New dating show set to demystify sexualities

"SPARKS and tears, darling. Sparks and tears."

Shane Jenek - as his drag alter ego, Courtney Act - expects there to be some serious chemistry and real love matches made, in the latest dating show to take the world by storm.

Following the lead of shows like The Bachelor and Married At First Sight, The Bi Life breaks new ground by following nine bisexual and pansexual UK singletons on their pioneering search for love.

Both Jenek and Act will make appearances on the LGBTQ+ Love Island spin-off, with the latter making grand entrances for special occasions only.

But unlike Love Island, there's no prize at the end of the season, filmed in Barcelona, Spain - where the reward is finding a date or a mate.

Shane Jenek hosts The Bi-Life. Picture: E!
Shane Jenek hosts The Bi-Life. Picture: E!

Jenek, who was born in Brisbane and then moved to Sydney as an 18-year-old, hopes the show will help normalise modern dating for different genders.

"I think now that marriage equality has started to roll out in Australia and people have seen the sky hasn't caved in.

He said: "There's nothing untoward about two people in love getting married, I think there's probably more acceptance and understanding and a show like this will help to demystify (questions about) different sexualities," he said.

Jenek's career as an entertainer took off after auditioning for Australian Idol, back in 2003 - first as Shane, then coming back the next day in full drag, as Courtney Act.

Act would wow judges and later sign with Sony, joining a national arena tour with fellow Idol contestants.

Shane Jenek as drag alter ego Courtney Act. Picture: E!
Shane Jenek as drag alter ego Courtney Act. Picture: E!

More recently, Act would find success in 2014 on Season 6 of Ru Paul's Drag Race reality show in the US (making the top three).

But the UK would be where Act found her people, embraced by viewers and voted the winner of Big Brother UK this year.

The Bi-Life gave its diverse cast the chance to push their own boundaries, Act said.

"One of the daters had never been on a date before and so to watch him go on his first ever date and second and third, it was just adorable.

"It was a really fun experience making it and now that I've seen the first episode it feels really rewarding.

Rather than a group of bisexual people "reacting to or explaining themselves to straight people or even gay people you have a group of people all supporting each other and understanding more of the nuances of their sexuality."

MEET THE BI-LIFERS:

* Carmen Clarke, Manchester: bisexual single wants to learn more about herself and find someone who 'can help see the world in a better light;'

* Daisie Thilwind, Manchester: 'proud to be bisexual' and a hopeless romantic, who has been unlucky in love;

Daisie. Picture: E!
Daisie. Picture: E!

* Irene Ellis, London: taking part in the show to embrace her bisexuality. The dating scene has been a scary place and would love to build her confidence when it comes to relationships;

Irene. Picture: E!
Irene. Picture: E!

* Kyle McGovern, South Wales: out as bisexual for a year, having mainly dated girls in the Welsh Valleys. He says the show is the perfect opportunity to see what's out there;

 

Kyle. Picture: E!
Kyle. Picture: E!

 

* Leonnie Cavill, Manchester: party girl who hasn't had a proper relationship for seven years, and wants to find someone who can share wild times with her;

Leonnie. Picture: E!
Leonnie. Picture: E!

* Mariella Amodeo, London: Mariella comes from a big Italian family and is looking to meet The One on the show who she can settle down and have a family with;

Mariella. Picture: E!
Mariella. Picture: E!

* Matt Brindley, Chester: looking for a serious relationship and has dated more men than women in the past. Looking for a 10/10 in the looks department, fun and sociable;

Matt. Picture: E!
Matt. Picture: E!

* Michael Gunning, Manchester: an international swimmer, his commitment to the sport means he's never been in a relationship - or even on a date - before the show:

Michael. Picture: E!
Michael. Picture: E!

* Ryan Cleary, London: Ryan has had relationships with both men and women, but says his strongest relationships have been with other guys. Open to falling for a man or woman.

Ryan. Picture: E!
Ryan. Picture: E!

* The Bi-Life, 7pm, Tuesdays, E!



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