Tough Love New Orleans Episode 3: Turned Off


Despina admits that she’s always wanted to be on a game show, and this week on Tough Love New Orleans, her dream comes true. Steve has arranged for all the women to be contestants on Turned Off, a game show that’s sweeping the nation, where women admit something about themselves and a panel of men tell them whether it’s a turn-on or a turn-off. Okay maybe this game isn’t quite sweeping the nation just yet. The men respond to what the women say by hitting a red light or a green light (green for turned on, red for turned off), so the women can see just how good or bad their conversation skills are.

Melissa is up first and things were holding steady with solid green lights until she mentioned her was still a virgin. “Why is that a turn off?” she asks.

Elizabeth gets the red lights flashing when she tells the men that she considers it a slap in the face if her date doesn’t open the car door for her. (“A little arrogant,” says one of the red-lighters.) She continues to turn the men off when she says she refuses to split the bill on dates, and when Steve asks what men expect from her in return on a date she turns everyone off by saying “You get me!”

The rest of the ladies all have sharing problems, some share too much, like when Donna says she probably has a form of OCD and Danielle says she only wants to date a man over 6’5″, and some don’t share enough, like when Stephanie tells the men she’s a hairstylist and that’s “pretty much it.” Tiffany even admits she has kids during the exercise, so points to her for finally admitting that! “Who knew Tiffany could be so open?” Steve says.

Even though the women had to endure the buzzers going off constantly, most of them admit they had no idea what they were saying was ever a turn-off. Hooray for learning experiences!

Steve does have a tough love lesson for Despina though, because even though she got her wish to be on a game show, she threw off some major attitude when she addressed the panel and told them she didn’t care what any of them thought. “She thinks that she’s perfect,” Stephanie says when Despina denies she had any kind of ‘tude.

“If you don’t start caring, you’re going to be single for the rest of your life. Period,” Steve tells her. I’m sure this is not how she wanted her game show experience to go, but hey, Despina, there’s always Wheel Of Fortune, they travel all over so I bet they’ll be coming to your city soon.

After exercise number one is over, Steve tells the women that they’re in for another kind of buzzing exercise. Well, more like zapping. Steve gives the women a set of guidelines to follow, specifically, topics that they are not allowed to discuss, and if they don’t follow his rules, well, he demonstrates on Shalana to show them what will happen.

Once again, Tiffany passes Steve’s test this week, impressing him, her date Mike, and really all of America. Let’s face it, she set the bar pretty low for herself in previous weeks, so it’s nice to see her doing well this time around. Tiffany is rewarded at the end of the day when Steve even tells her she did the best out of all the women this week.

Melissa still keeps things awkward as all hell on her date and manages to bring up every taboo subject that Steve told her to avoid, while throwing in a line about how now she and her date have garlic breath. Danielle gets buzzed non-stop for her truck-driver mouth, which is hilarious, her date is just a string of f-bombs and buzzes.

While Elizabeth is on her (super-boring) date, her man, Stephon, excuses himself, which allows Steve to swoop in and give her a pep talk on how to be less boring. She doesn’t take it well. “Okay, I’m f—ed up,” she says, getting agitated by what Steve is telling her. She breaks down in the middle of the restaurant, in the middle of her date.

She pulls it together for the rest of her date but she’s still weighed down by the judgey voices in her head…namely, the judgey voices of her parents.

At the group session, Stephon confesses via video that he wants Elizabeth to know exactly how he feels about her, but he’s not really sure she’s telling him very much about herself. He’s ready to jump on a plane to New Jersey for her, but she’s not giving him any signals at all. When Steve asks if she’s only dating Stephon to prove her parents wrong, she screams “No! I’m doing it to prove me wrong!” But for Steve, that’s not reason enough to keep dating him and he yells at her “You’re pissing me off!” Every critique brings her to tears and makes her emotional, and it’s about to take it’s toll.

“This shouldn’t be Tough Love, it should be break down and cry love!” Elizabeth tells Steve. He tells her he’s going to match her with someone new because she’s clearly not giving herself to Stephon and she agrees calmly to it. Surprisingly, despite Elizabeth’s breakdown and outburst this week, she’s not the one in the hot seat. That honor goes to Danielle.

Steve asks her if she knows why she’s in the hot seat and she assumes it’s ’cause she was cussin’. And she was cussin’ ’cause she was drunk. “This is class, this is a lady!” Steve tells her sarcastically as he shows her the tape of her date which thankfully has a cuss-counter on it. (Eleven swears and one mouthful of grapes straight from the bunch, for the record.) Her date called her “loud” and “freaky” and “cause for concern,” which…I’m going to go out on a limb and say that those aren’t words anyone would be using on an online dating profile, to borrow from last week’s theme.
“I embarrassed myself,” Danielle says. She finally gets it, but she has to agree to Steve’s terms that she’ll actually listen to him next time around instead of just flaunting his requests in his face.

“I want to see all of you walk out of here with your heads held high, feeling great about yourself,” Steve tells them all at the end of the night. “Do you want what I want for you?” And even though some of them don’t always act like it, they all answer yes. Hopefully they’ll all get there.

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