So would you say that you believe that any man who truly wants to make the transition from being a G to a gentleman can do so?
I do believe that anyone can, but it is a give-and-take relationship. I told the guys from the start that, “I am going to be as committed to this as you are. I will give you the tools and I will make sure that you learn them, and I will not move forward until I feel that you have learned them. If you are not committed and not making the right decisions, it is going to be difficult for you, and you won’t be able to make the changes.” It started out with 14 guys who came in thinking they were on television and had the opportunity to make $100,000 dollars, but it ended up being more about them wanting to stay on and not get eliminated, so that they could learn the lessons because they are fundamental things that they needed to know in order to make them become better people and get them closer to achieving their dreams.
I think the show will have a positive impact. It is not so much about changing an image as it is about finding one’s self respect and becoming the best people possible. Every week contestants participated in weekly challenges in every area from style, etiquette, chivalry, business and more. While taping this show were there moments where you were surprised by certain young men who rose to the occasion or perhaps how difficult it was for some to contend?
Without a doubt! We had some leaders within the house, certain guys that would challenge the others to really step their game up – their swagger. Respect amongst their peers was one of the most important lessons that really rang true. Once that was established the guys understood that as they grew to learn more about one another, they didn’t want to see anyone slacking, they truly wanted to see one another make the change. So we definitely had guys who stepped up and became leaders.
You are obviously a perfect fit for this show. I’m sure many of the contestants looked at you as a role model more than anything else, and wanted to become just like you, in many respects. The show is executive produced by Jamie Foxx. When you were first approached to be a part of this project were you enthralled? Was it something that you wanted to do?
Not at first. I wanted to meet with them and make sure that they were on the right tone and the right message. If it was going to be something where we throw these guys in and watch them crash and burn, then I didn’t care if they offered 10 million dollars; I wasn’t going to be part of it and align my brand with it. Once I saw that the tone was there, and that Jamie Foxx and Cris Abrego really wanted to make changes and show these guys go through the transformations, I knew it was something that I wanted to be a part of. I said no to other offers of reality shows over the last three years – this is not a game for me.