There’s something very satisfying about watching a good dating show. Perhaps it’s the comfort of witnessing others flounder in love or maybe it’s the intrigue of seeing how other people work their charms to draw their target in. Whatever it is, it’s no secret dating shows are a guilty pleasure for many Australians.
And while there are other dating shows on the market, here at The Guide, we know there’s only one we’d keep our light on for: If You Are the One (IYATO). With its simple concept – 20+ girls competing for one guy’s heart – IYATO seemingly has much in common with The Bachelor, however the way the two series are produced leaves them worlds apart.
In case you had any doubt, here are the definitive reasons why IYATO should be the dating show you take home with you tonight.
1. IYATO puts the women in control
If there’s anything this world does NOT need more of, it’s shows with white men in power. IYATO is great because it’s really like one guy trying to impress 24 girls, not the other way around. Some of the best moments are when girls call out guys for their weird appearance, personality or dress sense. What’s more empowering than watching a boss lady deliver a full-on smackdown from the comfort of your own couch? Even better, the girls have each other’s backs. There’s no catfighting or pulling and grabbing – even people at the Myer Boxing Day sale would concede The Bachelor takes it too far!
2. IYATO has actual diversity
There’s already been a lot of talk about the lack of diversity on The Bachelor. Are we really supposed to believe that from a country where one in four people was born overseas and 46 percent of us have at least one parent born overseas that there was not a more diverse pool of candidates to choose from? IYATO is a Chinese show filmed in China, which has a homogeneous population. Everyone has to speak Mandarin to be on the show and they still manage to get people in from different cultures. They even have a lady with no arms on the show, for crying out loud! How are they finding Chinese-speaking women of African descent when Channel 10 can’t even find English-speaking people from any non-white backgrounds?
3. IYATO keeps it innocent and cute
Sure, everyone loves a good old pash, but there’s something off-putting about seeing the same guy kiss a bunch of different girls in one night. The contestants on IYATO kinda look like they would have one bedside table, but too many books. And there are gloriously awkward moments when a guy goes to reach for the girl’s hand and only ends up hanging on to her index finger because she doesn’t want him coming on too strong. Sometimes, in television, less is more.
4. IYATO gets down to the nitty gritty
Sure, we could all sit there and listen to boring small talk all day – “What do you do? You look amazing” “No, you look amazing…” – but there’s no time like a first meeting to deal with the heavy hitters. Questions like: how many previous relationships have you had? When do you want kids? Are we living with your parents or mine after we get married? What goss do your friends have on you? (You’d think the friends would try and make the suitors look better on TV but, no, they are blatantly and delightfully honest.)
5. The hosts are helpful
I’ve been a fan of Osher Günsberg since his Australian Idol days but what does he really do on The Bachelor apart from telling contestants to “take some time to say goodbye” in a very sombre voice? When you’re watching IYATO, you could write a book with the amount of life advice that gets thrown at you. Lines like: “you’ve wasted 20 years, a few more won’t hurt." “Rejecting people is an art.” "Are you prepared to eat kimchi for the rest of your life?” These are the sorts of things that will really help candidates grow in the next stage of their journey.
If You Are the One airs Sundays at 7pm on SBS VICELAND. Missed the latest episode? Watch it at SBS On Demand: