Host Laura Dundovic expects a few laughs.
The raunch factor ramps up in the second season of Dating in the Dark.
THEY say love is blind but in the land of TV dating shows, it's still important to have a good-looking host. Enter Laura Dundovic, former Miss Australia and leggy presenter of Dating in the Dark, a reality show in which contestants go on dates in a specially created dark room. Participants don't get to see what their dates look like until the end of the show, at which point they can decide if they'd like to pursue a relationship in the real world. The second series is now screening on Fox8, and Dundovic says it's a different beast to the first. ''I find this series a lot funnier,'' she says. ''It's very cheeky.''
The first episode was a case in point. One female contestant, a stripper, decided to wear her sexiest lingerie on a date in a dark room. Conveniently, her male counterpart was wearing only his boxer shorts, and the pair wasted no time in getting acquainted. The contestants might be in the dark but the cameras capture their every MA-rated move with high-definition night vision technology.
''My brief this year was to make it a bit raunchier,'' says Scottish-born executive producer Marty Benson (I'm a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!; This Is David Gest).
The new production crew for the second series moved filming from Whale Beach, Sydney to Mount Eliza, where male and female contestants were kept from view of each other in a beachside mansion. Three male and three female contestants go on three dates each an episode. This series, the final dates have been stepped up a notch, with elaborate sets adding to the spectacle - for at-home viewers, at least. The first final date had a Roman theme, with contestants dressed in togas, sharing a bath and feeding each other grapes. Activities like these play to the show's twentysomething demographic, Benson says. ''It's for normal people in their 20s who are single and up for a bit of a laugh,'' he says.
Contestants would want to be able to laugh off the experience, particularly if their dates don't like what they see in the ''light reveal'' at the show's end.
It might sound like a heartless set-up but Benson says contestants know what they're getting into. ''When we went on the casting tour, we were very honest; we said, 'It's very likely that you'll come on this show, you'll probably kiss someone and they might think you're ugly and walk away from you.' And we say, 'Are you prepared for that?' They say, 'Yes.' We say, 'Are you sure?' They say, 'Yes.''' There's hope yet for the rejected, however. After the first series, love blossomed between two contestants from different episodes who met on the show's Facebook page.
Dating in the Dark Australia is on Tuesdays at 9.30pm on Fox8.