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Iowa City Public Access TV starts dating game

BY BRIAN ALBERT | JUNE 14, 2011 7:20 AM

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Iowa City’s Public Access Television channel is spicing up its weekly lineup.

In an attempt to diversify the programming, producers came up with “Dump, Kiss, or Date,” a new two-round dating show on which three male contestants compete for a date with one lovely lady.

“We really wanted to try something different,” said Jared Sandersfeld, a producer, web designer, and workshop instructor for the station. “I’ve liked the idea of doing a dating show or a reality show for a long time. We’ve talked about it in the past, and this summer we decided to roll with some fun, new, interesting shows.”

Located near downtown Iowa City, the station describes itself as “a resource dedicated to diversity in community communication,” evident in the channel’s diverse arrangement, which includes art shows, game shows, sports programs, and even Spanish and Vietnamese programming.

And people were more than willing to volunteer for the program, curious about what it would entail.
“I [didn’t] really have any idea what to expect,” said Jason Fries, contestant No. 1. “A friend from graduate school tipped me off to this show, and I thought it’d be fun.”

But “Dump, Kiss, or Date” isn’t all fun and games. After only one round of questioning, the main contestant, Katrin Fischer, picked one person to “dump” while blindfolded. Fischer chose to eliminate suitor No. 3, Nikki Kusiak, who said he enjoyed rapping and eating almonds.

The second round, which includes “feats of strength” and “confessions of love,” ends with the player picking one person to kiss.

Challenges included cramming marshmallows into mouths, drawing self-portraits, catching Ping-Pong balls, and doing pushups. Contestants were also asked about whether they’ve cheated on a girlfriend, which “base” they expect to get to on a first date, and which iPhone app they’d be.

The remaining person is the contestant’s date, and the two spend some time together around Iowa City while cameras capture every moment.

Host Monica Severson described the game as “a great bunch” of fun.

“I’m really hoping that we’ll be able to capture that goofy, wacky, MTV reality show kind of feel,” she said.

And despite the shenanigans, Fischer said she wasn’t nervous about being on camera.

“I was on TV in Germany, so I’m used to cameras,” Fischer said. “A friend of mine whom I went to high school with informed me about this new show, and I thought it’d be fun.”

And though this show is technically a dating game, Sandersfeld said, the point isn’t to take things too seriously.

“It’s not as much about meeting your match and finding a person to be in a serious relationship with,” he said. “It’s just something that’s fun to do.”


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