Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire? (2000) Poster

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The show that started the reality craze
Pat McCurry6 September 2003
This show started two crazes: The reality show craze and the marriage show craze. I remember seeing this. It was so silly. All day I thought of who was the mystery millionaire, and then find out it is this guy nobody knows named Rick Rockwell lol (I vaguely remembered him from the Killer Tomatoes movies). It was an interesting premise though: take a rich guy, line him up with 50 beautiful women, and marry him off to the one he likes. Sounded like a done deal, right? Wrong.

First you had a nobody like Rockwell who turns out to be the millionaire, then you have his personal life dredged up by investigative news shows and smokinggun.com, and then you have the competitors. Half of them there lied and just wanted a free trip to Vegas, and the other half seriously wanted to get married. Even its winner, Darva Conger, said she just entered to have a free trip to Vegas. Other competitors would get their 15 minutes of fame by giving exclusive interviews to their local television news outlets (In Washington DC, one competitor told how she was thankful she wasn't chosen because her BOYFRIEND wouldn't have liked that).

The show would be followed by many marriage reality shows, and even Fox went back to the Pandora's Box with Joe Millionaire. About two years later, an E! True Hollywood Story would be made detailing what went on behind the scenes (Host Jay Thomas said he advised Rick to "stay away from the blonde").

Unlike some of the marriage shows, this did more harm than good to the people involved. Rick took the annulment hard because he truly thought he would find a bride on the show. He eventually got over it and now works on the comedy club and motivational speaker circuit. Darva Conger was labeled by many as a vixen. She would also get her 15 minutes, but it would cost her a job and a life. She tried making a pay website of her own, but it was unsuccessful. She remarried in 2003, got divorced a few years later, and has stayed out of the spotlight. In the end, everyone just moved on and was forgotten (thank God).
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Just plain silly...like watching a train wreck
Brian Henke12 June 2000
Here is a show that historians will dig up years from now as an example of TV run amuck - even if they won't ever learn about the scandal that resulted from this show.

Yes, I watched the last hour of this "show" and I found it absolutely silly, sick and tasteless...and yes, it was like watching a train wreck as Fox threw away all of its reputation it had earned as home of Homer, Bart, Mulder and Scully. Jay Thomas was probably the most smarmy host around IN HISTORY to preside over this fiasco (laughing as Rick Rockwell proposed to Darva Conger).

February 15, 2000 will go down in TV infamy - that was the day this show aired.
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A Shameful Moment In TV History
Jason Daniel Baker17 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Rick Rockwell, a 44 year old single comedian/actor who enjoyed a lucrative career as a stand-up comic/host at corporate events and turned his handsome honorariums into shrewd California real estate investments was the bachelor.

The bachelorettes included numerous tacky examples of gold-digging whores (a term I would apply to males in a similar situation with equal derision) amidst some ordinary women looking either for an interesting experience or merely TV broadcast time. Some 23 million viewers saw the show, one that was closer to reality than most reality shows today are.

The multi-millionaire bachelor selected Darva Conger, a shapely, robotic-sounding 35 year old bottle blond ER nurse. Their 'marriage' was annulled after two months. Conger, of course was the main beneficiary parlaying the celebrity she obtained into a Playboy magazine cover/fully nude pictorial and a stint on the reality show Celebrity Boxing.

She appeared on numerous talk-shows and news interviews vilifying Rockwell whose only apparent crime (beyond having an ex-girlfriend who had taken a restraining against him for domestic violence) was choosing Conger and she made him regret his choice many times over.

Other contestants on the show were not shy in exclaiming shock at what the producers had tried to marry them off to i.e. Rockwell i.e. an unglamourous dweeb/comedian. As if the title of the show had implied he was Prince Charming. These gold-diggers evidently just assumed things.

What was meant to entice romance-hungry people across North America did so as evidenced by the ratings. But the aftermath echoed so many bad experiences that people had with marriage in their respective pasts that the couple came to exemplify what for many was a life-mistake they were still feeling stung by.

The media dug into seemingly every aspect of Conger and Rockwell's lives questioning whether they had embellished any of the background they had provided about themselves i.e. questions about how much money he really had, clarifications about her military service record etc.
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It made headlines!
MustacheUmbrella2 March 2001
Although this was probably a big mistake for fox and , although this was never to be broadcast again believe it or not this show changed American viewers. Everyone was talking about the Rockwell & Darva Conger scandal it made headlines and well the show was never good but a least it made headlines what can I say. Everyone probobly forgot about this months go.( I know I'm a little late)
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Pity it did not take off
Mark Brown1 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
When I heard about this new show many moons ago, I knew it would be a life changing event. The history of television entertainment can now be separated into two distinct periods; the period before this great event, and the period after. Coming fast after the "Survivor" extravaganza, this special provided a glimpse into what us mere mortals can only dream about...

Who can say that they honestly will ever have the chance to marry a "multi millionaire" in this life? Sure, we may be able to marry a "millionaire" if we try hard enough because anything is possible, but to get the chance to marry a "multi millionaire" is a rare gem indeed. In fact, it is a gem to be cherished, like the most precious and fragile diamond. When I say Mr. Rockwell made an impression on all his prospective "suitors," it really is a gross understatement of a very important fact that has not been acknowledged. Lucky Darva, once an ER nurse now a multi millionaire, only to decide that she was too decent and ended the marriage.

Even though the storybook premise of this show ultimately failed, and it is all too often disregarded as "trash television" at best, and a "mistake" at worse, it really began a phenomena in the television media that continues to this day. This show gave all of us dreamers a hope that someday, somehow, somewhere and quite possibly someplace we may have our chance to get our hands on a millionaire. What once was a dream reserved for socialites or perhaps fairytale princesses became in that one instant, a reality for a group of incredibly lucky women. We had the "millionaire" and we had the "stage" and we had the concept, and what was created was something that was never repeated again.

Many people say that this special was a failed concept, but really what is "failure?" What does it mean in the long run? This show was once the greatest spectacle of the time, and it was on the front of every media magazine from the "Enquirer" to "TV Guide." What happened? This show had an amazing premise. In our capitalistic society we have an ever increasing thirst for wealth, and the "good life." It seems that more and more people want to find wealth, and to be something bigger than him/ her. Forget "The Apprentice" this show is where it's at. Why work for your money when you can be paraded around a stage and just maybe score the big "luck of the draw" and walk out a millionaire.

It seems to me that people have become lazy in our society. In fact a better description would be lazy and shallow. I suppose that where this show ultimately failed. The TV viewing public could actually see themselves being paraded on a stage, and lowering themselves to such desperate measures in order to "score the big one." Even though people dream of this, to actually see it on the screen can create a sense of intense revulsion. Alas, the epic story was never meant to be.
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There's no "Real" in ANY Reality Shows
Lisa Rhyne14 August 2014
There is nothing "real" about reality TV. If you haven't learned that by now...there's nothing really left to say. I knew what was going on from the start and didn't do it to get a husband. That's ridiculous. I - and almost all of the others - knew this was about sensationalism and not romance. It was made as entertainment NOT, real life...just like all reality TV shows. I got to spend 11 days in Vegas, all expenses paid, paid SAG-AFTRA wages plus my daily cash per diem, meals were provided and got to attend a few Vegas shows. That's why I agreed to do it. Stop believing what you see on TV and the internet is "real" because it is ALL fiction to varying degrees. But, of course, if you really believe reality shows are true...then my words are wasted. Carry on...
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a morning after
sosapierce1 February 2013
Never watched this show when it aired, having thought something like, "There goes FOX again with the edgy route". Remember that in 1999 "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" came to the US and was a big hit at first for ABC. FOX decided to do its own spin, and it's doubtful the big wigs who approved the show took it seriously. As if they wanted to make a quick splash with 2 hours of tacky TV. What made "Who Wants To Marry a Multi-Millionaire?" fun was the additional controversies it generated after it aired. Was the "husband" Rick Rockwell really a multi-millionaire? What about those past criminal complaints against him? Didn't the producers of the show research this stuff? What does it say about these women who were going to marry a stranger on his perceived wealth alone? And to do on it on a TV show too. Some of the "brides" acknowledged they did the show for the trip and experience. Darva Conger became the "wife" and repeatedly distanced herself from the show like it was the morning after a bad hook up. Show deserves high marks for the entertainment value it provided.
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