BLIND AM­BI­TION

Is love truly blind? Guy Davis vis­ited the set of Dat­ing in the Dark, and spoke with host Laura Dun­dovic, to find out.

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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.

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