Think going on a blind date takes courage? Why New Yorkers are doing it in front of an audience

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Illustration photo by Getty Images
  • We can all admit that the dating scene is ever-evolving, and after lockdown, people are finding it harder and harder to get back to it.
  • Dating apps all of a sudden seem obsolete as they don’t yield desired result
  • So after months of lockdown and staying indoors, people are looking for unique ways to connect with others and possibly find love.
  • Therefore, UpDating, a New York-based dating show, attempts to fill the gap by taking individuals on a blind date in front of a live audience.

The dating trending show was launched in 2018 when 29-year-old comedian and co-founder of UpDating, Harrison Forman, started streaming his dates on Facebook Live and had his viewers involved.

After participating on a few dates on Facebook Live, another comedian, 26-year-old Brandon Berman, had the idea to take the digital episodes and put them in front of a live audience. The pair collaborated and became founders of the now popular dating show.

The show was, however, discontinued due to the pandemic, and now it is back, and singles are flocking to the weekly comedy show.

READ MORE | The most expensive blind date ever

To participate in this show, singletons must undergo an online casting process where they share their Instagram handles and share with organisers their last first date using humour. After applying, organisers of the comedy show match those with interesting stories, or those who they believe will be open and outgoing. 

The show is currently held on Thursdays at New York's Lower East Side bar, Sour Mouse. According to the New York Post, the show has racked up a waiting list of about 600 singletons in the past month.

Recent events have attracted a crowd of over 100 people at a time.

READ MORE | Woman loses her leg in crash after blind date drives drunk, then he forces her to marry him to avoid jail - here's how spousal privilege works in SA

“The demand is even higher than I expected; it’s fulfilling what everyone needs right now," said Berman to the New York Post.

The founders are adamant that blindfold play a vital role in this whole experience, therefore, the daters go on stage with their eyes covered.

“When you’re blindfolded, you can’t avoid being yourself,” Berman said. To this, Forman attested and said, “You’re solely connected with someone based off of personality alone and vibe and energy.”

Forman also believes he and his new friend and business partner, aren’t the best matchmakers, however are doing a good job. “Are we the best matchmakers in the world? Not particularly, but I think we’re doing a better job of making sure someone leaves with a date.”

READ MORE | Awkward celebrity dates: From accidentally flashing her potential beau to a sky diving second date

Singletons who have participated on the show spoke to the New York Post about their experience, with 28-year-old Becca Weisz, saying she wasn’t expecting much from the experience.

She went through the date without seeing the man she was chatting to on stage, only accidentally feeling his muscles when trying to get her footing. However. she was pleased with what she saw when the blindfolds eventually came off and has since been on two more traditional dates with the same guy.

Sources: New York Post, UpDating show

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