Whilst lounging about pretending to get stuff ready for my Belgian National Day party tomorrow, I just happened to turn live TV on my tablet. I’d intended to half-watch something relaxing whilst vacuuming. But I wasn’t altogether disappointed that the channel was already set to ITV.be – who did that? The shit-bag hoover was winding me up anyway. I bought the cheapest one available from my local supermarket recently after two flashy, transparent ones, that frankly should have been able to do the housework on their own for what I paid, consequtively spluttered and died, just outside their guarantee life. This cheapy is light and whizzes around the flat like a speed skater. But it doesn’t actually suck up any dust. Which can be annoying and was particularly annoying in 32 degrees.
A glass of rosé in hand (foolish not to test tomorrow’s tipple before the shops all close) I wasn’t altogether disappointed to catch Patti Stanger spitting venomous one-liners at her, frankly bizarre (not in a good way) millionaire clients on the Millionaire Matchmaker show. Patti has a matchmaking ‘club’. Super wealthy singles pay for Patti, the ‘best in the business’, to find them true love. Patti, a self-taught, third generation matchmaker with an intuitive ‘eye for the right match’ only does the job herself if you pay her shit-loads for the privilege. Otherwise she has a team of underling matchmakers, who will scurry around after the lesser millionaires. Patti’s a straight talking tough cookie from New Jersey. She talks the talk and looks the part. What a stupendously fun way to make piles of cash I was thinking, as I scrunched the cushions and lay back to test the second glass.
The membership requirements for Patti’s club are very simple: you have to be very rich; pay a massive fee; and be desperate enough to expose yourself on TV. The millionaires also all seem to be bloody obnoxious. This isn’t expressed as a requirement, but it certainly makes for great TV!
I’m not entirely sure how much weight the matchmaking / dating part really bears for either Patti or her clients, There is a distinct S&M undercurrent to the whole thing: Client pays full whack (no pun intended), eyes wide open to Patti’s reputation for ‘tough love’; Patti demeans and abuses (not quite enough to really hurt anyone); Client pretends to object, but we all know that he’s totally getting off on the experience and then goes back for more. Its genius!
Then theres the cattle market selection process where candidates willing to sell their soul (body) to the highest bidder, parade in front of Patti to get insulted: ‘you’re a sugar babe honey and the fact that you’re exhausted from working at 21 proves it. Its written all over your little sugar boobs, now get out!’. Spat my wine at that one sadly. Such a waste, its actually very good. Too good for the guests so I’m having another one.
Patti is terrifyingly acerbic. But she calls a spade a spade and she’s accurate on every count I’ve watched so far. Clever woman. I’d have thought the candidate should burn her clothes and straighten her hair too but I’d never have had the balls to tell her she’d be whiling away her retirement on her own if she didn’t remove that hedge from her head. This is a niche market and I can see why Patti is stupendously successful.
We’ve onto to Patti’s five ‘non negotiables’ now. The chosen finalists, who will attend a carefully choreographed ‘mixer’ with this week’s two millionaires, are listening intently as Patti lectures on ‘the road-map’. I’m learning that the key to life-long happiness is not love and respect after all. Its correctly identifying your five non negotiables. If that dude you want to make sweet music with doesn’t work it on your road-map then you need to ‘hit the street, cross to the other side and keep walking’. You can practically see the baywatch babes’ brains hurting as they take in this manna form Mamma.
The ‘mixer’ itself is disappointingly anti-climax. The inevitable selection of cinderella by quasimodo, followed by a jaw-dropping date punctuated with private jets, chefs and palm trees, just cannot compete with the mesmerisingly hypnotic screen presence of Queen Patti herself. With mercifully short footage devoted to the couple miserably participating in some excruciating date activity, I’m overjoyed as the camera switches back to Patti at her desk. This is the Patti show, make no mistake: ‘theres a cellular residue inside you which is blocking you and preventing you from meeting the person you should be with’ she berates. WTF does that even mean I’m thinking as I giggle (literally) and pour a last little dribble. I know its not nice to laugh at others but the bloody millionaires can look after themselves and I’m definitely not laughing at Patti!
Footnote – devastated to learn that The Millionaire Matchmaker ended its eighth series in 2015. Though thats a whole lotta re-runs to get through….