What is it like to be on the Chinese gameshow Fei Cheng Wu Rao (“If You Are the One”)?
So I guess I can recount my entire experience. This will be a long post. It was a wonderful experience for me and I had so much fun doing it. I just wish a few things could've done a few things differently. So I remember the first time I saw the show was back in March. I was hanging out with my friend at her place and she said, hey, do you know this show, it's called "Fei Cheng Wu Rao." And so I asked her questions about how the show works and she basically told me the process. I said, that sounds awesome. I've always wanted to be a mini celebrity. She looked at me and said, you should go apply! I'll be one of the friends that talks about you. I looked at her and said ok. I sort of forgot about the conversation and then there was this other Chinese American guy that got all sort of hype named "An Tian", a Harvard guy that had the choice of choosing the two girls, asked them if you had 10 mil what would you do, and both of them gave answers that weren't great. The guy then walked away. I thought it was honorable to push philanthropy so openly, but not as humble or Chinese as I thought. So that pretty much made me apply. So I want onto the Jiangsu TV's website and applied. I wrote in broken in Chinese something to the effect that I'm an "ABC" (American Born Chinese ), would like to meet a nice Chinese girl as I've dated Chinese women before and have had varying experiences. A week later, I received a call from one of the show's producer's inviting me down to interview. I was living in Beijing at the time and the interview location was down the street from where I lived. When I got there, I was stunned. Probably at least 100 people with some parents and friends all going there. They gave us forms to fill out. I tried to fill out the forms, but my writing in Chinese isn't great. I can type or read ok, but couldn't remember how to write a ton of words. Instead of going on pleco and figuring out every word, I just asked for help. A lot of the girls there were very friendly and more than willing to help a lao wai out in filling out the form. So I filled out the form and then I struck a cord with one of the employees. He also used Jiepang, the location based service that I was working at and we talked about his thoughts about the app. He then told me, hey, I suggest you position yourself this way and so he suggested I say that I look like a guy named "xue chun" during the interview. So during the interview, there were 3 people. I came in and I thought I was dressed pretty well. Cream colored sport coat with a pink shirt. I thought to myself "peacocking" was the way to go. I probably looked like a tool to a lot of people, but it was my best try. The producer people asked me about my life and I told them about how I moved around 12 times and came to China to work. I have a deep love for the culture and country and hopefully one day can settle down with a nice Chinese girl that's international, hopefully that has studied / worked abroad in the states or Europe. I told them that all my life I was a "banana" and that I'm hoping my kids can be "mangos." They said, great, you're in, but don't tell anyone that we've already selected you as a finalist. Afterwards, I did my video for Baihe, which is like the Match.com of China, which has a partnership with the TV show. After that I was finished. A week later, I got a call to do the VCR, or the video about me. So I called up a few friends of mine to say good things about me and had them ready. The VCR took about 2 hours. I first bought the film crew lunch and then headed to my house. Before coming, they asked me to purchase a world map and a China map, so I did. Then they said, in your first video, just talk about who you are. What you like to do. I talked to them about my life of moving around my life, living in different places such as Indiana, Nor Cal, So Cal, New York and Asia. So they came up with a story of having me move my plane around. While they were filming me, I kept on slipping up on saying "Northern California" (北加洲) and 南加洲 and for the life of me couldn't stop saying it. Probably did 10 takes on that portion because they kept telling me Chinese people have no idea what Northern and Southern California is, rather just say LA and SF. I also realized that from conversations with previous girlfriends, I had picked up some bad Chinese habits, which made my speech very verbose. I kept on saying "我之所以" (the reason I did this is because), and he said, just try to be more concise. My Chinese vernacular I found was filled with "filler words" like "那个“， ”就是“，"这个“， ”之所以“ etc. It was a tough habit to kick in the two hours. After filming my VCR, my friends came. One of my buddies dad's was in the film industry as well so he did his talk about me in one take. The crew looked at me and said, wow, that guy is "牛逼" (fuc*ing awesome). About 10 days later, I got a call from the director to buy a TRAIN TICKET to Nanjing and he said that they'd reimburse the amount. I said ok. I bought the train ticket and went to Nanjing. My train took off at night in Beijing and got to Nanjing in the morning at 6:00 am. They gave me a room at the Hanting Inn and I had to share a room with another contestant. The other contestant was cool and was an English teacher. So in general they filmed 4 shows during a week. 2 on Saturday, 2 on Sunday and they fly the girls out every other weekend to film the shows. I hang out in Nanjing during the day and saw the Nanjing Massacre museum as I was always very interested in the book "the rape of nanking" by Iris Chang. I documented all of this on my Jiepang.At night, was when my adventure of FCWR took an unfortunate twist. The night before the show, I received a call from someone from the show asking me to pick number 8. I protested and I said, can I not as I really didn't want to pick her. 8 was notorious for being bitc*y and tough as well as she ain't all that pretty. The guy pretty much in a nice way said I should. I was sort of depressed and thought that it sucked, but whatever. The director then sent me a text message to memorize the song that I noted in my interview. I'm probably one of the worse singers I know and can only pretend to rap some Eminem songs and maybe some N'sync songs when I've got some liquid courage, so it made me doubly nervous. At night, my roommate and I researched the female contestants. We talked about the girls we liked and the ones we didn't like. We agreed on a few of them and didn't agree on a few of them. I still remember telling him I liked 3, 12, 17 and 23. He told me he was into 9. We both agreed that 8 was really bitc*y. I tried sleeping and remember having a dream of getting boo'ed off. I had a bad night sleep also because my roommate was a snorer. The next day, I cabbed to the studio with a few different shirts so that they could fit me. I was still a little worried and I waited in the lobby. I waited in the lobby practicing the song and checked in with Jiepang. In the lobby, I met a few other contestants. One of them, I thought looked like the guy from Infernal Affairs 2, Shawn Yue and just a very good looking and extremely nice guy as well. He would be the contestant after me. So we get to meeting room where we are asked to sign NDA's with regards to the show or at least I think that's what it was. The documents were really long and in Chinese and I pretty much asked the other male contestants what the documents said. They explained some of the various clauses. I then apologized for being such a banana. The FCWR employees then asked us to prepare a final question in case we have female contestants that leave their lights on for us. I initially wanted to ask, would you be willing to go to the US for a guy and then I was rejected by the staff. They noted that the question was too loaded politically and said it sort of encouraged brain drain. I told them that that wasn't my intention, and that I don't think the US is better than China, rather it's different and has different offerings. They looked at me and said they were very happy that I was so passionate about China, but still better to have another question. I relented and came up with the question, what's your favorite part of China. The staff at the time agreed on that question. They took us down to the venue and walked us through what the process was. The elevator, the stage and how to select our "心动女生“ on the little device. Didn't seem that tough. At the time, we couldn't put on social media any videos or pictures of the venue, but after the show aired they said we could. I remember taking a picture of the elevator of doom and writing about it on Weibo. After the tour was when they took us to make up where they took pictures of us. During the make up time, they suggested I change my hair. I actually like my hairstyle and I felt (and still do) that it goes with the shape of my face - a diamond shaped face. They neglected my suggestion and insisted of giving me a little bit of a makeover and give me a mohawk. Sure. Following make up, they took us back stage and told us our order. I was told I was gonna be 3rd. At this time, they wanted to confirm with me that I was gonna play ball and pick #8. I sighed and said, "do I have to (我必须要吗？) - they said it's better that I do. （最好是）. I remember seeing the first guy go up. He was this really nice guy that was just funny. When I think of him, I thought of a Chinese version of Chandler from friends. He didn't succeed and I thought, jeez, that sucks. What if the girls all turn off my light. I worried about being embarrassed. Onto the second male contestant. I don't remember seeing what ended up happening to the second male contestant because about 5 minutes before they were done, they told me to go onto the elevator. I was still so nervous. I thought that my Mandarin would fail me and I was worried I would forget the song. Finally, in the background, I heard Meng Fei say, "下一位，男家宾". And then the song "Can you feel it comes on" - right when that happens. The elevator starts flashing and it's a bumpy ride down. My heart is pumping really hard and I'm like here we go. I get up on stage and I'm like, Hi Everyone, my name is 郭子威, i'm 27, happy to be here and bowed. I don't know why, but it was almost instinctual to bow. I kept on bowing and I have no idea why! So Meng Fei said I looked like Nemo's dad and then made a few jokes about that. I remember being up there, but the experience being surreal. He then asked me to pick my 心动女生, so I did. My hand was shaking, which was why they didn't show the selection at the end. I obediently picked #8. All of the girls kept their lights on for me, which I thought was a miracle. I was pretty happy. So at that time, they showed my first video. I thought, cool, finally get to see how my video came out. I felt the video they showed wasn't exactly what I wanted to say because they didn't talk about my moves other places, rather only places in China that I've been. They specifically zoomed in on me pointing to the fact that I've been to these places in China, including Taiwan. After my first video, Meng Fei asks me do I know Lei Feng. (雷锋). I said, know and he explained it. I then thought, hmm, as long as I say yes in the future, maybe he won't explain stuff. Bad idea, but i'll talk about that a little later. After that, one of the girls said a comment, which I forget at the time then another girl asked me to sing the song that I was supposed to have memorized. I tried to make a joke out of it and said, I'm a bad singer, so if your'e gonna turn off your light, can you do it AFTER I sing. The music started and I sang the first line and then lost rhythm and forgot the lyrics. SHI* SHI* SHI*. I ended up saying shi* on TV if you listen closely. I remember spinning and telling the crew to cut and like WTF. I kept on doing the cut gesture (you know the "kill it gesture" - where you gesture at your throat) - as if they would listen to me. Everyone started laughing. And I was like, shi* shi* shi*. This is not going well. Meng Fei asked everyone to start singing and I was like, alright, let's keep going. So finally we get to my second video about me having had a Chinese girlfriend before and how we dated for 3 years and because I thought she was too focused on career, that's why we broke up. I remember Le Jia asking me, "I think you're the one that's too into career". We argued a little for like 15 minutes, all of which was cut out at the end. I really think I had said some intelligent things, but instead people will probably only remember the not so intelligent things I said. So finally after some discussion and a few comments, and a few more lights turned off, I had 5 lights left and Meng Fei said, congrats, you can go turn of 3 lights. I looked unsure about what I Was doing. I turned off 2 girl's lights and then the 3rd was the girl I originally wanted to choose. I turned hers off because I didn't want to have to embarrass her at the end when I chose another girl. I sighed. She was cool too. After that it came down to me asking my question - the question the staff had prepared. They said the question wasn't clear enough. I was like, ahhh, fuc*. WTF, I thought it was ok. Thinking on my feet typically isn't a problem but a million things were going through my mind so I asked, what's your favorite Chinese story. The first question I asked they ended up cutting and said it was too generic. So each of the two girls talked about a few stories. Meng Fei asked if I knew the stories. I said yea. And then he said oh good. Then afterwards, he asked me if I knew another story, I said yea. And then Le Jia asked me if I knew this expression, which to this day, after watching my episode like 5 times, I still have no idea of wtf he is asking. He asked me what the "qie" word meant. I think I pulled something out of my ass and I said, isn't it 一切 or something like that and Meng Fei said, dude, this guy is full of shit. （根本是胡说八道). Afterwards, he tells me to remember the stories and asks me to repeat them. I end up mispronouncing one, in stead of Chang E, (name of the story) I said Qi E (Penguin). Everyone got a kick out of it. I didn't know what I said that was so funny. So I ended up picking the girl that they had planned me to pick. She ended up donating her ticket, I didn't donate mine and ended up making some nice cash from it. At the end, they wanted us to give our after thoughts. I just made something up like I liked her personality (a complete lie). Afterwards, we went to eat Hot Pot. As we walked down the street, a couple people recognized her and said, oh, aren't you ... While walking around, I wasn't terribly interested in continuing to talk with her. We went out the next day to some Nanjing sights together with the rest of the FCWR people. The day after at night, headed back to Beijing. Three weeks later it aired and after it aired, I would say that I was probably stopped on the street a good 5 times a day. I received about maybe 75 e-mails a day asking me if I was still single and how the show was. I went on a few dates and took a lot of pictures with random people that approached me on the street. Most of the dates pretty much was me narrating the FCWR story and the girl asking questions. Unfortunately after the show aired, I was pretty much getting ready to head to Singapore for work. To this day when I head to China, some people recognize me and my episode also aired in Singapore a few weeks ago. It was a wonderful experience and I got my 15 minutes as a mini celebrity. You can watch my video here: And that's my story.