A new reality show being
filmed in the Trace Fork area of northern
County will air in
September on BBC America.
The show will be called
“Traces of Love” and revolves around the trials and tribulations of 24
people who will be put together as couples and undergo grueling
competitions each episode to show how well they can cooperate as a team.
At the end of each
episode, two of the couples will have to compete in a test that will
then be judged by people calling in votes or voting online for the
couple they want to see again the following week.
Each couple is given a
tent, a single flashlight, a large sleeping bag, flint and steel for
starting fires, a 20-lb. sack of potatoes and a book describing edible
roots and herbs of the area. They were also given photos of two animals
that they could eat, if they were brave enough to kill one of them.
Part of the show’s
appeal is the way the couples bond while helping each other survive the
“wilderness” without having any of the electronic devices that many can
no longer live without.
In the first episode,
two big-city twenty-somethings arrive back in their camp, after a
competition, to find a large black cat in their tent, asleep and
comfortably embedded in the center of their sleeping bag.
They immediately named
it “Spooky” and went into the tent to wake it up and begin to
bond with it. That is when they noticed that the black cat had a white
stripe down its back.
They are now staying
under an overhanging rock formation and sleeping beneath a deep pile of
It became hilariously
obvious that none of the couples have ever spent any amount of time in
the outdoors when darkness fell on the first night and the hills came
alive with the usual sounds of a springtime evening in
Although no one was
frightened by the sounds of spring peepers, none of the teams had ever
heard the song of a whippoorwill or the raucous screams and hoots of
barred owls disputing territory.
The thing that scared
more than a few of the teams into wanting to quit was two screech owls
talking to each other while sitting in the trees right above their
came to this country from
Ireland. She used to tell me and my
sister stories about creatures that haunted the high meadows at night.
She called them banshees, and the noise she made, that she swore sounded
just like a banshee, was exactly like that screech owl racket. I still
don’t believe that the little bird I saw in the tree was capable of
making that much noise,” said one of the female contestants.
Another couple managed
to chase down an opossum and club it a couple of times before it
fell over on its side, dead.
They immediately went
off to gather firewood to roast their “giant wood rat,” as they called
When they got back to
their camp with armloads of firewood, they discovered that, apparently,
someone had come into their camp and stolen their supper.
It was not until the
next day, when the teams met for their next competition, that they found
out what had really happened.
After they spent an hour
accusing every other team of grand theft opossum, they were told how
opossums escape from predators; they simply pretend to be dead until the
threat goes away, and then they scurry away as quickly as possible.
Part of the show’s
appeal, according to producer John Schmidt, is that fans will be able to
vote to shake things up for the couples. If the fans decide that a
couple would be better off with other partners, fans will have two
chances during the season to play Cupid, by choosing two teams to
“Fans will be able to
see which couples are not working well together and can then switch the
team players to see if they have a better chance to win the game and
find love,” said Schmidt, “Of course, sometimes fans of a show find a
couple annoying and they might break them up just because of that.”
Winners of the show
stand to receive a check for $500,000 each and a month-long vacation in Bali, with or without their teammate.