The New 'Celebrity Dating Game' Will Show All Kinds of Love, and We're Here for It

Zooey Deschanel is co-hosting ‘The Celebrity Dating Game’ alongside Michael Bolton. But how does the 2021 version of the show compare to the original?

Jamie Lerner - Author

Jun. 14 2021, Published 9:41 p.m. ET

'The Celebrity Dating Game' in 2021
Source: ABC

Fans of The Bachelorette have a big reason to be excited — The Celebrity Dating Game will follow The Bachelorette every Monday on ABC! Not only that, but our very own Hannah Brown is in the very first episode of the new and improved Celebrity Dating Game. However, this isn’t the first iteration of the new dating show.

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Many fans of the original Celebrity Dating Game are wondering exactly how the new version compares with the original. Does it keep some of the old show’s antiquated traditions, or does it make a complete 360? Regardless, The Celebrity Dating Game in 2021 is definitely one to watch.

'The Celebrity Dating Game' in 2021 with Zooey Deschanel, MIchael Bolton, and Hannah Brown
Source: ABC
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There are actually a lot of similarities between 2021 ‘The Celebrity Dating Game’ and the original ‘Dating Game.’

The basic rules and format of the original Dating Game and 2021's The Celebrity Dating Game are pretty much the same. Here’s how it works — every contestant has three suitors vying for their heart. But the twist is that the contestants can’t see their suitors, so they pick the winner based on interview-style questions alone, plus the set is basically exactly the same as it used to be.

Iggy Azalea and Her Contestants on 'The Celebrity Dating Game'
Source: ABC
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In the original Dating Game, which began in the 1960s, viewers loved the risqué stuff, so the producers of the 2021 version are making sure to hold onto that (thank goodness!).

Executive producer Charles Wachter explained to TV Insider, “What people really remember about The Dating Game is when people would blush … You want to be risqué, but you don’t want to go past a certain line. The challenge was making somebody blush, but keeping the show what we want it to be.”

‘The Celebrity Dating Game’ is also making some changes to make it fit in 2021.

There are two main differences between the original Dating Game and the new Celebrity Dating Game. The first is that the original doesn’t feature celebrities! Well, it didn’t intend to.

However, stars like Steve Martin, Farrah Fawcett, and John Ritter were on the show, but they were on The Dating Game before they were famous. The other main difference? The 2021 Celebrity Dating Game also features LGBTQ+ contestants, such as Demi Burnett and Margaret Cho.

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Demi and Her Contestants on 'The Celebrity Dating Game'
Source: ABC

“The funny thing about that is that it wasn’t a big deal,” explained Charles. “We weren’t hyper-aware of it. It didn’t feel risky. It just felt like this is someone else who’s looking for love. Margaret and Demi will have mixed panels, but we don’t really point that out. We just do it.” That’s what dating is today! So the new show feels really reflective of how dating actually works in 2021.

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Zooey Deschanel and Michael Bolton are co-hosting ‘The Celebrity Dating Game.’

Jim Lange hosted the original Dating Game up until 1978. In 1986, the revival was hosted by Elaine Joyce and then Jeff MacGregor. For its next revival in 1996, Brad Sherwood was the host, who was then succeeded by Chuck Woolery. Now, ABC is switching up The Celebrity Dating Game with two hosts instead of one.

Michael Bolton and Zooey Deschanel in 'The Celebrity Dating Game' 2021
Source: ABC
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Zooey Deschanel handles most of the classic hosting responsibilities, like keeping the show moving and interacting with the contestants. Michael Bolton, on the other hand, adds a musical element to the show.

How could we have Michael Bolton without music? He actually parodies one of his songs each episode with new and updated lyrics to reflect the episode’s contestant. What’s not to love about the musical comedy and quirkiness shared between Zooey and Michael? 

The Celebrity Dating Game premieres June 14 at 10 p.m. EST on ABC.

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