Fei Cheng Wu Rao (simplified Chinese: 非诚勿扰; traditional Chinese: 非誠勿擾; literally “If not sincere then do not disturb”, also known in English as If you are the One) is a Chinese dating game show hosted by Meng Fei. Based on the Australian game show Taken Out, the show is produced by Jiangsu Satellite Television (JSTV) and taped in Nanjing. It was first broadcast on January 15, 2010, and currently airs on weekend nights at 9:05 pm JSTV. In Australia, it is broadcast with English subtitles on Friday nights at 8.30 on SBS Two.
Dating show 相亲节目(xiāng qīn jié mù )
Broadcast 播出(bō chū)
The show has been a rating success in China and is now the highest-rated show for Jiangsu TV. Episodes are also widely distributed online. The show has attracted attention from academics and foreign media. Due to the perceptions that the show promoted problematic values, its format was changed in 2011 to de-emphasize factors such as financial wealth.
highest-rated 收视率最高的(shōu shì lǜ zuì gāo de)
Episodes 插曲(chā qǔ)
de-emphasize 不再强调(bú zài qiáng diào)
Conception and popularity
The idea of the show was brought to Jiangsu Television by veteran television producer Wang Peijie, who worked in collaboration with Columbia University-educated Xing Wenning. The pair drew inspiration from a dating show in Britain called Take Me Out. Wang said that that the show is a window into Chinese society at large, and that through it, “you can tell what China is thinking about and chasing after.” The show’s focus was intended to be young professionals. While most of the contestants are in their twenties, there have been instances of male contestants as old as 48 appearing on the show.
Inspiration 灵感(ling gǎn)
Contestants 选手 (xuǎn shǒu)
Fei Cheng Wu Rao experienced great popularity in its first broadcast because of its unique approach to dating and the conversations that are often humorous and self-aware. The show sought to ‘stretch the limits’ of what could be discussed on Chinese television. Unlike Taken Out, Fei Cheng Wu Rao does not rely on audience participation, use of catchphrases and physical attractiveness among male contestants. The success of the program has led to other international versions of Taken Out, including the American version Take Me Out.
Humorous 幽默(yōu mò)
audience participation 观众参与(guān zhòng cān yù)
Catchphrases 广告语 (guǎng gào yǔ)
physical attractiveness 外表吸引力(wài biǎo xī yǐn lì)
Controversy and revisions
In the first half of 2010, the show broke ratings records, with some 50 million watching every episode, an audience second only to the CCTV evening news broadcast Xinwen Lianbo. In the initial format of the show, the contestants reported things such as their annual earnings, their material possessions, etc. During this phase several contestants earned notoriety and became internet sensations. Female contestant Ma Nuo became a media interest after her controversial remarks to a male contestant that she would “prefer to cry in a BMW” than laugh riding on the back of a bicycle. One male contestant, a son of a businessman, was rejected by all 24 women on one episode for egregiously showing off his sports cars and bank statements instead of his life and interests. There have been three different male contestants who have lost the show in the beginning when the female contestants first study the male. Both controversial contestants were some of the most-talked-about people in Chinese entertainment. In addition, concerns were raised that some of the contestants on the show were not who they said they were, and that the TV station was ‘planting’ contestants to make controversial remarks to increase ratings.
annual earnings 年收入(nián shōu rù)
material possessions 物质财富 (wù zhì cái fù)
internet sensations 网上轰动 (wǎng shàng hōng dòng)
controversial remarks 言论引起争议 (yán lùn yǐn qǐ zhēng yì)
Chinese authorities looked upon the show unfavourably, asserting that it was spreading the ‘wrong values’. State media editorialized against the show on television, in print, and online. Six months after the show first aired, officials from the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television stepped in to regulate the show. From that point forward, Fei Cheng Wu Rao was to curb mentions of financial wealth and sex, and a third host was added: a party school psychology teacher named Huang Han, who was seen to ‘balance’ the show to make it more grounded and less controversial as well as adding more banter between the three hosts. A wholesale replacement of the contestant pool with more tame individuals followed. The revised program scrubbed contestant information such as bank account information and salaries etc. Also omitted is the ‘final opinions’ on a departing male contestant from the women; previously this part of the show was especially prone to pointed insults and ridicule. Moreover the original reel of the show must undergo heavy editing before airing depending on length and number of contestants present. Despite the changed format, the show remains extremely popular.
24 women stand in a line, each atop a podium with a light on.
The women face a single man who initially chooses one of them in secret.
The single man uses 2 to 3 video clips to reveal some personal information such as occupation, interests, love history and friends’ opinions. After each video clip, each of the women decide whether or not he is “date-worthy” by keeping their light on or turning it off. The contestants, judges and host frequently exchange banter with each other in this section.
If a girl doesn’t like the man, she will turn the light off (followed by a sound cue).
A new feature (simplified Chinese: 爆灯; literally “burst light”) was introduced. It is basically the opposite of turning the light off; instead a large heart with the woman’s number is shown on the screen. This means that she has a strong interest in the man, often meaning that he is the one she’s been looking for. At the end, she is given time at the end to explain why she is interested in the man.
If all 24 lights go off, the man loses.
If one light remains after the man’s introduction, the man may choose to accept the woman his date or give up. If two or more lights remain, the man needs to turn some of the lights off and keep two of them on. Then, he has the option to invite the two women on stage and ask them questions. In this case, he can also invite the girl who he secretly selected at the beginning (even if her light is off).
With three women (or more, if women have activated the “love light”) on stage, the man will ask another question after he will make his final choice. He is able to take one of the women that left their light on, but if he sticks with his original choice, he is given time to express his feelings. If the girl accepts, they walk towards each other, join hands, and head off the stage for a future date and possible romance.
If the single male is initially unsuccessful, single women in the front row of the crowd (replacements for the successful women) are able to stand up and explain a bit about themselves. The man is then able to accept or reject her.
The post-game interview appears with the man or with him and his chosen girl if he is ‘successful’.