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Student television dating show "Head over Heels" to premiere this week


Photo courtesy of Head Over Heels.

Dating shows are often isolated. Filmed in studios or in remote, exotic villas, they sometimes seem detached — a funhouse mirror of real life. But soon, UNC students will be able to watch their peers fall in love in a new dating show filmed around Orange County.

“Head Over Heels,” a new UNC Student Television reality dating show, is scheduled to premiere this Saturday. Created by UNC students, the show will feature 10 students who date each other with the goal of finding a match, similarly to the CBS show “Love Island.”

However, this is not your average dating show.

"Head Over Heels” varies from typical dating shows because students are “organically paired,” said UNC sophomore and the show's associate producer Raguell Couch. Contestants' applications were intentionally sorted to help the group create a connective community.

“They choose who they want to be with,” Couch said.

Nicole Moorefield, a senior at UNC and the producer of the show, thought about bringing a dating show to UNC after watching “The Bachelor” during her first year of college. 

She thought the show was intriguing and wanted to recreate it at the University.

After Moorefield's summer proposal to UNC Student Television was approved, production began in August.

The show's contestants went through a rigorous application process, Couch said. Individuals either filled out an interest form or were nominated by someone else, and each was then interviewed by the show’s staff.

For UNC students, seeing peers do something fun and light-hearted could be a break from the stress of college, Moorefield said.

“I wanted to create something that was wholesome entertainment where you could watch your peers interact and hopefully get a lasting relationship out of it,” she said.

Beyond this, Moorefield said the show focuses on inclusion, and both queer and straight couples will star in the show.

“We wanted to make a show that we felt like was inclusive of students on campus and felt like represented our campus and is good and entertaining to people,” she said.

Places both on and off campus will be included in the show, and in a post-pandemic world, Couch said it has been entertaining to see peers get back to a fun and normalized environment.

The lead editor and sound mixer of the show, Tyson Edwards, is a junior at UNC. He said filming the first episode took two days and involved multiple cameras and audio recording devices.

“You want to get as much coverage as possible, so you have as much stuff to work with,” Edwards said.

In total, he said there are approximately 50 people on the show’s staff, each with different roles. 

Edwards’ individual responsibilities include monitoring the sound on set, as well as taking notes on interesting conversations between contestants that will engage the audience. 

Edwards said being a part of this show was a big learning experience for him and that he is proud that the show got to introduce people to each other.

“I think a few connections between some of the people will be kind of heartwarming and maybe will inspire confidence in people to ask out their crushes,” Edwards said.

He hopes people will be able to identify their favorite characters in the first episode and enjoy the "twists and turns" in the following episodes.

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Moorefield said the show plans to have three episodes in the first season. After season one, the production group can re-apply to renew the show for another season.

The show will be available to watch on YouTube and UNC Student Television's website. There will be a season premiere event in the Hanes Art Center this Saturday at 8:00 p.m.

More information and episode trailers can be found on the “Head over Heels” Instagram.

Editor's note: Nicole Moorefield was the Summer Copy Chief & Audience Engagement Editor for the Daily Tar Heel in 2021.