Nellie Andreeva

The dating reality shows’ hot streak this summer continues with Fox’s The Choice, a six-episode celebrity dating series that feels like a dating version of The Voice or a cross between the NBC singing competition and The Dating Game. Hosted by So You Think You Can Dance‘s Cat Deeley, the hourlong The Choice features eligible celebrities competing to find a match among a group of sexy singles… they can’t see.

The title and setup are a clear take on The Voice — rhymes, get it?. (Choice‘s promo below plays heavily on the similarities.) Filmed in front of a live audience, each episode of The Choice begins with four eligible celebrity bachelors sitting in rotating chairs, turning their backs on the sexy singles looking for a date with them. In this initial “Blind Round,” each celebrity can only use his suitors’ voices – as they share information about their life, passions, turn-ons and turn-offs.  When a celebrity bachelor likes what he hears, he pulls his “love handle,” spinning his chair around to bring him face-to-face for the first time with his potential date. If more than one celebrity pulls the handle, they must battle it out until the sexy single chooses a celebrity. Once each bachelor has his three hotties, the teams enter the “Speed Choice” round, where each woman has only 15 seconds to convince her celebrity to pick her for the final round.

In the final, beauty pageant-style round, host Deeley poses a question to each of the team’s final two. The celebrities must choose between each of their two remaining eligible ladies, with the winner whisked away on a dream date. Like with ABC’s The Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise, The Choice will also do a reverse-gender version. The series is currently shooting with 20 male celebrities set for five for the 5 of the 6 episodes and four female ones tapped for the remaining episode, which will feature hot bachelors vying for a date with them. The Choice, produced by A. Smith & Co. Prods., premieres on June 7 at 9 PM and will be paired with the network’s other dating summer reality show, Take Me Out.

The idea for The Choice was developed internally at Fox by the team of Fox’s president of alternative entertainment Mike Darnell who says he felt there was a hole in the dating reality series genre since the launch of The Bachelor. Darnell said he focused on a studio-based dating show, something that is not currently on the air. He contemplated a reboot of The Dating Game but said he felt the partition element felt very antiquated. After blindfolding contestants also was ruled out as looking silly, he and and his team came up with the spinning chairs, which Darnell said felt modern while still feeding into the concept that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Was the premise influenced by The Voice? “This form is working perfectly for a dating show,” said Darnell, who has a knack for taking a spin on successful formats from competing networks, declining further comment. The Choice is the fourth dating reality show slated to launch this summer along with Take Me Out, NBC’s Ready For Love and CBS’ 3.

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