CBS' new dating show '3': Camaraderie, not competition, is a winning formula

3-cbs-rachel-libby-april.jpgA new reality dating show is debuting Thursday, July 26 on CBS. We know, we know -- another one? Are there roses? Is Bret Michaels involved? But "3" is actually different from your average reality TV romance program, no fooling.

First off, the women who set out to find love work congenially, not combatively. And while that may sound boring (no cat fights?!), it is actually rather refreshing.

"There's no competition," Rachel Harley (left), the 34-year-old widowed mother of two, tells Zap2it when we sat down with the women to talk about the show.

"There's a lot of teamwork between us," adds Libby Lopez (middle), the 24-year-old model/rancher.

The women go on to tell us how they cracked open a bottle of wine the first night they met and the bonding was nearly instantaneous, which we witnessed in the first episode.

The women are brought together in a house in Chicago and they interview 100 guys over a two-day period. Part of what makes the show so fun to watch is that the women immediately hit it off with each other and start to work as a unit to find the right guys for each individual woman.

"We weren't shy about feedback. We could tell each other honest things that others may think could be hurtful, but we were saying it to be looking out for each other," says Rachel. "It's like April keeps saying, we're like sisters."

"They would jump in with questions for the guys that they knew I wanted the answer to," adds April Francis (right), the 29-year-old entrepreneur. "I like technology, I like to read --"

"And I would start asking, 'Do you like to read?', 'Are you on social media?'," finishes Rachel.

It's difficult to convey exactly how it went down because, like some sisters, the women keep finishing each other sentences. But they continued to tell us how they would ask about Jesus and faith for Libby because that's important to her, or they would ask about kids and dating a woman with kids for Rachel because she's a mother of two small children.

It started to work so well on the show that there were even instances of two of the women immediately sending the third woman off with a guy that they saw she had an instant connection with.

It certainly wasn't the claw-out competitiveness we were expecting from a reality dating show.

However, that's not to say there wasn't any overlap. The women do tease for us that at least one guy catches the eye of more than one woman.

"April and I actually both went on a date with the same guy. How that plays out, I won't tell you. But we do," laughs Rachel.

Speaking of the guys, another reason we liked the show was how down-to-Earth the men seemed in their initial interviews. The women assure us that continues, especially since it is up to the men to plan the dates.

"The guys had to plan the dates themselves," says Libby. "So they picked things that were true to them and that were important to them, whether it was family, whether it was meeting friends, seeing a hometown, sports, favorite pastime. They put a lot of thought into our dates. You really get to know someone very quickly when they plan the date."

But despite going out and experiencing these dates, the women keep coming back to each other and to their friendship, which we think is a huge draw of the show.

"We definitely work together throughout the show, we're always in touch. In person, on the phone," says Libby.

"We would travel, but we would come right back to each other. We'd come back to the house, open a bottle of wine," says Rachel, as Libby chimes in, "I never drank more in my life."

Raucous laughter ensues, which we hope to see a lot more of as the show progresses.

"3" premieres Thursday night, July 26 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. Don't miss it!
Photo/Video credit: CBS