Jenny McCarthy (1995–1997)
Carmen Electra (1997–1998)
Conceited (real name "Reggie "Conceited" Sergile")
Joel Kim Booster
Television Version Spiel:
"Right here, we have 50 single women! This is (insert name and hobby/fact)! Right here, we have 50 single guys! This is (insert name and hobby/fact)! That's right! And I bet 98/100 psychos are just waiting to go crazy/(insert idiom to go crazy), on MTV'S SINGLED OUT! And now, your host, a man who (insert funny comment here), CHRIS HARDWICK!"
(MTV's) Singled Out or S1ngled Out (representing the "1" replacing the "I" for the title in the 2018 version) is the MTV (later YouTube & Quibi respectively) dating game show where one guy & one gal try to find a date from a group of 50 single men & women. In the 2020 version it says (produced by MTV) in the title card.
Format (Original Version)
Each episode had 100 people (50 men & 50 women), all vying to win the hearts of one member of the opposite sex.
To start, one contestant, called "The Picker", walked onto the set in front of the contestants in the "Dating Pool" while blindfolded, so that he/she couldn't see them. That contestant was escorted to a chair in front of a large mirror with the show's title on it. The game was played in three rounds.
Round 1: Categories Round
The object of this round was to narrow the playing field down to five to eight potential dates. And here's how it worked:
The Picker was presented with a board of six categories, which ranged from physical attributes to preferences in love-making to leisure activities. These generally were expressed in a humorous style, often with various pop-culture references. After choosing a category, two or three choices were listed (for example, a category on hair might be divided into blonde, brunette, and redhead, another example (which was used on the show) would be age, and the choices would be The Dating Game, Love Connection, and of course Singled Out), and the Picker was asked to eliminate one of the choices. After eliminating a choice, all the contestants who fit that choice left the Dating Pool, in view of the Picker. This process was continued until five to eight potentials were left, at which point they advanced to the next round.
In the third season, a "Golden Ticket" was introduced, which gave the Picker the power to save one eliminated player as he/she walked in front of him on the way out of the studio. The contestant who received that ticket automatically advanced to the next round. For episodes taped outside, the "Golden Ticket" was replaced with a "Golden Lifesaver", though the same rules applied.
Round 2: Keep 'em or Dump 'em
In this round after the female hostess spoke with the survivors of the first round, the Picker asked a series of questions to those players. They ranged from Dating Game-style questions (example, "if you had me alone in a limousine for 3 hours, what would you do to me?") to stunt-oriented questions (example, hitting a paddle ball a number of times, with the female host relaying the potential date's performance to the Picker). If the Picker was happy with the answer or performance, he/she would "keep" the contestant, advancing them to the final round; if not, he/she would decide to "dump" the contestant, knocking him/her out of the game. "Dumped" contestants were not shown to the Picker as in the first round, but were instead marked with some sort of prop, such as a toilet seat around the neck, a bag with a sad face on it on the male player's head, or a pageant sash labeled "Dumped".
The Final Cut
If two contestants were kept or if there were three or four players remaining, the next question was dubbed "The Final Cut". This was where the remaining players got involved in that question, and the Picker chose who to keep.
This round ended when three contestants were "kept", or enough players were "dumped" to leave three. If the potential date received the golden ticket, then sometimes the host would show him/her to the picker.
Round 3: The Final Race
The mirror was taken away from behind the Picker to reveal a walkway with five spaces behind him/her. The three finalists were now given nicknames and stood at the back step for this round. Host Chris posed a series of dual-choice questions, and it was the finalists job to guess which choice the Picker chose. For every match made, the finalist(s) with the correct answer moved up one space. The first finalist to reach the winner's circle where the Picker was standing won the date with him/her. If there was a tie (two or all three finalists made it), one final question with a numerical answer was asked to the tying contestants, such as "How many girls did (Picker's name) say he dated last year?"; the contestant with the closest guess without going over won the date. If all the guesses exceeded the actual answer, the contestant with the closest guess won the date.
After a couple had been made, the two contestants were placed back-to-back while Hardwick read a description of the winning player to the Picker; the contestants were then turned around to meet each other for the first time, and their trip and prizes were described to them by the announcer.
Two games were played per show, first with a woman picking from 50 single men, then with a man picking from 50 single women.
Several episodes were shown with out-of-the-ordinary rules, guest appearances, or other notable occurrences:
- Twins' Day - Twins appeared as pickers, sometimes as potentials.
- Loser's Show - Where losers from previous shows got a second chance. In addition, a contestants who has "dumped" on one or more previous episodes was featured as the Picker.
- Spring Break - Special Spring Break episodes were produced (in fact, this was where the show got its start).
- At least two episodes featured gay and lesbian contestants.
- Personalities from other television shows appeared as contestants. For example, Michael Bower (Donkey Lips from the Nickelodeon series Salute Your Shorts) and Alison Sweeney (Sami Brady from Days of our Lives who went on to host The Biggest Loser) appeared as a potential date on one show.
- The show fell victim to a prank from Buzzkill, another MTV series airing at the time. One of the three pranksters posed as a potential contestant with a female Picker; upon being eliminated, the prankster dropped his pants in front of the Picker to reveal a pair of boxers shorts with "YOUR LOSS BABE" emblazoned on the buttocks.
"A chaperone will be provided at the request of the contestants."
Format (YouTube Revival)
The format in the 2018 revival is significantly different. The show has a main hip hop/urban contemporary theme, with a social media or Tinder motif as well. Also showcasing a more inclusive tolerance towards alternative lifestyles featuring LGBTQ segments as well.
Likewise in the original version, "The Picker", is seated facing away from the audience. 50 other "singles" still compete for one person, however only 25 are genuine legitimate contestants in studio. Referred to as "IRL" contestants. (Keeping up the social media theme). The other 25 are "URL" contestants. (Which the show makes it seems they are competing via the internet, however all URL contestants are actually backstage. A still selfie of them are shown as avatars on a giant plasma screen, that the picker can't see, situated next to the studio contestants.) They are essentially contestants as well, although not quite. The catch is, there is a possibility some (or possibly all), the URL contestants are illegitimate contestants, or to keep up with the shows theme, a Catfish. If a "URL" contestant is real, the selfie image on the screen is actually them and they are backstage. If a "URL" contestant is fake, their selfie is a stock image of an actor, and the "URL" contestant (who will be eventually revealed later) is essentially a catfish that during the reveal looks nothing like the image of them (which is usually embellished as person more conventionally attractive as them on the screen. Sometimes even a different gender. However catfish or otherwise, anything a "URL" does on the show is their own validity, and they are still a legitimate contestant).
The Picker is presented with a large board of six categories, which narrow down a contestants (whether IRL or URL) attributies. Anything from physical attraction, mental attraction, hobbies and social media habits. (Categories usually have a humorous tone to them.) Once choosing a category two or three choices are listed (for example, a category on personality would be listed as "Cray Cray" or "Chill"), and The Picker is asked to eliminate any contestant who falls under that trope. "IRL" contestants who were eliminated leave the studio in view of the picker revealing themselves. (URL contestants are also eliminated likewise, however The Picker has no idea of this.) This continues until at least eight or less "IRL" contestants remain (which if less than eight "IRL" contestants are left, they automatically advance to the next round) and/or eight or less "URL" contestants remain (which if less than eight "URL" are left on the screen, they automatically advance to the next round.) who then advance to Round 2.
The Picker who still has no idea who the "IRL" and URL" contestants are, names are revealed and formally introduced and interviewed. (The "URL" contestants are still only represented by their selfie avatar, and a dating site like profile is instead shown.). At this time, The Picker is only allowed to choose one "IRL" and one "URL" contestant to move onto the following round. This is done by an activity or challenge The Picker asks the "IRL" contestants to do, and by various creative means for the "URL" contestants to do. (For example, The Picker may ask the "URL" contestants to post an emoji they think is cute etc. "URL" contestants although are still only represented by their selfie image, can still interact by text messages and also sending a voice message. However the chance of them being a catfish is still possible.) The eliminated "IRL" contestants walk out the studio and are revealed to The Picker. (The "URL" contestants are also eliminated with The Picker having no idea who they are.) Once one "IRL" and one "URL" contestant is left, they advance to the final round.
The Picker is now allowed to see the "IRL" contestant that is left, and they also see the selfie avatar image of the "URL" contestant on the plasma screen. To make the choice somewhat easier, an activity (which the winner/person who got the most matches isn't necessarily the one chosen by The Picker) done to get to know more about the "IRL" and "URL" contestants is played. Before the show, The Picker was given a survey on five personality questions. (For example, "kiss on first date or no?"). These same questions are asked, and the "IRL" contestant gives their choice, (The "URL" contestant sends a text message of their answer). The Picker raises a cue card of the choice they made earlier. If it's a match, the "IRL" and/or the "URL" contestant score a point. After the questions are asked, The Picker then has to make a choice. Either pick the "IRL" contestant in the studio, or go with the "URL" contestant (in which The Picker only knows them from their selfie avatar, with the possibility of them being a catfish.) The Picker then makes the choice, leading onto the reveal.
Immediately after The Picker makes their choice, if they choose the "IRL" contestant, they are simply matched together. However, if The Picker chooses the "URL" contestant, they then reveal themselves (in which they were backstage the entire time, catfish or otherwise). If the "URL" contestant is not a catfish, they are matched together as if they chose the "IRL" contestant. If the "URL" contestant is a catfish, The Picker usually is unhappy about this, however they can still decide to accept the catfish regardless.
In this version, only one game is played, with no commercial breaks.
Format (Quibi Version)
On June 4, 2019; it was announced by Entertainment Weeklythat a reboot of the show was in the works. It will be hosted by actress & afternoon GMA hostess Keke Palmer & Joel Kim Booster. and it will also be only aired on the new streaming platform service called Quibi when its set to launch on April 6, 2020.
The show served as the basis for a book: Singled Out Guide to Dating (MTV Books 1996) by Lynn Harris and J.D. Heiman. This tie-in advice book was actually two books in one, a "His" side (with Chris Hardwick on the cover) and, turned over, a "Hers" side (with Jenny McCarthy on the cover). In this book, winning couples were interviewed about their dates.
In 1996, a VHS tape was released called Singled Out: The Dirt on The Dates! (featuring both Chris Harwick and Jenny McCarthy on the cover) where it follows contestants selected from a crowd of fifty eligible young hopefuls as they go on their first date. taking you behind-the-scenes for an in-depth look at where the trail of romance leads.
Empire Studios, Burbank, CA (Original Version)
New York City, NY (YouTube Revival)
Countries that have done their own versions of Singled Out include:
- United Kingdom
Burt Wheeler & Sharon Sussman
Clips of the first game