Love at First Song is a music/dating hybrid format that hopes to find its own Beyoncé and Jay Z.
The series, from Korea’s CJ ENM, creates couples through musical performances in which single singers “virtually” rehearse a romantic duet, then reveal themselves and their potential chemistry during a performance. These couples then live together, practice together, perform and compete together, but may swap partners in every episode — for love or music.
First launched in Vietnam via VT3 in 2018 followed by a Malaysian remake now in its third season and a Korean adaptation, CJ ENM has high hopes that the idea of bringing these two genres together can travel.
John Legend was attached to produce a U.S. adaptation in 2019 with American Idol producer Simon Lythgoe set as showrunner, with Critical Content producing.
CJ ENM’s head of format sales Diane Min said during the format’s panel at Deadline’s New Tube that they had spent a lot of time developing the U.S. version. “We were almost there and then the pandemic came and everything is on hold but I believe when things are OK, this could come back soon,” she said.
Development producer HeayYoung Na said that the idea came from a simple question as to whether musical taste was a romantic deal-breaker.
“Finding the balance between the music and the dating was the biggest challenge,” she said. “It’s that feeling of chemistry while they’re singing together, that brings that flutter, and hopeful feeling, the feeling you get when you’re just getting to know someone. A lot of people like music shows and a lot of people like dating shows and it was their first time seeing a music dating hybrid show.”
Na added that a number of the pairings stayed together after that show and in fact on the Malaysian version, they’ve had two weddings. “We found out that, yes, people really can fall in love through music,” she said.
Check out the panel video above.
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