August 02, 2006 11:01 PM by Joe Blackmon
The hit reality series The Swan, which aired on FOX and sparked media controversy as well as a cult following, will be released on DVD in its entirety by Xenon Pictures. The 2-disc set will sell for $39.99 and debut in stores across the nation on October 24, 2006.
“Xenon Pictures is proud to release The Swan on DVD,” says Leigh Savidge, CEO/Founder of Xenon Pictures. “The show was a phenomenon when it was on the air and it continues to ignite heated discussions amongst people everywhere. No matter how you feel about it, The Swan has definitely hit a chord with people.”
The Swan’s reviews during its broadcast on Fox sparked very heated controversy across the country. In the media, on radio call-in shows and around office water coolers, people were chiming in over the show’s use of plastic surgery to “improve” its contestants. While critics lambasted The Swan, viewers flocked to the show and were transfixed week after week as they watched the contestants achieve a dream they never thought possible. The Swan was called the ultimate guilty pleasure by media outlets, and millions of viewers proved it by tuning in.
“I’m delighted that finally The Swan will be available on DVD,” says series creator Nely GalÃƒn. “It has a cult following. To this day, men and women stop me on the street to ask me what they should do about their appearance. The show touched millions of people in a very deep way and I’m glad that it is now available for everyone to own and to take advantage of my very own “Swan Yourself” guide.”
The Swan DVD Package contains Seasons 1 and 2, and is loaded with a wide array of extras, from one-on-one interviews, never-before-seen and behind-the-scenes footage, to a one-hour special “Where Are They Now?” featurette starring the Swans from Season 1. Also included is a practical, hands-on “The New You” guide in which Nely GalÃƒn takes viewers through the steps anyone can take to achieve their own transformation.
The Swan was created by independent producer Nely GalÃƒn of GalÃƒn Entertainment, who took the idea to Fox Broadcasting. The Swan was broadcast on the Fox Network for two seasons between 2002-2004 and became an instant phenomenon garnering huge ratings and becoming a Top 25 Primetime Show. The Swan also aired in Great Britain and sparked productions in France and Germany, among other countries. The Swan also spawned the book, The Swan Curriculum by creator Nely GalÃƒn and published by Regan Books, in which GalÃƒn lays out strategies for self-transformation.
Nely GalÃƒn, a single mom, got the idea while she was reading to her young son the Hans Christian Andersen tale of ‘The Ugly Duckling’. The story tells of an ugly duckling that awakens one day to discover that he has transformed into a beautiful swan.
GalÃƒn believes that in the human world, life is a bit more complicated, but that sometimes people need to “take the bull by the horns” and give themselves a new chance. “What would a Hollywood star do after giving birth and breast-feeding?” says GalÃƒn. “She would more than likely hire a team of skilled technicians who could fulfill her new vision of herself: A therapist, a nutritionist and a trainer to get her in shape, a good orthodontist and plastic surgeon to nip and tuck any excess baggage and voilÃƒ, feeling like new again. You too can be The New You.”
The Swan ‘s secret is its ability to unmask its participants in an emotional way and get them to start asking themselves the right questions: Do I have a dream that I’ve never achieved because of how I look? If I have the appearance I’ve always wanted, could I achieve my deepest desires?
The Swan goes beyond where other makeover shows end, offering women the incredible opportunity to undergo a full-life makeover in order to bring their dreams to fruition, and then tracking their journeys afterward. The Swan’s team of Life SpecialistsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â¬”plastic surgeons, hair stylists, makeup artists, style consultants, speech therapists, and other life coachesÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â¬”work with the lucky dozen who are chosen to participate in the show, to transform each into the person they’ve always wanted to be.
Each season, twelve female contestants, ages 22-38, were chosen based on the compelling nature of their stories, and the episodes were shot over a three-month period during which the women were technically “sequestered” in a condo complex where they lived during their “transformation.” All of the mirrors in each condo were painted over and all shiny surfaces were sprayed to prevent the contestants from seeing their reflections during their three-month journey.
Each episode begins with an evaluation of the contestant from every Team Specialist. The contestant then undergoes oral surgery, plastic surgery, therapy, exercise and weight training and nutritional courses, as well as a diet of 2,500 calories a day. All aspects of the transformation are videotaped. Each episode culminates with a “reveal” during which the Swan is finally allowed to behold herself in a mirror, which is hidden behind elaborate curtains for dramatic effect.
At the end of each season, the series’ climax is the Swan Pageant, a 2-hour special during which America’s Swan is chosen. The twelve contestants, now transformed into shining Swans, are featured in a variety of fashions ranging from swim suits to evening gowns in front of a live audience and millions of TV viewers. “The Swan Pageant is the whole point of The Swan,” says GalÃƒn. “Women need a goal in order to get serious about their bodies. If I told you, ‘you have 12 weeks to get in shape to wear a bikini in front of millions of people,’ well, there’s your motivation.”