Wilber Pan’s announcement of his marriage to his long-rumoured girlfriend Luna Xuan, a Chinese air stewardess, on Monday (July 27) received messages from both congratulators and haters.

The word on the street is that Wilber and Luna, 26, dated for five years before getting hitched, which means the 39-year-old was already attached when he joined the 2017 Chinese celebrity dating show We Are In Love.

In the popular series, eligible bachelors and bachelorettes are paired up and sent out on dates at romantic locations.

Wilber was paired with Chinese host Wu Xin, and his charisma, as well as attentiveness towards her, was so captivating that viewers shipped them for years (until Wilber’s marriage announcement).

The deal-clincher for fans was when at the end of the show, Wilber told Wu Xin that he truly meant it when he said: “Let’s date for real.”

A Weibo page was even set up by fans for the pair, who was nicknamed the ‘koala couple’.

Now, they are feeling duped.

“I feel like a fool who was strung along by others,” a netizen wrote in Wilber’s Weibo comment section.

Another wrote: “You already had a girlfriend, and yet you went on a show to fall in love.”

“Using other girls. Playing with their feelings and pretending to be affectionate, dedicated and innocent. My god, it turns out that the entertainment industry is really dirty,” a disillusioned netizen wrote.

Text: Kwok Kar Peng / AsiaOne / July 2020
Additional text: Sally Manik
Featured image: TPG Images