If You Are the One (game show)
|If You Are the One|
If You Are the One logo
|Also known as||非诚勿扰 (Fēi Chéng Wù Rǎo)|
|Country of origin||People's Republic of China|
|Running time||90 minutes|
|Original network||JSBC: Jiangsu Television|
|Original release||January 15, 2010 – present|
Fei Cheng Wu Rao (simplified Chinese: 非诚勿扰; traditional Chinese: 非誠勿擾; literally: "Not Sincere, Don't Disturb", known in English as If You Are the One) is a Chinese dating game show hosted by Meng Fei. Loosely based on the Taken Out format, the show is produced by JSBC: Jiangsu Television and taped in Nanjing. It was first broadcast on January 15, 2010, and originally aired twice a week on Saturday and Sundays until December 2014. Since January 2015, It currently airs on Saturday nights at 8 pm on Jiangsu TV. In 2013, the show began broadcasting on SBS Two in Australia, in an hour-long version with English subtitles provided by SBS.
If You Are the One has been a ratings success in China and is now the highest-rated show for Jiangsu TV. Episodes are also widely distributed online. The show is viewed internationally over the internet and satellite television. The show's popularity and social commentary has drawn attention of academics and foreign media, and after concerns from Chinese regulators in 2011 the show's format was tweaked to de-emphasize factors such as financial wealth.
Conception and popularity
“If You Are the One" is currently the most-viewed dating show in the Chinese-speaking world. According to Beijing-based CSM Media Research, the audience ratings for Fei Cheng Wu Rao - which as of May 22, 2013 had screened a total of 343 episodes - were 2.77 percent of television viewers, or 36 million, twice as many as the nearest competitor for that timeslot.
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 the Taken Out format, however when the rights for that show were instead won by a rival network, If You Are the One was launched instead. 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.
If You Are the One 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, If You Are the One does not rely on audience participation, use of catchphrases and physical attractiveness among male contestants.
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.
Twenty-four women stand in an arc, each behind a podium with a light that they initially turn 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).
If, after all the videos have been played, there are more than two girls still with lights on, the man goes and turns off some of those lights, choosing only two of the remaining girls to come up on 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.
A new procedural option (simplified Chinese: 爆灯; literally: "burst light"), enabling a woman to signal a special interest in the man, was introduced to the programme in the episode broadcast on 20 October 2012. 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 essentially the opposite of turning the podium light off; instead, a woman who "bursts the light" is choosing to signal her interest in the man demonstratively rather than just passively leaving her light on. If a woman has activated the "burst light", her 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 a woman has activated the "burst light", she is now invited onto the stage 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 an original question of his own. 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 (i.e., 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.
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 when a male contestant enters the stage is Jean-Roch's "Can You Feel It" (Big Ali Edit).
If the male contestant has 0/24 lights left, Carl Orff's "O Fortuna - Carmina Burana" is played.
If the male contestant leaves without a date, Eason Chan's (陈奕迅) "Eliminate" ("淘汰") plays.
Previous songs included:
- Fish Leong's ('可惜不是你') "Sadly, it's not you"
- A-Lin's ('離開的時候') "Time to leave"
If the favourite girl is not one of the two finalists, she will walk down the catwalk to a swing beat.
If the two finalists are not chosen (i.e. the contestant insists on the favorite girl), "Real Man" (大丈夫) by Taiwanese pop singer Jolin Tsai (蔡依林) plays. This was formerly "Goodbye bye bye" by Elva Hsiao (蕭亞軒).
- "Liang Shanbo and Juliet" ("梁山伯与朱丽叶") by Genie Chuo (卓文萱) featuring Gary Cao (曹格),
- "Beautiful Love" by Tanya (蔡健雅 )
- "Romance" by Jiang Yu Chen (江語晨)
- "Everybody" by Ingrid Michaelson
The outro song with the credits is "One Step Forward" (往前一步) by Meng Fei.
An alternative outro features the song Wo Zai Na Yi Jiao Luo Huan Guo Shang Feng" (我在那一角落患过伤风(小说音乐)) by Fiona Fung.
If You Are The One has had many guests through its long history. They include:
- Le Jia (15 Jan 2010 to 14 Oct 2012, 18 Nov 2012 to 31 Mar 2013)
- Zeng Zihang (13 Apr 2013 to 13 Jul 2013)
- Ning Caishen (14 July 2013 to 22 Jun 2014)
- Tong Dawei (9 Aug 2014 to 18 Oct 2014)
- Huang Lei (19 Oct 2014 to 28 March 2015, 1 Aug 2015 - Present)
- Liu Ye (4 Apr 2015 to 23 May 2015)
- Lu Yi (30 May 2015 to 25 Jul 2015)
Fill-in Male guests
- Yu Zheng (6 & 7 April 2013, 1 week)
- Zhang Jiajia (2 & 8 Mar 2014, 1 week; 13 Jul 2014 to 3 Aug 2014, 3 weeks)
- Hawick Lau (30 Aug 2014 to 7 Sep 2014, 2 weeks)
- Zhang Liang (2 Nov 2014 to 15 Nov 2014, 2 weeks)
- Malaysia - NTV7 broadcast the programme from 6:30 to 8:00 on every Sunday under the English title, Perfect Match
- Australia - SBS2 broadcast the programme with reruns from 6:05 to 7:05 on weekday nights, and from 7:30 to 8:30 on weekend nights under the title If You Are the One.
- 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 ...
- Wang, Fei. "If you are the foreign one". Global Times. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
- 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.