We’ve all heard of love at first sight, but TLC’s new show takes things to the next level: first base. Love at First Kiss is a social experiment with its sight set on helping strangers find love. Here’s the gist: two people meet in an all-white room. They know nothing about each other -- not even the other person’s name. After a quick ‘hello’ (or no words at all) – they kiss, and if a connection is felt, the pair can go on a date.
The show is based on a successful Dutch series, and it’s got big producing power behind it: Mike Fleiss, Martin Hilton and Bennett Graebner – a trio also known as the brains behind The Bachelor. ET was on set to check out all the fascinating – and potentially awkward – moments.
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“What's so fun [about Love at First Kiss] is that the results are unexpected,” Graebner told us. “You can't anticipate how two people are going to respond to each other … Sometimes you think these two people are going to hit it off and have a really great kiss and feel chemistry, and they don't. And sometimes you think … ‘this is an odd pairing,’ but the kiss is magical!”
First Kiss will follow several individuals all season long – they might even kiss multiple strangers in an effort to find a match. Graebner says viewers will see “people that are really across the spectrum of society.” There’s even one male contestant who has never kissed anyone before; he’ll share that first smooch with the world! The show will feature straight and gay contestants. “We even have some individuals who refer to themselves as ‘pansexual,’” Graeber says. “A first kiss can tell you a lot about someone, and we want these two people to kiss and really decide in the moment if there is chemistry from that kiss. It is not about physical appearance -- so two people who may not normally find each other attractive … why don't you kiss … see if there is chemistry?”
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Unsurprisingly, things don’t always go smoothly: a few contestants back out on the kiss right there in the room! “You walk through a door, see a stranger, and you're going to kiss them -- that is nerve-racking,” Graeber said. “Some people take to it right away and embrace it. Some … the nerves get the best of them.”
Like The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, there’s dual appeal this show: both the potential to see two people find love, and the potential to watch unbelievably awkward interactions. “Sometimes, it is a bit like a car wreck,” Graenber said. “It’s two mouths crashing together. It is very awkward and very uncomfortable, and hard to take your eyes off of.”
Love at First Kiss premieres August 3 at 10/9c on TLC.