Last night on Tough Love: CoEd, the Hot Seat belongs to Judy, Miss Shut Down. We spoke to Judy following the show to see what it was like not only to be thrown into the Hot Seat, but to also learn of her grandmother’s death all in one episode. Was it like being kicked while she was down? Yes, she tells us, but she was also grateful for the chance to leave bootcamp for a while to collect herself and reflect on what she’s learned so far.
I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother. How difficult was it to have to leave the show due to such sad circumstances?
Honestly it was very difficult because going through my own personal situation similar to this one, with losing my husband, it was just so hard to deal with. Even though my grandmother was ailing, you can just never be prepared for it to happen. So it was very difficult for me. Actually, when I found out that day, everything about me had completely changed.
To be put in the Hot Seat on the same day, did it feel like you were being kicked while you were down, or did you find that experience constructive?
I think it was both. When I was put in the Hot Seat, I felt that Steve was so cold-blooded, how could you do that to me? Cut me some slack here. My grandmother had just passed and I’m here on the show and I have these hang-ups, but I thought that I did really good. I felt like going home and being with family in that moment, I needed that. Dealing with the show, you’re out of your comfort zone, in a home with seven strangers you don’t know, everybody has big personalities, so it was like, I could use a break from that. Deal with my personal situation, making sure everybody at home is okay…it worked out pretty good to go home and gather my thoughts.
How do you feel being labeled Miss Shut Down? Would you have an alternate name for yourself if you could choose?
I think I had the most suitable name on the show! Honestly, it fits be well because I have gone through a phase of being shut down. I thought Steve was dead-on. It’s not a negative name, you know? I could be Miss High Maintenance or Peter Pan, so I can’t complain.
Earlier in the season, Steve asked you what it is you really want, and that question seemed to strike a chord with you and you said no one has asked you that before.
You know, I didn’t get a chance to watch that part because I didn’t want to have to re-live that moment. I’m past that in my life right now, I’m doing so much better and I learned so much off that show, I’ve adapted so much since then. When he asked me that question it struck a chord simply because no one had asked me that. Your friends and loved ones, they don’t know how to address the situation when somebody loses their husband. My friends can’t just come up to me and say, you know girl, I know how you feel, because they can’t relate. Nobody on the show could relate to me losing someone. I think I’m the only one on the show that really has substance to be quite honest. This is a real-life situation, there’s no fake on this, this is really why I’ve been shut down. I had to sit there and digest that for a minute, that was really like therapy right there. I think Steve should become a therapist.
Before you got married, did you have any other dating issues, or were your relationship problems brought about because you lost your husband?
I’ve always been a pretty good dater. I did a relationship show on the radio for like four years, so yeah, I’m hip to the game of dating and I don’t think I have a problem. I think when it comes to my situation, there isn’t anybody that can give you advice about the process of opening back up. My problem was that if I give my heart to someone else, who’s to say they’re not going to fall dead on me. With growth comes wisdom though. I’m just at the point now where if it happens, that was just that time for that person to go. Also, I chose to be shut down, by choice. I spent seven years of my life with a daughter who looks exactly like my husband, so it’s always been difficult or me because every time I look at her, I look at him, and I don’t think Steve got that.
How would you rate the experience of being on the show?
I think I’ve taken a lot from the show. I think Steve is an incredible guy with a lot of wisdom about the dating world, and I think he gave me something that I can leave and implement in my daily life and in my relationships going forward. I wanted to cater to women who have lost a boyfriend, who lost a husband, who lost somebody and they feel like they can’t move on because they have this hang up of “What if this happens again?” I wanna be that girl that says, “Baby, it’s gonna be okay. Whatever happens in the future, it was destined to go that way in the first place and you’ve gotta keep tickin’.”