“If you think adventure is dangerous, try dating,” says Chris Jaftha, "The Longest Date" host, in the promo video of the newest dating show which premieres Monday on SABC 3 at 7:30 pm.
"The Longest Date" is no ordinary dating show. It’s an extreme dating show where 16 strangers spend 14 days in the majestic Mpumalanga performing some of the most heart-racing, gruelling outdoor activities in the quest to finding the one thing that is missing in their lives, ‘love’.
Prior to the show, we caught up with some of the couples, who shared their experiences on the show.
We chatted to Ruan, 35-year-old Lifestyle blogger & vlogger from Umhlanga, KZN, who was paired with Joedy, a 32-year-old aeronautical engineer from Joburg.
We also spoke to Lana Katz, 32-year-old stuntwoman from Bloubergstrand, Western Cape, who was paired with Lindelani Mqwa, a 28-year-old fitness instructor from Boksburg.
What were your expectations for the show?
Ruan: I expected fun and adventure. I’m an adrenalin junkie and I never really pushed myself to the limit and to be able to do it with a total stranger, someone who could possibly be the love of my life was mind-blowing.
Joedy: There was an expectation of extreme sports, mental game challenges and a selection of potential partners. The show met the extreme sports challenge, but unfortunately, there was only one option for me, as there was only one other gay guy there.
Lana: I actually went into the show with as little expectations as possible and was open to anything happening. I generally live life that way, one day at a time. However, I did expect some fun, adventurous and adrenaline pumping challenges which I experienced and more.
Lindelani: The adventure intrigued me the most. And I’m a sucker for love. I’m a hopeless romantic and was hoping to find the one.
There is a belief that people who go on reality dating shows are desperate for love, would you say the statement is true for you?
Ruan: I would say yes and no. A Lot of people are desperate because they are at an age where they feel that no one will love them, I fall into that category, I’m 35, I’m still single, so I put myself out there in a hope to find a partner and the possibility of meeting the love of my life on national TV was a thrill on its own.
Joedy: I wasn’t desperate for love, I was just open to the possibility of finding love. And the crazy challenges were also a drawing factor, as it sounded like something more exciting to do on a date, and would allow each person to see the vulnerable side of their partner and thus creating a better understanding of the person you’re with.
Lana: I believe people who go on reality shows choose to step out of their comfort zone, take risks, try something different, meet new people, learn more about themselves as well as open themselves up to an experience that very few people get the opportunity to have.
Lindelani: I wouldn’t say I was desperate, I’m a personal trainer, I’m always surrounded by gorgeous, so I wanted to experience the modern way of dating while having fun.
What was the most challenging task you had endured on the show?
Ruan: I’m actually scared of heights, so here am and I’m thinking I’m going to die and at the time I haven’t told my partner that I’m scared of heights but I after the first challenge I opened up about my fear, and fortunately my partner was totally supportive.
Joedy: Every water challenge. As I was born with hearing problems, my doctors instructed that I never get water in my ears. Thus always had a fear of water going in my ears, and thus the water challenges always created a bit of anxiety for myself, but I was happy to know that I could use ear plugs during my challenges, which really helped a lot.
Lana: The challenge was not only having to work as a couple/team but with someone that you have never met before. And this is where the sparks fly, and they may not always be the romantic kind.
Oh, and facing Chris Jaftha at the elimination rounds. Now, even though he’s one damn fine guy to look at, when you’re faced with the possibility of being sent home, it was pretty challenging to keep the nerves at bay.
Lindelani: The most challenging was rock climbing, I was really nervous. It looked easy but as I was climbing up…that was really hard and Lana kept me calm, and I’m the usually the one who keeps others calm so it was interesting to have someone else do that for me.
What can viewers look forward to on "The Longest Date"?
Ruan: Adventure, fun and lots of drama.
Joedy: For me personally, they will see a person coming out more about their sexuality and accepting themselves for who they are. But there is also a lot of suspense, drama, action and love.
Lana: They can expect a reality show that has never been seen before!
Lindelani: The show is one of a kind, even the way it’s shot, the viewers will feel like they are there with us.
Catch "The Longest Date" Mondays, 7:30 pm, on SABC 3.