Master Matchmaker Steve Ward is back for another season of Tough Love, and each week, he’ll be giving us an exclusive look at what went down behind the scenes on the series. This week, we talked to Steve about Tiffany‘s surprising progress, and the return of the zapper.
You guys have done a game show every season, so how did you think “Turned Off” stacked up to past seasons’ game shows?
All the other seasons of game shows were also done in front of a studio audience, and for this one, the audience was really the guys on stage, and then the girls became the audience. I think “Turned Off” was very insightful for the women.
Were any of the women truly shocked by how they came across to the men?
It was interesting, there were some women who took it very seriously and were very affected by the guys, and there were some women that just didn’t care, so for me, I was getting a sense of who’s really doing the work and taking this seriously, and it was interesting to see that. Danielle didn’t care. Despina didn’t care, Tiffany didn’t care. Elizabeth was nervous as hell. Stephanie was nervous. Shalana really cared. One of the members of the audience gave Shalana a criticism because she reveals the fact that she has a child but has never been in a relationship, what ended up happening was that she said she wants to have another child and possibly get married and when she said that, this one guy was turned off. So I asked him why he was turned off and he was like “I think that’s the problem with this country today, people are willing to have kids without being married and it’s not the best environment to raise kids in, etc.” and she was really affected by that after the fact.
Tiffany did the best this week in both challenges which was surprising to see, considering how she did in previous weeks. What do you think about that, she really seemed more open and able to communicate about her kids this week.
Was she really that open, or was she just doing what would be normally expected? The reason she did the best is because she made up the most ground. She didn’t outperform the other girls so much as she did the best for herself considering how bad she had done the week before. I appreciated that she was owning up and volunteering information, that’s what impressed me the most. I was pleased with the progress and her date’s reaction so I wanted to commend her for that.
The zapper was back this week.
This was tough. The zapper challenge was based around positive reenforcement, meaning that if someone does something wrong, you introduce the shock. But what you can’t do is, for instance with Stephanie, the instruction I gave her was to be engaging, and have him walk away knowing how you feel about him, how can I zap her for that? You can’t zap somebody for not doing something. On the other hand you have Danielle, where I said “Don’t curse,” and it was just “zap zap zap zap” every time she said the F-word. It’s meant to introduce a painful element to be associated with the wrong behavior. So with Elizabeth, she wasn’t accomplishing anything on her date, it was all surface-level stuff, so what I needed to do was when he went to the bathroom, I flew in to talk to her. I really, really care about these girls’ progress. And with Elizabeth, I’ve had one on ones with her and she’s explained to me about her family and their expectations, so I came in and explained to her that her date was painfully boring and she was so hurt and she shut down. I had to tell her “You need to understand, I’m not trying to shut you down, I care about you, you have to be more bold,” and I couldn’t communicate that with a zap. And that’s what allowed her to get to the point where she realized this wasn’t the right guy for her.
You mentioned last week how hard it can be to communicate with the women when they’re crying, and this seemed like another example of that during the grope session. Is that where your frustration came from when you told her “You’re pissing me off”?
I think what ultimately triggers this is people start blaming other people, or they blame boot camp, or the cameras or the alcohol. They start using flimsy excuses. I get sick of flimsy excuses. There’s no justification for the behavior they demonstrate and that really irritates me. So I do break these women down just to build them back up so they realize what they’re doing wrong or so they can recognize what’s truly within their control.
It took Danielle a little while to come around and accept that her behavior was not great this week. She had to see herself on tape to understand how she really acted.
She had to watch herself, while she was sober, to see the things she was doing and see the reaction from the other girls and how appalled they were, and that ratified my decision to put her there. Danielle chooses to be that way. She chooses to lower her standards, she chooses to lower her self-respect and the respect of others with the way she drinks and swears and acts. It’s like a Jekyll and Hyde character. You have to demonstrate conduct more becoming of a lady in order to attract a gentleman. Danielle allows this personality to come out and the person she becomes is not the kind of respectable woman that’s necessary to attract the quality of men she wants to be with.