If your guilty pleasure is dating shows (no judgment there), you’re probably no stranger to If You Are The One—the highly-rated Chinese dating game show that seems to always have contestants saying the darndest things. Never heard of it? Here’s the gist: 24 female participants interview a male contestant on stage and he either leaves as a match to one of them, or to no one at all.
The show is a huge hit in both China and around the world, and in September last year they invited participants living here to take part. One Singaporean guy who made the cut was Valent Wang, a 36-year-old who designs and manufactures collectible toys (catch his segment here). He very sportingly talks to us about why he decided to be a contestant and how he found the entire experience.
What made you want to join If You Are The One?
I was invited to join Perfect Dating (another Chinese dating show) many years ago. However, my parents disapproved of my participation because of the stigma surrounding dating show contestants. I always regretted not being a part of the show, so when this Singapore Special came around, I did not hesitate to apply.
How was the interview process like?
After sending in my application, I had to go through numerous phone and video interviews with several different producers of the show. I read on the newspapers that the response had been overwhelming, to the point where they had to increase the number of segments so that they could accommodate nine guys instead of the initial six. I was really honoured to be one of the selected few. It was an amazing experience!
What happened during your segment?
I was bombarded with questions from the women. I was tasked to pick 12 women I was more likely to be interested in from the group of 24. I found it to be a bit like Tinder—I had to swipe left or right whenever each of the women made their entrance and there was a time limit.
But here’s the thing: the image on my screen was really, really pixelated, so I could not really tell how they looked like and ended up swiping the girl I liked to “left”.
I’d also like to point a misconception: two people aren’t instantly a couple just because they matched on a dating show. It’s exactly like how it’d be if they had met on an app—they’d still have to date and get to know each other better before seeing if they should pursue a relationship.
Did you tell your friends and family about your participation?
Yes, most of my friends and family knew. Since the usage of dating apps has become quite common over the past few years, all of them were open to the idea.
How did you find the entire experience?
Even though no romance blossomed after the show, I met tons of amazing people and friends. I gained a lot from it even if it wasn’t in the form of a relationship. One of the male contestants even became my godbrother.
I did find that some of the contestants who joined the show had ulterior motives and weren’t exactly looking for a partner. Rather, they were looking to become web celebrities or influencers and wanted build on their popularity through this medium. But still, it was a fantastic experience!
Tell us a little bit about your past experiences with love.
I’m someone motivated by love. When there is someone I love, I strive to do and become better for them.
My previous relationship was two years ago and it ended because she cheated on me. I actually became friends with the guy she cheated on me with. He didn’t know about my existence and we broke things off with her at the same time.
What do you look for in a partner?
I kinda prefer women who are taller than me, which can be tough because most women don’t like guys who are shorter than them. I’m also drawn to demure and well-educated women.
However, these standards are just “placeholders”. When the right one comes along, most of these requirements will be tossed aside.