It’s been a long time coming, but reality dating show fans are finally getting what they’ve been waiting for: the first Black bachelor. On tonight’s premiere of WEtv’s new show Match Made In Heaven you’ll meet real estate millionaire Shawn Bullard, who has enlisted his mother and pastor’s help to find a soul mate. Will the show give viewers the romance they seek, or will it be more of the same drama we're used to from reality TV competitions? We sat down with Bullard to find out.
ESSENCE.com: Why search for love on TV?
SHAWN BULLARD: At the time [it was offered to me], I’d just gotten out of a long relationship and an engagement. And I thought, you know what? I’m spontaneous; let’s do it.
ESSENCE.com: Do you feel any pressure to end up with a Black woman on the show?
BULLARD: Honestly, no. I wanted to show that I have dated a diverse group of women in my past. I didn’t feel the need, or the pressure to, but I definitely wanted to come across as a guy that showed that women are beautiful no matter what ethnicity they are.
ESSENCE.com: How much say did you get in the casting process?
BULLARD: I wasn’t involved in the casting, but I was able to influence it by sending photos of the types of women I like. You’ll see a lot of women on the show who are voluptuous with a cool sex appeal. I like a woman that’s aggressive and bossy.
ESSENCE.com: So will there be a little love to go along with all of the drama?
BULLARD: When I talked with these women, there was nothing but respect. I was very humble; I put them first and I listened to them. I was very sincere, and other than being myself, I felt that was very important to display on camera.
ESSENCE.com: Why did you ask your mother and pastor to help you find your dream woman?
BULLARD: In life, when we’re looking for a spouse, we are all looking for someone else to validate them. I have a great relationship with my mom. I’m proud of her and I respect her opinion. Pastor Ken Johnson is a minister that is very sincere, but he’s from the streets. He’s not a minister that you’re going to go out there and be able to contradict. He has been married for thirty-some years. He talks the talk and walks the walk.
ESSENCE.com: Would you be comfortable picking a woman they don’t approve of?
BULLARD: Absolutely. They’re there for guidance, but I make the decision at the end of the day.
ESSENCE.com: What will a woman have to do to win and keep your heart?
BULLARD: I’m looking for a woman that’s sincere who listens to me and is very ambitious. I like a woman that allows me to chase her a little bit. That’s always good for a guy like me. Everything that I bring to the table I want a woman to bring to the table. Listening and not being judgmental is very big to me.
ESSENCE.com: Will you marry the woman you choose?
BULLARD: If it gets to that point, yes, I will. This is a dating show, and when you date, the main point, if it all goes well, is to get married. There was never pressure to get married, but I look forward to seeing if the fantasy will flow outside of the show with the woman I chose.
ESSENCE.com: Since your company is worth millions, is a prenuptial agreement a must before you say “I do”?
BULLARD: Absolutely. That will come up on the show as well. If you’re not in it for all of the wrong reasons then there should be no problem signing one.
ESSENCE.com: Oh, and what’s up with that woman screaming in the mirror on the premiere trailer?
BULLARD: I don’t know! I don’t know what was going on in that episode. It does look like one of those horror movies. It was definitely pretty intense. I wasn’t there. I didn’t stay in the house with the girls. We’ll have to watch and see.
Match Made In Heaven premieres tonight at 8p.m. EST. on WEtv. Bullard promises he’ll be tweeting along and ready to answer more of your questions. Follow him on Twitter to continue the discussion.