Most dating reality shows are the same. You audition, you meet other attractive people, you hook up, and you may or may not walk away with love (and fame). MTV’s Are You The One?, premiering its second season tonight, is a similar concept, except the 21 contestants (10 guys, 11 girls) on the show each has to find the one other person in the house who matchmakers and experts have matched him or her with. Got all that?
We got four of this season’s contestants—Pratt, Dario, Jenni, and the “11th girl,” Christina—to tell us how they survived the scrutiny of dating on a reality show and tips on how to go about doing it. You know, in case you find yourself auditioning for season three or something…
1. Be honest on your audition tape.
Christina: If you lie and get cast, everybody will find out. Talk about your realtionship past. Be open. Don’t try to hide the sneaky details. If you did some grimey stuff, talk about it.
Jenni: When you’re on camera and when you’re with a group of strangers you need to be yourself. Your true colors will come up. Tell [the producers] you cheated on someone. They want to know that.
Dario: A hundred percent you have to be as real as possible. I don’t think faking a relationship or a bad date will get you on a show.
Pratt: If you suck at relationships enough this show will find you. That’s the best way to say it (laughs). But you gotta forget about the rest of the world watching you through this relationship. Forget about that, be yourself, and open yourself up to whatever that process is.
2. It’s never too soon to hook-up with a housemate.
Jenni: Things happen really quickly in the house. Everything is intensified because you’re living with them. The dating is on steroids, if that makes sense. Everything is really fast-paced. So the hooking up thing is also fast-paced.
Christina: When you’re on a TV show, one day feels like a week. And it’s a lot of alcohol. You might as well just do it.
Pratt: We referred to it as real time and house time. We lived together for 10 weeks but it feels like we’ve known each other for ten years.
Dario: There’s no too soon! When you’re put in that house., you skip texting, dinner, meet my parents. You’re just like, ok let’s go up and make breakfast. It just completely fast forwards time.
3. Don’t worry about hooking up with other people around.
Pratt: Alcohol was involved. We really didn’t care. If someone was going to hook up they just did their thing. We were there to do our thing but hooking up in the room…there were a lot of territorial problems there as you’ll find out, but if you want to do it, just do it.
Christina: Just be quiet. Go under the covers (Laughs).
Jenni: You kinda just get used to people hooking up. You hear noises and you’re like, good for them.
Dario: It wasn’t a big deal.
4. It’s okay to cry—and to look ugly while doing so.
Pratt: I’m a cryer! You don’t cry gracefully. I’ll probably defend the first guy that tears up. There’s so many feelings involved, it’s fine if you’re going to shed some tears.
Jenni: You can’t not look like an idiot (laughs). You realize these are my emotions, I’m crying, I’m sad, so that’s what’s really going on. You can’t fake that stuff.
Christina: The camera will be like an inch away from your face getting every single tear that falls. You’ll try to run away but there’s no chance.
5. Focus on your date and not the cameras.
Pratt: The cameras, they disappear. It took about ten minutes and you don’t notice them anymore. There’s always that thought, “ok the whole world is watching.” But if you can really let go and forget about everything else, be who you are, everything will work out.
Dario: Yeah. If they tell you they won’t notice the cameras, oh no, I notice them. I know he’s filming me. Everyone in their own way will change when there are cameras around. But if you don’t get used to it you’re out of luck.
6. If someone else in the house catches you lying or talking about them, be honest and confront the situation.
Jenni: Lay everything out on the table, there’s no hiding anything. Whatever you say to someone, everyone knows within 15 minutes. Just put it all out on the line and see what happens and figure it all out.
Christina: Bite the bullet. If you said it admit to saying it. And there’s probably five other people who heard you say it, so…
Dario: I confront it. I was put in a situation a couple of times like that. Things that happen on a dating show cannot be explained. When you have alcohol and women in general who are a completely different species, there’s issues that are brought up. You can’t physically fight obviously, but you gotta confront it.
Pratt: Yeah. If you don’t confront it now you’re going to confront it later. There’s no secrets. Any kind of drama, people are talking behind your back, just deal with it.
7. When you’re on a reality show, there’s no such thing as too much alcohol.
Christina: I don’t set limits for my drinking. I got plastered. but I took some breaks if I really needed them.
Jenni: I didn’t go a single day without having at least one beverage… but there were days when I only had one.
Dario: There’s no limit but there are obviously people that can’t control the things they say when intoxicated…
Pratt: There’s no limit. I’m lucky I’m alive.
Are You The One? premieres tonight at 10pm right after the Teen Mom Ask the Moms special! Are you excited for season 2? Think you’d ever try out for reality TV? Tweet us @OKMagazine.