Throwback dating shows.

A scene from MTV's Singled Out.
A scene from MTV’s Singled Out.

When I was in middle school, I remember watching lots of dating shows on TV. These shows weren’t quite like the ones on now, these were more like game shows… you know, “Bachelor number one, what is your dream date?!?”


One of my favorites was a show called Bzzz! While I loved it, apparently not many people did, because it was only on air for a year (1996-1997). It was hosted by Annie Wood, with rules similar to those on The Dating Game.

There were three rounds: 1. Picking bachelors or bachelorettes to interview (which involved men/women standing behind a shadowy screen and saying really cheesy lines. Ex. “My name is Holly, and I want to DECK YOUR HALLS!” These lines were usually paired with some sort of equally-awful dance move).

Round 2: Simpatico. The new couple is asked a round of questions, and for every answer they get a match, they win money. Round 3: Final Bzzz! Role reversal questions, and if the person hits the Bzzz! the date is off.

Blind Date

Hosted by the oh-so-cool Roger Lodge, Blind Date ran from 1999-2006, and is still in syndication. As the show title suggests, people went on blind dates on the show. The best part about the show were these little thought bubbles that popped up throughout the date.

Really, it seemed like the producers put the worst matches on the dates to make for good television, but it worked!

The 5th Wheel was a spinoff of Blind Date, which involved two couples on a group date, who are later joined by a male or a female, to stir up the pot, obvi.

Oh yeah!
Oh yeah!


Probably one of the trashiest dating shows of the bunch, but of course very entertaining, elimiDATE was on air from 2001-2006. The premise of the show: one person chooses from four members of the opposite sex (while they are all on a group date).

Throughout the date, the person eliminates one contestant for each round. It’s kind of like The Bachelor/Bachelorette, only with four contestants and in 30-minutes/one date. The show’s allure resided in the competitive nature of the contestants, especially once the date dwindled down to just two, as usually they all ended up in a hot tub, about to have sex.

Change of Heart

Change of Heart aired from 1998-2003, hosted by Chris Jagger (first three years), then Lynne Koplitz. An episode of Change of Heart involved one couple, where the guy would go on a date with someone new, and so would the girl.

After their dates, they would come to the show, detail the dates in front of their significant other (which also involved video clips), and decide if they wanted to stay with their original partner or, have a “Change of Heart” and date the new person.

Of course, the end was the best part of this show, mainly because the decision-making process involved the couple holding up signs (with smiley or sad faces) that explained their feelings — Change of Heart or Stay Together?

Singled Out

Singled Out was MTV’s dating show from 1995-1998, hosted originally by Jenny McCarthy and Chris Hardwick, but McCarthy was later replaced with Carmen Electra.

Each episode had 50 men and 50 women competing for dates. Each game started with one main contestant, the “Picker,” being escorted onto the set blindfolded in front of the 50 potential dates in the “Dating Pool” while the announcer described him/her. The Picker was then led to a seat facing away from the Dating Pool and further divided from the potential dates by a wall.

Potential dates were eliminated during the categories round, followed by a “Final Cut” round, and then the actual reveal, if the potential date made it that far. Some of you may remember when Singled Out was featured on an episode of Boy Meets World, because Eric was a contestant.

Wanna Come In?

While this wasn’t my favorite dating show, I got the idea to even write this post because a fellow blogger, and friend, of mine was actually ON this show! It aired on MTV from 2004-2005, and involved two, two-man teams made up of a “stud” and a “dud.”

The studs would makeover the duds, and send them on dates equipped with an earpiece. During the date, the studs would toss challenges to the duds, to earn money. But the ultimate challenge was to get the girl to say the phrase, “Wanna come in?” at the end of the date.

Keeping it classy, MTV.

What dating shows did you love?

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