‘R&B Divas Atlanta” star Keke Wyatt joins ‘Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars’

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By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Friday, October 7, 2016 on the AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

R&B singer Keke Wyatt showed off her strong personality on TV One’s ‘R&B Divas Atlanta” for three seasons. She is now going even deeper with her preacher husband Michael Ford by joining “Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars” debuting Friday, October 7 at 9 p.m.

Several Atlantans have taken part on this show in the past, including Toya Wright (“Tiny & Toya”) and Memphitz (now divorcing), Syleena Johnson (fellow “R&B Diva Atlanta”) and her husband Kiwane Garris, Mama June and Sugar Bear (“Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”) and the volatile Benzino (“Love and Hip Hop Atlanta”) and Althea Hart.

This time, Jim and Elizabeth Carroll – who created many of the exercises on the show – are no longer hosts and lead therapists. Instead, Dr. Ish Major and Dr. Venus Nicolino have taken over using Carroll’s processes. 

Wyatt, who is on her second marriage after a very volatile first one that featured domestic violence, said she and her husband needed better ways to communicate and build respect and trust in one another – typical topics for any marriage.

“If only estrogen and testosterone could understand each other,” Wyatt said. “If they can make a baby together, why can’t they get along? We’re all part man and woman inside us. We’re both emotional. We’re both strong minded, bull headed. It’s crazy. If the two girlie parts could come together and the two dude parts could come together, we could do good. For some reason, the testosterone in him doesn’t necessarily want to chill out with the estrogen in me.”

Ford said he needed to understand how to communicate better with or get a point better across with her. He said he always wants her to “get it my way” but learned “I may have to get at it a different angle.”

Her issue is her self control, she said, “instead of wanting to buck up and turn into a bear when I’m really a kitty.” (On the episode, the doctors observed that she seems to have issues with authority. While “Divorce Court’ star Lynn Toler talked to her about her issues, Wyatt had a tendency to roll her eyes.)

Ford said some folks on the show appear to be “getting a check.” But the reality does happen. “It’s a real process,” he said. “And it will hit a nerve and something real will come out.”

[The true circus of this season is among former “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta” cast member Margeaux Simms, her girlfriend Russian model Merike Palmiste and her estranged husband “Love and Hip Hop” music producer Nikko Smith. Yes, the one with the sex tape with Mimi Faust. All three are in the house, the first trio ever to be there.]

They have eight kids between the two of them, some from previous relationships. Fortunately, they were able via phone talk to their kids each evening. “The older kids get it that we’re away working,” Ford said. “The younger kids, we brought them with us but we put them in a hotel that was close by. They knew in their baby minds that mommy and daddy weren’t far away.” Wyatt’s mom was there to watch them.

“All of the exercises were tough, emotionally draining,” Ford said. “It was a tough two and a half, three weeks. But I’m glad we did it. It helped us both become better people.”

“It helped tear down some walls,” she said.

“I think every married couple at the six or seven year mark should go to a boot camp to re-learn things you didn’t know about the other person,” Ford said.

“Either that or be away from each for awhile a little amount of time and you’ll realize what you’re missing,” Wyatt said. (She tours two or three weekends a month.)

“I’d rather be in hell with you than without you,” she said to Ford.

Wyatt didn’t think “R&B Divas” helped her music career but she felt it broadened her appeal and know her better as a person. “People think I’m old!” she said. “I came into the business in 2001 but I was only freakin’ 18 years old. I’m happy for that experience so people could see I’m not old and not a psycho babe.” (She noted she had attacked her first husband over self defense.)

“‘ R&B Divas’ did allow people to see you the person instead of just reading the tabloids,” Ford said.

“I do have a big heart and a big softie,” she said. “I’m not that grizzly bear but a very soft teddy bear, a squishy teddy bear holding a heart with little pieces of sugar.”

I asked them about Kim Kardashian getting robbed point blank after people forcibly entered her hotel room. “If there was $10 million of jewelry in my room, I’d have an armed security guard outside my door,” Ford said.

Wyatt said she’s had people steal jewelry out of her bags but nobody has ever forcibly robbed her. “It has to be someone she knows,” she said. An inside job, in other words.  “I feel sorry for her,” she said.

As for stalkers, “I just pray because it’s creepy,” Wyatt said. And she laughs when people call her a man considering how many babies have come out of her “v-jay-jay,” she said.

She was entertained with Benzino and Althea. “They cracked me up,” Wyatt said. She thinks they’re still together. “Sometimes when you’re in love, you’re literally crazy in love,” she said.

“Love is dumb,” Ford said.

“Love is stupid,” she said. “I’d rather be stupid in love than not.”

“It can be one of the most gratifying things,” Ford said.

ON TV
“Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars,” debuting Friday, 9 p.m., October 7, WE-TV


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