Chiefs star Travis Kelce has blossomed into one of the NFL’s best tight ends.
That’s reflected in his remarkable statistics (an AFC-leading 197 receiving yards) and his fat paycheck (he signed a five-year, $46 million contract extension in January).
But at age 26, it seems that love has eluded him.
At least that’s what Kelce says on his dating show, “Catching Kelce,” which debuts Wednesday, Oct. 5, on the E! Network. The format is simple: One woman from each of the 50 states will vie to catch Kelce. Every week he narrows the field down until just one remains.
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In the premiere episode, he greets the women at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. They carry pompoms and wear red shirts with the names of their home states.
“Ladies, ladies, ladies,” Kelce tells them. “Fifty of the most drop-dead gorgeous women from 50 states. The courage that it takes to come out here to try to pursue love, it means more than you can imagine to me.
“I’m dedicated to finding the girl of my dreams.”
This being a reality show, there are tears, laughs and plenty of roll-your-eyes moments from some flat-out crazy people. The women move into a house together, which sets things up nicely for jealously, crying and confrontations.
The big twist in the show: Instead of Kelce deciding who goes on group dates, the women will make that call.
A news release for the show noted, “The debate becomes: Do you pick your friends and keep those loyalties strong, or choose the ‘weakest’ contenders to make yourself stand out? Lines will be drawn and friendships will be tested as the women pick and choose who gets the extra time with this football superstar.”
In addition to the dating aspect of “Catching Kelce,” viewers will get to see an NFL player unfiltered. Well, as unfiltered as a reality show can be.
“People are going to look at me differently,” Kelce told reporters this summer. “You never get to see the intimate side of a football player.”
In addition to an up-close examination of Kelce’s love life, viewers will see his goofy side. With the Chiefs, Kelce is known for his, um, unique touchdown celebrations.
And he is flat-out goofy in some scenes in a preview for “Catching Kelce.” Kelce’s brother, Jason, is a center for the Philadelphia Eagles, and he joins the fun. The more outlandish the better, and Travis Kelce doesn’t disappoint.
Heck, the opening scene of the show is Kelce wiggling his backside for the camera.
“I think it will be a pretty funny show,” Kelce said this summer. “For the most part I’ve been happy with what I’ve put on camera.”
Kelce seems natural in front of the camera and appears to have a good rapport with the women. You’d think that he’s watched a lot of reality shows, but no.
“I’m not even a big TV guy,” Kelce said. “For the most part, I was going into it blind and enjoying the experience.”
Kelce seems pretty happy in the opening episode as he gets to meet the 50 women vying for his affections. More than once, he looks into the camera and acknowledges that he’s enjoying himself.
But in the end, there will be just one woman left.
“I did pick a winner,” Kelce said.
Where to watch
“Catching Kelce” begins with a 90-minute premiere at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, on the E! Network.