Kurt And Steven From Joe Millionaire Reveal The Challenges Of Reality TV Dating - Exclusive

At first glance, "Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer" on Fox may seem like your typical dating show, but there are a few key differences. 

First, instead of having one bachelor that many women compete for, there are two bachelors, Kurt Sowers and Steven McBee. And, while each has his own appeal, one has the added bonus of being a multimillionaire. The catch is that the women competing for their affections don't know which of the two men is wildly wealthy.


Season 1 of "Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer" started with 18 women. Kurt and Steven did their best to get to know all the contestants throughout the series and send home anyone who wasn't a match for them. But trying to form genuine connections while in front of cameras, dating multiple women, and working on the production schedule was a completely different dating experience than either of them were used to. 

While sitting down for an exclusive interview with The List, Kurt and Steven shared what it was really like dating on the show and revealed some of the challenges they faced meeting people under such unusual circumstances.

What did Kurt and Steven think about the women's motivations?

With the premise of the show being that only one of the two bachelors is a millionaire, you may be wondering if some of the women were just there for the money. However, Kurt Sowers and Steven McBee agreed that didn't seem to be the case. 


The women weren't even told that one of the bachelors was a millionaire until filming had already started. So, they couldn't have tried out for the show with that in mind. 

However, just because the men weren't worried about the contestants being there for money doesn't mean all of them were there for love. Steven thought that some of the women may have been more interested in the attention they could get from the show. 

"For the most part, I think we had a really, really good group of women. I think there were a few there early on that were looking for the Instagram followers," he said. "But I don't think the money aspect really affected any of these women."

They had to get to know the women under considerable time constraints

According to Kurt Sowers and Steven McBee, the bachelors of "Joe Millionaire," one of the biggest challenges of dating on a reality TV show is the time constraint they were under. Especially at the start of the show, there were lots of women to get to know and only so much time during filming to speak to them.


"It looks like we spend a lot of time with these women, but the truth is you don't," Kurt said. "We see them for short spurts at a time; the conversations are limited. Most of the time, their conversations are [interrupted] by other people and/or producers. It was tough to get to know these ladies." 

Because of that, a lot of their decisions about who went home were based purely on gut instinct in the beginning, Steven said. "When we got to, probably, the top 10, that's when you really can start to make true connections and figure out who everyone is."

Deciding eliminations together wasn't too hard for Kurt and Steven

Despite not feeling like they had enough time to truly get to know all the women, it was still up to the two men of "Joe Millionaire" to decide who would stay on the show and who would go home each week. 


"It felt like it was a bit unfair because we're not giving these women a proper shake," said Kurt Sowers. "We're having to eliminate them or make judgments about them. And who knows if those judgments are even true?"

But it seemed like having each other there made those tough decisions a little easier for the men.

"Kurt and I see things through a similar perspective, as far as what we're looking for in the women, and so we were very consistent as far as our eliminations go, honestly, throughout the entire show," said Steven McBee. "I mean, we bounce ideas off of each other, and it seems like we always fell upon the same names each elimination, which made it really nice."

The bachelors discuss what it was like dating the same women

While having two bachelors on the show gave Kurt Sowers and Steven McBee someone to share the experience with, it also meant that they were dating the same women.  

"It was for the better," Kurt said. "It allowed these women to choose instead of maybe having to fake a feeling for one man. Giving them an option made it a lot more genuine." 


The two men also bonded quite quickly. "It's been the best relationship from the show — Steven and I," Kurt said.

Dating the same women introduced an element of friendly competition into their dynamic, however. "We eliminated bro code during the filming," Steven said, meaning they decided that either could date any woman on the show, regardless of whether the other had feelings for her. 

"At the end of the day, we're on each other's teams," Kurt said. But what if they're both interested in the same woman? "One of us would decide to step back," he said. "We would've done that, but as you'll see, as the show plays out, those things happen naturally."

Watch past episodes of "Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer" on FOX NOW.