Secrets from behind the scenes

In this episode:

  • From the “Dating Around” to “Another Round,” Maggie and Ian have interviews to spare. Ben Samuels, the adorably awkward bachelor from Netflix’s hit reality show, “Dating Around” breaks down how his episode got made.
  • “Another Round” co-host Tracy Clayton dives into her return to podcasting.
  • And Crossfit co-founder Lauren Jenai shares details about tying the knot while her husband is on house arrest.


Adorkable Ben

Ben Samuels won audiences over with his awkward but endearing personality on Netflix’s “Dating Around”. The University of New Orleans professor broke down what it was like going out with strangers on a reality show.

How did you even get on this show in the first place?

“The ‘Dating Around’ folks like send notices out to lots of different communities. In my case, it was like this little improv theater that I perform at. Even though it sounds crazy and weird, something about the like the fact that it would be televised almost made it less scary than actual dating would be. There’s almost like a sense of liberation. Like if in an actual date, if it doesn’t go well, then there are only two people responsible for not going well and it’s probably not her. Maybe it doesn’t go well. And sure, it’s still probably my fault, but at least I can tell myself, “Oh, it was just the cameras and it would have been great if it wasn’t for that.”

Did you end up having more of a relationship with the person who you picked?

“I was genuinely smitten with the person that I picked. I think that they are an absolute angel, a huge force for good on this planet. Incredibly selfless. And at the same time pursues her own passions. A really, really phenomenal person. We did meet up after filming, after everything. And without going into too much detail, it did not really turn into anything.”

Do you have any dating advice for people getting back in the game?

“You can be an absolutely incredible person and in fact, you probably are. And the person that you’re dating is also probably a wonderful, incredible person. And if it doesn’t work out, if they don’t have the same feelings for you that you have for them, that sucks. It stings. Grieve. Mourn. Cry. Do what you need to do. It’s OK. But the thing that I would recommend not doing is like creating this narrative that you’re not deserving of love, like just because that dynamic or that chemistry between the two of you didn’t exist or work out.”

Another round for Tracy

Tracy Clayton is a podcast icon extraordinaire. While most fans know her from Buzzfeed’s “Another Round” podcast, Clayton is now bringing Black voices to the forefront with her “Strong Black Legends” podcast on Netflix.

We are at a moment in history in which things are changing. And you’ve been hosting a podcast that spotlights Black talent. What does this mean for future episodes of “Strong Black Legends”?

“That’s a great question. I think it’s one that we’re just now starting to dove into because the world is different. It was as easy as hopping on a plane and going to interview Debbie Allen or Jackie Harry. But now, travel is scary. I would rather do a lot less of that, feel the world out. And I think the producers are trying to figure out, how do we deliver the same experience of an in-person interview? In those interviews, we want you to feel like you’re in the room there with us. And when we’re not even in the room with our interview subjects, it’s like, well, how can we add the listener in as well? So it means it means change. It means challenges. And hopefully, it means growth in new ways of doing something that was a lot of fun and that people really like a lot.”

What’s bringing you joy during quarantine lately?

“This is the answer that changes by the minute. To me, it sounds corny and cliché because I’m always trying to do it but I’m just trying to stay present and I’m trying to notice moments that do bring me joy versus ‘OK, I need to sit down and have joy for 30 minutes.’ Which is how I was trying to do it. And it’s just like, ‘OK, this joy is making me anxious,’ and I feel like I’m just doing it backwards. So now, when I when it’s time to relax, I have like a few, like, dedicated hobbies that I get into. I like to crochet. I can make blankets because I don’t understand how sleeves work or just like the round parts of elbows shoulder. I can only crochet straight lines. And recently I’ve been watching a lot of wrestling documentaries with a friend of mine.”

Wedding bells

Franklin Tyrone Tucker and Lauren JenaiBrittni Zacher

CrossFit co-founder Lauren Jenai and Franklin Tyrone Tucker were married on Friday at their home in Oregon, the couple told Maggie and Ian. The ceremony marked a happy ending for the pair’s romance that began while Tucker was incarcerated in Florida for nearly two years awaiting trial on murder charges, and Jenai fought for his freedom. Tucker maintains his innocence, and is still under house arrest.

Do you feel a sense of vindication that you really proved something like this relationship could work?

Jenai: “People don’t realize that we’ve now spent almost three years together. Most of it was not in physical contact, but we spoke every day for hours and hours and we dealt with all kinds of issues that married couples or partners deal with that are completely stressful. I think nobody saw that part and saw what we have gone through. I understand why people thought it was not believable or wouldn’t work out. I see that perspective. But I don’t necessarily want to say I feel vindicated.

Tucker: “Life throws at all kinds of things at you. And married couples have to deal with these things in any relationship. But the thing is, we’ve already gone through so much together that the idea that anything’s going to come up that we can’t handle together, just isn’t there. Neither one of us really cares as far as what other people have to say. People can say whatever they want. We’re the ones who have to live with each other. We’re the ones that have to be together, you know? People are gonna say whatever they’re going to say.”

Catch up on all episodes of “We Hear” by subscribing to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. New episodes come out every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Filed under7/8/20