Love Smart Special: Paula

 

"I would have to say this is the best time in my life," says Paula. As a judge on the hit series American Idol, her career is at a peak. "Everything has far exceeded my wildest dreams as far as my business goes. I'm thriving, and yet the only thing in my life that's missing, that doesn't make any sense to me, is the area of the love life. The perception of being in the entertainment business or being a celebrity is, 'It must be so easy for you, Paula.' If people only knew how difficult it is. I'm slowly entering that dating arena again which I kind of, like, gave up on. I'm scared as hell of what Dr. Phil's going to do to me, but maybe he can help me narrow down the focus of what really will work for me."

 

"What do you need from a guy?" Dr. Phil probes.

"I'm going to be brutally honest," she tells him. "I am so tired of meeting guys who say, 'I can't support your needs. It's too much for me.' And I wonder, well what's too much? Because I really don't feel that I'm any different from any other girl. I just think that you expected me to be a super woman."

"What you want and need is a soft place to fall," says Dr. Phil.

Paula nods. "I want to be able to have someone who accepts me for me and that doesn't think that when I cry that it's too much."

Dr. Phil is determined to help Paula find a man, so he sends a her videotape of 10 eligible bachelors who — no kidding — want to settle down. Since Paula feels like her dates always know everything about her while she's in the dark about them, he hid Paula's identity from the bachelors. Paula's job is to choose her favorite with the help of her good friend, Daniel, and her dad, Harry.

As the bachelors make their spiels, Paula and her team of experts laugh and make running commentary.

"I work in the cable industry, but I'm not your cable guy," says the first guy.

The second bachelor dons his best Schwarzenegger accent and says, "I'm the governor of California. How come I can't get an intern?"

Then one bachelor says, "I'm looking for a woman who's a partner."

At this, Paula hushes her friends. "OK, Here we go, here we go," she says.

"...Who will be a great mother, who'll be a great wife," he continues.

"That's a good one. He's a good one," says Daniel.

Finally, Paula narrows her selection down to three, and then to just one. Her choice is Hal, a 42-year-old commercial real estate executive from Charlotte, North Carolina. Hal is the one who said he's looking for a partner.

Before Paula can leave for her date, she has to answer the age old question, "What am I going to wear?" She invites some of her best girlfriends for a closet consultation.

Inside Paula's closet, her friend remarks, "This seems more like a living room, not a closet."


Paula tells her group of girlfriends, "It's not going to be a fancy date, so it's casual kind of."

She tries on different styles and models them for the group.

"I'm not feeling it. Go back to the drawing board," a friend comments.

Finally, Paula emerges in fashionable blue jeans, a sophisticated-looking black shirt and a pair of dark pumps. Her choice meets with approval.

"If anything goes wrong, I can whip them with the tail," she says, holding up a furry tail attached to her purse. She departs for her date.

 

Upon arriving at Pinz bowling alley, Paula is greeted by Dr. Phil.

"Here she comes!" he says with enthusiasm.

"I'm very nervous," she reveals as she greets Dr. Phil with a hug.

 

"Well, you're a good sport to be letting us look over your shoulder

while you're doing this. I've got a little change for you. You picked somebody, right? Here's the twist: I picked you a date too. This is going to be like shuttle dating, OK? You're going to do two at once."

Dr. Phil explains that Paula will actually bowl with the guy she picked. He then reveals that his own choice for Paula is Keith Anderson.
Keith has a number one music video and is one of People magazine's sexiest bachelors of 2005. "This guy has got to be the hottest act in country music right now," he tells her.

Opening a door to the restaurant where Paula will meet Keith, Dr. Phil says, "Are you ready to shine? All right. Here we go!"

Paula encounters Keith at a table, and they laugh through their introductions. They both reveal that the situation has made them nervous.

"Dr. Phil speaks so highly of you. And you've always been into music," Paula says.

"My brother's the one who inspired me to start doing music because I loved it. We all loved music growing up. How did you get into it?"

"My sister influenced me," Paula says.

"That's cool," says Keith.

Knowing she has another date waiting for her, Paula excuses herself for a minute. "I'll be back," she says as she tears herself away.

In her absence, Keith says "I'm looking forward to just talking more to her, learning more about her. I just want the conversation to flow and see where it goes."

Meanwhile, Paula runs into the bowling alley in search of Lane 4. When she arrives and recognizes her date from the video tape, she can't help but laugh at the humor of the situation. They make their introductions.

"What a pleasant surprise," says Hal. "I probably haven't been on a blind date in 20 years. I am floored."


The pair proceeds to bowl, while Dr. Phil observes their date on video monitors in another room.

When Paula takes a turn, Hal says, "Oh my God, you're going to bowl a strike! Look at that! All but one. Very nice." He gives her a high-five.

"I know her," says Dr. Phil from inside his observation room. "That's a big smile for her."

Soon Paula must excuse herself, with apologies to Hal.

When she's away, Hal says, "As soon as I saw Paula, my jaw just hit the floor. I can't wait for her to get back."

This time, Paula makes a quick visit to Dr. Phil's observation room. He says she's doing great. Paula gives him some of her initial impressions, but rates each guy equally on a scale from one to 10. Both receive an eight or a nine.


Soon it's time to move on to another round with her two dates. "This is infrared dating," says Dr. Phil. "You find out in a short period of time whether this guy's a keeper or you want to throw him out." Dr. Phil has written some questions for Paula to take back with her. "Back on the shuttle, let's go," he says.

When Paula returns to Keith she says, notecards in hand,  "I'm going to ask questions because I really want to get to know who you are."

 

For Keith, and evenually Hal, Paula draws questions from her cards.  She asks them to describe a perfect day with her, whether they're good at being alone, and what she could possibly say that would scare the living daylights out of them. Eventually she asks, "Marriage doesn't scare you?"

"No." says Keith. "No, I want to be married."

Hal's response to the same question is, "No. Why, does it scare you?"

 

When her experiment is over, Paula runs through the halls, back to Dr. Phil. Along the way she says, "Dr. Phil's questions really helped me get to know these guys a lot faster."

When she arrives, Dr. Phil asks for her latest impression of Keith.


"He is in the beginning of his career and he's very focused on that," she says. 

Next, they move on to Hal. "What about this perfect day?" Dr. Phil asks.

"He was looking to impress me by doing activity. And taking me skiing, waking up, went out to coffee, and I was like, 'Whoa, whoa, whoa.'"

Soon, it's time to return to her dates. Dr. Phil says, "We got good information. But now it's time to turn on the Paula charm and see what they'll tell you for sure."

 

"Oh, I'll turn it on," she says coyly.

 

In this round of conversations, Paula really zeros in on questions that are important to her. She asks Keith if he thinks he has time for a relationship. She and Hal debate playfully over the long distance between them.

 

Paula asks Hal, "How are you with girls like me? Sometimes when I'm sensitive, I cry." 


"Well then, that's when you put your head on my shoulder, and I'll let you cry and cry it out and talk."

 

"He just hit the home run," says Dr. Phil from his observation room.


Paula grabs Hal's hand and puts her head on his shoulder. "Come on, let's go. I like you," she says. 

"Well, I like you too. You're awfully nice," Hal reciprocates. 



Paula returns to Dr. Phil. The two of them review her dates, listing out the pluses and minuses of each. Finally, Dr. Phil says Paula has to choose just one.

"This is a tough decision because I would like to go out with both, but I'm going to choose Hal," says Paula. "I give him a lot of credit for being just a normal Joe." 

Dr. Phil offers Paula the opportunity to go give the news to Hal, while he takes on the task of breaking the news to Keith. He finds Keith in the restaurant waiting patiently for his date. Dr. Phil explains that Paula has been on two dates, that she was forced to pick one, and that Keith was not her choice."She said you're just too ugly," Dr. Phil jokes. "What she said was, 'I don't think I can compete with sold-out stadiums and that's where this guy's headed.'"

Meanwhile, Paula makes her way back to Lane 4. Hal grins when he sees her.

 

"I'm back," she says. "So, um, how would you like to maybe go on a date?"

"Absolutely," Hal exclaims. "You're easy to be around."

"Well, thank you," she says as he kisses her head. "Thank you so much."

Dr. Phil concludes, "There's definitely hope for singles out there, and couples too. You just have to know who you are, and what you're looking for. And you need to know the right questions to ask."