For the first time ever, a cast of Tough Love has been brought together for a reunion episode, and as reunions go, this one did not disappoint.
When we spoke to Tough Love matchmaker Steve Ward a couple weeks ago, he told us he was a little nervous to take his off-the-cuff hosting style to a more formal setting in front of an audience, but hey, he’s Steve Ward, he knows what he’s doing, audience or not, and he certainly pulled out a lot of juicy info about this cast that we’ve been dying to know. So without further hesitation, let’s see where all the women are these days. The first to be in the hot seat was Chasity and her brand new, um, dress. Which is also filled with new boobs.
Chasity, who swore up and down that she would quit go-go dancing, did not actually give it up at all. “I’ve only done it twice,” she told Steve, but that’s kind of like when a Celebrity Rehab patient leaves the clinic and only drinks twice. It’s still defining you in some way, Chas. And when it comes to dear, sweet Al, Chasity says that didn’t work out so well. “I had strong feelings for him on the show, but when we got home…he wasn’t my boyfriend by any means,” she explains. And when Steve presses her on why she got new boobs, no surprise here, she reiterates that her goal in life is to be a Playmate, something that the audience greets with tepid applause. Okay, something that three people in the audience greet with tepid applause. Claudia‘s annoyed by Chasity’s goal too, telling her that she has a brain (Chasity does say she would like to eventually become a child psychologist) and baring her boobs shouldn’t be an ultimate goal. That’s met with much warmer applause, by the majority of the audience.
Chasity is shocked when her mom, also not a fan of this Playboy aspiration, shows up, and basically everyone on stage gangs up on her for this Playmate decision. “I’m not sending my child to you!” Avonte says, which is hilarious because a) it’s cute that Avonte is already planning the psychotherapy her kid will need and b) hey, have you seen those almost-naked pics of Avonte from episode 2?
When Christine takes the hot seat, first she shows off her fake tattoo she got in honor of her beau, Frank
and Michelle doesn’t care if it’s fake or not, but she’s not having any of this. (Add this to the collection of amazing faces these women have made this season. Michelle, I’m going to miss you most of all.)
“I’m unbelievably happy,” Christine tells Steve. The other women disagree and think Christine isn’t actually so happy, because she has been telling them all the bad aspects of their relationship in twenty-five-page emails. (Are they printing out their emails? That’s so cute, just like my dad.) It sounds as if Frank has a tendency to be a dick, and Michelle tells Christine “If you love him then I’m happy. I just hope that this is real and I hope he doesn’t dump you after this airs.” When Frank comes to the stage, he declares that yes, they had rough patches and hurdles and other metaphoric bad times, but for the past two months, they have been “rock solid” and then threatens to make out with Christine on the spot for the rest of the show. To put a stop to the kissing, Christine gives Frank her promise ring because she looooves him.
Claudia may not have finished the bootcamp experience with the other women, but she definitely earned her Tough Love wings and made excellent progress. She’s in a healthy, committed relationship and gave her boyfriend her promise ring on stage. “I needed a strong man to be by my side and you’re beyond that,” she tells him.
When Brigette takes the hot seat, she tells Steve “I’m just so happy there isn’t a chair next to me, please don’t bring one out,” indicating that things wit Anthony have not really ended well. “He would psychoanalyze me, he’s needy, he’s…nuts,” she says. And this is coming from Miss Desperate. In a twist, Steve brings up Anthony via satellite (yay, technology! Making things awkward at televised reunions since 2002).
“I can’t even fake that I partially like you, I’m so glad you’re not sitting next to me,” she tells him. Anthony, to his credit, appears a perfect gentleman when Brigette lets him speak, but when he goes offline, she’s all “You don’t even KNOW the other side of him!” And while I have no doubt that he probably had his issues, Brigette’s mean streak is a whole other side of her we haven’t seen since she got drunk off those two wine coolers and flipped out on Christine that time. Brigette is happy now though with a new boyfriend of six months and she’s definitely not Miss Desperate anymore, so there’s that.
In a surprise twist, Steve brings out someone from season two of Tough Love, Liz. If you’ll recall, Liz and Dave seemed pretty committed by the finale of their season, but she admits “We were together about a week” after filming ended. However, she says “Bootcamp made me realize what was really important,” and wow, she should be co-hosting this show with Steve now, she is so well-adjusted.
Avonte’s another story though. She and Eric are still friends but their relationship seems to have ended when it turned out he wanted to pursue a new singing career and (I’m guessing) Avonte didn’t feel like being the top earner in the relationship. She admits to having dated some athletes since the show ended (“Because they’re the most available guys,” Steve offers) but Avonte goes on her tired rant about “I need a MAN, Steve, a man who has his life together!” and by “life” she means “bank account.” Steve surprises Avonte by bringing Eric out. Eric doesn’t feel slighted by what Avonte says, he owns it and tells her “I am a man, and I don’t need to prove that.” Avonte reveals that she’s been seeing football player Willis McGahee and again Steve calls her out for being Miss Other Woman because she allows him to “have fun” and do whatever it is he does in another city and chooses to look the other way.
Avonte’s part in the reunion is not over though because when the attention turns to Jane, Avonte lets her have it.
Jane was accused of lying about her relationship status on the show because she was still harboring feelings for her ex, Alan, and Avonte says “The reason I called her out is because all of the girls had been talking about it.” Jane’s not happy to have her “bulls—” called out again and it’s the same thing over and over, and JoAnn Ward, bless her heart, puts a stop to this argument, yelling “Hold on a minute! Didn’t you girls get through all this in bootcamp?” But beyond that, we get no real update on what Jane’s situation is with Alan, unfortunately.
Leilani and George, surprising enough, have been together since bootcamp ended and Leilani says she visits him monthly in Miami. They admit to having stupid, superficial fights every so often (maybe they fought about George’s new hair?) but for the most part, they claim to have no big issues, which is great news.
Bootcamp, Michelle says “Really, really, really changed my life.” Unfortunately, her love connection with Sam did too, but not for the better. Five weeks after meeting him on the show, Michelle learned Sam had a girlfriend and she was heartbroken because she says she had fallen in love with him. Watching her face as she saw her video package was actually really hard because it was clear she was devastated. Cut to Sam walking out on stage and surprising her, telling her he’d like to spend more time with her now that he’s broken up with his other girlfriend. I love this girl’s faces SO MUCH.
“How do I know you’re not full of s—?” Michelle asks him. Good girl, that is literally the only question anyone need ask him right now, so kudos to her for not falling for him immediately again. He promises her he’s not, and they agree to a date.
“My mom and I are master matchmakers,” Steve says at the end of the show “and we introduce people to one another but it’s usually fate that brings people together.” And while these women are leaving their relationships in the hands of fate, it’s pretty clear that the Wards have helped them get
one step one hundred steps closer to it.