Jess Commons | Deputy Editor | Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Dribble, Awkward Silences And Yoga Pervs. What It's Really Like To Be On TV's First Dates

The Debrief: Cici, a waitress as the First Dates restaurant, fills us in

Woop! The Channel 4 First Dates restaurant is back in business. With it comes a whole bunch of new singles looking for love who are way more likely to find awkward conversation, badly-timed jokes and bad table manners.

We wanted to find out what it was really like in the restaurant so we had a chat with Cici, she’s the lovely blonde waitress you’ve seen on the show who was tasked with the unfortunate duty of waiting on that table of horny dancers using olives as aphrodisiacs back in episode one.

Here’s what she had to say…

Hi Cici! How long was the First Dates restaurant open for during filming?
Six days! We did three days then had four day off then another three days. It was mental, like 16 hours days.

Were you guys nervous before filming started?
No I was just doing my job and because everyone was on dates it was more fun because people wanted to chat, as they were so nervous. In a normal restaurant you have friends who haven’t see each other in a while so they don’t really want to talk but in First Dates there was loads of people looking like, ‘help!’ It was great.

How nervous is too nervous for a date?
You could tell when people were really nervous because they couldn’t sit still and didn’t stop talking. Its actually quite sweet watching someone be nervous - it means they care.

Could you tell if the dates were going well?
I thought I could. But I got it all completely wrong. Everyone that walked in I was like ‘oh my god they are going to fall in love and have 20 children. He’s fit, she’s fit, they’re going to be perfect.’ But at the end of the date they say they’re not going to see each other again and you’re like HOW? How did it go so wrong? You’re so lovely together???

Do some people take it hard?
It's sad when some of them get really disappointed because they really have come on the show to find love and one lady even said to me ‘I’ve come here to find love and he’s just not right for me’ and I really felt for her because she must have been on a lot of dates and maybe been through some pain…

What do you know about the matchmaking process?
We weren’t part of the matchmaking. I know they’d say to the dates like ‘what’s a deal breaker?’ and then obviously they wouldn’t not match with someone that did that. Rather than doing opposites attract thing I think they were trying to find people who had similar lifestyles. I know location was a big thing –if you lived in London they’d try to match you with another Londoner together they didn’t want to have people travelling up and down the country. I think last series they said that was something that people weren’t into.

Were there any terrible table manners you saw?
Loads of things. Oh my god. We were trying not to stare at the table but I don’t know if it’s nerves, I hope it is nerves becuase if it’s not then wow. You just think how do you not know to not dribble or how do you not know that you’ve got mayonaise all over the left hand side of your face? People are oblivious or so nervous that they don’t want to wipe it off. Oh my gosh, picking from the other person’s plate too! I thought ‘Oh my god you’re not friends yet even so you don’t cross that boundary yet’. I think its trying to be cocky or oh I’m so funny. It’s hilarious to watch.

What was the most awkward thing you saw?
Cringey awkward silences. It’s really uncomfortable for everybody. But I did hear one of the guys say, ‘What do you do for exercise?’ She said she did yoga and she was being really light about it just trying to keep it far away from sexual as possible but he was like ‘Are you flexible?’ then ‘Can you do the splits? How far can you put your leg behind your head?’ She didn’t even answer, she just looked at him like, ‘Oh God.’

Do you think there were any couples that are going to go the distance?
There was this guy we called James Bond. He was so cool and his date was really lovely and had lovely hair. I hope that they go the distance.

First Dates is on Channel 4 Wednesdays 10PM. Catch up on 4OD

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