Singled Out

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Singled Out
Singled Out (title card).jpg
GenreDating game show
Developed byMTV Productions
Presented byChris Hardwick
Jenny McCarthy (1995–1997)
Carmen Electra (1997–1998)
Country of originUSA
Executive producer(s)Gary Auerbach
Production location(s)Empire Burbank Studios, Burbank, California
Running timeapprox. 22 minutes
Original networkMTV
Original releaseJune 5, 1995 – May 22, 1998

Singled Out is a dating game show that ran on MTV from 1995 to 1998.[1] Each episode featured a group of 50 men and a group of 50 women competing for a date with one main contestant of the opposite sex.

The original hosts were Chris Hardwick and Jenny McCarthy.[2] When McCarthy left the show in early 1997 to star in her own sitcom, Jenny,[3][4] MTV hired Carmen Electra to replace her for the last season and a half.


Each game began with one main contestant, the "Picker", being escorted onto the set blindfolded in front of the 50 potential dates in the "Dating Pool" while the announcer described him/her. The Picker was then led to a seat facing away from the Dating Pool and further divided from the potential dates by a wall.[5]

Categories round[edit]

The Picker was presented with a board showing six categories, which ranged from physical attributes to preferences in love-making to leisure activities. They generally were expressed in a humorous style, often with various pop-culture references. After choosing a category, two or three choices were listed (for example, a category on hair might be divided into blonde, brunette, and redhead), and the Picker was asked to eliminate one of the choices. After eliminating a choice, all the contestants who fit that choice left the Dating Pool, in view of the Picker. This process was repeated until five to eight potentials were left, at which point they advanced to the next round.

In the third season, a Golden Ticket was introduced, which allowed the Picker to save one eliminated player as he or she walked in front of him on the way out of the studio. This contestant automatically advanced to the semifinals. For episodes taped outside, the "Golden Ticket" was replaced with a Golden Lifesaver, with the same rules.

Keep 'Em or Dump 'Em?[edit]

At that point, the Picker asked a series of questions which ranged from Dating Game–style questions (example, "if you had me alone in a limousine for three hours, what would you do to me?") to stunt-oriented questions (example, hitting a paddle ball a number of times, with the female host relaying the potential date's performance to the Picker). If the Picker was satisfied with the answer or performance, he or she would "keep" the contestant, advancing them to the final round. If the Picker was not satisfied, he or she would "dump" the contestant, eliminating him or her from further play. "Dumped" contestants were not shown to the Picker as in the first round, but were instead marked with some sort of prop, such as a toilet seat around the neck, a bag with a sad face on it on the male player's head, or a pageant sash labeled "Dumped". This round continued either until three contestants were "kept," or all but three had been "dumped." If the potential date received the golden ticket, then sometimes the host would show him or her to the picker.

The Final Cut[edit]

The wall was removed from behind the Picker to reveal a walkway with several spaces behind him or her. The three finalists started on the back step, and were asked a series of two-choice questions. Each time a contestant's answer matched the Picker's, the player advanced one space on the walkway (occasionally, a question might be worth two steps). The first player to make it to the circle on which the Picker was sitting won a date with the Picker. In case of a tie, a final question was asked to the tying contestants, such as "How many girls did (Picker's name) say he dated last year?". The contestant who guessed the closest without going over won the date.

The Reveal[edit]

After a couple had been made, the two contestants were placed back-to-back while Hardwick read a description of the winning player to the Picker. The contestants were then turned around to meet each other for the first time, and their trip and prizes were described to them by the announcer.

Two games were played per show, first with a woman picking from 50 single men, then with a man picking from 50 single women.[6]


Besides the hosts, the show also had mascot characters. The most prominent character was a scruffy, cigar-smoking cupid known as "Bob the Angel", who would sometimes appear in a series of vignettes with Hardwick and McCarthy. Bob would be joined by a wife, Roberta, and a son, Little Bob. Other characters included Fidel Castro, or an evangelist. These characters would often interact with the contestants during the "Keep 'Em or Dump 'Em" round, such as one male contestant being challenged to a game of tetherball against Castro. On rare occasions celebrities would appear. A female Picker claimed she was a Mel Torme fan and challenged a contestant to sing like him, only to have the real Torme come and judge his work.


The show served as the basis for a book: MTV's Singled Out Guide to Dating (MTV Books, 1996) by Lynn Harris and J.D. Heiman. This tie-in advice book was actually two books in one, a "His" side (with Chris Hardwick on the cover) and, turned over, a "Hers" side (with Jenny McCarthy on the cover). In this book, winning couples were interviewed about their dates.[7]

Appearances in other media[edit]

  • The show was parodied on an October 5, 1996 episode of Saturday Night Live with host Lisa Kudrow where Mary Katherine Gallagher (Molly Shannon) appears as a contestant on the show.
  • The show was parodied as "Solo-ed Out" in a 1997 issue of the comic "Sabrina: the Teenage Witch" where Marc Antony, after breaking up with Cleopatra, is sent forward to the 20th Century by Sabrina and finds himself as the Picker on the show. Sabrina brings Cleopatra on as a contestant and must help convince Marc that they should reunite.
  • A 1996 episode of Boy Meets World featured Eric Matthews appearing on Singled Out,[8] chosen because of his hair. He ended up with a date with a sophomore from Columbia University; however, it was later revealed that both Eric and his date lied about being college students to get on the show (only university students were eligible to be contestants, with some exceptions, such as military personnel of the same age).
  • In a scene in the 1997 film Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, Romy (played by Mira Sorvino) unsuccessfully tries out for the show as the cut off age is 25, and is told to "try VH1."

International versions[edit]

Country Local Name Host Co-Host Network Year Aired
 Brazil Xaveco
Se Rolar...Rolou
Silvio Santos
Celso Portilloli
No co-host SBT 1996–2001
 Denmark Partig Uartig TV 3 1995
 Germany Sommer sucht Sprosse Nadine Krüger Sebastian Radke Sat.1 1997
 Israel Ha'hezi Hasheni Nati Ravitz Sigal Shachmon
Shirly Brener
ICP 1997–1999
 United Kingdom Singled Out Sarah Cawood
Marc Crumpton
Richard Blackwood
Tess Daly
Channel 5 1998–2001


  1. ^ ""Singled Out" (1995)". IMDB.
  2. ^ "Mtv's 'Singled Out' To Get New Co-host To Replace Mccarthy: Carmen Electra - Orlando Sentinel". 1996-10-05. Retrieved 2013-09-03.
  3. ^ Kevin D. Thompson (July 22, 1997). "SINGLED OUT ON MTV, `JENNY' SEEKS BIG TIME". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved 2013-09-03 – via
  4. ^ "'Singled Out' For Fame How Mccarthy Went From Posing For Playboy To Scoring Laughs In The Bawdy 'Baseketball'". NY Daily News. 1998-08-05. Retrieved 2013-09-03.
  5. ^ "`Singled Out' for sex appeal Hosting MTV's dating show takes a mix of chutzpah and hormones". 1997-02-06. Retrieved 2013-09-03.
  6. ^ "Warhol's Theory Doesn't Suit Singled-Out CSUN Buddies - Los Angeles Times". 1995-12-13. Retrieved 2013-09-03.
  7. ^ Harris, Lynn; Heiman, J. D. MTV Singled Outs Guide to Dating. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-00372-0.
  8. ^ ""Boy Meets World" Singled Out (1996)". IMDB.

External links[edit]