With reality dating shows full of salacious hijinks and tactical double-crosses in the interest of “true love,” Nicole Rémy is looking for a chivalrous suitor – as traditionally as one can on a dating competition.
As the object of affection on USA’s The Courtship, the ex-NFL cheerleader and current software engineer is going back to the dating basics. Holed up in a castle, dressed to the nines in traditional Regency attire, and hosting grand parties with alongside her family, it’s Princess-treatment only for the new reality star as she sifts through the frogs to arrive at her prince.
The show’s concept, which instantly conjures thoughts of Bridgerton (it’s even shot on one of the show’s key locations) sees Rémy entertaining the advances of 16 separate suitors, each from different cultural and professional backgrounds, looking to woo her enough to successfully request her hand.
“These suitors learned Regency-style courtship in order to win my heart. So it’s very different,” Rémy said of her dating experience. “We’re in the backdrop of York [Northern UK], we have a castle, we’re wearing amazing outfits. Also, my family’s there, which is very Regency-style to have your family involved in the courting process. So it’s definitely a twist on modern dating.”
“It’s something that’s never quite been done before, but it’s a lot of fun.”
That fun finds Rémy, an unambiguously Black woman of Haitian descent, no less, as the center of attention and the object of male affection on the show. It’s a far cry from the norm on reality love shows with a similar The Bachelor-style format, that often finds Black women overlooked, or not even present for consideration in the first place.
“You typically don’t see love stories of Black women on TV, ever. And our stories have always been around, but they’ve not always been told or valued,” Rémy observed. “If I can help pave the way for other young women that look like me, or anybody that’s ever felt different, to feel like they can do what they want, and they can accomplish whatever, and they can feel beautiful and valued, and special, and desired in a world where we don’t always feel that way, I’m happy about it. I’m grateful for it. I’m humbled by it.”
And rather than treat her racial identity as matter-of-fact and inconsequential in the dating process, Rémy held her suitors to task on discussing the role their Blackness played in their lives, or conversely with non-Black suitors, the complications and possibilities of joining a Black family and someday fathering Black children.
“I have some really amazing conversations with some of the suitors on the show about being Black, and how they feel about potentially being a part of the Black family,” she explained. “Like, have they dated Black women? And gauging their comfort with being in an environment that may not necessarily look familiar to them.”
Though she can’t disclose whether or not she’s found the one by shedding the trappings of modern dating, Rémy admits that she’s learned a lot along the journey, and made some genuine connections that she feels were forged through direct and purposeful communication with these men under the guidance of her family.
“I think the takeaways and the values that we got from it were focusing on chivalry, and taking time to really make a deep connection with somebody, and also just accepting them into all aspects of your life. Also, choosing your family; valuing their opinion and using that to help you along your way to finding love.”
The Courtship airs on USA on Wednesdays at 11 p.m., streaming the next day on Peacock.