Chris Jaftha on his most extreme dating experience: 'She wanted to smell my armpits and lick my face'
Cape Town – Anyone who has ever dated, or is dating, knows that dating is an extreme sport. In the process of "finding the one", people endure a lot of interesting experiences.
Now a new local reality TV dating show is literally taking dating to the extreme.
The Longest Date, which airs from 11 February at 19:30 on SABC3, takes 16 singles and pairs them up before sending them off on adventurous challenges.
The last couple standing walks away with R100 000 and perhaps even the chance of finding true love.
The show’s host, Christ Jaftha tells Channel24 during a telephone interview that it is a totally different kind of dating show: "It is an original show which has a lot of different aspects - it is a mix of Fear Factor, Survivor, Love Island and a sprinkle of Bear Grylls. The content is going to be amazing; the contestants gave us gold."
Without revealing too much, Chris teases that the challenges include: everything from tight-roping, to jumping off cliffs, to climbing up 90-degree angle waterfalls.
The production went to great lengths to keep the contestants safe during the challenges.
Chris explains: "We had a medic on set at all times. Everybody we worked with on the extreme challenges is some of the best in the world. We flew in one guy who is the only guy who does what he does. So, he does it everywhere the Alps, Mount Everest."
"Safety was paramount. We didn’t want anyone to get hurt and we wanted everyone to feel safe. All the right precautions were taken but it didn’t take away from the extremities."
It doesn’t get any more exciting than this and with the added pressure of doing this with a stranger while trying to make a love connection - the contestants were definitely taken far out of their comfort zones.
The match-up process was rigorous, as the 16 contestants had to complete surveys and questionnaires about their personalities and characteristics. Thereafter they were paired up by producers.
Asked whether the couples will stay the same throughout the show, the host insists that we will have to “wait and see.”
The show was filmed in various locations in Mpumalanga. Chris says that there was a lot of hard work put into it and that producers had to obtain certain permits to be able to film in certain places.
His time in the province has given him a new appreciation for its beauty: "I have always known Mpumalanga was beautiful but this time around I got to see a little deeper to find more nooks and crannies. Mpumalanga’s beauty is unparalleled."
CAN YOU REALLY FIND LOVE ON A DATING SHOW?
Finding love in the "real world" is already quite hard, now imagine adding cameras, extreme challenges, and a bunch of strangers into the mix.
But is it really possible to find true-love under such pressure? Chris thinks it is: "I think you can. Whenever you are put in extreme situations either the good or the bad comes out. You can’t hide behind a façade of being a nice person. If you are a nice person that will genuinely translate if you are not, it won’t. If you are put in a high-pressure situation with someone you are supposed to find love with, then whatever emotions you are going through is going to be heightened; good or bad."
While it might just be a "dating show" Chris hopes that viewers will be inspired by the contestants.
"I hope people are inspired by the couples who actually open themselves up to love and that love is possible. I hope they will challenge themselves to try new things and push the boundaries to conquer their fears - that is also what the show is about."
CHRIS ON DATING
We couldn’t have an interview with Chris about dating and not ask him about his dating habits.
The 35-year-old admits that he doesn’t really do the dating thing, but when he used to date, he had a somewhat unique experience: "I was in Germany touring and I went out with a Turkish girl who wanted to smell my armpits and lick my face. That was quite extreme."
His idea for the perfect date is having the perfect person: "It’s more about the company than wherever it is you’re going. But if I had to pick the perfect place it’s just a stone’s throw away the Benguerra Island in Mozambique. It is a protected reserve, lots of the islands there are untouched – you can set up on the island, take a boat out on the water. It is so serene - that will probably be one of my most romantic dates."
And would he ever enter a dating show?
Chris laughs: "If I was the main attraction. Yes. I have toyed with that idea of being 'The Bachelor'. If the stars were aligned and everything pointed to it – I’d be 50/50 on that one."
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE:
(Photos supplied: SABC 3)