A new season of Marriage Boot Camp kicks off tonight.
Marriage Boot Camp Reality Stars will feature Bad Girls Club star Tanisha Thomas and Clive Muir, Bachelorette couple Trista and Ryan Sutter, Jersey Shore's Jenni 'JWoww' Farley and Roger Mathews, Braxton Family Values' Traci Braxton and Kevin Surratt, and Real Housewives of Orange County's Gretchen Rossi and Slade Smiley.
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Is there trouble in paradise? Trista said, "No. We are normal – we're just like everybody else and we have issues like everybody else. They're not maybe as significant as others in terms of getting us to the big "D" word – divorce – but I think, for me, I wanted to personally take the opportunity to show viewers that you don't have to be in a bad place to actually want to better your relationship and to want to get stronger and improve."
Were Trista and Ryan hesitant to invite cameras back into their "normal" lives?
"Certainly on my end," admitted Ryan. "We didn't want to do the show at first. It took several conversations with the production team to calm our nerves. A lot has changed in reality television. It was intrusive enough when we were on it. Now it is even more so. It needed to be something that was going to be beneficial to us. I was less concerned about demonstrating to other people that you need to work on your marriage and more concerned with the opportunity to grow."
Ryan continued, "We know how [reality tv] works so we know what they're trying to do. They probably wouldn't mind if our relationship crumbled on their show, but we would obviously mind that. Once we felt their intent wasn't to destroy us, rather to help us grow, then it became something we were willing to do."
Trista and Ryan, who celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary in December, agreed that communication and prioritization are important to their marriage. "Set priorities in your life and make sure your family is at the top of your priorities list," insisted Trista. "Our relationship is the foundation of our family. If we don't put the time and effort and energy into us, our family is going to crumble."
Chris Harrison recently talked about the backlash ABC, as well as Trista, received when the first season of the Bachelorette was announced. "I got called every name in the book," shared Trista. "I remember a reporter saying that I was setting the women's movement back decades. I felt like it was the opposite; I felt empowered. Why didn't I deserve a chance at finding love just like a man did? Why is it any different?"
A fan asked, is the Bachelor process for real, for show, or dependent on the star at the time?
"It's really up to the person, the bachelor or the bachelorette, as to whether or not they are genuine in their interest to find true love," acknowledged Trista. "But what you see is real. It's happening. They can't create experiences. They can't create words that people are saying. They can't create emotions. Of course they're going to edit so you see the most important parts but it's real."
Why do most Bachelor relationships fail? Trista partly blamed social media, adding, "The direct access that people have to you, to be able to comment, judge, and be hurtful. It's really stressful on a person let alone a relationship."
Ryan added, "There is a lot of distraction and temptation. Despite someone's initial intent, they leave the show in a totally different place than they began. There's all these different outside influences inundating your life. You really have to be committed to that relationship you only formed over a six week period. Then they say you can't see either other for three or four months until the show airs. It's a difficult road."
With so many going on reality TV with hidden agendas these days, would either Ryan or Trista sign up for the Bachelorette now?
"It's much more different now," agreed Ryan. "We were sort of at the beginning of it and it was a totally different outlook. You can't really fault people for thinking this is an easy avenue [to promote a product, further a career] because lots of people have been successful by following that career path. It’s hard to blame anyone, but at the same time it removes some of the authenticity from the shows, especially shows like Bachelor and Bachelorette. I don’t mean [love] can't happen now. It's just another set of criteria you have to evaluate."
Trista shared, "Because of what happened to me – who I met and the beautiful family we created out of love – in a heartbeat. I would do it again just because I found this guy." Awwww.
Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars premieres tonight at 9/8c on WE tv.
ARE YOU TUNING IN FOR THE SHOW TONIGHT? DO YOU THINK RYAN AND TRISTA WILL BE THE MOST DOWN-TO-EARTH COUPLE THERE?
Photo Credit: WE tv