Right here we have 50 single women! This is (insert name and hobby/fact)! Right here we have 50 single guys! This is (insert name and hobby/fact)! That's right! And I bet 98/100 psychos are just waiting to go crazy/(insert idiom to go crazy or nuts) on MTV'S SINGLED OUT! And now, your host, a man who (insert funny comment here), CHRIS HARDWICK!
The MTV dating game show where one guy & one gal try to find a date from a group of 50 single men & women.
Each Singled Out show had 100 people (50 men & 50 women), all vying to win the hearts of one member of the opposite sex.
To start, one contestant called "The Picker" walked onto the set in front of the contestants in the "Dating Pool" while blindfolded just so he/she wouldn't see. That contestant was escorted to a chair in front of a large mirror with the show's title on it. The game was played in three rounds.
Round 1 (Categories Round)Edit
The object of this round was to narrow the playing field down to 5 to 8 potential dates. And here's how it works:
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, another example (which was used on the show) would be age, and the choices would be The Dating Game, Love Connection, and of course Singled Out), 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 continued until 5 to 8 potentials were left, at which point they advanced to the next round.
In the third season, a "Golden Ticket" was introduced, which gave the Picker the power to save one eliminated player as he/she walked in front of him on the way out of the studio. The contestant who received that ticket automatically advanced to the next round. For episodes taped outside, the "Golden Ticket" was replaced with a "Golden Lifesaver", though the same rules apply.
Round 2 (Keep 'em or Dump 'em)Edit
In this round after the female hostess spoke with the survivors of the first round, the Picker asked a series of questions to those players. They ranged from Dating Game-style questions (example, "if you had me alone in a limousine for 3 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 happy with the answer or performance, he/she would "keep" the contestant, advancing them to the final round; if not, he/she would decide to "dump" the contestant, knocking him/her out of the game. "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".
The Final CutEdit
If two contestants were kept or if there's three or four players remaining, the next question was dubbed "The Final Cut". This was where the remaining players got involved in that question, and the Picker chose who to keep.
This round ended when three contestants were "kept", or enough players were "dumped" to leave three. If the potential date received the golden ticket, then sometimes the host would show him/her to the picker.
Round 3 (The Final Race)Edit
The mirror was taken away from behind the Picker to reveal a walkway with five spaces behind him/her. The three finalists were now given nicknames and stood at the back step for this round. Host Chris posed a series of dual-choice questions, and it's the finalists job to guess which choice the Picker chose. For every match made, the finalist(s) with the correct answer moved up one space. The first finalist to reach the winner's circle where the Picker is standing won the date with him/her. If there's a tie (two or all three finalsts made it), one final question with a numerical answer was asked to the tying contestants, such as "How many girls did (Picker's name) say he dated last year?"; the contestant with the closest guess without going over won the date. If all the guesses exceed the actual answer, the contestant with the closest guess won the date.
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.
Several episodes were shown with out-of-the-ordinary rules, guest appearances, or other notable occurrences:
- Twins' Day - Twins appeared as pickers, sometimes as potentials.
- Loser's Show - Where losers from previous shows got a second chance. In addition, a contestant who was "dumped" on one or more previous episodes was featured as the Picker.
- Spring Break - Special Spring Break episodes were produced (in fact, this is where the show got its start).
- At least two episodes featured gay and lesbian contestants.
- Personalities from other television shows appeared as contestants. For example, Michael Bower (Donkey Lips from the Nickelodeon series Salute Your Shorts) and Alison Sweeney (Sami Brady from Days of our Lives who went on to host The Biggest Loser) appeared as a potential date on one show.
- The show fell victim to a prank from Buzzkill, another MTV series airing at the time. One of the three pranksters posed as a potential contestant with a female Picker; upon being eliminated, the prankster dropped his pants in front of the Picker to reveal a pair of boxer shorts with "YOUR LOSS BABE" emblazoned on the buttocks.
The show served as the basis for a book: 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.
In 1996, a VHS tape was released called Singled Out: The Dirt on The Dates! (featuring both Chris Harwick and Jenny McCarthy on the cover) where it follows contestants selected from a crowd of fifty eligible young hopefuls as they go on their first date. taking you behind-the-scenes for an in-depth look at where the trail of romance leads.
Burt Wheeler & Sharon Sussman