In preparation for tonight’s premiere, BOSSIP’s Sr. Content Director Janeé Bolden spoke with “Ready To Love” host Tommy Miles to talk about the new season, surprises from past seasons and more. Check out their Q&A below:
BOSSIP: You guys are back in your hometown of Houston this season, did you enjoy that?
Tommy Miles: It was good to work from home. It really was.
Did you give up on Atlanta because it’s a wasteland?
Tommy Miles: [Laughs] No we wanted to spread it around. So we did Atlanta for two, this is now two in Houston so I think hopefully next time around I’ve got my fingers crossed for the DC area so we’re finding love around the country.
Are you surprised that more of these couples are not lasting?
Tommy Miles:It’s always a 50/50. It looks good throughout the process and you’re keeping your fingers crossed they make it through and some of them don’t but this time around we made some good connections. I’m hoping to look down the line six months from now and still see some people together. This season to me is right up there with Season 1. I really like this one.
Is there any couple who surprised you by breaking up?
Tommy Miles: I thought Big Mike and Shea in Season 1 was like glue. I thought it was going to make it. It didn’t. I never found out what the reasoning was but that’s just the ultimate of they’re not ready to love. There’s another one. Season 2, let me put their faces in their head.
I was really into the “Last Resort,” I was there for the resort.
Tommy Miles: You liked the resort? I was skeptical. I was wondering if they were too close. If they were too on top of each other. Maybe it was more intense too.
I figured there would be a lot more hookups going on with “Last Resort,” but you didn’t really question them about doing adult stuff.
Tommy Miles: You know what, there was a lot going on. There was a camera on every hallway and like if I woke up in the middle of the night, which was a lot of night because I couldn’t sleep, I would go over to the control room and boy those hallways were busy.
So they may not have been making the long term connections but there were short term ones?
Tommy Miles: They were making some great short term connections. I was like, ‘Y’all over there getting it in! Boy, look at this! Wooh.”
What happened to Alex, who got the brain flu?
Tommy Miles: He survived. He calls me occasionally and checks in with me. He got something crazy. I never heard of brain flu before in my life. He was in a coma for a very long time. A lot of people gave up on him, but he made it through it, but I don’t know if he’ll ever be 100% physically. And he was a strong guy. He was massive. As far as strength, I don’t know if he’ll ever come back. Last time I saw him he was still on a cane. He had to learn how to walk all over again.
Are there lessons you all are learning on the production side as you go along?
Tommy Miles: The biggest lesson on the production side is to keep changing things up as we go from one season to the next, because if not you’re gonna have cast members who think they’ve got this mapped out. You’ve got to be three or four steps ahead of them because they’re constantly thinking they are outthinking the producers. ‘Oh I remember this in Season 1,’ or ‘I remember this in Season 2.’ That’s why producers can’t just lay out a format and think we can just go back and shoot what we’ve done in the past. This season is a prime example of that. We throw them some amazing curveballs they just don’t see coming. Every week you see me addressing these guys I am addressing them with a brand new curveball that nobody has seen and they’re just not prepared for. I think it’s good. We have to stay three steps ahead of these characters from one season to the next and we want the viewer to be surprised.
Have they ever surprised you? Even eliminations?
Tommy Miles: I’ve gotten some surprises with the eliminations where they’re like, ‘We’re going to wait, we’re not going to let someone go jst yet, we’re going to give in a day or two.’ Normally we are pretty cut and dry, like ‘Somebody is leaving today.’ But there’s been some times when it’s emotional. And we take a chance and give it another day or two. That’s always surprising to me because that hasn’t been the case most of the time. They kinda keep me in the light of what’s going on. Sometimes they’ll throw me a curveball like, ‘Okay, dang nobody told me that.’ Not that often. For the most part, they let Tommy know what’s happening around here and I’m wanting to know what’s going on.
You refer to your own marriage a lot when you are talking to the cast, are there lessons you’ve learned from them that you take home and talk about?
Tommy Miles: In most relationships, the majority of the issues that I see people having is listening to each other. You can hear people all day long but are you really listening? We’re guilty of that, all of us and sometimes when you’ve been in a marriage for as long as I have you take things for granted and you’re hearing and not listening. Sometimes I have to take heed of that. I’ll see them do it and correct them on it and I’ll get back home and say, ‘I’m doing the same thing!’
How long have you been married?
Tommy Miles: 20 years this coming June. We’ve been knowing each other since 1986. We met in college. My sophomore year. We didn’t get married until I was in my 30’s.
Do you think it’s harder to find love at an older age?
Tommy Miles: When people are set in their ways it’s hard to make adjustments and changes. I see that with the cast members too. You’re also so set to where you are used to picking the same kind of person. ‘This is the make up, this is what I have to have, I want this 6’2, chocolate, chiseled.’ So when I send over this guy and say, You should try this guy out, you go, ‘But Tommy, he’s 5’10 and then when they go out with him they come back and say, ‘Oh my God we had so much fun.’ And I’m like ‘See!’ You just have to step out of your comfort zone and see what’s up. I think that’s the wall that a lot of people have up, ‘I need to continue with what I’m used to fitting in.’ But guess what? What you’re used to doing has not been working. That’s why you’re on the show.
Did you have any favorites from the new season that you think will be the one everyone wants? Last season I kind of knew Joy and Adriana would have their pick of the guys.
Tommy Miles: I thought Joy was a sweetheart and was going to make it all the way through. The person I thought was going to be a problem, was a problem.
Tommy Miles: Denise was the second one I thought would be a problem. The first one was Nya. Nya and Denise I thought was going to be a hot mess and Denise ended up being really a mess when we got to the reunion.
Tommy Miles: She called me afterward like a week or so like I need some help, I’m getting threats. I didn’t want anybody to do anything to her. I did have to tell her I did not like what you did. That made no sense. I still to this day could not figure out what she thought she would get out of that. But I helped her find a PR person to help her get some interviews to clean it up. Denise was somewhere else with that mess. I don’t know what made her think she would get away with that.
The colorism issue has always been a sensitive issue, how upset were you when that was brought up on the show?
Tommy Miles: I was very upset and I let Denise know that. Here we are how many hundred of years later? And we still have an issue with each other? Black people have enough on their shoulders and here we are attacking one another but I think Denise has been carrying that weight for some time, and she has yet to get through it and past it. I just think we as a people have got to get past this nonsense. I think we are an amazing group of people but we are the same group that will tear each other down. I think that’s one of the biggest setbacks we have as a people.
Do you watch other dating shows or reality shows?
Tommy Miles: My wife, I can be laying in the bed and she’s got on this Huntsville stuff. O M G, this brother on Huntsville has something wrong with him and I don’t know if it’s hyped up for the show but he’s got something wrong with him. It’s amazing and I try to weight out both sides and think if I had to talk to both of them what would I say. But he has a baby on the way. [laughs] I don’t know what to say after that. You’ve got a baby on the way. So we watch some of those. I’m tickled by the people in Mississippi. The “Belle Collective”? I love them.
I loved that there were so many updates at the “Last Resort” reunion this year between post-show hookups and pregnancies. Were you surprised?
Tommy Miles: So I go to the party for the premiere and the young lady who is expecting, she’s at the party. And I look at her and go ‘Hey,’ and she goes ‘Yeah, yeah. What’s going on?’ and I’m like ‘What’s going on WITH YOU?’ And she goes ‘I’m pregnant.’ I say, ‘O.K.’ And she says she’s 7 or 8 months and I’m like, ‘But we just finished shooting the show.’ My mouth is wide open, so when we were on the resort… So I’m like okay. Who does that? Reunion wise we didn’t blast it like we could have. That was just weird to me. The men who have children on the way or here’s this young lady she could have had that baby on the stage that night, she was nine months. That was weird that you guys came all that way to the resort looking for love when you have a lot of love somewhere else.
So this is what the producers are trying to weed out when they’re casting?
Tommy Miles: You have to weed out that and you also have to be mindful that you are looking for someone who brings excitement. Someone who brings a little of this and a little of that. You are trying to put a nice little pot together, that has a little bit of everything, so that’s the most challenging part. so she’s this, this and that but she’s SO BORING, that’s not going to work on camera. You need someone who is going to bring That’s when you get — who did you mention? Symone?
Tommy Miles: Symone! Symone had some liners that we could not run. She would have me cracking up, like ‘That’s not going to make the show…’ But she brought excitement. I mean I like it and it’s good for the show.
Can you give us any hints about who is bringing that excitement on the new season?
Tommy Miles: There is a young lady I think is exciting. Her name is Alexis. Alexis is exciting. Exciting, fun to watch, I think you’ll get a kick of riding with her for a minute.
How do you avoid casting a Derrick Jaxn?
Tommy Miles: Somebody like a Derrick Jaxn can hide under the radar for a long time and you not know it. There’s no avoiding that. I think even for women when you run into a person like that. You can fall in love with a person and say, ‘Okay I didn’t see any of that.’ I don’t care how long you date, whether it’s six months, nine months or a year. I think it’s possible you might not see it.
Ready To Love – Meet the Singles airs tonight at 9pm on OWN.
Will you be watching?