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 9: the aging challenge, Angel’s meeting with Adam’s parents and the blow-up with Taylor.
So now that Jenna has set her ex Jeremy free, do you think she’s liberated?
I think so. I forced it. She wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t make her. That’s OK. I understand, she’s got a lot of work to do and it’s not something you can just do that easily. You have to really buckle down and do the best you can at trying to grin and bear it. You’ve got to be honest, you’ve got to talk about your feelings and they may not like what you have to say but they deserve to hear the truth.
The 40-years-older challenge was designed to show the women how hard it is to be alone as you get older. At this point, given that they’ve invested in the program, though, don’t they already get that?
I don’t think so. I think that sometimes these women try to go with the program without necessarily understanding what they are doing. They just do what they are told to do and sometimes that’s enough to condition somebody. That’s the way it works in the military isn’t it? You don’t ask questions, you just get out there and do it. When these women get out there in the real world, on their own, the goal is that they would hopefully remember what to do, what not to do and to do the right thing, the thing that yields the results they want.
Why do you think that Rocky was so secure in the exercise?
Rocky is very good at changing. She has been changing her whole life. Even when her ex-boyfriend showed up he asked for “Raquel.” She’s changing her name, she’s changing her look, she’s changing all of these things and the thing is at the end of the day, I think she’s just somebody who is just willing and open to change if she thinks it’s worth making.
Introducing her daughter to Jason turned out well for her.
It went really well. You see Rocky break down in the group when she talks about how her daughter came to her and said, “Mom I’ve been so selfish. I want you to meet somebody and be happy.” It really affected her, I mean if anything, the only purpose of the guy meeting her daughter is to say, “Look your daughter is old enough to realize that it’s OK. You guys both deserve to be happy at this point. You’re always going to be her mother but you got to look out for your own interests as well.”
What did you think of Tina losing interest in Quincy after finding out that he isn’t the marrying type?
Marriage to this guy is a piece of paper. I’m not saying you have to try to convince anyone to do something that they don’t believe in, but this guy has had a lot of life experiences that Tina has no concept of. She doesn’t even understand his perspective on it. She doesn’t understand why. You take the time to do that, you take the time to really truly consider the situation for what it is, and then decide. Until then it’s only an excuse.
How do you think Angel handled meeting Adam’s parents?
She did fine. Stripping is a day-to-day job isn’t it? It’s not a career, she wasn’t under contract, and it’s not like she went to school for it. Speaking of that, Angel is incredibly bright, and she did remarkably well in college. She was an honor student. It’s funny because she’s so modest about herself. The reason why she enjoys stripping, besides the money, is it’s a type of validation. There’s a certain sense of validation you get from a guy looking at you, and not having to talk or explain yourself or anything like that. That’s why she has a lot of her markings between the face piercings and makeup, the hair, the tattoos. Even when she danced, she would put on these little devil ears. It’s like she had an alter ego set up for herself, and what I’m trying to do is prevent her from flipping into that personality when she feels nervous, starts getting emotional or starts having feelings. She doesn’t believe that she is a dancer anymore. She genuinely believes she is in a transition.
You see Jenna sort of grinning and bearing it after she’s set up on a date with a guy she isn’t really into. That’s not a very Jenna thing to do.
Exactly. She’s starting to change, too. She’s starting to let her guard down and be comfortable with herself and willing to take chances. It’s good she changed. This is the kind of stuff we were hoping to see by the end of the season right? It’s all coming together like a master plan of some sort.
What did you think about the final blow-up with Taylor versus the other women?
It was awful! The more I think about it, the more I think about how Taylor is extremely defensive. Being able to sit there and take criticism without getting defensive is an art and if she could do that she could master most of her emotions.
Were you surprised that it came to a head like that?
Not at all. I made it come to a head. I said, “Before we start anything I want to resolve this Taylor bulls*** right now.” I’m in complete control, man.
Anything else you wanted to go over?
You haven’t been seeing my mom too much in these past few episodes. It’s important that the audience understands that mom is instrumental in being a bridge, in many respects. She’s a role model for a lot of these women. She’s happily married, she’s got three successful adult children, she’s got grandchildren. She’s done a fabulous job of modeling what a modern family should be like. Oh, and I have this gorgeous new girlfriend now. I’m not saying her name, but she’s involved in entertainment. We just started getting serious. Things are going well. She’s seen the show, and so I had that instant trust factor with her. It makes my life a lot easier.