Zoe Tay dishes out tips on how to ace a dating show

The veteran actress, along with fellow celebs, play matchmakers on dating show The Destined One

Zoe Tay dishes out tips on how to ace a dating show
Zoe Tay dishes out tips on how to ace a dating show
17 Apr 2019

Zoe Tay dishes out tips on how to ace a dating show

Calling all singles!

It’s been a good seven years since Love In Progress, which was aired in 2012, but there’s now a brand-new programme, The Destined One, for you to have the chance to meet the love of your life.

In case you’re getting nervous at the thought of appearing on a dating programme, don’t fret as you’ll have plenty of aid in the form of the celebrity matchmakers who will be present to calm your nerves and help you along the way.

We popped by the studio just before one of the recordings, during which we spoke to the host, Guo Liang, along with the four celebrity matchmakers of the day, Zoe Tay, Lee Teng, Vivian Lai and Yao Wen Long, who gave us tips to share with potential candidates.

They also told us a bit more about their personal matchmaking experiences, which included one person proudly declaring that he’s never needed help in that department because “I’ve never had a lack of girlfriends!”

Read on for more.

Zoe Tay
Zoe Tay
17 Apr 2019

Zoe Tay

What’s your strategy when introducing the contestants during The Destined One?

There are so many variety hosts here so I was thinking that I have to lie in order to make the contestants look good! For example, I’d say that they’re as tall as Carrie (Wong), or have a figure like Lin Chi-ling, but the production team told me that I can’t do that!

I’ll just describe them as they are, because sincerity is the most important!

What’s one tip that you would give the contestants to leave a good impression?

Everyone has a different perspective. When you listen to someone’s voice and what they say, you’d probably have a mental image of what you think they look like. When you compare what that person against what you’ve imagined him or her to look like, it’s hard for you to do anything about what the other party feels about you because everyone has an ideal style that they like.

If I had to give one tip, it would be to be brave when you’re talking about your strengths. It’s also alright to poke fun at your own shortcomings, and if it’s something that you can change, you can say that you’ll do better.

Have you ever played matchmaker in real life?

I’ve done so quite a few times but I think I’ve only succeeded once. (laughs) I’m still very happy about that.

When I first made my showbiz debut, people tried to introduce guys to me when I was single. My husband was also introduced by a good friend of mine. It’s hard to find your other half when you’re in showbiz. There are some people who won’t dare to get close to you just because you’re a celebrity, and it’s difficult to date a celeb. You need to be able to be very understanding and accepting of what the job entails, including the long work hours that every celeb has to put in.

Lee Teng
Lee Teng
17 Apr 2019

Lee Teng

What’s your strategy when introducing the contestants during The Destined One?

I focus on their strengths. For example, there was a contestant who is an engineer. He’s in his 30s, so I described him as someone who has a stable job and is very mature.

What’s one tip that you would give the contestants to leave a good impression?

Don’t be too cheesy. Some guys start saying very cheesy lines when they’re nervous. It’s not that you can’t say anything cheesy, but you need to make sure that you can deliver it properly. Don’t just look for pickup lines online and expect that they’ll work for you.

The most important thing is to be sincere. When choosing a partner, I think that going with your gut feeling is the most important. Don’t think about it for too long.

Have you ever played matchmaker in real life?

I don’t mind introducing my friends to one another, but if you were to approach it with the sole purpose of matchmaking two people, it’ll be very stressful for everyone. I’d rather have a gathering where I invite all my single friends and whatever happens, happens. I was the one who introduced (Zhang) Zhen Huan’s girlfriend to him, but I didn’t do it on purpose. It was just a few girls and few guys who met up, and things progressed naturally.

Vivian Lai
Vivian Lai
17 Apr 2019

Vivian Lai

What’s your strategy when introducing the contestants during The Destined One?

Mine is a very Vivian Lai style, and everyone was asking me if I’m trying to sell a product rather than introduce a contestant. The other celebrities on the show think that I’m exaggerating, but I’m just trying to emphasise their good qualities!

What’s one tip that you would give the contestants to leave a good impression?

The moment that they introduce themselves is very important. I think that they need to have confidence when they meet their potential partner for the first time. The moment that you turn around, and the moment that you first say something is very important.

It’s important to prepare yourself before coming on the show. Don’t just say things like, ‘I’m a very pure person’. What’s a pure person? You need to be specific, because we’re not filming a fengshui programme here.

Have you ever played matchmaker in real life?

I’ve never played matchmaker in real life, but when I often get a lot of aunties trying to matchmake me with their sons when I’m filming variety shows on the streets. I don’t know why either, but maybe I give the impression that I’m a good wife and mother. I think they forget that I’m married, and some of them even bring their sons along to ask me to recommend someone to them.

Guo Liang
Guo Liang
17 Apr 2019

Guo Liang

What’s the impression that contestants have given you during The Destined One?

As the host of this programme, I’ve seen all the episodes and I must say that I’m very impressed so far. Everyone has the right to pursue the kind of love that they want, and both males and females are doing just that.

I spoke more to the female contestants because I was worried that they would be very shy, but as it turns out, times have changed and they’re very confident and sure of what they want. I hope that more contestants like this can appear on our show in the coming episodes.

What’s one tip that you would give the contestants to leave a good impression?

Honestly, I think it’s very difficult. For male contestants, most of their work is behind-the-scenes. Before they show themselves to the female contestants, they need to describe themselves, and work on expressing themselves as well.

Being specific in describing yourself is very important – there was a contestant whose linguistic ability helped him a lot in the previous rounds, because he was very descriptive, and that in itself can show your personality.

For example, ‘I like hardworking girls’ versus ‘I like girls who are good at doing household chores’ is very different, and the impression that you give is very different as well.

Have you ever played matchmaker in real life?

I’m very willing to play matchmaker but it seems that the timing is never right. There are periods of time when I have a lot of single female friends, but when the single male friends approach me about it, they the ladies would have found their respective partners by then.

I’ve tried introducing people just once, and I find it a pity that it didn’t work out. The reason why I failed was because I never met the girl before. I only knew about her according to what others said, rather than my own observations.

I’ll be more than happy to do so in the future – some people are against it but to me, it’s just getting to know more people and there’s no need for me to feel the pressure of ‘Will they date for a long time? Will they get married?’ and so on. If you start worrying about one, you’ll have to worry about a lot more, like whether they’ll have children, whether they’ll be married for life, and so on.

For me, I never had a lack of girlfriends when I was younger so there was never a need for myself to be matchmade. (laughs)

Yao Wen Long
Yao Wen Long
17 Apr 2019

Yao Wen Long

What’s your strategy when introducing the contestants during The Destined One?

Before I introduce the contestants, I’ll have to get to know them well first. Their age, jobs, personalities, looks – I’ll try to know it all. At the beginning, I’ll focus more on their physical appearance while I observe and find out what kind of person they are. I’ll only start describing what they’re like on the inside after I’m sure about it.

What’s one tip that you would give the contestants to leave a good impression?

The first impression that you leave on someone is always your physical appearance. It doesn’t mean that you have to be extremely pretty or handsome, but it’s more on focusing on what makes you stand out. You need to have confidence when you first make your entrance, and you need to have a certain level of energy to be able to stand out. If you’re very quiet or low-energy, you’ll end up not getting any attention from others.

Have you ever played matchmaker in real life?

I haven’t had the chance to play matchmaker, but my wife was introduced to me by someone else. I wouldn’t consider it as my friends matchmaking us on purpose, but it was just mutual friends introducing us to one another. It was a group matchmaking session, and there were just a group of single friends meeting up, because if you were to make it a one-on-one session, that would be too awkward.

However, if a friend tells me specifically that they’re interested in a particular friend of mine, I won’t be against introducing the two of them if both parties are willing to give it a try.

Candidates aged above 21 may indicate their interest by writing in to DestinedOne@mediacorp.com.sg by May 17. For more information, please refer to this Facebook post.

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