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 6: the court-room challenge, Angel’s fear of serious conversation, why he really thinks Sally’s guy just wasn’t into her and Alicia’s biological clock.
The episode opens with Jenna crying to your mom in the sauna over her peers’ comments at the end of last episode
My mom is there to be not just a mom, but an example as a woman. If my mom’s not upset about something, you shouldn’t be upset about it. That type of thing. My mom’s a good barometer for human emotion.
How did you think the courtroom challenge went?
That was 100 percent my idea. I was in Vegas for a bachelor party at a pool with my buddies. All these women are running around in their bikinis, and it dawned on me: put these women up in front of a jury of men and let them plead their case. Let them explain the situation they’re in. I really wanted these women to realize that it’s more about how you’re perceived for what you did than what you did in and of itself. The attitude you have about doing it matters more than anything. Kanisha, for example, seemed unremorseful, she seemed like she’d do it again, she tried to make excuses for it. The way I look at things is: an eye for an eye. If someone cheats on you, you don’t destroy his car. That doesn’t make sense. The punishment has to fit the crime.
I’m assuming that you didn’t have to do much digging for the “charges” brought against these girls…
They volunteered all that stuff! We didn’t invade their privacy! It was what they gave us.
Later on in the episode, you were pushing for Angel to talk to Adam about being a father figure, and she really didn’t want to. Why make her?
She was making a mountain out of a molehill. The whole purpose was just to find out if the guy would have any problem hanging out with her and her kid. Period. Would he be someone the kid could look up to? Friendly toward the kid? Nice toward the kid? That’s it. I didn’t want her to ask her to ask him to adopt the kid, or anything.
Adam had been extremely accepting up to this point. Why do you think Angel was so nervous?
She has a really hard time talking about anything serious. She can’t talk about anything personal. It’s very difficult for her to talk about her feelings and emotions and it’s painful for her to be open about real, true things going on in her life. She’s so afraid of being hurt, she can’t talk about things that matter.
It’s nice for her that her fears are constantly being disproven.
That’s the point! I’m not setting these women up for failure. I’m setting them up for success.
You told Jenna that she did the best this week.
She showed an effort to connect with someone, and I was proud of her for that. But her ambivalence about whether or not he’s a match continues being a pain in my ass. It’s very frustrating. Much like Taylor, Jenna’s very afraid of putting herself in the position where she could potentially get hurt emotionally. From that stems this anxiety of hers. This real fear. She usually dates people that are seemingly not all that desirable. She doesn’t date great catches. She desires guys that aren’t so desirable yet still show no interest in her. (Laughs) Wait till you see how this works out…
Sally experiences a setback this week: her guy turns out to be not that into her.
I got the impression he just wanted to be on TV. He just didn’t seem into her. He was just like, “Hey, cool, hangin’ out, whatever…”
Is that a typical hazard of doing this show?
I think so. I’m really making sure that we don’t have to deal with that going forward. I’m trying to avoid it now on VH1 Tough Love: Couples. If the only reason you’re coming on my show is to be on TV, don’t bother applying. I will sift you out. I’m making sure I’m working with people that have real stakes here.
Alicia lands in the hot seat…
She’s clearly not behaving the right way. She’s not doing the right things. I don’t think she truly wants to change. I don’t think she believes there’s anything wrong with her. I think she thinks she just hasn’t met the right guy. It sucks that I have to play the whole biological-clock card. She’s only 31. That’s something I’d play more with a Jodi type, but unfortunately Alicia is the one who set the clock. She’s the one who says all her friends are married and she should be settling down. I don’t think she’s too old to stay single for a while. It’s just that’s what she said, so I have to play to her.