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SALT LAKE CITY — The second season of the viral Utah dating show “Provo’s Most Eligible” will be very different from the first — but don’t worry. The producers say the show’s signature “cringeyness” will still be there.
“It really is real life, it’s like what Provo is like,” assistant producer Afton Taylor said. “It’s cringey, it’s awkward and it’s fun all at the same time in some weird twisted way.”
The eight-episode second season is set to debut Sept. 26, and new episodes will be available on YouTube on Thursdays.
The first season, which got tens of thousands of views after debuting on YouTube in February, featured 21-year-old BYU student Colin Ross as he combed through a field of 22 women. He ultimately settled on one contestant, Annalee, in the season’s finale.
The second season will be completely different, said Remington Butler, the show’s co-creator, director and host. Butler, along with co-creator Carson Bown and Taylor, wanted to switch things up for the second time around.
Three bachelorettes will choose from a field of 30 guys, Butler said. The three women are lifestyle YouTuber Ellie June, emergency room nurse Elizabeth Eide and student Lauren Hunter, according to the show's website.
More information about all the male and female participants on the show is available at the website, provosmosteligible.com.
The show is partnering with Mutual, the dating app geared toward members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to assist with the initial stages of the competition, Butler said.
In the first episode of the new season, the three women will view each guy's Mutual profile. Then, if a guy and girl both “swipe up” to indicate they are interested in each other, they’ll be able to meet ahead of time, Butler said.
Also in the second season’s first episode, the three women will then choose six guys to be on their “team.”
Throughout the rest of the season, the contestants and bachelorettes will go on group and individual dates. The three women will ultimately choose one of the guys on their team by the end of the show.
“I think we just wanted to include just a big diverse group of guys and girls so we could represent all different kinds of personalities, all different people,” Butler said. “That’s kind of what the format allows us to do.”
The girls will also be able to “steal” a guy from another bachelorette’s team, as long as the guy also agrees to switch teams, according to Taylor. That allows the guys to compete for the hearts of the girls, but will also provide some competition between the three girls, she said.
She added that the producers believe the format will be more interesting and more relevant to those who have dated in Provo before.
Another reason for the changes was due to the show’s copyright dust-up with Warner Bros. Entertainment earlier this year. The series, originally titled “The Bachelor of Provo,” changed its name to “Provo’s Most Eligible” after Warner Bros. claimed the show too-closely followed the ABC show “The Bachelor.”
The show now includes “elimination ceremonies” rather than “rose ceremonies,” as well as a format that is totally different from the ABC show to hopefully avoid any further copyright issues, Taylor said.
When asked, Butler wouldn’t discuss what happened with Ross' dating life after the show.
However, Ross briefly discussed his personal life in an interview video with California social media personality Noel Miller earlier this month.
Miller helped make the show more famous when he watched the first season and commentated on each episode, broadcasting his thoughts to his 1.54 million YouTube subscribers. (Warning: All of Miller's videos are very raunchy, unfiltered and uncensored.)
Ross told Miller that he and Annalee spent some time together after the show, but he left Utah to return to California a month after the show wrapped, so the two didn't pursue a relationship. He also said he didn't go into the show expecting to have a serious relationship or get married afterward.
A video posted to the show’s Instagram page in May shows first season runner-up Elena on a beach in Hawaii. Ross makes a brief appearance on the beach behind her, prompting some of the show’s followers to speculate about whether the two were dating.
Both Butler and Taylor said there’s more drama on the second season of the show than in the first season. Both contend that although the producers have been accused of manufacturing drama, all the moments seen on the show are authentic.
“This season, the drama made itself,” Taylor said. “I think everybody will be surprised to watch the way that it ends.”
She added that she was shocked at some of the turns the season took.
Butler said the show’s creators didn’t expect the big, widespread response to the first season of the show.
“We didn’t expect that it would get as big as it did,” he said. “We thought maybe a small group of people would watch it or our friends and family. It definitely caught us off-guard that so many people watched it.”
The show is relatable for people who have experienced Provo dating culture, Butler said.
“It’s real, these are real people, real feelings, we don’t butter anything up,” Butler said. “It’s not big and glamorous, it’s just real, and that’s what gives it its charm and cringeyness.”