“The Swan” Is Coming Back, Now With Celebrity Contestants!

09
Mar
2013

For those of you who were devastated when Fox’s The Swan only lasted two seasons, the plastic surgery reality show is back in production, and this time the ugly ducklings will be celebrities! That’s right, not only is Fox bringing back its cancelled 2004 series, but the network hopes to boost ratings by making the show’s much-awaited return a celebrity special. For those of you who weren’t lucky enough to witness the train wreck that was The Swan, here’s the low-down:

In the original 2004 series, women who were deemed “ugly” were treated to extreme makeovers by a team of cosmetic surgeons, personal trainers, dentists and therapists. Each episode of The Swan featured two women who underwent plastic surgery procedures over the course of three months, and the contestant who ended up being prettier went on to compete in a pageant held at the end of the season. Yep, that’s about as shallow as it gets, folks. Unfortunately for Fox, The Swan aired at a time when networks were still trying to navigate the boundaries of reality television. The revival of the plastic surgery series comes at the perfect time: when all reality TV boundaries have gone out the window.

The original “The Swan” contestants:
The Swan contestants before and after

According to Fox’s official tagline for the show, which will debut as a two-hour special, “Celebrity Swan will feature female celebrities and will offer these popular women the incredible opportunity to undergo physical, psychological and career changes as cameras follow them through the transformative process. This opportunity will allow these women to come back better than ever, have a second change at personal and career redemption and re-introduce themselves to their supportive fans in a whole new way.” Putting the most obvious qualms aside (for now), what exactly does Fox mean by “psychological changes?”

Fox may have been surprised by The Swan‘s drop in ratings after season 2, but really, they should have seen it coming. In the days before plastic surgery reality TV shows like Plastic Wives ruled the airwaves, audiences weren’t all that excited about watching everyday Americans ruin their lives by getting bad plastic surgery. Take U.S. Army captain DeLisa Stiles, for example, who underwent numerous plastic surgery procedures in pursuit of beauty in The Swan 2. Sure she won all the “glory” that comes with being named Fox TV’s “The Swan,” but it cost her her husband of eight years, who filed for divorce while the show was being taped. Add a celebrity element to an even slightly intriguing plastic surgery series though, and you’ve got a captivated audience that doesn’t feel too guilty about staying tuned. After all, judging the appearance of celebrities who undergo plastic surgery happens on a daily basis these days anyway. Why not make it an official competition?

“The Swan” Season 2 contestants before and after:


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