You may not be able to tell just by looking at them, but Rodney Peete and wife Holly Robinson Peete are reality dating show aficionados. One of their favorite hobbies as a pair is watching people on their quest to find love, yelling at the TV when the subjects make questionable decisions on the path to obtaining it.
“We actually really love dating shows. It’s one of the things we do as a couple,” Holly tells ESSENCE. “We watch them all the time.” So when they were offered the opportunity to take part in one, hosting Peacock’s newest reality series, Queens Court, they couldn’t pass up on the chance to help famous femmes Tamar Braxton, Nivea and Evelyn Lozada find the right guy.
“We were like, let’s do it!” she says. “We were talking to the TV anyway. Might as well turn the cameras on us and let us do our thing.”
Something that also made them perfect to host the show and help the ladies is the fact that the Peetes have been married almost 28 years. They’ve done the work to sustain their union and could offer proper support to the ladies based on what they’ve seen and overcome.
“For us, the glue, the secret sauce has been trying to stay on the same page. Continuing to communicate with each other and then Rodney Peete’s willingness to talk to a therapist or marriage counselor has been key, key, key,” says Holly. The fact that he wasn’t threatened to confront their issues in front of an objective third party was a game changer for the couple.
“It’s the respect and communication along the way,” Rodney says of what he thinks keeps them bonded. “We both had similar ideas of what we wanted for our lives, separately and collectively, and we talked about it. We talked about it with a third party. We talked about the journey and what it was going to be and how it was going to be and how to handle certain things that would come up in our lives along the way. We found ourselves getting on the same page before we got married. So knowing that, when things could come up, we would be able to revert to some of the tools that we had early on and then still continue on with the counseling. That was important — that and being able to evolve together was a really important thing as well.”
Therefore, they are qualified to be experts on the new series. What also helps was that that they were a part of the process of meeting the guys and offering a different perspective for the ladies on how to handle them.
“I love all three of these women. I have seen their journeys, I know what they’ve been through and I admire their courage to come on and open themselves up to this process,” she says.
As for the men, they are pretty good suitors. Most of them, at least.
“Most of them were really looking for love,” Rodney says. “Not 100 percent, but most of them, and they were having hiccups along the way on their journey.”
There are some, who viewers will get to see, who didn’t seem to be there for the right reasons.
“I got that radar. I could tell as soon as they opened their mouths. I’ve been there and done that,” Rodney says. “Sometimes guys can go overboard when they’re dealing with a celebrity.”
All of this, in addition to the audience being familiar with the very public past love stories of all the women, will make the series a one-of-a-kind dating show experience.
“It’s definitely different because a lot of us know the journey of the Queens because they’re celebrities. But I like the humor and the heart to the show,” says Holly. “It’s funny because they’re funny women. Yet they let their hair down, they’re very vulnerable, you see tears, you see emotions, we hear things they’ve been through. Then there are genuine cool moments and life lessons you see on there that will go a long way that people can relate to.”
Check out our conversation with Rodney and Holly above. You can watch all 10 episodes of Queens Court, available now to stream on Peacock.