21CF Chats: Andy Cohen, host of ‘Love Connection’ on FOX

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Andy talks about matchmaking in Season 2, lessons about relationships and more

The FOX revival of the beloved dating game show “Love Connection” is in its second season (Tuesday at 9/8c), and Emmy and Peabody Award-winner Andy Cohen is right at home in the host’s couch. I recently talked with Andy to see how he thinks Season 2 is going so far, as well as how he makes sure everyone on the show feels good about themselves, why he’s so comfortable hosting this show and more.

What do you think has been the biggest difference between Seasons 1 and 2?
I think we’ve had more success with making actual love connections this season. We have more happy endings. We also flipped around the format a little bit so that we’re not making the “Love or Money” decision at the end of every episode. It’s a little bit of a kinder, gentler “Love Connection.”

What is your approach for a taping of “Love Connection” like? How does it compare with your approach for “Watch What Happens Live”?
I definitely like to get in there and ask very personal questions on “Watch What Happens Live,” and I think I do the same thing on “Love Connection.” I’m now like a yenta and a busybody on “Love Connection.” I’m trying to be a matchmaker and get in there and find out what happens with these people on their dates.

What’s the most interesting part of talking to people about their dates and trying to dig into their experiences?
I love human behavior and sociology, and I love trying to pick apart and judge the way people act and behave. I’ve made something of a career out of it. I think what winds up happening is there’s this whole side conversation going on about human behavior and whether it was OK to act this way on your date. I think that’s part of the reason why people love the show.

What’s the most interesting thing that happens off-camera or behind the scenes of “Love Connection”?
It’s interesting to see how giddy, excited and nervous the contestants are. They’re all really in it to find love. We say that we don’t let fate decide, we let a date decide – and it’s true. We set up some first dates that wound up going extremely well for people.

Is there one contestant so far that stands out the most to you?
The first contestant that we ever had on Season 1 of “Love Connection” – this guy Robert Bacon. He was this big, lovable, nerdy cat guy. He found his match on “Love Connection” and they’re still living together.

It seems like there are plenty of opportunities for people to feel embarrassed or ashamed at certain points of the show. Are you very cognizant of that? Do you have tactics for ensuring no one leaves the set feeling worse about themselves?
I try to make them see that I’m on their side. The show’s meant to be fun. I try to be everybody’s cheerleader, and if someone behaves badly, then I’m the guy who also has to slap their wrist a little bit too. They know that I’m on their side and I’m not here to embarrass them or anything like that.

From contestant to contestant, is there a certain moment that tends to be the most exciting for you?
I love the reveal of the scores – it’s always amusing. I also love that moment when the dater comes out, just to see how they react, because typically they’re excited and can’t wait to see the person. One thing that happened in Season 2 – we cast such good-looking guys. I started to kind of get crushes on several of the guys, which is totally inappropriate! Yet a hazard of the job, I guess.

What’s something you’ve learned about romance and relationships from your perspective as host of this show?
Open your heart to getting to know someone beyond what your first impression of their looks is. You might find that you see something in another person that you connect to. That happens again and again on the show.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to single viewers of the show about successful dating?
Be open to getting to know the other person. And put your phone down and just sit there and try to have a normal conversation like an adult. Just try to get to know the other person.

Love Connection” airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on FOX