Dating reality shows are everywhere. Last night, "The Bachelorette" chose her mate after the usual amounts of drama and romance while over at "Dating in the Dark" hopeful singles try to find true love literally with the lights off. Tonight on Fox, the latest twist on the genre comes when Mike Fleiss, the creative force behind "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" turns his cameras on the people who believe that love comes in all shapes and sizes. Instead of the usual slender men and women that normally pop up in dating shows, tonight's opener of "More To Love" opens on Luke Conley, a 26-year old former college football offensive lineman who, at 6'3" and 300 lbs. is looking for love and has no problem hiding the fact that he loves bigger girls.
The rules are essentially the same as any dating show as Luke begins with 20 potential mates and then narrows the group down until he (hopefully) finds his true love. Host Emme (a successful plus-sized model, television personality, author and motivational speaker) talked to our Jim Halterman about how size doesn't really matter with dating shows, how tensions and tempers rise as the competition grows and what every single gal needs to do when meeting a perspective date whether it be on television or in real life.
Jim Halterman: Audiences just can't seem to get enough of dating shows. In general, why do you think they continue to be so popular?
Emme: Are you a fan of those shows?
JH: Some of them, yes. I get suckered in and then have to find out who gets picked and who gets let go.
Emme: It's so wild! I think the reason why dating shows are so popular is everyone wants to find love. It doesn't matter how old you are, it doesn't matter how young you are or what society wants. A lot of people turn off their natural inclination to try and find love because they're shy or they've been shunned so many times. It doesn't matter. It could be someone who is very thin or someone who is more curvy but this show, I think, is very straightforward. There are really no twists per se but it's just a more realistic look at a realistic person that you bump into every day finding love.
JH: That's one thing that struck me watching the premiere � these are people we all know.
Emme: And it gets so emotional.
JH: The bachelor in the show, Luke, seems like a kid in the candy store in the premiere episode.
Emme: I think he's a really great first bachelor. He actually kisses two girls in the first episode.
JH: So brazen!
Emme: I know! From the very beginning, I think he has a twinkle in his eye and he's respectful and he's a gentleman. You couldn't ask for someone better quite frankly. It could've been a whole different ball of wax but he was just really so, so nice and hopefully people will fall into the story and really want to see how different personalities stay and go. I was surprised a couple of times. And especially I was surprised at the end. I was like 'Whoa.' I was excited every day and I don't watch a lot of reality TV. Obviously, I watched "The Bachelor" but I was really blown away.
JH: How do things progress as things go along? Luke has so much fun in the beginning but does it get more dramatic?
Emme: You are definitely going to see him in many flip outs and freak outs because the last thing he wants to do, especially as he gets to know these girls more and more as he goes through each elimination, is hurt anyone. The first elimination was very emotional. I mean I felt it. It really shook me at first and then I had to kind of walk away and get myself together. "Okay, we're doing this!" I don't know how apparent it was in the first episode but I had to�the last eliminations were difficult for him. Very!
JH: The girls are also different in terms of personalities. Some are very sweet and shy while some are more aggressive. How competitive do things get between the girls?
Emme: Very! They got competitive and, you know, when you see other dating shows you understand that there is a lot of attraction and fighting for your man.
JH: Some of the girls in the first episode really go out of their way to get noticed. One jumps in the pool and calls for Luke to join her. Does that kind of behavior help or hurt their chances?
Emme: I think that when girls go on television they definitely need to know that they need to look at their odds and make sure they aren't showing the whole candy store. You have to be refined. I mean, you're going to be seen on national television, number one. Number two, you want to make a nice impression to the man you're want to go date and eventually marry. You want to be able to show a really great, presentable package whether you're the tattoo girl, or whether you're the surfer girl or whether you're the conservative girl. Whatever it is, whatever style you are, you have to put your first step forward and that means taking a really honest look in the mirror and saying "Okay, is my bra too low or do I need to lift it up? Do I have the wrong panties on or do I need to eliminate panty lines from my pants or my dress? All that stuff needs to be addressed before you come on television or even before you go on a date. You want to ask 'Am I wearing too high of heel? Am I about to topple over?' Questions, ya know? 'Am I wearing clothes that are too tight? Or am I wearing clothes that are too big?' Too tight is going to make you feel uncomfortable because every time you turn you're going to fall out of it. If you're wearing clothes that are too big you're going to feel that you're not showing your best assets.
JH: As host, are you interacting with the girls at all?
Emme: I am strictly there to talk about what just happened, where we're at and what we're going to be doing in the future. I'm there to wrap things up and keep the ship moving forward.
"More To Love" premieres tonight on FOX at 9:00/8:00c.