Fei Cheng Wu Rao
|Fei Cheng Wu Rao|
Fei Cheng Wu Rao logo
|Also known as||非诚勿扰|
|Presented by||Meng Fei
|Country of origin||People's Republic of China|
|Producer(s)||Jiangsu Broadcasting Corporation|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Original channel||Jiangsu Satellite TV|
|Original run||January 15, 2010 – present|
Fei Cheng Wu Rao (simplified Chinese: 非诚勿扰; traditional Chinese: 非誠勿擾; literally "If not sincere then do not disturb", also known in English as If You Are the One) is a Chinese dating game show hosted by Meng Fei. Based on the Australian game show Taken Out, the show is produced by Jiangsu Satellite Television (JSTV) and taped in Nanjing. It was first broadcast on January 15, 2010, and currently airs on weekend nights at 9:05 pm JSTV. In Australia, it is broadcast with English subtitles on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights at 7:45 on SBS Two.
The show has been a rating success in China and is now the highest-rated show for Jiangsu TV. Episodes are also widely distributed online. The show has attracted attention from academics and foreign media. Due to the perceptions that the show promoted problematic values, its format was changed in 2011 to de-emphasize factors such as financial wealth.
Conception and popularity
The idea of the show was brought to Jiangsu Television by veteran television producer Wang Peijie, who worked in collaboration with Columbia University-educated Xing Wenning. The pair drew inspiration from a dating show in Australia called Take Me Out. Wang said that that the show is a window into Chinese society at large, and that through it, "you can tell what China is thinking about and chasing after." The show's focus was intended to be young professionals. While most of the contestants are in their twenties, there have been instances of male contestants as old as 48 appearing on the show.
Fei Cheng Wu Rao experienced great popularity in its first broadcast because of its unique approach to dating and the conversations that are often humorous and self-aware. The show sought to 'stretch the limits' of what could be discussed on Chinese television. Unlike Taken Out, Fei Cheng Wu Rao does not rely on audience participation, use of catchphrases and physical attractiveness among male contestants.
The success of the program has led to other international versions of Taken Out, including the English version Take Me Out.
Controversy and revisions
In the first half of 2010, the show broke ratings records, with some 50 million watching every episode, an audience second only to the CCTV evening news broadcast Xinwen Lianbo. In the initial format of the show, the contestants reported things such as their annual earnings, their material possessions, etc. During this phase several contestants earned notoriety and became internet sensations. Female contestant Ma Nuo became a media interest after her controversial remarks to a male contestant that she would "prefer to cry in a BMW" than laugh riding on the back of a bicycle. One male contestant, a son of a businessman, was rejected by all 24 women on one episode for egregiously showing off his sports cars and bank statements instead of his life and interests.There have been three different male contestants who have lost the show in the beginning when the female contestants first study the male. Both controversial contestants were some of the most-talked-about people in Chinese entertainment. In addition, concerns were raised that some of the contestants on the show were not who they said they were, and that the TV station was 'planting' contestants to make controversial remarks to increase ratings.
Chinese authorities looked upon the show unfavourably, asserting that it was spreading the 'wrong values'. State media editorialized against the show on television, in print, and online. Six months after the show first aired, officials from the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television stepped in to regulate the show. From that point forward, Fei Cheng Wu Rao was to curb mentions of financial wealth and sex, and a third host was added: a party school psychology teacher named Huang Han, who was seen to 'balance' the show to make it more grounded and less controversial as well as adding more banter between the three hosts. A wholesale replacement of the contestant pool with more tame individuals followed. The revised program scrubbed contestant information such as bank account information and salaries etc. Also omitted is the 'final opinions' on a departing male contestant from the women; previously this part of the show was especially prone to pointed insults and ridicule. Moreover the original reel of the show must undergo heavy editing before airing depending on length and number of contestants present.
Despite the changed format, the show remains extremely popular.
24 women stand in an arc, each behind a podium with its light initially on.
The women face a single man, who chooses one of them as his "heartbeat girl" (simplified Chinese: 心动女生) from sight alone before any conversation between the women and the single man has taken place. His choice of "heartbeat girl" is initially known only to himself and the host of the programme.
The single man uses two or three video clips to reveal some personal information such as occupation, interests, love history and friends' opinions. During each video clip, each of the women decides whether or not he is still "date-worthy" in her opinion by keeping her light on or turning it off. The contestants, psychologists and host frequently exchange banter with each other when video clips aren't being shown.
If a girl doesn’t like the man, she will turn her light off (followed by a sound cue).
A new feature (simplified Chinese: 爆灯; literally: "burst light") has since been introduced. It can be activated only once per round, and is heralded by a "smashing" sound cue, followed by a show of pulsating hearts, along with the number of the woman who "burst the light", on display screens around the studio. It is basically the opposite of turning the light off; instead, a woman who has decided to escalate to "bursting the light" is signalling an especial interest in the man, often meaning that he is the one she's been looking for. If a woman has activated the "burst light", her podium light cannot be turned off; instead, her light changes to a pulsating heart display, and she is guaranteed a place as a finalist at the end of the round.
If all 24 lights have been turned off by or before the end, the man loses.
If just one woman has left her light on until the end, the man may choose to take her as his date, or thank her and depart alone.
If more than two lights have remained on (not counting a woman who might have activated the "burst light" for that round), the man is requested to go up to the podiums and turn off lights so that only two remain on.
If a woman has activated the "burst light", she is now invited onto the stage as a finalist. Then, the remaining women whose lights are still on are invited onto the stage as finalists. After that, the identity of the man's "heartbeat girl" is revealed. She too is invited onto the stage (if not already there) as a finalist. Thus, there can end up being two, three or four women on the stage as finalists.
The man puts to the finalists a question that he chooses from a set menu of queries. Following that, he can put to the finalists a question of his own choosing. After that, if one of the finalists had "burst the light", she is given an opportunity to explain her interest in the man and why she should be chosen.
If the man elects to take one of the finalists who had shown interest in him (ie, hadn't turned her light off), he walks to her, takes her hand, and they depart for a presumed future date.
The man may insist on his "heartbeat girl" even if she had turned her light off. In that case, the other finalists are dismissed back to their podiums, and the man is given an opportunity to win his "heartbeat girl" over. She may accept him as her date and depart with him, or reject him and return to her podium.
Occasionally, a man elects to choose none of the finalists and to depart alone.
Reserve female contestants are seated stageside in the "love corner" (simplified Chinese: 爱转角) situated just before the stairs by which departing contestants exit the stage. If any of the reserve female contestants are interested in a man who is about to exit the studio without a date, they may stop him at the last moment before his exit by standing up, which is further signalled by the playing of three musical beats suggestive of saying "deng yi deng" ("wait a moment"; simplified Chinese: 等一等). Those women then have an opportunity to briefly introduce themselves to the man, who may elect to take one of them with him as his date, or to thank them and depart alone.
The post-game interview appears with the man alone, or with him and his chosen girl if he is "successful".
Songs featured on the show
The introduction song is Jean-Roch's "Can You Feel It".
If the male contestant ends up with no lights left on, he leaves to the refrain of Malaysian singer Fish Leong's "Sadly, It's Not You" ("What a pity it's not you, staying with me to the end...")
- Li Jing (2010-07-02). "Playing by the rules in the game of love". China Daily. Retrieved 2010-12-09. "... the popular dating show If You Are the One ..."
- Wong, Edward (31 December 2011). "China TV Grows Racy, and Gets a Chaperon". New York Times. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- Lin Qi (2010-04-24). "The Dating game by Jiangsu TV". China Daily. Retrieved 2010-12-09. "...a jury of 24 single women question one guy,..."
- Yang, Xiyun (18 July 2010). "China’s Censors Rein in ‘Vulgar’ Reality TV Show". New York Times. Retrieved 1 May 2012.