The highest rated series on the now nonexistent Fox Reality Channel took six months to a year for Cindy Margolis to recover.
The reality show that ran for eight episodes was about Margolis. At the time, the recent divorcée was searching for love with 24 contestants competing to be the one. “Seducing Cindy” ran for one season in 2010. Margolis declined to sign on for a second season. She did not like how devastating the experience was for her contestants, which was even harder on her, she revealed.
This was “not reality at all” it was more of a “psychological experiment,” Margolis said. “They don’t know what they put these guy through.”
With 24 men all under one roof, there was no television sets or phones to call anyone outside the house. They also had to shower outside.
While Margolis was searching for love, she requested no contestants under 30 years old. This was to avoid the “cougar” image. The network decided to cast nearly half the contestants under 30. Contestants ranged from ages 18-71.
With the entire crew all men, Margolis was the only woman on set for eight weeks. There was also another kicker which made Margolis realize this was not reality at all. She was told who to choose and who to eliminate at the end of each episode.
“Every decision was made for who’s good for TV,” Margolis said.
There was also soundbites used in episodes of her saying “I love you” audio dubbed in scenes to further fix the show.
What made the experience devastating for Margolis was an episode that staged a serious car accident. This shook up many of the contestants as they saw an ambulance take Margolis away. And the deal breaker was who loved Margolis enough that they’d give her their kidney. Each remaining contestant pledged they would.
When it came down to the end of the show, she felt contestant Brian Domingo, 46, was the perfect guy for her. Instead, she was told to choose young model Leighton Stulz, 24.
So what happened afterwards?
“As soon as it was over he was pulled away. They told him he was ‘not allowed to ever speak to Cindy,'” Margolis said.
The experience was so traumatizing for contestants that a psychiatrist was on set, Margolis said.
“I do believe they loved me,” Margolis said.
This was unlike television, as Margolis was not portraying a character, in reality television this was an image the show was giving her. With edits and being told what decisions to make it was nowhere near an accurate depiction of her.
“It killed me more than it killed them,” Margolis said.
She wanted to apologize to her contestants for going through that experience but couldn’t contact them. After the show, there was one thing she did miss. It was the attention she became accustomed to receiving. And as time passed, Margolis discovered both final contestants moved on to find their true love in life.
“They all ended up fine but I’m the only one still single,” Margolis said.
So it almost worked out for all involved.
By Gino Terrell
Cindy Margolis is a supermodel who helped shaped what the internet has become today and holds a retired Guinness Book of World Records for “The Most Downloaded Woman in History.” This actress is also a celebrity spokesperson and the President and CEO of theSeen.