Ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances: a study of participants in television dating games
Programmes based on the experiences and emotions of ordinary people are an important feature of television schedules worldwide. So far, however, media researchers have done little to investigate the motives and experiences of those who lend their lives to such programmes. This article investigates the experiences of participants in one of the more traditional programme formats based on ordinary people: the television dating game. This article presents evidence from a study of participants in Reisesjekken, a Norwegian dating game modelled upon the British ITV programme Blind Date. The analysis is based on interviews with 40 participants and five producers. The main questions are: Why do people want to participate in a television dating game? What are the main sources of conflict between participants and production staff? And, what do the participants get out of it in the long run?