Why The Bachelors Of Joe Millionaire Are 'Not Your Typical Reality TV Show Guys' - Exclusive

"Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer" is a new dating show on FOX that has a few key differences from similar reality series you may have seen. 

First, instead of one bachelor whom the female contestants are vying for, there are two to choose from, Kurt Sowers and Steven McBee. On top of that, one of the two men is a millionaire while the other isn't. But, the 18 women trying to date them don't know which of the men is the wildly wealthy one.


Being tossed into the crazy world of dating multiple women while surrounded by cameras — and knowing it would be broadcast to the world — was a surreal experience that neither expected.

During an exclusive interview with The List, Kurt and Steven discussed what their time on "Joe Millionaire" was like. According to them, the experience came with a lot of surprises as neither of them are your "typical reality TV guys," Steven said. 

Here's how they consider themselves different from other reality stars.

Kurt Sowers and Steven McBee never expected to go on a dating show

Neither Kurt Sowers or Steven McBee decided to go after a spot on "Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer." Both men had successful careers in their own fields, and dropping everything to go on a reality TV show wasn't in their plans.


However, opportunity came knocking when each received an Instagram DM from a casting agency. When Steven first saw the message request, he said he "thought it was a joke." Kurt said he was hesitant to respond at all and "had to bounce it off some of my friends actually and see if I should even consider it," he said.

Though it wasn't anything they expected or imagined, both decided to give the show a shot and went in with an open mind.  

"This is not something I ever dreamed of, but at that point, I was 26 years old, still single to that point in my life," Steven said. "I figured, 'Why not try something unconventional and go on a dating show?'" 

Kurt added: "​​Yeah, I never thought I'd be on a dating show. I used to make fun of dating shows all the time. I was always picking on any of my exes or something that would watch that TV. I used to call it trash TV and hate on it, and then here I am."


The Joe Millionaire stars had no idea what to expect

Kurt Sowers and Steven McBee knew nothing about reality TV and had no idea what to expect going into "Joe Millionaire." "I don't even have cable in my house. I don't watch reality TV," Steven said. "Kurt doesn't even have a TV in his bedroom."


On top of that, most details about the show were under wraps from the two.

"They didn't tell us the nature of the show, how big the show was. My concern was going down there and being followed around by two or three cameramen using little handy cams," Steven said. "I was like, 'I don't want this to be a joke of a show because then I'd look like an even bigger fool.'" 

But, when they arrived, Steven saw that was far from the case. "​​There's 200 people on set, there are 10 huge cameras in your face at any given moment," he recalled. "There are cameras mounted to your bedroom walls. I had no idea what to expect."

Despite the pressure of the cameras and the whole crew being ever-present, neither of them wanted to put on any kind of front for the show.


"It was a lot easier when we realized that when we settled and say, 'Look, we're going to be who we are. We can't try to project ourselves, anything else, because that's a hard act to keep up for seven weeks,'" Kurt said.

What did their friends and family think of Kurt Sowers and Steven McBee being on Joe Millionaire?

Given their dubious attitudes toward reality dating franchises, no one in Kurt Sowers' or Steven McBee's lives expected to see them at the center of a show like "Joe Millionaire." Steven said he didn't even want to tell his friends he was doing the show. 


"It wasn't a [certainty] until a couple days leading up to the shooting," he said. "I wasn't going to tell them, 'Hey, I'm going to be on a dating show,' and then things fall through because then I would've looked like an even bigger idiot, so I kept it pretty tight-lipped." 

However, he did tell his family about the opportunity. In response, he said that his "brothers were making fun of me the entire time. My mom wasn't sure what to think of it. My dad was telling me, 'Go for it.'"

Kurt said that his family was pretty supportive of the experience from the start. "They thought, 'Why not? You're at a point in your life where you can step away from what you're doing professionally, and you're single. You might as well put yourself out there and see what happens.'"


Viewers eager to watch what happens on "Joe Millionaire" will just have to tune in and see.

New episodes of "Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer" air Thursdays on FOX at 8/7c. Episodes are available on FOX NOW the following day.