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The show featured an unusual plot twist: eight of the men from the show's original dating pool were actually heterosexual men pretending to be homosexual; one important part of the plot was whether the gay contestant would be able to recognize the heterosexual men.
Some gay and straight romances have been sparked on the other reality game shows, suggesting that they too may really be "dating shows" in disguise.
By the late 1990s and early 2000s, a new wave of dating shows began airing in U. syndication that were more sexually suggestive than their earlier counterparts, including shows such as Blind Date, Elimidate and The 5th Wheel, which often pushed boundaries of sexual content allowed on broadcast television.
As the 2000s progressed, the ratings for many of these shows began to decline, a situation exacerbated by the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show controversy in 2004 as production companies out of fear of being imposed with monetary penalties by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for indecent content began self-censoring their dating shows (and many syndicated programs targeted at the 18-49 demographic, in general) to levels in which even profanities typically permissible on television were edited out of episodes.
The audience sees only the game; an important feature of all dating game shows is that the contestants have little or no previous knowledge of each other, and are exposed to each other only through the game, which may include viewing a photograph or at least knowing the basic criteria for participation (typically participants are not already married).
In shows involving singles, there is a mismatch of numbers ensuring constant competition.
This creates the action, tension and humiliation when someone is rejected.
But any social situation has the potential to result in romance, especially work.
The first dating show to regularly incorporate bisexual contestants was MTV series A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, which included both male and female contestants vying for the affections of the show's star, internet star Tila Tequila, who is bisexual.