Tough Talk From Steve Ward – Season 2, Episode 2

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As he did last season, Master Matchmaker and VH1 Tough Love commander Steve Ward will weigh in with his thoughts on each episode of his show. Below, Steve talks about episode 2: Taylor’s return, the dunking lesson, Rocky’s new-found softness and why the guys he sets the girls up with have to be hot.

What do you think about Taylor returning?

I said it on the show: Taylor’s there because I wanted her there. She had more work to do, and I think that was pretty obvious the second you laid eyes on her. Did you see when she was doing her OTFs and her hair was all frizzy because it was shot after the dunk tank, but before the makeovers? She had all this gold bronzer on her. That’s what she thinks is a good look.

She didn’t look like that last season, though.

Between Season 1 and Season 2, she got her breasts augmented, she changed her hair, she found a guy. She was trying to change, but not in a way that made her any better for a relationship.

That’s interesting: you think the hair is part of her trying to take what you went over last season and just getting it wrong?

I think it’s a cry for help. I think the girl wants attention, or even needs it to feel secure, and so she’ll do things to change the way she looks dramatically just to get a response. I don’t know if she cares that it’s positive or negative. She thinks she looks fabulous. And honestly, if you feel fabulous, you are fabulous. I mean, I’ll tell you what men are thinking when we look at you, but no matter what, I appreciate the confidence.

You say she has regressed.

Taylor feels that just because she found a guy that likes her, she’s fine the way she is, yet she needs me to validate the relationship. That doesn’t make sense. If you’re really into the person, you shouldn’t need that. What am I gonna do, put my rubber stamp of approval on it? That’s why she thought she was there, at least.

Any thoughts on the makeovers as a whole?

My mom was really helpful in that scene. Without her, I wouldn’t have known what type of outfits to go with or how to style their makeup or hair. She wanted to make sure the girls felt good about themselves and the way they looked. If you notice, she was at the masquerade ball, too. She got dressed in a beautiful gown. She wanted to be an example for the girls, and I think she did a great job of that.

It was impressive that your mom was able to persuade Taylor to actually undergo her makeover.

Yeah, Mom’s great. She shot me a look when she brought Taylor back in that kinda said to me, “Shut up, and do what I say.” She didn’t even have to say a word to me. I was livid with Taylor, I was ready to throw her out again, and all Mom had to do was shoot me that look, and I swallowed my pride and my ego and reconciled with Taylor on the spot.

During the dunking…experience, Kanisha was the only one who answered all the questions right. Did that surprise you?

No! I was so tough on her during the first episode, she was the first one to get the point. She learned after the first group that she did not want to do the worst. She actually concentrated at the task at hand, and knew that it was going to amount to something. She wanted to impress me, and she did a great job.

Angel did the worst…

But that happens to everybody. Sometimes when you’re talking to somebody, you’re just so into them that you don’t care what they’re saying. I’m trying to point out that it’s not all about you. If you don’t pay attention, despite how enamored you are, you may miss something you need to know. And then, if that person references something they already told you, they’ll just take that as a lack of interest, even if that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Rocky asked you about mentioning her daughter to a guy and you say that she should connect before mentioning her kid. But doesn’t she run a similar risk of turning him off if she mentions her daughter after talking to someone for a while?

The point is that you have to own the connection yourself. You should develop it on your terms. Don’t sit there and act like you’re applying for a job. Think of it as doing your own investigative reporting. Until you feel like the guy’s got potential, why bother letting him in on all these personal aspects of your life?

Rocky did the best this week, thanks to a turnaround at the masquerade, where she was “softer.”

That was my point. Everybody thought she looked a million times better. Do you think that her change in demeanor had more to do with what I said to her, or more to do with how she looked in the mirror? I argue it was the mirror. It’s so easy for women to feel like they’re changing when they actually see a change physically. Rocky just bought into it: I look soft, I’ll act soft.

Jenna did pretty well, too.

I was trying to instill some confidence in her via the makeover. I told her after that she looked amazing, she looked like she was going to the Oscars. I was trying to butter her up. The one problem is that she talked to a guy who thought she was cool, and she was like, “Eh…” It’s almost like she’s afraid to show interest, because if she does and he doesn’t reciprocate, she doesn’t want to seem like she put herself out there.

Angel was even less interested at the party than she was during the amusement-park date.

That’s what it seems like, which can be a real problem. The thing is that even if you’re not into a guy that you’re with, you have to remember that we live in a hyper-connected world now. What if that guy goes home and puts as his Facebook status, “Just got back from the worst date ever”? And then someone comments, “With who?” And he says, “Jenna.” And they go back and forth and it’s on a wall that everyone can see. People have to use their heads. If you’re not into a guy, at least treat him like a client or a customer or a patient or a student. Treat him like somebody that you have a responsibility to be kind to.

Any thoughts on Liz’s date with Dave? They seem to be connecting really well.

They are, but again, I wish she wasn’t always second-guessing him. I’m gonna get to the root of why she always second-guesses men when they try to be nice or complimentary or generous.

Liz is an amazing reality show character. Did she strike you as such in person?

Yeah. She’s very funny. A lot of the stuff she says doesn’t make it on TV. She’s a walking sound bite.

I’m kind of afraid for where she’s headed with Dave, though. You mentioned the problems with so-called “love at first sight” in the episode…

You can see what’s coming by the way she questions Dave. That’s the whole point. That’s why these women are here. They start showing promise right away, and then they begin showing their true colors and push the person away. It’s interesting because I have to first figure out if he’s the right guy for her. Before I really go into how she’s nurturing it, at the very least, I can use him as a way to demonstrate how she falls into her pattern. You have to get them in front of people they’re attracted to so that you can watch them do what they do and sabotage themselves, and then you can point it out. We deal with that everyday as matchmakers. When we set up clients with people they aren’t interested in, they really don’t care about the feedback. It’s not until you set them up with someone they like and that person comes back with something critical that they actually take a look at themselves and say, “Maybe I should be doing something different.” I was watching the show with someone last night and they said, “Why are all the men on your show so good looking?” I’m like, “Because the girls don’t listen if they’re not hot!”

VH1 and Shecky’s have teamed up for a contest, in which the grand prize includes a trip to New York and a consultation with Steve and JoAnn Ward. Click below for details!

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Related content
VH1 Tough Love 2 show page
VH1 Tough Love 2 videos and extras
Master Matchmakers

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