In the 1980s and 1990s, China had a very strict one child policy, especially in the major cities like Shanghai. As a result, the current twenty year olds in China are mostly proud, successful and well loved by their parents. Since they are the sole descendants, the family wealth is taken for granted to be theirs. Love is not only hard to find, because family wealth needs to be measured for potential partners, but also because of the hectic lifestyles Chinese youth lead. The competitive nature and long hours of the Chinese work force mean that there are minimal opportunities to interact with the opposite sex. Furthermore, prior to entering university, dating is frowned upon.
Thus, dating shows filled with beautiful, charming and successful contestants are all the rage in 2011/12. Contestants themselves are paid handsomely per show and are given 15 minutes of fame. Extremely popular contestants move on to become MCs and guest hosts. Check out some of the most popular and funny ones below!
If You Are the One (Jiangsu TV)
Chinese name: 非诚勿扰
Game rules… Approximately 24 single women line up on stage and are presented with a male candidate. The candidate will introduce himself with a previously prepared video clip and answer any questions from the ladies on stage.
After this brief introduction, the ladies can choose to press a button to turn off their light if they have no interest in the guy. After 3 rounds of questions, if there are still any girls interested and he likes one of them, a match is made.
Scandals… One of the ladies Ma Nuo (22) had a law suit filed against her, requiring her to return the BMW gifted from an ex-candidate once their wedding engagement was broken off.
Why this show is so popular… Personally i think If You Are The One, is one of the bitchiest dating shows out there. Its harsh comments, materialistic girls and brutal rejections is what defines this show. For instance, when Ma Nuo was asked by a candidate whether she would like to go for a bicycle ride, she responded “I’d rather sit and cry in the back of a BMW, than laugh on the backseat of a bicycle.“
Unfortunately, for those interested in this show, there have been some significant changes made due to complaints on how the show was degrading social values. Ratings have been significantly down since the changes.
One out of 100 [female choose male]
Who can one out of 100 [male choose female] (Shanghai SBN TV)
Chinese name: 百里挑一 & 谁能百里挑一
Game rules… For One out of 100, there are 10 stunning single ladies present at each recording. A male candidate is then bought out and required to perform a talent to impress the hundred member live audience. He needs at least 70 votes to pass onto the next stage, where the self introductions and questions begin. Here, he will also secretly choose his favorite lady from the ten and a least favorite.
The ladies are then given the opportunity to remain interested or switch off their lights behind the candidate’s back. Moving onto the second round, the candidate then voices his requirements for a girlfriend. For example, “She must be at home for dinner more than 4 times per week.” If the any of the ladies’ lights remain on after this segment, she is given the opportunity to confess. The candidate can either accept; decline and leave; or choose to confess to his favorite lady… and get rejected or even less likely, lead the special lady away from the stage.
Scandals… When i was eating at Pizza Hut in Shanghai, i overheard that for one episode of One out of 100, each lady receives 800 rmb. That’s heaps for just sitting there and smiling. Makes you wonder if some of the ladies purposely do not agree to dating just to remain on the stage. But this is still not 100% and could just be a rumor!
Why its so popular… By 2012, this show has definitely eclipsed If you are the One. The show’s contestants are all beautiful, well educated and have high moral standards. Elegant, kind and witty, the girls in this show aim to find a sane and loving counterpart, instead on focusing on money.
Mother-In-Law looks at Daughter-in-law
Mother-In-Law looks at Son-in-law
Chinese names: 丈母娘看女婿 & 婆婆看媳妇
Game rules… The style of this matchmaking show is like any other … except next to the contestants are their mothers. The mothers aren’t just there for show though and help judge the candidates. They actively participate in questioning and if they dislike any of the nervous and quivering candidates, then their children are automatically out of that round.
Both the bachelor/bachelorette and their mothers must have their lights switched on to move to the next stage. When voting, a glass barrier separate the pair and all is kept in secrecy.
Scandal… Many of the contestants tend to discuss their decisions and viewpoints when they think the camera isn’t rolling.
What makes it so good… When the pair realize the camera is on. Haha
This match making show is different from the first two though. Majority of the contestants are in their late twenties or thirties, so the atmosphere is rather serious and everyone seems a tad bit desperate. Especially the mums.
Hope everyone will find their soul mates soon and won’t have to result to match making in front of a couple billion viewers! A little eye contact won’t kill and guys… do take a little initiative please.