Simon Cowell of "American Idol" tells Early Show co-anchor Rene Syler, "All we said was, let's put one girl and her two friends out across America. Let's give her $1 million. Let's give the guy 30 seconds to impress her and see who walks up. I don't get surprised very easily. It was unbelievable who walked in that room. They're all nuts."
Cowell,the show's creator and the executive producer, says the Spanish lover who unsucessfully tried to woo Lisa in early episodes is just the beginning; the worst is yet to come.
He says, "You will not believe who walks in the door in Los Angeles. Let me tell you, Rene, this is simply a question of, let the cameras roll. We didn't do anything. We just said, let the cameras roll. There were so many weird things that happened. That's why on this show, I was right in saying, let America play matchmaker. She has to find 10 guys from these nut cases. We've given her $1 million, so now there are all these gold diggers around. America's got to help her out. It was the best decision I ever made doing that."
Shannon, the Cupid Girl, is a copywriter for an advertising agency. She has looks, personality and brains, but has been unlucky in love. She has two friends, Kimberly and Laura, who are weeding out the Mr. Wrongs as Shannon conducts her nationwide search on TV.
Cowell says, "When I met Lisa Shannon I said, 'Come off it. You're gorgeous, intelligent. You must be able to find somebody.' She said, 'I can't. You'll see what happens when we go out across America, the kind of people who are attracted to me.' I said, 'OK.' As I said, the doors were open. You saw from last night the kind of people who walked in. It's more difficult than you think. And I think in the case of Laura, it is payback for her. She's divorced. She had a tough time. Pretty girl. Now she's giving something back. I think girls are worse than guys."
"Cupid" has two distinct parts. In the first two episodes, Shannon will crisscross the country with her friends, auditioning potential suitors. The guys will have just 30 seconds to impress them. Two of the three girls need to vote the guy in, for him to advance. In episode three, the men who made the first cut have one more chance to win over Lisa as she and her friends select the final 10 candidates.
Beginning in episode four, Lisa will get to know each of the 10 suitors better through a series of dates. During these episodes, Lisa's friends will watch the filmed dates live and continue to judge whose intentions are honorable. Next, America will get the chance to play Cupid by casting their votes for the man they think is her ideal mate. The guy with the fewest votes will be eliminated each week.
Cowell notes, "I had said the worst experience on earth is a guy walking up to a girl who you fancy and having her friends, who are normally bitter or ugly, demoralize you. This show does kind of represent that. When girls hit back, boy, oh boy. This is the absolute opposite of 'The Bachelor.' In this show there are no red roses, there's no soft music. It is what it is. It is real life."
Once America casts its final vote, it's up to Lisa and her Mr. Right. Will he propose? Will she accept? And what will happen to the $1 million dowry that's at stake? Will the couple be able to stay married for at least one year? They lose the $1 million, if they don't.
If you, like Lisa, are looking for Mr. Right, log on to Match.com, which has signed on to become the exclusive online dating sponsor for the series.
Through an exclusive contest on the Match.com Web site, you will be able to compete for a dream date with the nine finalists who will be voted off by America.
In addition, the Match.com winners will receive an all-expense-paid trip to the taping of the final episode of "Cupid." Click here to find out more.
"Cupid" airs Wednesday at 10:00 p.m. E.T. on CBS.