Dating, Reality Shows

FOX’s New LOVE CONNECTION Sneak-Peek Review

Posted on May 23 2017 by Hollywood Junket

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FOX’s New LOVE CONNECTION Sneak-Peek Review

“Love Connection is back at us! The fun-hearted reality style dating show which aired 2,120 episodes in it’s first-run has returned, this time, to the FOX airwaves after a 19-year absence when the show last relaunched in 1998.

Love Connection 2017 banner

Taking-over the iconic hosting seat of Chuck Woolery is Andy Cohen (“Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen”) who serves as host and executive producer along side of Mike Fleiss, best known for producing “The Bachelor” franchise. While on the set of filming “Love Connection”, Cohen sated that he actually tried to obtain the rights to re-air the show back when he headed Bravo network.

The updated “Love Connection” takes some enduring features from the original mixed with a few modern-day practices. Such as when daters have to film selfie videos of themselves talking about how their dates are going.

Each dater gets $300 to spend on their dates vs. the $75 they got back in 1994. On the Cohen reboot, one dater got accused by his date of pocketed the money when he took her to the Olive Garden for dinner!

Love Connection 2017 FOX, Andy Cohen and contestant

“Love Connection” Andy Cohen with contestant, Photo: FOX

The new “Love Connection” puts daters in situations that may be a bit uncomfortable. But, then again, that was always the best part of the original. Instead of singles selecting one out of three potential dates, they get to got out with all three options. They are still introduced to each one via a video. Except instead of the videos filmed at the studio in a room like on the original show, the videos are filmed in various locations that are edited into a montage that gives the contestants a good idea of what the people they are going out with are all about. One such person was a wrestler who’s video included him wrestling.

The live studio audience still has a say and make their picks of whom they think would be the best match for the contestants. Those results are saved for the very end. This is where things get sticky and the new element of the “overnight date” comes in. If the term “overnight” sounds familiar to you, then most likely you are also an avid watcher of “The Bachelor”. Producer Mike Fleiss of ‘Bachelor franchise brought this new twist to the “Love Connection” dates.

If the contestant has the best chemistry with the same person that the audience chose, then he or she wins $10,000 along with a second date which is the overnight. If the contestant doesn’t agree with whom the audience picked, then they can either walk away from the money in order to go out on another date with their selected person, or they can go out on the overnight with whom the audience chose in order to get the $10,000. A tricky situation indeed. One particular contestant walked away from the guy she chose and decided to go out with the audience choice in order to get the money. She stated “that $10,000 is calling my name!”

Soon after the contestant starts talking to their dates via a monitor where their dates are seated in a private room backstage (just like in the original), they are asked to rate each other on a scale from 1 to 10 on their looks, their first impressions of each other on their dates. At the end of their recounting of their dates, they are asked to rate each other on a scale of 1 to 10 on their personalities.

A refreshing reality element is that although the show doesn’t have cameras follow along on the dates (I always wished that the original show did), the contestants are given iphones to self-video their initial reactions to their dates and first impressions. These videos are played-back to the audience and to the daters who get to see what was said about them!

One female dater ended her date early from a panic room that she was kicked out of. She thought her date should have left with her. However, he didn’t want to waste the money and stayed on the venture without her!

Love Connection set, Andy Cohen

Andy Cohen on “Love Connection” set. Photo: Patrick Fallon/The Times

Hollywood Junket sat-in on several tapings of the new “Love Connection” and all the contestants were women choosing guys. Host Andy Cohen stated that “Love Connection” is gay friendly and “we’ll have some same-sex dates” on the show that consists of gays and lesbians. Cohen gave us some other tidbits in between takes while hosting the show. At the time of taping at CBS Television Center, his stage was next door to the “Dancing with the Stars” (DWTS) stage. He commented that he planned to peek-in on Erika Jayne (“Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”) who was competing on DWTS. He said he felt she was “short-changed” by the judges. He also answered one audience member’s question that his dressing room was “excessively” stocked with Whiskey. Cohen also stated that the highly awaited “Real Housewives of Atlanta” reunion had already taped and it’s a doozy with Kenya vs. Kim. He said it might even consist of four episodes. We suspect this was an exaggeration to express the level of drama!

It’s disappointing that host Andy Cohen doesn’t have any of his own catch-phrases to add-in like Chuck Woolery did. Cohen said that he didn’t want to try to fill the shoes of Woolery, but rather be the best he could be…do him. So far, not bad. But we miss our “two-in-two”.

New “Love Connection” premieres on FOX network on Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 9/8 c.

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