This summer, a dozen American women will be vying to become the next British princess on the FOX reality show 'I Wanna Marry Harry.' But they won't actually be competing for Prince Harry's heart. Instead, Harry lookalike Matthew Hicks poses as the British royal in the ultimate reality show fake-out. Hicks joined HuffPost Live to discuss his new show.
Though Hicks has drawn comparisons to Prince Harry since he was 17, he had to undergo training in order to truly impersonate the prince. "I went through sort of this week of 'Harry School' where I had to practice all the skills he's got, like horse-riding for polo, which I had never done before. We did some shooting. I had to learn his military history, his schooling, past scandals, ex-girlfriends, the whole shebang."
Hicks, a natural blonde, also had to dye his hair to match Harry's distinctive red. But he didn't change his mannerisms much. "I thought if I just come across as well-spoken, well-brought-up Englishman, then they wouldn't necessarily be able to tell the difference between that and someone who was royal. I hoped."
The contestants on the show are never actually told that they're meeting Harry, Hicks explained to host Caitlyn Becker. Instead, the women speculate over their potential mate. "We're allowing them to assume. There are subtle hints dropped around the place, every question I answer, I answer as Harry from the Harry schooling, so I can fall back on that in any situation." (Continued below.)
Before 'I Wanna Marry Harry,' Hicks was an environmental consultant, who played hockey and cricket on weekends. He admitted that he did feel guilty about deceiving his castmates. "As it went on, I did feel bad, because I got to like the girls more and more. Obviously, the further on it went, the more time I spent with them. And it was a bit weird lying to them about who I was, because they were opening up to me but I couldn't exactly open up to them."
He added, "I think anyone that is questioning the ethics of the show is just taking it far too seriously. It's a reality TV show, it's a bit of fun. Yeah we got emotionally invested in it, but you know, it was a very short process, and everyone signed up and sort of knew what they were in for."
"It was all just an absolute barrel of laughs for six weeks. Hopefully no one's emotionally scarred from it all, and there might be a romantic interest at the end of it."