Romantic rejection is brutal enough — now, imagine if your date could literally send you plummeting through a trapdoor if they felt like things weren’t going well.
That’s basically the premise of “The Love Trap,” a new British dating show that’s going viral for the dramatic way it eliminates contestants.
In a clip from the show shared by Twitter user Bec Shaw, eligible bachelor David Birtwistle has to decide which of three women to send home.
When he picks the woman in the middle, J’Harie, a trapdoor opens beneath her feet, and she falls through a hole in the floor and disappears, leaving everyone stunned.
Why the trapdoor? It’s all tied to the basic premise of the show, in which a group of women compete for the affections of one man. Some of the women are single and genuinely looking for love, but others are secretly already in relationships and are pretending to be single to win money and advance through the competition.
Birtwistle — who was also a contestant on the Netflix dating series “Too Hot to Handle” — has to figure out which women are telling the truth and which women are “love traps.”
As it turns out, J’Harie was a “love trap.” A follow-up interview with her revealed that a) she had survived her sheer drop and b) she had been in a relationship for six years, and was doing the show so that she and her partner could afford a mortgage.
Reactions to the show’s outrageous premise were swift and hilarious. Jimmy Fallon shared a clip of J’Harie’s trapdoor elimination on “The Tonight Show” recently, joking that “it’s just like ‘The Bachelor,’ but instead of being escorted out in a limo, they were taken away in an ambulance.”
People on social media have been trying to process the show’s brutal twist.
“My jaw actually dropped,” one person wrote on Twitter.
“I don’t know what I was expecting but absolutely not that,” another person said.
“Dating show but make it Squid Game,” another Twitter user joked.
Someone else had a dark, funny idea for a tie-in to another dating show and tweeted about how “awesome” it would be if the contestant fell “into the set of The Bachelor and kept her game going.”