First of all, as introduction, Paradise Hotel was the first "reality" show I ever watched. I didn't watch tv much up till my 40's other than the news. As I've advanced through my 40's I've become a fan of the reality show genre which was nonexistent in my highschool years.
I loved it and immediately began to see if there were other shows like this. I found cops, forever Eden, survivor, and some more. I think they are great.
I've never watched a single episode of sex in the city, or friends, or any other tv show other than the news on tv since the 70's. (I don't live as a recluse, I know about these shows, I've just never watched them). Happy days, MASH, archie bunker, good times and some more I recall watching when I was a kid.
Once I left highschool I just never found time or interest to watch tv other than the news.
One day in the summer of '06 I came across Paradise Hotel. I have no idea no what caught my attention but I watched it. I was hooked immediately. It was fascinating. It wasn't actors "acting" out unreal lives, it was real. Even if it was a staged event. I wished I'd have thought of it, it was a great idea. Let's put real people in crazy or wild or stressful conditions and just film what happens. Awesome! A truly wonderful social experiment.
Well, I was watching the rerun. It had apparently come out in '03. I've heard it got good ratings, but I never found anybody else that I knew that had seen it. So I had nobody to talk to about it. I should add here that I don't have an extremely wide social circle as I grew up and live in a small town. Also, I had not seen the first 2 or 3 episodes when I began posting here. I posted some comments here about it in '06. I only received one warning in a couple dozen or so posts so I must have been uncharacteristically restrained. (I'm frequently booted off political and religious forums).
My first impression of the PH guests were as follows (and time has diminished my memory some, haven't seen it since '06); Only a few of the guests am I going to critique personally simply because they are the ones that made the most profound impressions, the rest I just assign to one group or other.
I almost immediately took a disliking to Toni. I saw her to be repulsive. While being one of the more "mature" participants she behaved most immaturely. Many of the young people there nearly half her age behaved more maturely. Also she evidenced a very deceitful side to her. She was an instigator. She sought allies and set out to try and coerce people into disliking anybody she didn't like. I hate that in a human being.
I found Zack almost equally as repulsive. His treatment of Amy was despicable and he's lucky she is not my daughter. I guess I'd have to add too though that AMY is lucky she is not my daughter, I'd be ashamed at her behavior.
Charla I liked right from the start, even moreso later on when I'd seen some of the things I'd missed (for instance when Toni had offered Charla some strategy or other and Charla responded back something along the lines of "I'm not using any strategy")
You see that's what I wanted to see. I wanted to see these people BE REAL. I didn't want to see them "play the game". To this day, in my opinion, Charla, Keith, and Tara (IN THAT ORDER) came out the winners.
As a man; there is no doubt at all who WAS the man of the group of males that enterred and left Paradise Hotel. That man was Keith. Scott came in second for me, Dave 3rd.
I gave Charla highest marks for not being drawn into the charade, for refusing to "play the game", for staying real. To me she is the undisputed winner of the show. Keith receives NO bad marks from me though because although he did play the game, he played it manly. He was honest and open, and more importantly, in their face about it. Scott receives lower marks from me simply for trying to play both sides/neutral. I don't see anything particularly wrong with playing neutral, but I just think if you're going to play, choose a side.
When Keith came in, Toni and her crew were in high confidence. They felt they were in power, had control, and on their way to deciding who was going to win this "game". They strutted around, were cocky and abusive, controlling and manipulative, and felt like they had it.
They had successfully ostracized Charla and Dave, had every reason to believe the neutrals and/or newbies would/should side with them or perish and IN COMES KEITH. In retrospect Keith was very smart, he hit right at the heart of them, which was NOT Toni.
The heart was Amy and Zack. They had the emotional response working in their favor. Amy and Zack were working on "love". Toni built her defense around that. Nobody would attack that, they'd be instantly ostracized.
Whether he was given information in advance or figured it out himself, who knows? I know that it was obvious to us viewers (well most of us) that Amy and Zack were NOT wedding bound. Keith BLASTED onto the show.
Anyway, I guess It is time for me to explain the title of my post. As I mentioned; I joined this forum approximately 3 years after the original airing of the show. I came to this forum as a Keith and Charla fan. Yup, I'll fully admit any post you read by me defending Charla not sharing her money with Dave is I was predisposed to favoring her. I also liked Tara and Dave, but to me Keith was the male winner and Charla was the female winner.
Keiths choice to share his winnings with Tara is neither remarkable or unexpected. They DID in fact have an intimate relationship that continued beyond the show. He did have an obvious reason to share with Tara that needs no real explanation. There were in love.
Charla's choice to NOT share her winnings with Dave is no less remarkable or unexpected. Her relationship with Dave (much as I like him) was not even remotely the same as the relationship between Keith and Tara. Not to mention the fact he'd consistently gone OUT OF HIS WAY to make it clear to Charla and everybody he did not need the money.
He WAS honest about that. He DIDN'T need it. CHARLA DID!!!!
But back to my title. When I came here in '06 I found myself one of a VERY FEW that were fans of Charla, Keith, Tara, and Dave. Admittedly I was 3 years late and the forum was pretty much dead. But I find it fascinating that among us rerun watchers the vast majority appear to be Toni, Zack, and Amy fans.
When you go to the archives to seek out the original posts, the people that watched the original show were almost exclusively the opposite. They hated Toni.
I just find that interesting.