Tough Love: Miami – Episode 1 – If You Can’t Handle This, The Door Is Right There

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Tough Love Miami is finally here! At long last, matchmaker Steve Ward is back to dish out the truth to eight new recruits, each with their own issues that are causing them some problems in the love department.

Steve wasted no time this week, giving this new group of women two “first impression”-based challenges. The first involved them walking through a bar to see what kind of impression they left on a group of guys hanging out there, and later, they had an elevator challenge. Like the first exercise, they had to walk past a group of lovely gents, and some of them would follow each woman into an elevator. The women would then have to choose which guy in their elevator they wanted to spend the evening talking to. As quick as this sounds (I’m used to express elevators, so fourteen floors seems like an incredibly short amount of time to size up your suitors), this cause a lot of drama for some of these women. They’re also given the symbolic promise ring, which is there to remind them that Steve means business and they’ll hopefully have someone to give the promise ring to by the end.

Let’s meet the ladies now and analyze how they fared during their inaugural bootcamp challenges! And check in tomorrow when we chat with Steve about his thoughts on the episode.

Avonte, a.k.a. “Miss Other Woman”

Avonte is the oldest woman in the group, and not only is that a challenge in itself, but she spent the past nine years in a relationship with a married man and is a little bit unsure of the dating world now that she’s single. However, she’s also not coming into bootcamp with a fully open mind, it seems, because she called Steve’s elevator exercise a “crock of s—” after only two men followed her in to hers. I’m not sure if she thinks Steve’s exercise is the crock of s— or if the fact that only two men found her attractive was her issue.

Claudia: “Miss Drama Queen” and also “Spanish Elvira”

Claudia is a telenovela star but claims not to be a fan of real life drama. Still, she dresses to get noticed, which Steve calls out on day one, and the men in the first group are wary of her because of her appearance. “You don’t wear fishnets except to two places: strip clubs and the bedroom, that’s it,” says one club-dude who forgets “can can dancer at Moulin Rouge-themed parties” would also be acceptable, but Claudia takes offense because she swears her clothes don’t reflect her personality. “I’m not a human blow-up doll,” she weeps. Claudia’s other problem is her perceived arrogance. She had six men on her elevator and she refused to choose one, and for that, she was labeled (by said men) “cold,” “arrogant,” and “cocky.” She swears it was because she’s shy and inexperienced and not because she thinks she’s better than them that she walked off alone, but it sure doesn’t look that way. Steve makes her cry again when he digs for the truth about why she basically dissed his challenge and she shows her vulnerable side by explaining that she’s never actually approached a man, so doesn’t know how to act in these situations.

Brigette is “Miss Desperate”

Brigette has been on 37 first dates in the past year. Dubbed a forgettable wallflower by the guys at the first club, she seems like an over-achiever who never fully achieves. She gets seven men on her elevator ride though, which is probably an ego boost, and the man she picks to hang out with seems nice. If nothing else, they connect on a para-sailing level.

Jane, a.k.a. “Miss Bossy”

“I consider myself a psycho!” Jane said at the beginning of the episode, which, I mean, after a statement like that, you can hear the men of Miami locking their doors. Claudia says Jane’s on fast-forward, and the guys at the first club had the balls to call her ugly. Tip #1: Never call a self-proclaimed psycho “ugly.” Because she’ll flip you off, and that’s just for starters.

She ups the feminine factor for her second challenge and gets five men on her elevator, but she loses interest in her pick after he mentions living with his parents, and that poor guy was left sitting alone after she ditched him. It’s impossible not to feel bad for that guy and it’s hard to respect Jane for doing that, and Steve tells her so.

Christine “Miss Eats Her Feelings Body Issues”

Christine has lost a lot of weight but is self-conscious and self-deprecating to a fault. She’s also recently divorced, but that seems like less of an issue. During the elevator challenge, only one man followed her up in her elevator, and he admitted to her that it was out of pity, which makes me think that the men of Miami are either honest and refreshing or total a—holes. It’s hard to see a woman who’s as beautiful as Christine be so self-conscious, you really have to feel bad for her, but at the same time, it’s annoying when you have a beautiful friend who’s like “Ugh, I feel so ugly today!” and you’re always feeling like the less-attractive sidekick and you want to shake some reality into them. (I’m projecting. Sorry.)

Leilani “Miss Superficial”

Leilani is already hard to handle. She keeps taking shots at Steve’s appearance, which is amazingly brash, but she’s the type who can dish it out but really can’t take it when Steve calls her superficial. She’s followed up by nine men in her elevator and when she told Steve she chose her one guy based on looks (and height, can’t forget height), he calls her out for out-vaining Vanity Smurf and calls her tactics pathetic. Leilani says Steve is being a typical wanker and walks out, but then she sheepishly returns in a huff like a tween who is told that she can’t go to the Justin Bieber concert, but who also really wants to watch the new Wizards Of Waverly Place in the same room that her parents are in. “I’m gonna sit here with you jerks, but I’m not gonna like it!” Huff huff.

Chasity “Miss Double Standard”

Chasity (with no “t”) is a go-go dancer with a heart of gold. Honestly. She wants to attract a stable nice guy, but works in the wrong field for that. On her elevator ride, she attracts 2 men. She seems like a lovely person but her issue seems more about managing her own expectations.

Michelle is “Miss Delusional”

Michelle also has an expectation problem, she has a vision board with all the qualities she’s looking for in a mate (save paper, use Pinterest!) and her list keeps growing. She gets four guys on her elevator, but I’m willing to guess that if you combined them all, they still wouldn’t meet her vision board’s expectations.

“If you can’t handle this, the door is right there. I suggest you leave,” Steve tells the ladies after their first group session. The tough love has just begun.

If you want to keep up to date with Steve Ward or even ask him for some love advice, make sure you follow him on Twitter (@stevenbward), like him Facebook, and friend him on Google Plus.

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