Is love truly blind? Guy Davis visited the set of Dating in the Dark, and spoke with host Laura Dundovic, to find out.
Dating in the Dark to begin with. And when I say a little, I mean “ very”.
The bits and pieces I’d seen of the US version, which had three single people of each gender trying to find their perfect match without seeing what one another looked like, didn’t really float my boat – it struck me as a little contrived and a little cheesy.
But checking out the filming of an episode of the Australian version, now airing on pay-TV channel Fox8, and speaking with host Laura Dundovic and the six men and women taking part, my eyes were opened somewhat.
From the contestants, there was both a knowing sense of humour about the absurdity of the show’s premise, as well as a touching sincerity about their hopes of finding someone special and the idea of doing so based on their personalities rather than their looks.
From the charming and beautiful Dundovic, there was an enthusiasm about the show’s potential as a matchmaking method and a social experiment.
And from watching an actual date in the dark between a confident young man and an effervescent young woman, there was the impression that this is the kind of program that’ll make armchair psychologists out of us all. Let’s just say there was a lot of “ Ooh, her words say one thing but her body language is saying something else” from those of us huddled around the monitor.
“ It will certainly test a lot of theories about love,” Dundovic said, who is making her debut as a TV presenter after representing Australia in the Miss Universe 2008 competition. “ They learn about each other without knowing what the other contestants look like, their age or where they live.”
Indeed, once Dating in the Dark’s participants have spent time together in the dark room, each person must choose who they would like to see in the light of day. Whether or not love is truly blind actually makes for a few nail-biting conclusions.
“ It’s something that makes you question what you would do in that situation,” Dundovic said. “ We had one couple who saw each other in the light, walked out and said ‘ I would never approach that guy or girl in a nightclub, but I really love their personality so I’m going to give it a try’.
“ These people are really just looking for love. Some of them have come out of really bad relationships, some have always gone for the same type of guy or girl, basing their attraction solely on looks, so they want to break these habits and find someone new.”
Good medicine: Edie Falco ( right) and newcomer Taylor Schilling ( inset) are just what the doctor ordered. Revealing: Former Miss Australia Laura Dundovic and dating hopefuls on Dating in the Dark.