July 29, 2009 12:00 AM

Best quote of the night: “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and his pants, but you go for the stomach first because that’s what classy women do.”

Luke Conley, a husky-but-happy 26-year-old, began his quest to find a plus-size life partner amid a contingent of curvy women on Tuesday’s premiere of More To Love.

(Read an interview with Luke.)

FOX promoted the uniqueness of its new dating show and it certainly had a fresh take. The most obvious was the fact that neither the Luke Conley nor his suitors had washboard abs. The emphasis placed on size was front and center with the contestants’ heights and weights listed alongside age, hometown and occupation whenever their names were shown.

It also got real dramatic real fast. Five girls cried in the first hour and unlike the popular princesses that populate The Bachelor, no less than four had never had a boyfriend. We’re also pretty sure Spanx have never been high-fived over on Dating In The Dark.

But the more things change, the more they stay the same. More to Love had plenty of dating-show staples starting with the goofy driveway arrivals and awkward first hugs. There was an ostentatious mansion and a pool that Danielle jumped in to stand out. There was a girl who drank too much (Sandy), one who needed to watch her cleavage with a more careful eye (Michelle), one who quit her job to be there (Heather) and others who got catty immediately. Best dig? When Bonnie referred to Danielle as an “otter desperate for oxygen” after her cannonball.

Danielle’s pun, “Luke Warm,” was perfect to point out how sweet and empathetic the leading man was on night one. He held hands and was generous with compliments when gals got choked up (like when Kristian, whose cuteness he mentioned early and often, said her last boyfriend was embarrassed by her.) He gave uplifting speeches about acceptance. He shared his coat in the cold and he slickly conned several into giving up kisses without coming off as smarmy.

Still, Luke sent five girls back to real life: Sandy, Michelle, Natalia (“Going home to be alone again is the hardest part,” she said.), Natasha and Shari. Judging by his numerous fair-haired dismissals, we’re guessing he’s not a gentleman who prefers blondes. — Carrie Bell

Tell us: What’s your take on More to Love? Were you sad to see anyone go? What do you think of Luke?Patrick Wymore/FOX

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