Singles have been looking for love on television since The Dating Game originally aired in 1965, so finding a new way to match up Americans is a tough task -- but according to Tracy McMillan, Ready For Love has zeroed in on just that!
Beginning April 9, NBC's dating series will chronicle three bachelor's quests for love, but -- in a unique twist -- their potential partners will receive season-long coaching from a trio of relationship experts: Matt Hussey, Amber Kelleher-Andrews and Tracy McMillan, who sat down with ETonline to explain why Ready For Love has the best shot at forging eternal bonds.
ETonline: One of my biggest complaints about dating shows is that everyone seems more interested in finding fame than finding love. How do you combat that?
Tracy McMillan: This show has so much heart, everyone involved in it is coming from the right place -- especially the guys. They're men of character and are really looking for love. The women are not all from Los Angeles and simply looking to get their big break as actresses. These are real women who saw the guys on the Today show and signed up on Facebook. The women that are on the show are really solid, loving, thoughtful, ready women.
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ETonline: What do you think the contestants gain from having matchmakers throughout this process?
McMillan: The Matchmakers represent the point of view of the viewer. When you're on the couch, screaming "I can't believe you just did that" at the screen, we're saying it to the contestants. We coach the women around the mistakes they make and say, "This is the small change that will make him notice you." We're each coming from a different perspective and my point of view is that of the best friend. I'm the straight talking woman in your life who is going to be really honest with you, but come from a place of love. I'm not talking down to you, I do this from my heart.
ETonline: Sounds like there's also a take home element to the show.
McMillan: Absolutely! The best thing about the show is that you can watch on Tuesday and use one of the tips on Saturday night. Men and women will watch this show and put our advice to work in the real world. At the end of the day, this process is the same thing millions of people at home are doing -- they're going on millions of dates, and sometimes it doesn't work out. The thing is, relationships never work out ... until they do. You learn a lot from relationships that don't work out. Not every guy is right for every girl, and one of the things I learned through this process is that it might be sad when relationships don’t work out, but it should be so clear that this person wasn't the right match. When relationships don't work out, it doesn't mean you're a bad person, it just means you weren't meant to be together.
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ETonline: Looking ahead, how successful do you feel the show was at matching the bachelors with soulmates?
McMillan: The outcome is amazing. The guys really zeroed in on amazing women of great character. Unlike some other dating shows that are all fantasy and roses, this is like seeing the process of a love story, and it's going to be amazing to watch.
Ready For Love premieres April 9 after The Voice on NBC while her book, Why You're Not Married ... Yet: The Straight Talk You need to Get the Relationship You Deserve, is now available in paperback.