Gainesville Dating Game Makes Debut at Jolie Banquet Catering Venue


Four male contestants, eight female contestants, and more than 100 audience members attended the inaugural “Take Me Out” dating game show Saturday at Jolie Banquet Catering Venue in Gainesville.

Wade Hsu, game show host of the event, invited the master of ceremonies, Shiqi Zhang, to become a male contestant at the end of the event; he thus became the fifth male contestant.

“The MC did an awesome job with the event. It was fun that he accepted my invitation to participate in the event since he is single,” Hsu said.

Aiming at helping the contestants find people they like, the event began with an introduction of the female contestants.

The male contestants went through three rounds, including a self-introduction, showing a pre-recorded video about themselves for the female panel and audience, and having the female contestants interview his friends or family.

At any point in the event, the female panel members would indicate a yes or no with regards to how interested she may be using a two-sided sign with a red heart on one side and a big X on the other.

Take Me Out
Shiqi Zhang (left) talks to the female contestants on stage, who were given a two-sided sign to indicate either yes with a red heart or no with an ‘X’ about how interested in they were in male contestant. (Photo by Zhiming Zhang/ WUFT News)

Zhang, a UF ISOM graduate who works as a Technology Analyst at Deutsche Bank in Jacksonville, said the most difficult part of the event was hosting in both English and Chinese.

“It is hard to translate everything that was said, especially when people said a lot at once,” he said.

Although Zhang passed through all three rounds, he did not choose to take any girl out because of his Christian beliefs.

“I need to pray more before committing to a relationship,” he said. “I am still waiting for the girl God arranges for me because I know he could see far more than I can.”

He said this event helped people get out of their comfort zone and make new friends.

“They could also find the person they like, if they were lucky enough,” he said.

Shujian Yu, was not fortunate this time.

Yu, the first male contestant on the stage, said he heard about the event through a friend.

Before the event started, he watched several episodes of “Take Me Out” to become familiar with the process.

As soon as he knew he would be the first contestant, he was prepared for his chances of finding a girl to drop; usually, female contestants like to skip the first male contestant in order to see what happens later in the show.

During the event, the host asked Yu to show his Latin dance skill. On stage, Yu said he did not want to choose a random female contestant to dance with because he was afraid she might get hurt.

He did not find a girl this time but did want to encourage people to attend the event in the future.

“It is a challenging and exciting experience that I don’t always have in my daily life,” he said. “Even though the result is not what I wanted, I really enjoyed the whole process.”

The Chinese Student Association at UF co-organized the event.


About Zhiming Zhang

Zhiming is a reporter for WUFT News who may be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news

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