Undressed is the revealing (lazy pun intended) new show where total strangers strip down to their knickers and jump into bed with each other. Inspired by research suggesting you can speed up the attraction process by getting close, physically and emotionally, to another person, Undressed puts the theory to the test.
Undressed has just started on SBS but it’s not actually an Aussie invention. The series began in Italy where’s run for more than 40 episodes and from Monday 6th of February you can watch it right here on SBS On Demand. So how does the Italian version compare to our home grown one? Let’s look at seven of the most critical factors side by side.
When you’ve got such a limited time and wardrobe available, you have to get it right. In a nutshell, Aussies aren’t fussy. We’re more into our chesty Bonds than our La Perla lace. We know that true love is when you can schlub around together in your mis-matched jockeys, not cos it’s laundry day, just cos fluro blue full briefs are heaps comfier- and sexier- than a black lacy thong.
Australia is a wonderful melting pot of races, cultures and religions - despite what some of our pollies would have us believe. So it’s only natural that our dating shows reflect that, with a range of nationalities represented. Unlike in Italy, race is definitely part of the conversation with potential couples being asked to talk about how their race has shaped their dating life. Without question, most white people reckon it’s never mattered whilst most minorities reckon that’s pretty hilarious.
Let’s face it: getting undressed in front of a stranger is always weird.
Sure, there’s a level of nervous excitement the first time you know you’re going to see someone naked, but in this case it’s the idea of undressing each other that seems to spook our would-be lovers, with many struggling with simple tasks like undoing their partners buttons and untie-ing their shoe laces. Doesn’t matter whether it’s Italy or Oz: performance anxiety is real and it’s super awkward.
The body confidence
This is probably a sweeping generalisation but from what I can tell from my intense research (ie, watching about six episodes of both versions) Italian girls are hot and they know it.
I spent about six months in Italy in my 20’s and lemme tell you: my self esteem was never higher than at that time. I didn’t look any different, but that didn’t stop the blokes from ogling me left and right even when I wandered out of the house in my trakkie daks in search of some sort of cured pork sandwich to heal my sangiovese-induced hangover. In Italy, female beauty- in all its forms- never goes unappreciated. By turn, Italian women seem more comfortable in their skin and they’re happy to flaunt their figures- including their flaws, unlike the Aussie girls who climbed under the sheets to hide any unsightly belly flub.
Australians are known for not taking themselves too seriously- in life and in love. So, it’s not surprising that when asked to take their clothes off and hop into bed with a stranger, most Aussies just get the giggles. Not so, the Italians, who actually seem to see the experiment as a chance to get to know the other person on a deeper level. It doesn’t take them long before they’re discussing topics like gay marriage, adoption and infidelity, while Aussies are spending time pillow-fighting and showing off their best dance moves.
The “kiss” prompt on the screen is the same in Italy and Australia: it’s weird and a little pervy. Is it just me, or do others find it far from a turn on to watch stock footage of strangers macking face by the setting sun? The couples certainly don’t seem to enjoy it, with most of them looking kind of teenager-in-the-back-seat-of-a-car awkward before reluctantly turning towards the other person with a look in their eyes that simply says, “well, we’re here… we may as well…”
Put plainly: Aussie blokes always say yes.
Bless their hearts. Call it tireless Down Under optimism or blind arrogance regarding their own appeal but unlike their Italian cohorts who like to play the field, Aussie blokes never let let an opportunity for a potential bone go astray. Well may they prosper.
Undressed Australia airs Thursdays at 9.30pm on SBS VICELAND. Undressed Italy is streaming now on SBS On Demand: