American Candidate

Infobox Television
show_name = American Candidate

caption = "American Candidate" logo
show_name_2 =
genre = Reality show
creator = R. J. Cutler
writer =
director =
creative_director =
developer =
presenter = Montel Williams
starring =
voices =
narrated =
theme_music_composer =
opentheme =
endtheme =
composer = Christopher A. Lee
country = USA
language = English
num_seasons = 1
num_episodes = 10
list_episodes =
executive_producer = Jay Roach
co_exec = Jared Tobman
producer =
supervising_producer = Jarratt Carson
asst_producer =
co-producer =
editor =
story_editor =
location =
cinematography =
camera =
runtime = 60 min
network = Showtime
picture_format = NTSC
audio_format =
first_run =
first_aired = August 1, 2004
last_aired = October 10, 2004
preceded_by =
followed_by =
related =
website =
production_website =
imdb_id = 419306
tv_com_id = 27789

"American Candidate" is a political reality television show. The program aired for one season on Showtime in 2004, and was hosted by Montel Williams. It was created by documentary filmmaker R. J. Cutler, and produced by film director Jay Roach.


Paralleling the 2004 United States presidential election, the show featured contestants running as "candidates" in a mock campaign. Initially, the public could announce their "candidacy" on the show's website and garner support. Eventually, eleven contestants were chosen to appear on the show itself.

Each week, the contestants would compete in a politically-themed challenge, coached by various political experts. The two contestants who fared the poorest each week would debate, and one would be eliminated (voted by the remaining contestants). For the final two episodes, the viewers voted, and eventually chose the final winner.


Throughout the series, the contestants traveled in a bus all over the United States, participating in various challenges, each modeled on real activities candidates for public office might expect to undergo:

* Week 1: Hometown support
* Week 2: Deliver a speech on the War on Terror to residents of New Hampshire
* Week 3: Press conference on jobs and the economy in Allentown, Pennsylvania
* Week 4: Charlottesville, Virginia
* Week 5: Focus groups in New York City
* Week 6: Political ads in Washington D.C.
* Week 7: Philadelphia
* Week 8-9: Los Angeles
* Week 10: Finale


In reverse elimination order:
# Park Gillespie (Conservative Christian, winner)
# Malia Lazu
# Lisa Witter
# Keith Boykin (gay rights activist)
# Bruce Friedrich (animal rights activist)
# Joyce Riley (Gulf War veterans spokesperson)
# Richard Mack (gun store owner)
# James Strock
# Robert Vanech
# Chrissy Gephardt (daughter of Dick Gephardt)

External links


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