive-off.”  The loser is eliminated and then performs some kind of farewell “dive.”

This show has a lot of filler.  There’s a lot of time spent introducing people, interviewing the competitors, and building up to the exciting climactic flop into the pool.  It’s way over the top and ridiculous.  I love it.

Here’s the competitors from this week:

Here’s next week’s competitors:

This might be the greatest show idea ever and I can’t wait for next week’s episode.