MTV’s Are You The One? Is the Anti-Bachelor for All the Right Reasons

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Firstly of each episode of The Bachelor recap present A Beautiful Podcast to Fall in Love, Liam Mathews asks his co-host Jacqueline Trumbull how she thinks the Bachelor “did” that week. Each time, the query and its implications frustrate me. What do you imply, how did he “do”?

Mathews, (who, full disclosure, is my TV Information co-worker and beloved frenemy) clarified in a Slack chat the type of reply he is in search of: “Did they behave like an honest particular person? And in the event that they did not, was it not less than enjoyable to observe?… It is type of like analyzing a sports activities efficiency.”

Clearly, the bar is on the ground for The Bachelor contestants. We aren’t rooting for these individuals to search out love, as host Chris Harrison would possibly need viewers to consider. We’re simply hoping to be entertained whereas they drag us via this lengthy con launchpad for influencer gigs.

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Possibly I would not be so wound up by this charade if MTV’s Are You The One? hadn’t rendered me such a relationship present purist. When it premiered in 2014, Are You the One? stood out to perpetually single and clueless me for its premise: “In case your good match was standing proper in entrance of you, would you even comprehend it?” Within the present’s first seven seasons, producers put a gaggle of single, heterosexual, cisgender ladies and a gaggle of single, heterosexual, cisgender males via a matchmaking course of involving psychological assessments, surveys on relationship preferences, and even interviews with contestants’ members of the family and exes. Armed with that data, producers then decide probably the most appropriate match for every contestant. The catch? It is as much as the contestants to find out who their good matches are, and if every contestant accurately identifies their match, the whole group splits $1 million.

One apparent distinction between The Bachelor and Are You the One? is that the latter creates a good taking part in discipline wherein everybody has an opportunity to make a connection. On The Bachelor, the chances of being chosen for the ultimate rose are so slim that it is extra viable to stroll away with a Match Tea deal than a fiancé, and that most likely deters contestants from earnestly in search of a soulmate. It additionally deters the hopeless romantic viewers who wish to witness an genuine spark on-screen from investing in ABC sequence. Are You The One?‘s setup, then again, permits contestants to be extra susceptible and real of their makes an attempt to search out love, and the attainable million-dollar prize virtually all the time appears secondary to the reward of discovering a companion.

“All people that comes on this present has a chance to make an actual connection, so I feel that is actually particular,” Are You The One? host Terrence J instructed TV Information in a latest telephone interview.

Terrence J, Are You The One?


The all-or-nothing financial prize additionally helps type a group bond on Are You the One?,one thing that is lacking from different competitors relationship exhibits. As a result of each contestant should discover their match to ensure that the group to win any cash, it forces gamers to be thoughtful of others and encourages them to root for each other to search out love with virtually as a lot ardour as they spend money on their private romantic journeys. After all, that may additionally get messy: If a pair goes into the “Fact Sales space” and discovers they don’t seem to be an ideal match, they’re pressured to separate up and get to know different individuals in the home for the sake of the sport and for his or her teammates. Similar to relationship within the exterior world, there’s not all the time a clear break. Nonetheless, the collective objective tends to create a real spirit of camaraderie inside the home that the viewers can actually really feel.

In its eighth season, which options a wholly sexually fluid solid, the bonds really feel even deeper, as every particular person feels a way of satisfaction about representing a group we do not typically see on relationship exhibits. Everybody — whether or not they establish as trans, non-binary, pansexual, bisexual, homosexual, lesbian, or queer — has a chance to make an actual reference to every other particular person in the home. And by increasing the forms of contestants featured, it additionally expanded the relationship present’s viewers.

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“To be fully sincere, I had by no means beforehand watched [Are You the One?],” Kai Wes, a contestant on Season 8, instructed TV Information. “I feel, truthfully, largely it is as a result of I haven’t got an enormous curiosity in watching a bunch of heterosexual individuals do the identical factor in each single relationship present.”

Unsurprisingly, Wes, who identifies as a queer, trans-masculine, non-binary human, is not a member of #BachelorNation. “Twenty ladies vying for one man’s consideration? No man deserves that,” he mentioned.

Kai Wes, Are You the One?

Brian Bielmann for MTV

However Wes is proud each to have modified the panorama of actuality TV by including some a lot wanted visibility to the queer group, and of the way in which MTV has portrayed the solid.

“None of us are deemed as a trope. None of us are deemed as a one-off particular. We’re handled precisely like everybody else, and I feel that is crucial half,” he mentioned. “We created this utopia [where] your sexuality does not matter. We’re regular individuals, we’re identical to you, and we simply occur to sleep with a wide range of individuals. We’re regular individuals who simply wish to be beloved, and I feel that is the gorgeous a part of it.”

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Terrence J, who joined Are You the One? because the host in Season 6, mentioned it was necessary to him to undergo media coaching with GLAAD to know correct terminology and study areas of sensitivity when working with a queer solid previous to filming the brand new season. However in any other case, he handled his work on Season 8 no in a different way.

“They’re younger people who find themselves in search of love, and I do not care about their sexual desire or any of that. I care about, ‘Are you doing the work to search out your good match and discover your real connection?’ To me, that is all that issues,” he mentioned.

Possibly you are the kind of viewer who tunes into The Bachelor merely to chortle in any respect the bizarre “jobs” and gimmicky costumes every new season brings. Or perhaps you are one of many many who’ve seen too many seasons of Rock of Love Bus and the wish to ever purchase into the thought of somebody happening tv to construct a wholesome relationship. However for all 5 of you who stay un-jaded and nonetheless consider that folks can discover love on a actuality relationship present, belief me once I say that Are You The One? is your good match.

Are You The One? Seasons 1 and a couple of at the moment are streaming on Netflix. Seasons 1-6 can be found on CBS All Entry.

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