One-part dance and one-part matchmaking: that's the idea behind NuvoTV's new series Love & Salsa, which kicks off tonight. Host Courtney Lopez - herself a professional dancer - connected with BFTV last week to explain how her show is different from other dance programs.
"It's not like Dancing with the Stars. It's actually far from it because there's no judging. It's not about how the people dance and who's better," she told us. "It's about the chemistry that the bachelor and bachelorette have with each other. We want our daters to fall in love."
"How we did it was it's basically like a modern-day Love Connection," she explained. "They meet three potential daters. They ask them three rounds of questions. And then they narrow it down to two. They go into a dance studio where they get to meet the instructor and meet each other one-on-one. And then we have the live audience vote as to who they think has the better chemistry. And if they pick the same person the bachelor picks, we pay for their date.
"It's interesting," Courtney added. "You think you know who they like, and in some cases they really surprise you, because it's not who they pick."
Courtney has danced on Broadway in productions including The Little Mermaid and A Chorus Line, so we asked her if she's able to watch the dances without wanting to comment on them. "The dancer's always in me. The teacher in me will never leave," she admitted, "But these aren't professional dancers. We have to keep that in mind too. They may not be good, but they love it."
"It's just interesting, honestly, because we have all different ethnicities. We have different people who come in. There's people who we matched with someone completely different but then they [connect]," she told us. "We just want the audience to have a really good time. It's definitely just a fun half an hour. It's a different kind of dating show. There's nothing else like it."
In addition to her work on Love & Salsa, Courtney is on the radio twice a week with her husband, Extra anchor and season three Dancing with the Stars runner-up Mario Lopez. Appearing on radio, having a TV show to host, and two children at home keeps her pretty busy. "I'm working on different projects that are in the works right now," she said, "but the majority of my time is focusing on Love & Salsa and being Mommy."
Did she learn anything from the matchmaking happening on Love & Salsa? Laughed Courtney, "I took away that I'm glad I'm not single!"
Love & Salsa premieres tonight at 10 PM ET/PT on NuvoTV (check your local listings for specific channel).