I’m thinking about pitching a reality TV show to the Trinity Broadcasting Network: America’s Next Great Religious Con Artist. It would have four judges — Benny Hinn, Pat Robertson, Rod Parsley and Peter Popoff — and they would choose the next great faith healer or televangelist fraud.
I’m torn on how the contestants would get chosen. They could do American Idol-style cattle call auditions and they could laugh at and humiliate the contestants who actually make sense. Or they could do it like The Voice, where each contestant would come up on stage and, with the judges backs turned to them, preach some nonsensical bullshit and let the judges compete for which one is going to mentor them. We could have a series of challenges for the contestants, like these:
Challenge 1: Send them all to a hospital ICU to see who can get a dying person to give them the most money by promising that God will heal them if they do. Bonus points for the contestant who can show absolutely no remorse while fleecing the patient who is in the worst shape and thus most desperate.Challenge 2: Send them to a mall and see which of them can literally take candy from a baby in the shortest amount of time. They could do this by convincing their parents that it’s God’s will that they have the candy, or that the baby must “sow their seed of faith” by giving up the lollipop and that God will give them back 10 or 100 lollipops later.
Challenge 3: Have the contestants compete to see which of them can come up with the most convincing excuse for why they live in a $10 million mansion while claiming to follow the example of a man who was so dirt poor that he barely owned his own sandals.
I think this idea has real promise.