Originally posted Wedesday, February 5, 2020 by RODNEY HOemail@example.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
Casting a show like “Marriage Boot Camp” on WE-TV is not easy so it’s always a coup when the show can nab some decent-sized celebrities.
This season, for a “hip hop edition debuting Thursday, Feb. 6 at 10 pm., the show producers cast two names that should attract viewers: long-time Atlanta resident Cee Lo Green (“Crazy,” “Forget You”) and former “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta” star Joseline Hernandez.
Sure, the title of the show includes the word “marriage,” but for casting purposes, it’s mostly folks in relationships, not marriages. And they chose stars ranging in age from 28 to 49. Over ten days in a Los Angeles mansion, they go a variety of emotional exercises to sort out their feelings and confront their issues head on.
“This group really vibed,” said Lynn Toler, the “Divorce Court” judge who provides the show participants with sharply worded advice throughout the season and helps out psychiatrist Dr. Ish. “It was a great group.”
But naturally things get lit because, well, this is “Marriage Boot Camp.”
“I’d be watching the screens, go to the bathroom, come back and say, ‘What the hell just happened?’” Toler said. “You have people with some serious issues. Anger between couples seep out. There’s anger in between couples. People get upset.”
Cee Lo and his fiance Shani have been together for eight years, engaged for three. But they are having communication issues. Cee Lo, as Shani said in the first episode, is stubborn. He likes to do his own thing and he doesn’t always listen. He sees her as controlling.
“He’s a megastar, he’s a boss,” Shani said. “If people don’t like, then that’s his attitude: they can leave.”
Toler, in the opening episode, said: “I want you to take the ‘You can leave’ out of the conversation.”
Given how famous Cee Lo is, Toler said the fact he embraced the process and didn’t resist resonated with the entire house. “If he’s on board, everyone follows,” Toler said. “He’s thoughtful. He’s intelligent. He didn’t understand why they were having communication issues.”
Joseline - who used to spar with Stevie J on the VH1 reality show but has since left for Miami - has shown impatience with her boyfriend Balistic Beats and wants a ring.
“I want a respectful woman that treats me like a king as she treats me like a queen,” Balistic said.
“He’s not a f**king king,” Joseline said.
“You don’t put a deadline on when I should marry you,” he told Joseline.
Joseline: “What the f*** are you waiting for?”
Balistic: “What do you mean? I make sure you and the little one are good every morning before I got to do what I got to do.:
Joseline: “That’s the least you should do.”
Balistic: “The least? That’s the most I can do!”
The men in the audience stood up and applauded.
This is just a teaser for fireworks ahead.
As Toler said, “Joseline is Joseline. You cannot turn off that light bulb! It’s going to shine and sparkle. She dealt with some difficult stuff inside and out. She leveled up like a grown woman. She stood her ground, did the right thing and got it resolved.”
The three other couples had different relationship issues:
Michel’le, believes her much younger boyfriend Stew doesn’t really love her. She has a lot of baggage to overcome.
“She’s so sweet and kind,” Toler said. “I was so worried about her. She’s been through so much. She has a difficult time receiving the love she is getting. Dr. Ish and I fought hard to get her comfortable with who she is so she could have a healthy relationship.”
Styles P and his wife Adjua Styles have been married 24 years and need to rekindle that spark, especially after the death of their daughter, infidelity and anger issues.
“She is stunning,” Toler said. “I kept staring at her. He is one of those cool, laid back, ‘I ain’t about the emotional stuff’ type of guy. He’s like my husband that way. But he leaned into the program with everything he could. He was not ashamed or embarrassed to feel and cry and bear his heart. I have mad respect.”
Bianca is super immature and has a lot to learn in her relationship with Chozus.
“She represents a lot of young ladies that I see who become so hysterical in keeping their dude,” Toler said. “It made her behave in a manner that was uncool. She’s going to learn a lot of lessons for other young women in terms of keeping your own center and self and still be with a dude. You cannot lose your mind if they don’t call right away.”
Toler has shot her syndicated judges show “Divorce Court” at Tyler Perry Studios the past two seasons and has enjoyed her time in Atlanta.
“It’s a great town,” she said. “It’s easy to navigate, people are friendly and the food is crazy good!”
“Marriage Boot Camp: Hip Hop Edition,” debuts 10 p.m. Thursday, February 6 on WE-TV
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