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USA Network is introducing a new dating reality show called “The Big D” (“D” as in divorced) that tracks six divorced couples placed in a Costa Rica villa with their exes. The idea is that the couples merge and date each other’s exes in front of them! The show that “The Big D” is most similar to is “Perfect Match” streaming on Netflix.
“The Big D” is hosted by a long-time couple Joelle (JoJo) Fletcher and Jordan Rodgers, who aren’t married, but are planning their wedding. The two met on “The Bachelorette” when JoJo was the Bachelorette after not being the final rose on “The Bachelor” Ben Higgins season.
JoJo and Jordan sort of give off Nick and Vanessa Lachey vibes from “Love is Blind” in this hosting position on “The Big D.” Their host duties mostly have them casually around to introduce game play. It would have been great to see a celebrity couple who are divorced, but still get along. For instance – JLo and Marc Anthony; Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore; Heidi Klum and Seal; Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon; or Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia.
ENTER THE EXES:
Many of the couples competing on “The Big D” are divided in their motives. Some of them are very much ready to move on, and some of their counterparts are only on the show with the hopes of rekindling their relationships. Viewers will see some friction from two of these couples in the premiere episode.
Ariel may have a few regrets of losing her husband after becoming a social media influencer and moving to Los Angeles. Ironically, their honeymoon was in Costa Rica. She said she’s not over him and is hoping to work things out with her ex.
A pair of high school sweethearts who were together for 16 years, are also there in Costa Rica. David wants to work on his marriage again with Gillian. But, Gillian said she’s “a little dead inside.” Another ex husband, Brooks, is also there to get back with his divorced wife.
Then, we have couples who are completely done with each other. One such couple is Devon and Alexis who described a tumultuous relationship.
Hosts JoJo and Jordan explained to the group that every week, one person “who just isn’t ready for a new relationship,” will be let go, or eliminated. The goal of “The Big D” is to narrow the couples down to one couple left who’s ready to re-enter the world “as a committed relationship.” Whichever couple prevails at the end will win $50,000.
Like “Perfect Match,” where on that show the couples pair themselves, the divorced couples on “The Big D” are put through challenges for a chance to protect themselves from elimination. “The Big D” has similar game play where couples must compete in various challenges. Dr. Jada Jackson was brought in to explain the first challenge, or “ex-ercise” as this show calls it.
Dr. Jackson said this process is “about healing” where they can “welcome something healthy” into their lives. She’s been working with divorced couples for over 12 years. The couples’ first “ex-ercise” was to present each other to the group and they had one hour to prepare. Multiple revelations were made about each male who was being presented by their ex-wives. One reveal NOT exposed during the challenge, but on TV was that one player has his mom’s name tattooed on his buttocks!
The winner of the “ex-ercise” is guaranteed safety from elimination. Two winners were selected, each from two different couples by Dr. Jackson. She told them that it was actually only the women who were being judged and evaluated during this task. The two winners were both ex-wives from each couple and got the physical prize of getting to go on a romantic double date.
After the two winners were selected from their first ex-ercise, they had to choose who they would be taking with them on the double date. One woman chose the other woman’s ex-husband! This was awkward especially when she announced that she was planning to take her own ex-husband on the date! The hosts announced that eliminations would begin to occur soon after.
Similar to “Bachelor in Paradise” the power to eliminate bounces back and forth from the women to the men each week. This will eventually narrow the group to the goal of leaving only one couple that’s moved on from the PAST and committed to each other. The women have the power during the first week. How the elimination happens is very uneventful.
After the men are excused, the women gather like a tribe (“Survivor” style) and openly discuss the contenders for elimination. Feedback is given by their ex-wives who either stick-up for them, or throw them under the bus. During the first elimination, it was made clear that one couple was still seeking closure after having some bad blood between each other.
Once the men reconvened, one woman from the group delivered the bad news of who was chosen to be sent packing, and the reasoning behind it. Out of the two men who were on the chopping block, one of them was sent home. His ex-wife got to say goodbye to him before he left. The other man who was up for elimination, but ended-up staying, it’s later discovered that he’s there to get back with his ex and a preview to the upcoming episodes shows a lot of drama to come between this couple.
MORE TO COME:
The premiere episode of “The Big D” is lukewarm. But, it has just enough promise to push lovers of this type of dating show genre to keep coming back for more. And, the real treat is the season trailer that shows a bit more of what viewers can expect. The trailer suggests that as the show progresses, more and more couples will be broken-up and replaced with new singles who are also recently divorced.
With less couples who are exes of each other remaining, that will prompt less awkward and cringe moments in the show. Whew! The executive producers of “The Big D” are veterans of the reality show genre – Jeff Spangler, Rob LaPlante, and Kevin Lee whose combined credits include: Queen’s Court; Ready for Love: The Last Resort; Put a Ring on It; Are You the One?; The Apprentice; The Moment of Truth; The Challenge; Nick & Vanessa’s Dream Wedding.
“The Big D” premieres Wednesday, June 14th, 10 ET/PT on USA Network after “Temptation Island” season 5 premiere.