Dat­ing show leaves Sam in the the dark

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By KIRSTEN BEACOCK

FIRST dates can be nervewrack­ing af­fairs – but one city sin­gle­ton took wor­ry­ing about her looks out of the equa­tion when she ap­peared on an un­usual TV dat­ing show.

Sam Mal­ton (24) did not even see her date part­ner when she took part in Liv­ing TV show Dat­ing in the Dark.

Sam , a sales man­ager at River Is­land in Ser­pen­tine Green , joined three sin­gle guys and two sin­gle girls to take up res­i­dence in sep­a­rate apart­ments within a spe­cially de­signed house.

They were kept apart, only meet­ing each other in a dat­ing room which is kept in pitch dark­ness. Their dat­ing ac­tion was cap­tured on state-of-the-art in­fra-red cam­eras.

But de­spite the daunt­ing set-up Sam, who lives with her par­ents in Folksworth, near Nor­man Cross, said it was a dream-come-true.

She spot­ted the show on TV last year and pals per­suaded her to au­di­tion for it.

She said: “I was in­ter­ested in do­ing a re­al­ity TV show and I thought this one was, psy­cho­log­i­cally, very in­ter­est­ing, so I sent in a form and was amazed when they asked me to au­di­tion.

“I was on hol­i­day when the trail­ers came out last week for the pro­gramme and I had peo­ple tex­ting me to say they had seen me on TV.

“It was strange when I ac­tu­ally saw the trailer for the first time.

“I think it is al­ways hard to see your­self like that for the first time and ev­ery­one else said I was ok.”

For Sam, a for­mer stu­dent at Sawtry Col­lege, the ex­pe­ri­ence was noth­ing like any dates she had been on in the real world and the “daters” were barred from find­ing out any char­ac­ter­is­tics such as last names, age, hair colour and height.

Fol­low­ing their first “group date” which took place in the dark room, Sam then had to de­cide who she liked the sound of most, based on lis­ten­ing to their voices.

She said: “Nor­mally some­one asks you out so you know they fancy you and you can re­act to their body lan­guage on the date. So not be­ing able to see the dates at all was re­ally in­ter­est­ing.

“I am nor­mally quite sar­cas­tic and dry but you can usu­ally tell I am jok­ing. In the dark there are none of those clues, so you re­ally have to in­ject your per­son­al­ity into your voice more.”

Their next round of dat­ing was based on a sci­en­tific com­pat­i­bil­ity test, de­signed in part­ner­ship with se­nior lec­turer for the depart­ment of Psy­chol­ogy at Gold­smiths Uni­ver­sity of London, Dr To­mas Chamorro-Pre­muzic.

It saw the cou­ples sent back to the dark room to find out whether there re­ally is any sci­en­tific ba­sis for ro­man­tic chem­istry.

And fi­nally, in a dra­matic moment, each of the daters were given the chance to see their date in the flesh for the first time.

Then, in a bru­tal cul­mi­na­tion, the po­ten­tial love birds had to de­cide whether to date or ditch their suit­ors.

But Sam is re­main­ing tightlipped over the out­come of her date un­til it the show is aired and is keep­ing her friends and fam­ily “in the dark” about whether she found true love or got the heaveho.

She added: “I am not sure which episodes are in which or­der and I am not al­lowed to re­veal too much as it would spoil the sur­prise.

“The end­ing is quite a shock, but a funny shock, but you will have to watch it and see.”

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