This queer answer to Love Island is set to make dating show history
Having taken the US by storm, MTV’s boundary-defying series Are You The One lands on UK screens to fill the Love Island-shaped hole in our evenings.
Producers have rounded up an all-queer cast for the eighth series of the dating show, which is now streaming on NowTV.
All 16 contestants are attracted to all genders, identifying as bisexual, pansexual or sexually-fluid, a first for US television.
The cast includes Basit Shattu, a non-binary pansexual drag artist, Kai Wes, a queer transmasculine nonbinary person, and Paige Cole, a bisexual restaurant server who used the show to come out to her family and friends.
“Being dramatic, I was like, ‘What a cool way to come out, on national TV,’” Cole told The New York Post.
Are You The One contestants indulged in fivesome
In the US, where the series has been airing since June 26, viewers have been thrilled by a series of NSFW scenes.
A fivesome caused a stir in one episode, but Shittu said that the contestants’ liberal attitudes towards sex shouldn’t be linked to their LGBT+ identities.
“I think straight people have fivesomes and I think straight people have messy relationships,” they told the Post.
“We all date the same because we are all the same. We all just want to find love.”
What is Are You The One about?
The reality show follows a similar format to Love Island, with the contestants jetted out to a remote getaway to find love.
Ahead of the series, each contestant submits a thousand-page questionnaire and a personality test, which are analysed along with interviews with family, friends and exes.
“It’s a combination of scientifically proven compatibility testing, as well as straight matchmaking,” executive producer Tiffany Williams explained to Entertainment Weekly.
I think straight people have fivesomes and messy relationships.
The matchmaking-technology hybrid then determines which of their new housemates is the “perfect match” – but this information is kept secret.
After completing challenges and going on dates, each week ends with a matchup ceremony where the contestants must try to guess who their match is.
Crucially, they’re only told how many correct matches have been found, not who they are made up of.
At the end of the series, all 16 contestants must find their perfect match in order to win a share of the $1 million prize.
Are You The One streams on NowTV.