So… anyone else out there watching “Are You The One?” That is, besides me and 13 year old girls? Don’t judge me, alright. The show is addictive. It involves 10 guys and 11 girls all searching for their “Perfect Match.” If, by the end of 10 weeks, they all pair off correctly they win $1 million. (To split, I guess? That’s not much money divided between 20 people and accounting for taxes… but something tells me people old enough to be paying taxes aren’t exactly this show’s target demo.)
It’s easy to get invested in “Are You The One?” because there’s a mystery to solve: who is everyone’s perfect match? Also, that young man Anthony is not unattractive.
The show is made more interesting because “love” is at work here on two levels; the contestants are trying to find their MTV-deemed “Perfect Match” in order to win the game, but are also hormonal twenty-somethings in a house full of hot people. What happens if you genuinely develop feelings for someone that doesn’t turn out to be your “match?”
And so there is conflict involved as they try to win the money. In order to find their “Perfect Match,” should they follow their feelings and build relationships … or use strategy and follow the numbers? The house seems to be leaning toward the former here, with both Paris and Bri passionately proclaiming to their fellow contestants, “follow your hearts!!” I have to disagree. No, you idiots. Use math!
After this week’s episode, wherein a third “perfect match” was revealed, I immediately ran to a notebook and started scribbling out the potential matches Carrie Mathison style. “There were 3 lights illuminated on week one, so if we can figure out who was sitting together during that match up, then cross reference with the pairs during match-ups 4 and 6 to eliminate definite ‘not-matches’…the mystery might be solved!”
I was a maniac.
Luckily for me/us, someone on Wikipedia has already done this due diligence (#notnotahero).
“Ellie/Alex cannot be a match. If they were, it would not be possible to have 2 matches in Week 1 and 3 matches in Week 3.
Jessica/Anthony cannot be a match, because it would leave Alexandria with no possibilities for a match.
After episode 7 it is clear that the competitors can now safely get to ‘their’ million dollar since it takes only two steps at the most to get ten out of ten matches right (if played correctly). They should make sure that Ashley and Dario go to the truth booth in the next round. If they match all other matches are clear (by deduction). If they don’t match Alexandria and Garland must be a match and all other matches will be obvious (by deduction) except for two couples (Briana, Ashley, Nathan and Alex). The next round this then can be cleared up by the truth booth. In this latter case Christina is the double match of Nathan.”
God bless you, whoever figured this out. So simple! Now, why weren’t the kids in the house doing this type of evaluation the entire time? The cynic in me actually jumped to the conclusion that the producers keep pens and paper out of the house for this specific reason. But maybe they were just too busy partying and making out to care?
Anyhow, the show raises a larger question about love. If MTV, or you know … an eHarmony survey, or a match-making service, tells you someone is perfect for you, should you believe them? Or should you follow your gut?
I think I know how contestants Brianna and Shelby would answer that question. This love experiment has gone terribly wrong for both of them. For example, Bri was head-over-heels in love/lust with Curtis before MTV gobsmacked them both with the “truth” that they were not in fact a “Perfect Match.” Obviously Bri was devastated; I would also be super pissed if Curtis wasn’t my match. He is a man-bun away from being the perfect guy.
And then there is poor poor Shelby, who had every guy except Curtis fawning over her the entire time she was in the house. However, once MTV’s magic iPads decided that Curtis is her “Perfect Match,” she had to spend the rest of her time in an awkward Honeymoon Suite with a guy that’s still really into someone else. Yikes.
It is my personal opinion that these kids are trusting MTV waaaaay too much with their feelings. My advice to the contestants is to remove personal relationships from the game entirely, and use strategy to determine who the matches are so that you can all walk away with some cash. Start pinning scenarios up on the wall, guys! It’s like you haven’t even watched “The Wire.”
Meanwhile, they should continue to search for true love on the side, independent of what some iPad tells them about their “match.” What does the “Truth Booth” (yes, that is real name of the booth) know anyhow? Do you, Curtis and Brianna! Do you!
Unfortunately for the kids involved, and for my own number-loving sensibilities, there is no formula to determine true love. It takes chemistry and timing and circumstance and effort- and a bunch of other things a computer can’t decode for you. So don’t trust MTV, Are-You-The-One-ers, trust yourselves.
Update: I just entered my information into the Match Machine on MTV.com and they told me my “Pefect Match” was Anthony. I take it all back, this system works great.
Colorado-bred, Brandy is an MBA candidate, marathon runner, and former NBA dancer who currently lives and works in Boston, Massachusetts. She loves long weekends, margaritas, and the USC Trojans. She hates it when people take the elevator to the second floor. Follow her at @iambadler.
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