Former featured players from some of TV's most controversial shows (think ''Joe Millionaire,'' ''Kid Nation,'' ''Married by America,'' and more) reflect on their ''journey'' and whether it was all worth it

Evan Marriott
The construction worker pretended to be worth $50 million while courting 20 women on Fox’s dating show.

They needed a guy that was in construction but didn’t have kids, hadn’t been in jail, wasn’t on drugs. And basically I fit the bill. They said they would pay me $50,000, and I said, ”Where do I sign?” I wasn’t looking for the love of my life. But I picked the best girl of the 20 they gave me to choose from. We got back to America and I’ve never seen the girl since, except for the reunion show. I think Fox was a little irritated that we didn’t pursue more so they could get more longevity out of it, kind of like Trista and Ryan. In the two years after the show, I went into a deep depression. I had $500,000 in the bank and no reason to wake up every morning. One night, a friend said, ”You can go back to construction — just own your own business.” So that’s what I’ve been doing ever since. I felt like I’d been paroled. It absolutely destroyed [my dating life]. I can’t tell you how many numbers I get where the girl doesn’t want to date, she just wants to have me call so she can tell her friends, ”Oh, that guy Evan Marriott — because he did that to those girls — I blew him off when he called for a date.” That’s okay. It be what it be. —As told to Dan Snierson