I’ve been a long time fan of The Today Show on NBC, thus the TV in my office is permanently set to NBC all day long. When The Steve Harvey Show debuted on NBC, it quickly became one of my favorite talk shows. And one of my favorite segments on the show is “Looking for Love” where Steve helps successful women find love.
Those of you that know me, know I definitely struggle in the love department, so I applied to be on the show after a break-up earlier this year when I wrote out my bucket list. And yes, I included being on The Steve Harvey Show as a bucket list item!
I never got a reply to my application, but in July, I got an email from one of the producers with this plea:
Do you want your brother to walk a day in your shoes? Does he not understand what it’s like being a women in today’s society? Is he giving you a hard time because you’re still single…Yet he has no clue how hard it is to get a swipe right on tinder or to find a good date? Would you like him to have to BE YOU for an entire day from head-to-toe, spanx and all? Looking for a fun brother/sister combo who are up for anything!
I immediately replied that my brother and I are the epitome of fun and definitely up for anything! Mike and I did a Skype interview, had to create a couple videos, answer questions, and they loved us (or so they said)!
Mike was not keen on the idea, especially since they originally suggested that he would have to dress up as a woman for a day and pretend to be me. They even threw out the idea of him going to a speed-dating venue to look for a man for me that met my requirements. Luckily, they decided he would not have to pretend to be a Caitlyn Jenner wannabe and just take over my dating profiles to show just how hard it is for women to date online.
And off to Chicago we went…
The first full day of filming, a makeup artist arrived at my hotel room at 7 am to do my hair and makeup. We had to send in our outfit choices ahead of time as our clothing had to be all solid colors, but no black or white and no stripes or patterns. At 8 am, a car took us to the first filming location. It was actually an apartment of one of the show employees that she rented out to them for the day.
Right away, Mike and I realized that we are not good actors! It took hours just to produce Mike’s plea for Steve to help me. They then had Mike set up a new account on OKCupid for “writemenowbabe” to take over my “wahmasaurus” account (which I had made up and let the producers log in to see all the kind of messages of I receive.
After lunch, and several takes later, they let me go back to the hotel room for a couple of hours so they could film Mike alone. As I went to meet them at a cafe later in the day (in a different outfit so it appeared to be a different day), I was secretly hoping they had found a date for me, and even Mike wondered as he said he saw a guy in the cafe signing paperwork with the producers. So he asked them, “Is that a date for Kim? Because he is totally not her type.” Nope, he was the cafe manager giving them permission to film there.
We ended up filming for over twelve hours, redoing many phrases over and over. I accepted the fact that our segment was focused on how hard it is for a woman to date online, and not about finding me love.
The film crew was very patient with us and fun.
We had a couple days of down time between shoots, so we also did some touristy things like went to the Navy Pier, walked the Magnificent Mile, caught a Cubs game and even had a private tour of Soldier Field (I manage the Chicago Bears Store affiliate program). We also were able to work since we both telecommute for work.
The night before we were to actually tape the “live” segment with Steve Harvey, the producers (we had different producers for the field shoot and for the show shoot) called to tell us they were emailing us the questions that Steve would be asking us on the show, along with the answers we should respond with. And they also said they had a surprise for me… they had found me a date, from Nebraska no less that met all of my requirements!
Now, I was super nervous. Every single man we saw at our hotel, we wondered if he was “the one”! I also super nervous after reading all of the questions/answers that I needed to memorize. It’s been a long time since I was in Speech and Drama.
We were told to wear comfy clothes the morning of the taping, as they would do hair and makeup and help us get dressed. We also had to check out of our nice hotel (the bed at The Hyatt was the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in) as we would fly back home that afternoon. When I had checked us in for our American Airline flights, I had the option to upgrade to first-class for only $50. Considering checking a bag alone is $25, and first-class included baggage, I figured $25 for first class was a no-brainer.
We were given our very own green room!
I brought a lace burgundy dress (that I loved plus got on sale) to wear on stage, but the wardrobe stylist said that the lady on before me had a similar dress, so they provided me with a Calvin Klein red dress to wear. When I tried it on, the stylist said, “Don’t worry honey, we’ll get you some Spanx.” I already had Spanx on I replied! But they provided me with a pair of high rider crotchless Spanx. I didn’t know they made such things. Pure genius.
They also gave me jewelry and L.K. Bennett shoes to wear as they didn’t like the choices I brought. I wondering if I got to keep any of the items, but I didn’t (except the Spanx). I wonder if they donate the clothes somewhere afterwards because everything I tried on had price tags on them yet that they cut off.
When I was getting my hair done, Mike text me this…
Yes, my brother is a comedian. Leroy the Goat was also going to be a guest that day and was in a green room near ours. (Apparently Leroy died earlier this month; my condolences to his owner). All we knew about the guy they found to be my date was that he was from Nebraska, and his name was Tom. I joked that I’ve dated guys named Tom before and what if is was one of them? They verified it wasn’t.
While we rehearsed our lines with the producers, I asked if we would be able to get a photo with Steve Harvey. They said probably not. We could ask, but not to get our hopes up.
They warned Mike that sometimes Steve goes off script and may ask him where he got his “scientific fact” that it’s harder for women to date than men (as Mike would say this in the video they recorded). I then asked Mike where he got the fact, and he said they told me to say that!
And then it was show time!
We got to watch a giveaway where Steve gave away awesome prizes like a trip to France. Mike and I said we wished we were part of the studio audience (who was also told to wear solid colors). The producers had also pre-interviewed the audience members and put in their votes on who should win based on who would have the best reaction to winning. So, those winning were definitely not random.
Since we didn’t get a mug shot with Steve Harvey, we had the producer take one of us back stage in front of a sign with his name. Mike didn’t like this photo, but I thought it was a great photo of me! The did send us some stills from the show a few days before it aired. We could tell people we would be on the show, but we couldn’t tell them what about.
Before I knew it were herded on stage to a semi-circle couch. Steve shook our hands and sat down at one end and asked about why they had a new sofa? They said it was so he could be at more of an angle to the guests. He responded that couldn’t he just turn his damn chair? He said he didn’t like the guests sitting so close as they might cry, and he didn’t want anyone crying on his shoulder. He said he had no idea what the next segment was about so looked at me and said, “Are you going to cry on me?” I said no. He even made a sexual reference about the piece of “wood” between us on the couch (that you can kind of see in the photo). I wanted so bad to reply “That’s what she said” but I bit my tongue.
The producers that had filmed us for 12 hours condensed the shooting down to 1.5 minutes! They had me send them dozens of photos of me and Mike from when we were young up until recently, and they only ended up using one of those and grabbed the rest of them from the Instagram feed, and they definitely were not photos of myself that I would’ve chosen.
When we took a “break for commercial” Steve bit his cheek, so complaining that it hurt so bad that he might cry. I asked if he wanted to cry on my shoulder. The audience laughed at that.
It was astonishing to see how they ended up editing out a lot, and I mean A LOT of the dialog between Steve and us, even all of the questions and answers they scripted for us. For example, I said I could write about book about all the bad dates I’ve been on. I also talked about how my experience on Tinder, how the first guy I met had used a photo of Dane Cook for his profile pic (he was a doppleganger) and how he ended up being married with a warrant out for his arrest. Steve responded that he loves Dane Cook’s comedy and that the being married part wasn’t a problem, but the warrant was! They obviously cut that out right away as Steve and Marjorie claim to have this great marriage. I’m wondering if these rumors are true now.
I had also said how I consider myself the female version of Good Luck Chuck, a movie that ironically stars Dane Cook, where everyone he dates, finds the one for them after dating him (or in my case, going back to their ex). Steve had never heard of that movie. This was obviously cut out as well.
But he did ask Mike where he found his scientific fact, and that, I believe, appeared to be the only part of the segment that didn’t appear scripted (because it wasn’t). Mike replied he read it in a magazine on an airplane. Steve joked that that’s SkyMall.
Finally, Steve announced he had a surprise for me. Since he is the “Chief Love Officer” he found a guy for me (aka his producers did). Mike and Steve stood up when Tom walked up. I started to stand up, not knowing what to do, but Steve pushed me back down, which you can see on video if you look closely. It also looks like he’s thinking, “Sit down bitch.”
They whisked us off stage, and the next hour was a blur. They moved our flights to later so Tom and I could go on a date (and we lost our first class status). Mike was basically told to leave the studio and come back in three hours.
They took Tom and me to nice Italian restaurant. It’s not exactly easy to go on a date while being filmed. But I learned we are both picky eaters (he’s a vegetarian). Pizza is both our favorite foods. The producers had found him via POF, and at first he thought it was a scam when they asked him to be a TV show as a bachelor (his mother was still skeptical as she called him right before he went on stage). Steve Harvey has his own dating site, so I was surprised they didn’t find a guy from there to plug his site.
Tom had told me the guest on before us was Bethenny Frankel, so I was thinking she stole my dress! But it turned out to the be the woman that got proposed to during that same segment that had the dress like me.
While Tom is a great guy (and super cute), I just don’t think we had enough in common to see each other again, plus he lives three hours away from me.
The whole experience was definitely an adventure, and it was riveting to learn everything about behind the scenes. The show paid for our flights, put us up in a nice hotel for four nights, provided limousine service and even gave us stipend money for food. So it was a nice brother/sister vacation.
If you missed the episode, I’d add the informal video below (sorry, youtube took it down for copyright reasons). And if YOU want to be on the Steve Harvey show, they are always looking for guests – apply here!