I think that when you are using $(Variable_xyz) in selected template and result template, then in the upper popup, “Edit Template Attributes Item” you should use Variable_xyz without the dollar & parentheses.
Go make it.
Here’s an example where I am searching on part of the email address and present the result-list differently then the selected item.
If you do not see your selection it either means you’re selected template is not fully correct or maybe there might be a problem with the access rights. That latter you can check by adding a normal reference selector and see if it works.