It starts with a kiss. TLC’s newest brainchild premiered Wednesday, August 3. Love at First Kiss brings singles together who are looking to find true love.
The catch? The participants are prompted to kiss a stranger and hoping for an instant connection. Some of the singles introduce themselves prior to locking lips, but others go in for the kiss with no introduction whatsoever.
After the initial kiss, the singles are given the option to join their match for a two-minute speed date. If that goes well, they can progress to an official first date to determine if they want to continue seeing each other.
Throughout the process, the participants can bail at any time. Perhaps the most unnerving aspect of the experiment is that the singles won’t know what their match has decided until they show up (or choose not to).
Let’s meet the brave Love at First Kiss participants who stepped out of their comfort zones and smooched a stranger on the premiere episode.
Joanna and Christian
Joanna is a 31-year old realtor who has high expectations when it comes to men. “I don’t kiss on the first date, period,” she discloses, stating she typically waits until the third date to lock lips, but she’s making an exception.
Standing in a stark white room, Joanna contemplates what kissing a stranger may be like. She’s pleasantly surprised when she finds her match attractive. He approaches her and gives her a romantic kiss, but when he attempts to try a second time, Joanna pulls away. Christian – her match – spins her around before he walks out of the room. He doesn’t know what to think of the interaction, but he’s impressed with Joanna.
Christian describes Joanna are “a solid 10.” He admits to getting butterflies when he kissed her, remembering the kiss as “soft and elegant.” He sees her as “the marrying type.”
Both Christian and Joanna show up for the speed date. Joanna learns that Christian is from a place called, “Big Bear Lake,” and she tells him she’s from Kansas.
During the two minutes, Joanna asks Christian several questions, but he wants to get to know her. He tells her he loved their kiss, and Joanna agrees. As they part ways, Christian goes in for another kiss, but Joanna denies him. “I’m not ready for that yet,” she tells him as he leaves the room.
Christian likes the “game of cat and mouse” Joanna is playing. He appreciates that she’s reserved and admits that it makes him want her even more.
Josh and Annalisa
Josh is a 27-year old non-profit director who has never been kissed. Before meeting his match, he watched videos of people kissing, hoping to pick up some pointers.
His plan is to “pucker [his] lips and push them forward.” His match, Annalisa, is a 25-year old self-proclaimed “experienced kisser.”
Annalisa was kissed for the first time when she was just 13. She had a goal of becoming a “great kisser,” and she prefers an “aggressive” man.
“Hopefully my little friend stays down,” Josh says prior to meeting Annalisa. When she walks in and asks Josh for permission to kiss him, he agrees, but when she attempts the smooch, he freezes.
“Are you nervous?” Annalisa asks as she pulls away and giggles. She tries again, but Josh stands frozen, unable to get his head in the game. “It didn’t feel like a kiss,” Annalisa says after saying goodbye to Josh. “It felt like I kissed his teeth.” Josh is disappointed when he realizes he may have missed out on a great opportunity.
Surprisingly, Annalisa shows up for the speed date and gives Josh a hug. In the confessional, she admits that she thought it was “cute” that he was nervous, and she loves a “nerdy, good guy.”
Josh tells Annalisa that he has never been kissed before the Love at First Kiss experience. Just when he’s about to kiss her again, their time is up. Josh’s hope is that Annalisa won’t only be the first person he kissed; he wants her to be his first girlfriend.
Jaeda and Zach
Jaeda, a 20-year old dance coach, hasn’t been in a relationship for about a year. She’s used to men only wanting sex, but she’s wanting more than that. She’s looking for a best friend.
When Jaeda first sees her match, she’s less than impressed by his mustache. Pushing her reservations aside, she shares a particularly hot and heavy kiss with Zach – a 25-year old gym attendant.
Although Jaeda acknowledges that Zach is “not the type of guy” she typically dates, she describes the kiss as “perfect.” Sadly, Zach doesn’t share her enthusiasm. He chooses not to show up for the speed date after admitting that he didn’t feel chemistry with Jaeda.
Sarati and Kyle
Sarati is a 19-year old dancer who is “independent and knows what she wants.” She has difficulty finding eligible bachelors in the dance world, stating “all of them are gay.”
Her match, Kyle – a 21-year old student, enters and the room and skips an introduction. As he kisses Sarati, he bites her lip, which she likes. Before leaving the room, he simply says, “Bye,” leaving Sarati intrigued.
Both parties show up for the speed date, and Sarati finds Kyle “silly and cocky.” He comes across as self-centered, leaving Sarati wondering if she should continue to the next Love at First Kiss phase – the first official date.
Kaitlin and Justin
Kaitlin is a 24-year old corporate retail worker who describes herself as “picky.” She admits to liking “pretty boys,” so she’s disappointed when she meets Justin – a 30-year old social media director – who is dressed in a loud suit and comes across as “wacky.”
The moment Justin walks into the room, Kaitlin appears to be disgusted. He gives her a quick kiss, but Kaitlin is clearly put-off by her match. “It was like I kissed a wall,” Justin says following the kiss. Kaitlin says he looks like “the joker.”
As Justin is trying to find the speed dating room, he stumbles into the confessional. Kaitlin is being interviewed, but Justin interrupts. “I just wasn’t feeling it,” Kaitlin says when Justin asks what went wrong. “I’m not attracted to you.”
Justin is undoubtedly irritated with Kaitlin’s admission. “I wasn’t attracted to you at all in the first place,” he tells her. “We’re on the same page.”
First Official Dates
Some of the singles have made it through to phase three of the Love at First Kiss experiment. Now, they are given the opportunity to go on “first official dates.”
Josh is looking forward to redeeming himself with Annalisa. He brings roses and waits nervously for her on a beautiful, scenic path, but he’s disappointed when she never makes an appearance.
Joanna and Christian meet at the beach for their first official date. Joanna loves Christian’s eyes and smile and the chemistry between them. They play frisbee and kiss – both in awe of their good fortune. “Love at first kiss is definitely not a crazy concept,” Josh tells viewers. “It can happen.”
Sarati shows up for her date with Kyle, but he keeps her waiting. He thinks she’s probably nervous since he’s “older and attractive.” He eventually shows up with donuts and is disappointed to learn that Sarati prefers chocolate donuts over glazed.
Kyle pokes fun at Sarati’s blonde hair, but she tells him she graduated in the top 10 percent of her class. “Was it for blondes or just for everyone?” he asks. He goes onto ask if her classmates had special needs.
Kyle shares with Love at First Kiss viewers that the worst possible outcome for him would be, “If she liked me too much.”
“She has all the glaring signs of a stage one clinger,” Kyle continues. Sarati calls him out on being cocky, but Kyle quickly disagrees.
After the date, Sarati realizes Kyle is not the guy for her. She views Kyle as “a boy,” and she’s looking for a man.
Josh has recovered from Annalisa’s rejection, and he’s getting a second chance! To prepare for his next kiss, he’s flossing his teeth, scraping his tongue, and cleaning his ears with Q-tips. This time, Josh is looking for some “tongue action.”
Don’t miss a minute of Love at First Kiss, airing Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on TLC.