It's Showtime! Montel meets the Candidates at Old Cabell

Charlottesville is pretty hip. A decent nightlife, nice views, a #1 city ranking, and a couple of popular bands– it all gives our town a little frisson of superiority over our neighboring 'villes.

And now we're becoming national-TV hip.

On June 20, Showtime's original reality series, American Candidate, took over Old Cabell Hall for a quasi political presidential debate. The show is hosted by probably the least obnoxious talk show host of all, Montel Williams, a man as striking in person as he is on TV.

American Candidate consists of 12 people, selected by Showtime, who travel around the country debating hot political topics. Like The Apprentice and countless boy-meets-girl shows, someone gets eliminated at the end of each episode, ultimately leading to a final debate between two candidates.

The winner gets $200,000 and the chance to address the nation on Showtime. Though no one is actually running for president during the taping of the show, there's no stopping their write-in candidacy after the finale.

So who knows? Maybe one day our next president will have been a "reality TV" star. Move over, Ronald Reagan.

American Candidate  Crew: young, hip, and hot.

Who won the debate at Old Cabell? Tune in this fall to find out!

Montel presses the flesh with UVA politics professor Larry Sabato.

Montel Williams gets political.