“If I was your girlfriend, would you let your belly be my pillow?
” another chirpily asks her plump admirer, who is visibly bewildered.
On series such as The Dating Game, three potential suitors remained behind a screen while another singleton chose a winner based on his or her talent for answering banal questions in double entendres.
They were then sent on a cheap romantic getaway, all within the space of a single half-hour episode.
“When you came on stage you looked like a noodle,” a third woman tells the slim young man in front of her.
“Sorry.” Bold, blunt and deliciously weird, China’s biggest TV dating show is wildly popular in the one market where the show is broadcast for an English-speaking audience: Australia.
Taken Out is primarily a studio-based show, with limited amounts of location-based material, that involves a single person who is introduced to thirty single people of the opposite sex which were revealed to them in the Taken Out arena.
The cast includes Jennifer Beals, Gaius Charles, Brooklyn Sudano, Monique Gabriela Curnen, Michael Irby, James Landry Hébert and Jose Pablo Cantillo.
A word-of-mouth success, the show gradually became one of the Channel 4 network’s flagship hits; 69 episodes, including several celebrity specials, have aired since.
It’s also led to several marriage proposals, a baby and a hotel-based spinoff.
‘If You Are The One’ — in Chinese, ‘Fei Cheng Wu Rao’ — has become an unlikely hit for Australia’s youth-oriented SBS2 channel since the network decided to start broadcasting it with English subtitles in 2013.
Non-Chinese contestants have remained rare, however. The upcoming Australian specials will be the most diverse episodes to date.